Katherine Woodbury's Published Short Stories
"Solvency" (Space & Time,
#123): A sci-fi romance; in a futuristic economy with medieval
overtones, Macworth faces the unsettling possibility that he may have to
torture his wife. The alternative: undergo risky negotiations with an
"Cold Passion" (Tales of the Unanticipated,
#31): A sci-fi satire; in a futuristic high school, students are
rewarded grades for expressing excessive emotion. The tale's narrator, a
young woman of dispassionate temperament, hunts for sanctuary from her
"Mislabeled" (Tales of the Talisman, #7.3):
A sequel to "Masquerade" (see below); princes on a quest struggle
between friendship and loyalty as well as love (not to mention getting
to the top of a glass mountain!) Now also appearing in Tales of the Quest.
"Grave Bride" (Cicada of the Cricket Magazine Group): When a Norse grave-bride doesn't die, she has to fight to save herself and her possibly not-dead husband from conniving marauders.
"First Estate" (Monsters & Mormons): the story of Ruth from the Old Testament, only on another planet.
"Requited" (Andromeda Spaceways):
The phrase "can't live without him" is literal for a symbiotic--or
parasitic--alien species where one member of a sexual partnership can
only speak to the other member. Naturally, when this species encounters
Earthlings, this type of relationship creates controversy (as well as
"Her Society" (Leading Edge
#57): In a society where individual victims decide how criminals will
be punished, a young woman has to decide what to do with a violent
offender living in her home.
"Verbal Knowledge" (Tales of the Unanticipated
#29): In a futuristic society, Roger can shape people's actions based
on verbal suggestions. He becomes embroiled in a corporate conspiracy
and ends up shaping himself to feel love for his target.
"Top of the Mountains" (Tales of the Talisman,
September 2008): A priest and his female cleric settle on a colony
where the priest instigates a rebellion against the human planetary
council that controls religious dealings with aliens.
"Devil's Pet" (Andromeda Spaceways #35): In this Dilbert-meets-Milton tale, a young woman descends into workplace Hell to rescue her dead boss.
Spring 2007): Elijah and his enemy, Jezebel, meet up in modern
Portland, Maine where they alternately clash and pursue each other over
the issue of rising taxes and God's intentions.
"Brutal Rituals" (Space & Time #100):
Ancient and modern cultures collide in this tale about a ritual rape. A
new emperor, returning home after many years abroad, must perform the
ritual--distasteful to his modernized sensibilities--or alienate his
#33): A student at a spy school challenges her teacher. To protect
himself, he convinces her to give up her corrupt memories and become
"Escaping Rouen" (Gateway Science Fiction,
Spring 2005): In this alternate universe, Joan of Arc meets Henry V
after she has been captured by the English; King Henry must decide
whether Joan should be executed. Gateway Science Fiction is defunct. "Escaping Rouen" can be read on my Fiction page.
"Impersonal" (Andromeda Spaceways
#24): A secretary is forced to adopt multiple personalities when her
company splits. She uses these personalities to undermine her bosses.
#31): A princess marries a ruthless king to satisfy her brothers, but
the ghost possessing her wants to take revenge on the king. Now also available in Tales of the Quest.
"Masquerade" (Leading Edge
#47): Princes competing in a quest agree to undergo a psychological
ordeal. The ordeal is complicated by a saboteur and a princess disguised
as a prince. Now also available in Tales of the Quest.
#5.4): A re-telling of "Gawain and the Green Knight"; in this version,
the Green Knight's human foster daughter helps Gawain who is neither as
pure nor as dishonorable as he is portrayed in the original poem.
"Nameless" (Far Sector.com,
Spring/Summer 2004): A horror story about a creature that lives in a
mail chute and haunts a receptionist over a letter she wishes she didn't
write. Farsector.com is now defunct.
"Thin, Scarlet Line" (Irreantum
#5.1): The story of Rahab and the spies from the Old Testament with the
addition of a mystical Man of Chance. The Man of Chance helps Sala, a
spy, find Rahab in Jericho after it is destroyed.
"Battle Tactics" (Cicada,
January/February 2003): A "behind the scenes" look at the Trojan War.
Odysseus, ever scheming, helps save Helen's new husband even as Troy
falls by deceit. Characters from the Iliad and Aeneid appear.
"Thorns" (Dark Regions #16): Sleeping Beauty with a twist. The witch accompanies the prince to the castle where they find Sleeping Beauty murdered. Dark Regions is defunct. "Thorns" can be read under its original title---"Kicking Against the Pricks"--on my Fiction page.
"Janitor's Closet" (Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine
#47): A modern fairytale in a college setting. A godmother head
secretary, a princess disguised as a vacuum cleaner, and a bad fairy
imprisoned in a fax machine combine to create a "Happily Ever After."
The magazine stopped publishing at MZB's death. I do not know if any
back issues are still available.
"Golden Hands" (Space & Time
#91): A dark version of the Rumpelstiltskin fairytale. A conqueror
needs money to complete his campaign. When he finds a woman who can
change straw to gold, he demands her help and is then confronted by her
goblin abuser. Now also available in Tales of the Quest.
"The Birthright" (Space & Time
#89): A modern fairytale set on a Maine island. An ancient curse by
mermaids haunts a family. While the father dreads the curse and the
mother denies it, the son wishes to covenant with the mermaids.