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About E. Catherine Tobler
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Witness Rabi, Vanquisher and Vanisher Extraordinaire, who can make coins and the past vanish before your very eyes. Dare to visit the Beauty and the Beast, our conjoined twins who are terrible and tortured by turns. Sample Beth's marmalade, the sticky sweetness containing the very memory of the day you turned sixteen, and your beloved's lips touched yours once and never again.It's worth the price, traveler. Jackson's Unreal Circus is where you can be whoever or whatever you want. Whether it be a ride on the Ferris wheel, slipping inside a skin that is not your own, or the opportunity to live as you never have before—it is all possible on this, the grandest of tours. The train beckons you—come, come!
For the first time, E. Catherine Tobler has compiled a collection of her popular circus stories. With nine stories ranging from the first publishing within this universe to a previously unpublished piece, this is your ticket to her magical world. Welcome to The Grand Tour.
Contains the following destinations:
"We, As One, Trailing Embers"
"Blow the Moon Out"
"Ebb Stung by the Flow"
"Every Season" (original to this collection)
"Inland Territory; Stray Italian Greyhound"
Featuring a special introduction by A.C. Wise!
A withered body abandoned to the desert wastes.
An ancient and mysterious god.
Four rings opening a portal to the unknown.
As the nineteenth century turns into the twentieth, the world looks to a future of revolutionary science and extraordinary machines. Archaeologist Eleanor Folley looks back to Egypt’s ancient mysteries and her mother’s inexplicable, haunting disappearance. Agent Virgil Mallory, a man with ghosts and monsters of his own, brings evidence of a crime, taking them both on a thrilling adventure that carries them from Paris to Egypt, and from the present to the ancient past. Uncovering the truth exposes a dangerous game of life, death, and uncanny powers!
A tomb filled with death and peril.
A journey through hell itself.
At the turning of the year, Yule presents Virgil Mallory with the opportunity to gift Eleanor Folley with a journal kept by her father, a journal that leads them to a mysterious tomb near Hapshetsut's temple in Egypt.
It is no ordinary tomb, perhaps the first ever carved in the valley, known to Napoleon and others, but never entirely plundered. Why would such treasures stand untouched? Had anyone breached its darknesses?
Together, Folley and Mallory will enter the tomb, though what they find inside will change everything they have believed of Anubis and the strange shapeshifting world they find themselves a part of.
We'll release a new story every other Tuesday; or you can buy the full issue now.
A Whisper in the Weld by Alix E. Harrow
Isa died in a sudden suffocation of boiling blood and iron cinder in her mouth; she returned to herself wearing a blue cotton dress stained with fresh tobacco. She was younger and leaner, as she’d been when she first met Leslie Bell. Her skin shone dark and warm without the black dust of the mill ground into it.
The One They Took Before by Kelly Sandoval
Kayla reads the listing twice, knowing the eager beating of her heart is ridiculous. One page back, someone claims they found a time machine. Someone else has apparently lost their kidneys. The Internet isn't real. That's what she likes about it. And if the post is real, the best thing she can do is pretend she never saw it.
Cantor's Dragon by Craig DeLancey
He beholds the dragon’s black head, its black shining scales, the smooth and sensitive circular membrane of each ear, vibrating behind a black eye. Cantor cannot discern the dragon’s tongue from the flames that churn in the cup of its jaw. Fire rattles in its throat, a sound like Rudolf’s failing lungs.
Caretaker by Carlie St. George
A ghost took care of you when you were young. She made you peanut butter sandwiches without speaking, shuffled silently from room to room in her threadbare bathrobe and bare feet. She didn’t have eyes, your mother. Or she did, but they didn’t work because she always stared right through you, even as she cupped your face with her cold, dead hands.
An end to every beginning.
Disguised as a boy, Sagira Solimon spent her youth trying to salvage a dead Egypt from the drifting sands, before Englishmen could carry it all away. She found the rings in a cracked bowl, slid them on, and vanished into another world entirely. A world where Egyptian gods still ruled.
Broken and haunted, Dalila Folley suffered the loss of her mother and grew up searching for her, knowing Egypt had swallowed her whole. Dalila set herself on a path to unearth Sagira from the Egyptian desert and open the Glass of Anubis once more, no matter that her own daughter was the cost.
Eleanor Folley watched her mother vanish into the desert, and though everyone told her Dalila was dead, she refused to believe. Determined to understand the truth, Eleanor pit herself against the dark god Anubis himself, to set the world right once more, but ancient Egypt holds her heart as firmly as Virgil Mallory does, and she won't let either go easily.
An auction of archaic wonders.
An immortal link to the past.
Beneath the streets of Alexandria, Agent Cleo Barclay stumbled into a catacomb that changed her life. Her arms were taken, transfigured, and something remarkable was revealed--something that will stir an ancient life from the ashes of history.
A serpentine sarcophagus holds clues to Cleo's past and future. She enlists Eleanor Folley and Virgil Mallory to collect the artifact at auction, to unravel its mysteries and her own. When the sarcophagus falls into the hands of an enigmatic Egyptologist, they find themselves participants in his diabolical pursuits.
Drawn to Alexandria by their friend--and the temptations of a newly discovered ring--Folley and Mallory will be challenged as never before.
An ancient Egyptian riddle.
The rumor of strange creatures moving beneath the streets of Paris.
Eleanor Folley knew she was in for a challenge when she accepted the task of cataloging Mistral's archive of purloined artifacts, but she never expected to discover an Egyptian mystery buried in the heart of Paris.
When Anubis and Horus task her with a quest, she cannot refuse the ancient gods, even if it means venturing into the cathedrals of bones that clutter the catacombs of Paris.
— Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"Richly experimental horror."
— Locus Magazine
Fifteen-year-old Jackson is different from the other children at the foundling hospital. Scales sometimes cover his arms. Tentacles coil just below his skin. Despite this Jackson tries to fit in with the other children. He tries to be normal for Sister Jerome Grace and the priests. But when a woman asks for a boy like him, all that changes. His name is pinned to his jacket and an orphan train whisks him across the country to Macquarie’s.
At Macquarie’s, Jackson finds a home unlike any he could have imagined. The bronze lions outside the doors eat whomever they deem unfit to enter, the hallways and rooms shift and change at will, and Cressida – the woman who adopted him – assures him he no longer has to hide what he is. But new freedoms hide dark secrets. There are territories, allegiances, and a kraken in the basement that eats shadows.
As Jackson learns more about the new world he’s living in and about who he is, he has to decide who he will stand with: Cressida, the woman who gave him a home and a purpose, or Mae, the black-eyed lion tamer with a past as enigmatic as his own. The Kraken Sea is a fast paced adventure full of mystery, Fates, and writhing tentacles just below the surface, and in the middle of it all is a boy searching for himself.
This month, we have original science fiction by An Owomoyela ("Undermarket Data") and E. Catherine Tobler ("A Box, a Pocket, a Spaceman"), along with SF reprints by Gardner Dozois ("Morning Child") and David I. Masson ("Traveller's Rest"). Plus, we have original fantasy by Tahmeed Shafiq ("The Djinn Who Sought To Kill The Sun") and Kat Howard ("Meaningful Exchange"), and fantasy reprints by Ken Liu ("State Change") and Gwyneth Jones ("The Grass Princess"). For our ebook readers, our ebook-exclusive novella is "Rule of Engagement," by Sherwood Smith, and of course we have our usual assortment of author and artist spotlights, along with feature interviews with bestselling authors Christopher Moore and Elizabeth Bear. We've also got novel excerpts from Dru Pagliassotti (Clockwork Secrets) and Peter Watts (Echopraxia).
These four stories, from Shimmer alums and novices alike, will take you on a journey that is familiar as earth, but as strange as stars. We explore the depths of the sea and the dry deserts both, where encounters don't have to be alien to terrify.
Anna Saves Them All, by Seth Dickinson
The other team members have their own terrors, of course -- rational big-idea fears: where Blackbird came from, why it's here, what kind of Christopher Columbus apocalypse it could trigger if it goes home, or if it doesn't. But Anna thinks about how she came so close to home, how she'll never know if the thing she did was worth anything at all. That fills her with something jagged: anguish...or relief.
Dharmas, by Vajra Chandrasekera
Like every passenger he has ever driven, I have placed myself at serious risk of injury or death. He owes me a life, whether he takes mine or not. This is why I am compelled to undo his narrative.
Dream of the Fisherman's Wife, by A. C. Wise
The fisherman’s wife rises. Is she sleeping still? If she glances back to the pool of moonlight holding her husband in their tangled sheets will she see herself lying beside him, chest moving steady with the in-out tide of breath? She steps outside, barefoot; from the pier to the sand, to the edge of the shore where the water traces a silver line against her toes.
We Take the Long View, by Erica Satifka
The Very-Big-Wrong, the it-thing from the landing site, has invaded the settlement, the place where the we-that-are-mobile gather to speak, to screw, and to eat of Leaves and body-food. We begged and pleaded at it and asked the Forest-That-Thinks to give us permission to use force to repel the intruder.