Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest has relaunched their online extension.
In this issue, we place the spotlight on Mary Robinette Kowal with an interview and her story “Horizontal Rain.” Apex Publications executive editor Jason B. Sizemore steps up to provide relaunch content with his pagan-based dark fantasy piece “Blue Lights.”
I’m delighted to be featured and especially to have “Horizontal Rain” up there. It’s one of the two stories that I took out of Iceland with me on my first trip. It’s also my only story where the title came first. A couple of the folks at the company I was working for started a band and had a contest for the band name. I suggested Horizontal Rain, because that’s what the weather was doing outside. We get Horizontal Snow too. Sadly they went with another name, which was so lame I can’t remember it. I loved the word combination and kept thinking that I should write a story to go with it.
The nice thing about Iceland is that really, that title could apply to any story there. The wind is so strong it can push you down. I remember a day when I turned so the wind was at my back. The coat I was wearing had a hood that funneled the air around my head, creating a perfect vortex of stillness in front of my face. I had trouble breathing, as it ripped all the air away from me. This is Iceland. This is where my story is set.
Here’s a teaser of “Horizontal Rain.”
Maxwell Sanders pressed the phone closer to his ear as if that would somehow bring comprehension. “Did you say trolls?”
“Yes, Max.” With her words, he could picture Amalia’s rigid posture.
He ran a hand over his scalp. “I can’t redo the aluminum plant blueprints because your foreman believes in fairytales.”
In the silence, static hissed faintly on the line, reminding him that she was in Iceland. “I know what it sounds like, but eighty percent of the population here believes in fairies, elves, and trolls. So when the foreman tells me they won’t continue construction of the plant because we’re intruding into troll territory I can’t just ignore him.”
She was silent long enough that Max thought he had lost the connection, then her voice crept across the ocean to his office in New York. “I think we’re beyond that.”