Story Day: “Who in Mortal Chains” at Strange Horizons

“Who in Mortal Chains” is live today at Strange Horizons.

This story marks the first appearance of Gus Hillyard. She is violent, undisciplined and very old, and she’s a hell of a lot of fun to write. I hope she’s as much fun to read… although “fun” is probably not the right word for something this bleak.

Gus also appears in the novel I’ve just finished writing… the novel that is still kicking my brain’s ass, and making me do idiot things like try to pay for my lunch with American money. I hope this aftereffect diminishes quickly, because I have writing days booked later this week, and I would like to finish the next Gus story, so that those of you who enjoy it may have another treat (and those of you who don’t may begin avoiding me at cocktail parties).

5 thoughts on “Story Day: “Who in Mortal Chains” at Strange Horizons

  1. Excellent. I love a story with voids that make me want to fill them up with my own imagination. Didn't find it grim, but then again, I like violence in my literature. Nice work Claire, love to see that character again.

  2. What a character you've created in Gus. Glad to hear she'll be sticking around for a while, would love to follow her into the dark corners she's bound to take us.

  3. Thanks! Yeah, the next story is definitely a dark one… enough that I keep putting off finishing it because I don't want to touch it. I'm not sure if that's a terrible sign or a great sign…

  4. Hi, Claire! I loved the story–just read it over at Strange Horizons and then followed the link to your website. You have no idea how long I've wanted to read about a female character unrepentantly cool and strong as Gus! So many people just seem to write off REALLY bada$$ girls as "that butch lesbian on the SWAT team who'll die as cannon fodder in chapter 4," etc–I love that you put a super-tough girl in the starring role and showed that she's as exciting and engaging a main character as any of the usual archetypes who get cast as heroes.

    I'm EXTRA excited to hear that we'll be seeing Gus again (in a full-length novel, no less! XD)–you gave us just the right taste of her and who she might really be (an immortal goddess of war? A Highlander-type of immortal warrior?) to whet our appetites. I know I'm gonna enjoy exploring whatever universe you're cooking up with a hero like Gus at the helm~~

    Thank you so much for this story! Yay for strong women characters~!!

    P.S. All the rah-rah-ing about Gus aside, your writing style is fantastic, btw. I have no particular love for small towns in heartland, USA, etc, but your crisp writing voice and Gus's intriguing character definitely moved me along. You rock~~

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