Prophecies, Libels & Dreams: Stories
Ysabeau S. Wilce
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Praise for Ysabeau S. Wilce's previous books:
"This fresh and funky setting is rich with glorious costumes, innovative language, and tantalizing glimpses of history."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
These inter-connected stories are set in an opulent quasi-historical world of magick and high manners called the Republic of Califa. The Republic is a strangely familiar place—a baroque approximation of Gold Rush era-California with an overlay of Aztec ceremony—yet the characters who populate it are true originals: rockstar magicians, murderous gloves, bouncing boy terrors, blue tinted butlers, sentient squids, and a three-year-old Little Tiny Doom and her vengeful pink plush pig. By turn whimsical and horrific (sometime in the same paragraph), Wilce's stories have been characterized as "screwball comedies for goths" but they could also be described as "historical fantasies" or "fanciful histories" for there are nuggets of historical fact hidden in them there lies.
Ysabeau S. Wilce is the author of Flora Segunda, Andre Norton Award–winner Flora's Dare, and Flora's Fury, and she has published work in Asimov's, Steampunk!, and Fantasy & Science Fiction. She lives in San Francisco, California.
it’s dark and there are so many of them, and most of them have huge big hair and huger bigger boots. A tiny purple girl-child and her stuffy pink pig have no hope in this throng; they’d be trampled under foot in a second. That is exactly what Hardhands had told the Pontifexa earlier that day; no babysitter, he, other business, other pleasures, no time to take care of small children, not on this night of all nights: the Tygers of Wrath’s biggest show of the year. Find someone else. Well, talkers
sky, sheathing her bones in glittering flickering flesh. The coldfire has spread to the ceiling now, scorching the raven angels, and the whole place is going to go: coldfire doesn’t burn like non-magickal fire, but it is hungry and does consume, and Hardhands has had enough consumption for tonight. Hefting Tiny Doom up higher on his shoulder, he turns about to retreat (run away). “Pig! Pig!” Tiny Doom beats at his head as he ducks under the now flickering threshold. “PIG!” The coldfire has
itself, and seen exactly what snippy little nasties live here, shudders. He likes her better when she frowns. III. A Glamour A little later incense drifts hazily in the closed air of the narrow room. They are sitting on the floor, on the flat mattress that is the room’s only furniture—Kanacheta is sitting, that is. The cadet lies with her head in his lap, and his long fingers explore the planes of her face. She wiggles. She does not like to be touched, which is to say that she is finding his
horse a couple of times—and I’ll wager he wouldn’t know me from Adam. Well, the shavetail came to Arizona without Uncle Billy to get him through, and even though the captain babied him, he was God’s own original Jonah. The boys liked him well enough, for he was amiable and always ready to give a payday loan or overlook a tarnished button, but that’s what you want in a comrade, not in a boss. And he did the silliest things: burned green wood in his stove without opening his windows, almost
it—and now his only interest is in moisture. He can smell the wetness; not in the air, which is as dry as dust, but in the living bodies around him—wet blood, wet bile, wet sweat, wet saliva. They are soggy with wetness, fair dripping, and he can feel himself shriveling for the lack of it. Pow stares at Polecat, upon whose white brow stand little drops of sweat, whose rosy cheeks are flushed and bedewed. Polecat’s lips are moving, opening to display the moist cavern of his mouth—the desire to