Published Short Stories

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 untrustworthy scientist.

"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 emotion-demanding culture.

"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 envy).

"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.

"Scattered" (Irreantum, 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 subjects.

"Untainted" (Talebones #33): A student at a spy school challenges her teacher. To protect himself, he convinces her to give up her corrupt memories and become "innocent."

"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.

"Lodging" (Talebones #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.

"Seriously" (Irreantum #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, 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. 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.