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Maria Dahvana Headley

Fiction and Excerpts [3]
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Fiction and Excerpts [3]

Astronaut

On International Women’s Day, several of the best writers in SF/F today reveal new stories inspired by the phrase “Nevertheless, she persisted”, raising their voice in response to a phrase originally meant to silence.

The stories publish on Tor.com all throughout the day of March 8th. They are collected here.

[Read “Astronaut” by Maria Dahvana Headley]

Series: Nevertheless She Persisted

Stealing Rainbows: A Fancy Dress Story

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

I have a very clear memory of how my obsession with fancy started. I was about seven, and I decided to make a tapestry. It was to be a tapestry which depicted a star exploding, and from this star’s explosion would come a whole lot (Hundreds! Thousands! BILLIONS!) of little people in complex costumes, along with a rainbow and some witches. I was pretty sure that people would look at my tapestry and weep. It would be the Big Bang, but embroidered, beaded and glittered. Perhaps also feathered and painted. Maybe it would have mood lighting, and possibly, a dance sequence. It was a tapestry, but O, IT WAS THE FIRST OF ITS KIND.

I was, at this point (and fine, am still) the kind of fanatic who lost her shit when her motor skills weren’t those of a Renaissance master. Therefore, I lost my shit on the regular. My family had learned to pacify me with projects. Once they gave me a huge nest of knotted yarn to untangle. The detangling did not help the fact that I was apparently the reincarnation of Hieronymus Bosch. I was convinced that if people would only give me their most precious and beautiful bits of cloth, thread, and beads, not to mention paints, pigments, and brushes, man, I’d make some very important art. In this case, a creepy tapestry to rival those in the Cloisters. My family (sometimes some of us were antique dealers, sometimes just scavengers) had a subscription to a magazine called Connoisseur, which was full of antiques, art, and estate jewelry. I think I must have seen the Unicorn Tapestries there, and felt jealous of their maker.

[I knew I could do better.]

The Tallest Doll in New York City

Nebula Award-nominated author Maria Dahvana Headley has always loved Damon Runyon’s stylized faux-reporting on New York City. This is her version of a Runyon tale—this one dealing with the architectural guys and dolls of New York City—and a valentine to all the beautiful buildings she knows.

It’s Valentine’s Day, 1938, and the Chrysler Building’s tired of waiting on the corner of Forty-second and Lex for a certain edifice to notice her. Here’s the story of what might happen if two of New York’s greatest creations met on a day built for romance.

This short story was acquired and edited by editor Liz Gorinsky.

[Read “The Tallest Doll in New York City” by Maria Dahvana Headley]

The Tallest Doll in New York City

Nebula Award-nominated author Maria Dahvana Headley has always loved Damon Runyon's stylized faux-reporting on New York City. This is her version of a Runyon tale—this one dealing with the architectural guys and dolls of New York City—and a valentine to all the beautiful buildings she knows.

It's Valentine's Day, 1938, and the Chrysler Building's tired of waiting on the corner of Forty-second and Lex for a certain edifice to notice her. Here's the story of what might happen if two of New York's greatest creations met on a day built for romance.

This short story was acquired and edited by editor Liz Gorinsky.

[Read “The Tallest Doll in New York City” by Maria Dahvana Headley]