Rated R for sex and violence
by Elizabeth Bear
Garrett lowered her gaze from the beaten-copper diameter of a rising moon to regard the soft-eyed wampyr beside her. The dark fabric of his sleeve lay smooth under her fingertips. A breeze still tasting of winter ruffled the forensic sorcerer’s carefully arranged hair and shifted the jewels in her earlobes. “Thank you for coming, Sebastien.”
“On the contrary, Abby Irene,” the Great Detective murmured through lips that barely moved. “What man could refuse your company of an evening?” A lifted eyebrow made the double entendre express. The moonlight lay like a rush of blood across his cheeks, making Don Sebastien de Ulloa look almost alive. “Was this the face that launched a thousand ships/ And burnt the topless towers of Ilium?”
“Perhaps in my youth.”
“To a connoisseur, value increases with time.”
She permitted herself an unladylike snort.
About the Author
Sarah Bear Elizabeth Wishnevsky is an American author who works primarily in speculative fiction genres, writing under the name Elizabeth Bear. She won the 2005 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, the 2008 Hugo Award for Best Short Story for “Tideline”, and the 2009 Hugo Award for Best Novelette for “Shoggoths in Bloom”. She is one of only five writers who have gone on to win multiple Hugo Awards for fiction after winning the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (the others being C. J. Cherryh, Orson Scott Card, Spider Robinson, and Ted Chiang).
About the Narrators
Marguerite is a native Californian who has forsaken sunny paradise to live with her true love in Merrye Olde England. She frequently wears so many hats that she needs two heads. When she’s not grappling with legal conundrums as a commercial solicitor, editing Cast of Wonders, or helping behind the scenes as COO of Escape Artists, she can be found narrating audio fiction, studying popular culture (i.e. going to movies and playing video games) with her partner Alasdair Stuart, or curling up with a really good book. You can follow her adventures on Twitter.
He’s an ENie-nominated tabletop RPG writer for his work on Doctor Who: Adventures In Time And Space. His other RPG writing includes Star Trek, The Laundry Files, Primeval, Victoriana, All Flesh Must Be Eaten, N.E.W. and Chill, meaning he’s got a playbook for any variety of invasion you can name. His most recent game work is the forthcoming After The War from Genesis of Legend.
Alasdair co-owns the Escape Artists Podcast Network and hosts their horror show, PseudoPod. His most recent publication is The PseudoPod Tapes Volume 2: Approach with Caution, the second collection of expanded essays from the show.
His short stories can be found in the Fox Pockets anthology series from Fox Spirit, among other places.
He lives in the UK with the love of his life and their ever expanding herd of microphones. Follow him on Twitter as @AlasdairStuart, sign up for his weekly pop culture newsletter The Full Lid, or check out his reviews and blog, The Man of Words.