“The voyage from Dorian had been speedy but less than smooth, the Ocean of Aptikos in its usual bad temper.”

The Collected Short StoriesAS SMALL AND MEAN and dirty as it was, Crowfoot was profoundly glad to see Pylos on the horizon. The voyage from Dorian had been speedy but less than smooth, the Ocean of Aptikos in its usual bad temper. When at last they made fast to the dock, Crowfoot had Blanca and Pedro first up out of the hold and down the gangway to a terra that was blessedly firma beneath her feet. The Sword was strapped to her back and the saddle on Blanca’s before Sharryn had finished taking leave of the Barka’s captain. Avel was his name, he of the laughing hazel eyes and the tight brown curls and the quick, charming tongue. He had been the only bright spot in Sharryn’s voyage from Epaphus. Sailors.

—”A Woman’s Work”


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“Next to the dais the poet’s clerk was doing a brisk trade in autographed scrolls.”

The Collected Short StoriesIT WAS THE FIRST DAY of the Tattoo Fair, and the town square was bustling with vendors and performers from the Nine Provinces of Mnemosynea. Pthalean playwrights were rehearsing songs and skits with Pthersikorean dancers. From a dais two feet square a Kalliopean poet was declaiming in iambic pentameter what appeared to be an epic concerning the life of Okeon, the god of the sea, who had five wives, seventeen children, and a great deal of domestic discord which played out, as one might expect, on the hapless humankind living on shore. Next to the dais the poet’s clerk was doing a brisk trade in autographed scrolls.

–”Justice is a Two-edged Sword”

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“Well, it’s no place like home.”

The Collected Short StoriesWE PUT DOWN at the equator because it was the warmest latitude on the planet. Also the flattest.

“And the most boring,” Grady said, hunched over the viewport.

“And the safest,” I said, trying to peer over his shoulder.

“Well, it’s no place like home.”

“Not yet,” I said. “Give us time.”

–No Place Like Home


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“If Jesus Himself had appeared before them, they would not have turned from the stove to greet Him, not even Isaiah Rowan.”

The Collected Short StoriesTHEIR OVERCOATS STEAMED in the red-hot glow of the tiny stove, the steam rising to form ice on the ceiling of the cramped canvas tent. After a day’s slogging up and down the pass, they were each man and woman among them soaked to the skin, but it was so cold no one was willing to remove so much as a single layer of clothing. Frosted lashes and brows began to thaw, forming rivulets on cheeks that could be mistaken for tears, but the truth was they were too exhausted to weep. They sat instead in a silent circle, nine of them shoulder to shoulder, and thrust their hands and faces forward into the heat radiating from the stove like repentant sinners reaching for the light from above. If Jesus Himself had appeared before them, they would not have turned from the stove to greet Him, not even Isaiah Rowan. Rowan sat with his elbows on his knees, hands dangling between, his head bent, his eyes closed. His coat, made of moosehide, had stood the day better than their thick woolen overcoats, but even it was dark with melted snow and sweat, and it smelled of urine and wood smoke.

But then they all smelled.


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“Okay,” he said, “this can’t be good.”

The Collected Short StoriesA FEW MINUTES AFTER he’d gotten home from work, the door bell rang. He carried the beer he’d just uncapped to the door. On the landing stood two men in suits.

“Okay,” he said, “this can’t be good.”

—”Gold Fever”


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“They’re overgrazing their range.”



“If we don’t reduce their population there’ll be fuck all left to hunt.”

“Also true,” Neri said.

“They savaged us the last two times we tried to establish some control over their activities, to the point that the population of the various packs are now seriously out of balance.”

—”The Perfect Gift”

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“She had figured out how to set bail, and how high.”

The Collected Short StoriesIn the six months since she had been sworn in she had stumbled through her first arrest warrants, fumbled through her first search warrants, and muddled through her first arraignments. She had figured out how to set bail, and how high. She had issued half a dozen restraining orders, and had taken emergency action in one case of child abuse that still gave her nightmares. She had tried, convicted and sentenced no less than sixteen drunk drivers. She had tried and convicted one fisher of fishing without a permit, a second for fishing past the end of the period, a third for harvesting female opilio, a fourth for harvesting undersized kings, and a fifth for fishing outside the district to which his permit restricted him. She had learned to discount most excuses offered by fishers, because if all the engines alleged to have broken down in her courtroom really had, half the Bering Sea fishing fleet would be in dry dock.

—”Missing, Presumed…”

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