Feature Story: “The Double-Edged Sword” by Sharon Shinn
(Originally published in Elemental: The Tsunami Relief Anthology: Stories of Science Fiction and Fantasy.)
I sat at the back of the dark tavern at the table that, in the past five years, had come to be known as mine. Even on the days when I did not bother to leave my house, or leave my bed, no one sat in this booth except me. The townspeople knew better, and strangers who made the mistake of sitting in my place would be told politely by Samuel that the table was reserved. I was the only one who ever sat there, and Samuel was the only one who would approach me while I was in possession.
I idly shuffled my zafo cards and began laying out an unspecified fortune. It would be my own, of course; these days, I did not read for anyone except myself. And even then, I was rarely satisfied with the pictures I saw in the cards.
Sharon Shinn has published 26 novels, one collection, and assorted pieces of short fiction since her first book came out in 1995. Among her books are the Twelve Houses series (Mystic and Rider and its sequels), the Samaria series (Archangel and its sequels), the Shifting Circle series, and the Elemental Blessings series. Visit her website at sharonshinn.net or on Facebook at sharonshinnbooks.
About the Narrator:
Julie C. Day’s fiction has appeared in such venues as Interzone, Podcastle, and Resurrection House’s anthology XIII. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast program and a Masters of Science in Microbiology from the University of Massachusetts. You can find Julie’s latest story “Florida Miracles” in Interzone 261. As well as narrating for StarshipSofa, Julie is also the host of the Small Beer Press podcast. If you want to hear more of Julie’s voice, you can find her narration of Carmen Maria Machado’s “I Bury Myself” at smallbeerpress.com. Finally!: You can find Julie herself on Twitter @thisjulieday or through her website stillwingingit.com.