Reader bronxbee — under her author name B. Lynch Black — has a wonderful piece of urban fantasy in the new short-fiction anthology Portable Magic [Amazon U.S.] [Amazon Canada] [Amazon U.K.] [iTunes U.S.] [iTunes Canada] [iTunes U.K.]. In her introduction to her story, “The New Fenian,” bronxbee says:
I am a lover of mythology and especially of Celtic and Norse stories and poems. My father, who is my hero, was a police officer. Rereading the story of Oisín and Niamh in Tir na Og gave me the idea to create a Celtic-style mythology around a police officer who had to complete three tasks. Heroic tasks are a common theme in all mythology and folklore.
And here’s a little taste:
All of them were dressed in dark pants or jeans and T-shirts, with a variety of haircuts, mostly long. It was difficult to tell the girls from the boys, until they shrugged out of their leather jackets. I glanced outside. There were as many motorcycles lined up as there were newcomers, though I hadn’t heard the engines when they pulled up.
They weren’t particularly raucous but their presence was felt. Especially the one who seemed to be their leader. She had a tumbling mass of pale hair and dark eyes. Jeans tight enough to have been painted on and her black T-shirt fit lovingly over her slender figure. There were other women in the room that night, but I couldn’t stop looking at her.
Every time one of them talked or laughed, you could hear the sound of little bells. All of them had several earrings and each had a little silver bell in one of their ears.
And I will leave it to you to discover who those mysterious people are and who is doing the observing, and what happens when they meet.
Of course bronxbee is my dear friend, but I really am not biased when I say that her story is by far the best in the book. Like most anthologies, this one is a mixed bag… and despite what the title of the book suggests, most of the stories here are not fantasy at all, and many of those that are only barely qualify as such. I’m not a huge fan of literary fiction, which is how I would describe many of the stories here, which is perhaps why my second favorite in the book is the one that is the most fantastical (even more so than bronxbee’s): “Protection,” by Brenna Conley, a retelling of the Greek myth of Demeter. It’s lovely.
The Kindle version of the book is pretty cheap, and it’s definitely worth it for those two stories alone. Check them out, and let bronxbee know here in comments what you think of “The New Fenian.” (I’m trying to convince her to expand it into novel length!)
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