QSFer Siri Paulson is in a new sci fi anthology:
Meet the princesses.
A trained diplomat, kidnapped by an alien race desperate for justice, and its dashing leader…
A political pawn, on her way to meet her betrothed, who stops in the asteroid belt to answer a call for help, and finds a princess both beautiful and brave…
A captive raised to believe that the greatest evil is magic, when it–and the handsome ship’s engineer who wields it–are the one thing that might save her…
Here are their stories.
From “For Justice”, by Kit Campbell
Her Royal Highness, Princess Syvil of Elyon, closed her eyes and tried to calm her breathing. She smoothed her dress unnecessarily yet another time. The fabric was cool and slick beneath her long, pale fingers.
“Be calm,” her mother said. Syvil could sense her project a feeling of serenity, but it did little to help her nerves. Tonight was the night she would finally be allowed to take part in their duty to the galaxy. She would be able to sit and mediate conflicts alongside her parents.
It was also, potentially, the night she might meet her Other Soul. Her stomach turned at the mere thought. What if she did? It seemed like too much, to look someone else in the eye and know their compatibility without sharing a word.
Her father laid a hand on her shoulder. “You’re focusing too much on that aspect, Syvil. It could be annuls before you meet your match.”
“But what if they’re not Elyonian?” she murmured. There would be representatives from a dozen systems present. Syvil had looked over the list of complaints what felt like a hundred times. She had it memorized.
“Syvil.” Her mother shook her head disapprovingly. “You will deal with that when it becomes an issue, as we discussed. Please compose yourself. We will begin momentarily.”
She smoothed her dress again, uselessly, and forced calm into herself. Her parents were right—not everyone had an Other Soul, and the odds that he, she, or other would be here tonight were miniscule. There were so many beings in the universe.
Syvil felt her mother watching her and looked up, giving her a small smile and nod.
In response, her mother reached over, keying a command into the panel on the wall. It lit up, and a moment later, the door in front of them separated and parted, revealing the ornate, curving staircase on the other side. With it open, Syvil could hear the cacophony of many voices, could feel the cloud of emotions floating off the crowd. She took another deep breath, blowing it out slowly. She had trained for this day since she was very young. She could do this.
Kit Campbell: Kit Campbell has never met a mythology she hasn’t liked. This sometimes leads to issues, such as the occasional Norse God of Thunder showing up in the Garden of Eden. She adores weaving in the possibilities forgotten magic can bring to a story, and enjoys making up new creatures, such as large, venomous monsters that hunt in packs. Kit’s stories have been published in half-a-dozen anthologies, and her YA novella, Hidden Worlds, was released by Turtleduck Press in 2010. Kit lives in Colorado in a house of ever-increasing chaos. She can be found around the internet at kitcampbellbooks.com, twitter.com/KitCampbell, and on Goodreads.
Siri Paulson: Siri Paulson writes all over the fantasy and science fiction spectrum, including (so far) secondary-world fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, Gothic, historical paranormal, and YA with spaceships. She is also the chief editor at Turtleduck Press (http://www.turtleduckpress.com). Siri grew up in Alberta, Canada, but now lives in an old house in Toronto. By day, she edits non-fiction for the government. Her other current passion is contra dance, a social/folk dance done to live Celtic and roots music. Her favourite places in the world are the Canadian Rocky Mountains and a little valley in Norway.