Flash Fiction: “Green Ice” by Jay Lake and Ruth Nestvold
The Moon is mistress of the tides, which means she controls the blood of men, for their red-washed veins flow with salt, echoing the sea that is mother to us all. When she calls men to her, they rise to her attendance. When she refuses them, they drown in tears of sorrow. Women, though, follow a flow and rhythm of their own, still in Sister Moon’s power, but free from her compulsions.
So it was that among the greatest of the Rose Knights serving under the Moon’s banner in her wars with the Army of the Sun were the flowers of womanhood. Green Ice stood strong among them as the Green Knight, her armor a shade so pale as to be nearly white, her eyes the piercing color of a mountain meadow in spring, her hair silver-white as the streams that flow downward into the cathedral-forests.
Jay Lake lived in Portland, Oregon until his death in 2014, shortly before his 50th birthday. His books include Kalimpura from Tor and Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh from Prime. His short fiction appeared regularly in literary and genre markets worldwide. Jay was a winner of the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, and a multiple nominee for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. In 2015, he posthumously received the Locus Award for his collection Last Plane to Heaven.
Learn more about him and his work at jlake.com.
Ruth Nestvold has published widely in science fiction and fantasy, her fiction appearing in such markets as Asimov’s, F&SF, and Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction. Her work has been nominated for the Nebula, Tiptree, and Sturgeon Awards. In 2007, the Italian translation of her novella Looking Through Lace won the Premio Italia award for best international work. She maintains a web site at ruthnestvold.com and blogs at ruthnestvold.wordpress.com.
Main Story: “Against the Encroaching Darkness” by Aliette de Bodard
(Originally published in Grimdark Magazine #5.)
Eugénie lay in state in the small, pathetic chapel that they’d never had time to finish, her eyes towards the blank, unpainted ceiling. From time to time, the distant echo of a magical conflagration shook the room, and dust fell on her chest, covering her clothes in a fine, white layer that slowly and irretrievably
obscured the insignia of House Lazarus.
Victoire would not cry. She’d done so earlier in the privacy of her room, but now it wasn’t about love or grief; merely what would carry them forward, what would ensure the newly founded House would survive the death of her founder. Most Houses, she knew, didn’t. And Lazarus, that bastard child of Eugénie’s ideals — her place of refuge, her small band of dependents patiently gathered through the years — was no exception.
Aliette de Bodard lives and works in Paris, where she has a day job as a System Engineer. In her spare time, she writes speculative fiction: her Aztec noir trilogy Obsidian and Blood is published by Angry Robot, and her short stories have appeared in markets such as Clarkesworld Magazine, Asimov’s, and The Year’s Best Science Fiction. She has won a Nebula, a Locus, and a British Science Fiction Association Award. Her latest release is The House of Shattered Wings. Visit aliettedebodard.com for more information.
About the Narrators:
Nicola Seaton-Clark lives in the wilds of (almost) Eastern Europe with her long-suffering husband, phenomenal children and a grumpy cat. Trained as an actress and singer, she has worked in entertainment for over 20 years and currently splits her time between writing speculative fiction, helping her husband run their voice-over company, Offstimme, and voicing everything from commercials and documentaries to public transport announcements. She also hosts this podcast…
Andrea Richardson is a British singer and actress with extensive stage and film performances to her name. She began narration and voiceover work in 2014, but enjoys using her existing skills in a different way. You can find Andrea at andrea-richardson.co.uk and on Facebook.
The Audio Fantasy Fiction Magazine