One of seventeen mini-chapbooks in Sword & Kettle Press’s new Cup & Dagger series, Diana Hurlburt’s Nothing Natural: A Post-Apocalyptic Tempest is a gut-punch take on a familiar Shakespearean comedy. There’s no convenient prince washed ashore to romance this Miranda; it’s impossible for anyone to play savior while adrift in the pine-veiled and withered refuge that Hurlburt’s Prosper lords over.
Instead the narrator–cursed and neglected child of a Sicaria exiled for her rejection of the technology of a new age–and Miranda find love blossoming through their work. The poisoned soil and blighted sky can’t strangle every growing thing, and the pair take inspiration and comfort where they find it–in each other, in their stolen freedom, in their forbidden project. Together, they’ve found a way forward in the resurrection of a cyborg even more abandoned than their fellow exiles, a dangerous gamble that’s nevertheless their best chance.
This chapbook is a testament to rough hope, to a precious future scratched out of the jetsam of a smothered world. The characters are cast off and cast out by the remains of civilization, and yet they persist, forging their own path in the wilderness for better or worse. Hurlburt’s language has the beautiful baroqueness of this new place, cut off and abandoned but still capable of bearing fruit under the careful tending of a new generation. It’s a perfect marriage of Elizabethan flourish and stark economy, with poetry dripping like honey and epithets spat like bile. Dropping soon in print and digital, both graced with gorgeous cover art by Caitlin Cadieux, Nothing Natural is a perfect read for this brave new year.
Available March 2021 from Sword and Kettle Press!
“Shadow Bands” has just been published, with an absolutely banging illustration by Tim Soekkha, over at the amazing Crimson Streets! I’m very proud of this one, and I’m thrilled to see it find a home at such a great venue!
Print copies of my chapbook from Sword & Kettle Press, Of Witches and Wolves, are back in stock and ready to go, folks!
“Silver Springs” is now appearing in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #279! Mischief, mermaids, and things found in the most unlikely of places–what more could a reader ask for?
Crimson Streets will be publishing a new short story of which I’m particularly proud. It’s got everything you could possibly ask for–occult detectives, magical mischief, and people who have absolutely no business dabbling in forces beyond their ken dabbling their hearts out. Keep an eye out for “Shadow Bands” this fall!
So many lovely new irons in the fire, my friends!
“Silver Springs” now has a home–Beneath Ceaseless Skies! As wonderful as it always is to successfully place a story I genuinely loved writing, I’m especially thrilled with this acceptance. BCS is a great publication, and I think the thorough and thoughtful editing process is a big part of why.
I’ve been selected as the featured writer for the upcoming issue of Lammergeier with the new short story “Gallows Apple”!
I’m thrilled to find a home for this story, as it came out of the aftershocks of writing Of Witches & Wolves (Sword and Kettle Press, 2018) and is, thematically speaking, the tarnished and chilling side of that pretty silver coin.
Look for Lammergeier #1 in March 2019!
It’s set to drop any day now, and the list of contributors is absolutely amazing.
“Heart of Stars” is now out at Corvid Queen! I was thrilled to get this one placed with such a fitting home, and it’s a great appetizer for anyone interested in Of Witches and Wolves!