Rated PG. Contains versions of the afterlife.
Listen to or buy Diane Severson’s CD Silence
by Maureen McHugh
Rachel put off opening it, turning the envelope over a couple of times. The red paper had a watermark in it of twisting Chinese dragons, barely visible. It was an altogether beautiful object.
She opened it with reluctance.
Inside it read:
Honorable Ancestress of Amelia Shaugnessy: an offering of death money and goods has been made to you at Tin Hau Temple in Yau Ma Tei, in Hong Kong. If you would like to claim it, please contact us either by letter or phone. HK8-555-4444.
There were more Chinese letters, probably saying the same thing.
“What is it?” Speed asked.
She showed it to him.
“Ah,” he said.
“You know about this?” she asked.
“No,” he said, “except that the Chinese do that ancestor worship. Are you going to call?”
About the Author
Maureen McHugh has written four novels and two collections of short fiction. She won the James Tiptree Award for her first novel, China Mountain Zhang. She was a Finalist for the Story Award for Mothers & Other Monsters, and won a Shirley Jackson Award for her collection After the Apocalypse. After the Apocalypse was also named one of Publishers Weekly’s 10 Best Books of 2011.
She was born in a blue collar town in Ohio. She’s lived in New York City, Shijiazhuang, China, and Austin, Texas. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California where she is trying desperately to sell her soul to Hollywood but as it turns out, the market is saturated.
About the Narrator
Diane Severson is a lyric soprano specializing in Early Music, especially Baroque and medieval music. Diane has been involved in the SF Poetry Scene (yes, it’s a thing) since 2010. She has narrated for StarShipSofa, and PodCastle. She produces the sporadic podcast, Poetry Planet and is a member of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. She is a staff blogger for Amazing Stories Magazine focusing on Science Fiction Poetry. The best place to find her is on the web because she tends to pick up and move to another country at the drop of a hat. She and her family currently reside in Paris.