City of Diamond (written as Jane Emerson)
“…reads as though written by the bastard offspring of Robert Heinlein and Georgette Heyer.”
In the far future, three great city-ships are traveling through the galaxy, using technology and religion bequeathed to them by an alien civilization. As time has passed, the Cities have lost track of their original mission in favor of fighting among themselves. Word comes to Adrian Mercati, the young leader of the City of Diamond, that a legendary artifact left behind by the aliens who sent them on their way has at last been located. He plans on keeping this news a secret, but before long a cast of characters is out to retrieve it for one side or another. A prince, a sociopath, a thief, a cop, and an Irish zen-monk assassin with an unfortunate sense of humor… they’ll all go to great lengths to find “the Sawyer crown,” an artifact left for them out of time. Finding it, however, may give the victor more than he bargained for.
The Ivory Books (written as Doris Egan)
Theodora, a university student, finds herself stranded on the world of Ivory, without money, connections, or a ticket home. (For English majors everywhere who wonder how they’ll support themselves.) Ivorans, however, use magic as we use technology, and our heroine finds herself hired by a very nice-looking young man who’s a major player in the field. He says he needs somebody to read cards for him. He didn’t mention how dangerous it could get…
In which Theodora and Ran divide their time between romance and argument, while trying to escape an outlaw band that thinks our heroes will make good hostages. If only they didn’t find the outlaws a lot more likable than the local government — especially since treason against the Emperor carries such nasty penalties.
You marry into an Ivoran family, you have to accept your life is going to be complicated. Okay, your new sister-in-law has always been a little wild, but that’s no reason she should be accused of murder. Or your husband either, dammit, and why is everyone looking at him that way? Don’t they understand that he doesn’t go around killing people? Or, well… not very often, anyway. In which our heroes turn detective to clear the family name.
Online-only short stories can be found on the Stories page.
“My favorite among the pack is Doris Egan’s ‘The Sweet of Bitter Bark and Burning Clove’… a best-case partnering of Anne Rice meets John D. MacDonald… Doris Egan’s clear, bell-like language and high-energy storytelling impart a unique power to this erotically romantic adventure of an effective ‘troubleshooter’ named Bailey who periodically trysts with a real un-live vampire named Lilith. This time when he meets Lilith on a Caribbean island, Bailey’s also on a professional search. His clients are a trio of middle-aged drug smugglers eager to locate their fourth partner who has dropped out of sight with a great deal of cash. The target never has a chance, of course. But what really counts here is Egan’s intriguing portrait of a serial relationship charged with obsession, sexual heat, and genuine caring. All good horror tropes are clear metaphors for our own less cinematic lives. This one carries out its mission in spades.”
Ed Bryant, Locus
Bailey is a detective with an uncanny knack for finding missing people. His own life, however, is more complicated than his clients’ — but that’s what happens when your girlfriend is a vampire and you can die if you’re not both very, very careful. Bailey’s developed a taste for pain and pleasure, an addiction he deals with in practical terms while following a case to a Caribbean island.
(The title is from a Robert Frost poem, “To Earthward.” Copyright law forbids my referencing it here, but believe me, if you read it you’ll know why I chose it.)
[Excerpt to come]
Anthology: The Horns of Elfland
“Jane Emerson gives us a beautifully written Regency adventure of a city that never quite was.” -Locus
“It happened in Herse, that devil-ridden town, in January of the year 1800…” Napoleon is marching through Italy and great events are unfolding, while Maria and her sister Sophia live a quiet, domestic life in the city of Herse, an imaginary city in an imaginary country set between Italy and the Ottoman Empire. Maria is the younger and plainer sister, neglected, she feels, by her family. But a statue of Apollo, sent to England by the newly appointed Lord Elgin, miscarries in the Adriatic and finds its way to Herse, where it forever changes Maria’s life. (Stephen Price, an unusual young man and a great favorite with his author, makes his debut as a character in this story.)
For more information on this “anthology of music and magic,” click on The Horns of Elfland.
[Excerpt to come]
Anthology: Highwaymen: Robbers and Rogues
The year is 1801, and Stephen Price, a young man of no fixed identity, who seems to be an officer of the Royal Engineers – except when he isn’t – is sent on a mission into the mountains beyond Herse. But other people’s identities can be complicated too, as Price tries to determine which of three people is a highwayman with secrets for sale.
[Excerpt to come]
Anthology: Otherwere: Stories of Transformation
It’s hard to tell whether married couple Howard and Sylvia prefer making love or making war. The balance of power is disrupted, however, when Howard inherits the transformational curse of his family. Can he still insist on getting his own way when he keeps turning into a… were-guppy? (Yes, this one’s a comedy.)
[Excerpt to come]
Anthology: Annual World’s Best SF
Amazing Stories magazine
Time-traveling aliens, the apparent victors over humanity in a future war, recruit humans throughout the ages to plunder Earth of its art treasures. Oddballs and losers of all kinds are offered the option, plucked from their centuries, and taken to the future where they’re trained and formed into teams. It takes a certain amount of cynicism and survival instinct to make it through the program, and our heroine Ceece has both. She knows the score. And she certainly shouldn’t be falling for this guy in the 1950s who they’re setting up as the patsy on the latest assignment. Especially not when he’s due to die anyway…