Clockwork Heart

I’m proud to say my short story “Small Burdens” just went up on the wonderful speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons.  You can read it here.

This piece began as my first Clarion story, written during the week our workshop was led by Kelly Link.

A bit of spoiler — It’s a fairy story, and I knew next to nothing about fairy lore when I started it, but the piece grew out of the question: When fairies steal human children, why do they bother to leave changelings in their place?  It seems like a lot of work, and they’re eventually found out sooner or later.  Do fairies just have cruel senses of humor, or do the changelings serve some purpose that humans never see?  I tried to answer that, working from the premise that fairies were a bit too alien to relate to humans, and that the changeling had to be doing something that would help them abduct or raise a human baby.

I’ve been a big fan of Strange Horizons for years (and it was co-founded by another one of my Clarion instructors, Mary Anne Mohanraj), so I’m delighted this story found a good home there.

Playing Possum