Karen (K.G.) Anderson writes short fiction — urban fantasy, space opera, alternate history, Weird West tales, near-future science fiction, poetry, and mystery. She studied at Taos Toolbox (2017), Viable Paradise (2013), and Cascade Writers (2011). Check out her upcoming and past appearances and readings.
New! January 29 and 31, Karen will read with Edd Vick and J.G. Follansbee as part of the SFWA Reading Series in Seattle and Portland. Details here.
• “Captain Carthy’s Bride”
A hotel maid in a fishing village impersonates a selkie and a visiting sea captain falls for the ploy — “capturing” her and taking her away to a comfortable life in the city. Twenty years later, Captain Carthy’s bride discovers the awful price she must pay for her deception.
a pleasing and easy to read story that concealed its ending twist well. — review at Tangent
Buy “Captain Carthy’s Bride” in the new Third Flatiron Press anthology Terra! Tara! Terror!, edited by Juliana Rew. With stories by Marie Vibbert, Steven Mathes, Wulf Moon, SFWA Grand Master Robert Silverberg, and others.
Mail-order bride Shulamit Pelz flees New York with her grandfather’s golem, pursued by Kabbalists seeking the creature’s magic. When her stagecoach is robbed in the New Mexico desert she meets a handsome outlaw and embarks on a path that makes Wild West history.
I very much enjoyed this Jewish speculative Western — the first I’ve ever read of such a genre. — review at SFFReviews.com
Read “Escape” online at Luna Station Quarterly. Buy the story in print or digital format in Issue 35 of Luna Station Quarterly, where it appears along with tales by Beth Goder, Wendy Nikel, Izzy Varju, Erin K. Wagner and others.
• “Different Meaning” (flash fiction – August 21, 2018)
“Screw symbols. Put no faith in them. That arrow carved hastily — or artfully — into a tree? It points the way…”
Read “Different Meaning” online at The Drabble.
• “Bad Memories, 2032”
An all-too-plausible glimpse into our future, “Bad Memories, 2032” imparts a shiver of recognition, a twinge of grief, and — perhaps — even a flash of empathy.
Buy “Bad Memories, 2032” in the anthology After the Orange: Ruin and Recovery (B Cubed Press; edited by Manny Frishberg). Stories by 29 science fiction authors including Brenda Cooper, John A. Pitts, Bruce Taylor, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Paula Hammond, J.G. Follansbee, Kara Dalkey, Edd Vick, Janka Hobbs, Keven David Anderson, and Su J. Sokol.
What if 5 different authors each wrote the same story?
“Patience” is K.G. Anderson’s version of this “seed” story: Researchers are left on a remote planet to study the phenomenon of apparently sentient rocks. In “Patience,” their research founders for more than a decade. Anger simmers as they await the return of the expedition’s flamboyant — and disturbingly evasive — leader.
Buy “Patience” in the anthology Reading 5 x 5 (Metaphorosis Press; edited by B. Morris Allen). Stories by Caleb Warner, L. Chan, Vanessa Fogg, K.G. Anderson, Beth Goder, Karl Dandenell and others.
• “The Right Man for the Job”
Desperate Democrats on Capitol Hill hold a seance to ask Molly Ivins, Adlai Stevenson II, and Walter Cronkite to do something about the current administration. They send back LBJ — with boots, Scotch, and beagles — to haunt the White House.
Buy “The Right Man for the Job” in the anthology More Alternative Truths (B Cubed Press). Stories, poems and essays by Lou J Berger, David Brin, Adam-Troy Castro, Esther Friesner, Manny Frishberg, Philip Brian Hall, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Vonda N. McIntyre, John A. Pitts, Irene Radford, Mike Resnick, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough, Edd Vick, Jim Wright, Jane Yolen and many others.
My favorites of the lot are K.G. Anderson’s, “The Right Man for the Job,” in which frustrated Democrats hold a séance in an attempt to find a solution to our Trump problem. It’s witty and fun! — review on Amazon
• “Everything Is Fixed Now”
The device Samantha’s company makes for corporate fitness programs is collecting medical data — without employees’ knowledge. Are “health risks” being fired — or allowed to die?
Buy “Everything Is Fixed Now” in the anthology Welcome to Dystopia: 45 Visions of What Lies Ahead edited by Gordon Van Gelder (OR Books). Stories by 45 authors including Elizabeth Bourne, Ron Goulart, Eileen Gunn, Les Howle, Janis Ian, Barry N. Malzberg, David Marusek, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Ruth Nestvold, Marguerite Reed, Robert Reed, Madeleine E. Robins, Geoff Ryman, James Sallis, J. M. Sidarova, Harry Turtledove, Ray Vukcevich, and Jane Yolen. Reviewed in Publishers Weekly.
Listen to “Everything Is Fixed Now” in the Audible version of the book.
A strange man comes to town and wins a woman’s heart, transforming her kitchen with exotic spices and culinary talents that just might be magic. Yet she can’t help but worry about his intentions…and the locked suitcase he keeps in their closet.
Buy “Delicious” in the anthology Triangulation: Appetites (Parsec Ink). Edited by Frank Oreto and Douglas Gwilym. Stories by Holly Schofield, Jack Lothian, and others.
• “The Light of Two Moons”
“Jan’s hopes had faded like the old graffiti scrawled on the mud wall of the Dein compound. The throbbing of a rotor overhead sparked no thought of rescue. He had long forgotten his plans for escape.”
Read “The Light of Two Moons” online at Ares Magazine.
• “Patti 209”
She designed “the elder-care environment of the future,” and finds herself, 30 years later, a numbered inmate in the place. With Medicare and Social Security long gone and dignity a luxury, Patti 209 confronts life-and-death decisions.
Buy “Patti 209” in the Alternative Truths anthology. 24 authors had 100 days to write about the 45th president; stories by Jim Wright (of Stonekettle Station), Blaze Ward, Daniel Kimmel, Janka Hobbs, Marleen Barr and Adam Troy-Castro. Edited by Phyllis Irene Radford and Bob Brown.
“Patti 209,” by K.G. Anderson, is a sad story—and one that may stick with you a while. Like its predecessor, it’s written—and well written, too—from an “if this goes on” perspective. — review at AmazingStories.com
“Patti 209” and “Relics: A Fable” are good old-fashioned New Wave-style dystopian tales. — review on Amazon
(poem – 2017)
“From the sky
to the lake
to the pipes
to the tap…”
Hear (or read) the rest of “Soup” online at Poetry on Buses.
• “My Job Is Hell”
“Up at 5, take the hellhound walkies, then catch the Underground to Styxbridge for a bagel with sulfur spread. They say Hell is other people, but somehow I’m always alone. I trot along the hot lavawalk to the office, clutching my flaming triple espresso. Sure, we’ve got Eternity here, but I’d rather not be late…”
Read the rest of “My Job Is Hell” online at Every Day Fiction.
A distraught mother of a runaway teen visits her great-aunts’ decaying summer cottage. The great-aunts reveal magical talents and disturbing family secrets, tempting Ellie with glimpses of what her life might have been — and could be.
Buy “Unraveling” in the anthology Triangulation: Beneath the Surface. Stories by James Van Pelt, Sandra M. Odell, Manny Frishberg, and others.
“I’ve never seen an ocean, but I grew up playing ‘Rowboat’ in my family’s cramped living module on level C of Xinxin Colony. The worn blue carpet was the water, the concrete floor beyond it, a sandy shore. With a broomstick as an oar, I pretended I was Gramma Jen, rowing hard against the tide to get us home…”
Read “Rowboat” online at Metaphorosis. Or buy “Rowboat” in the anthology Best Vegan Science Fiction & Fantasy of 2016 (Best Vegan SFF). Stories by B. Morris Allen, Stewart Baker, Kelly Sandoval and others.
• “The Bookman” (flash fiction – 2016)
“The stranger at the bus stop held a tattered book with a faded pink-and-white dust jacket — a $950 first American edition…”
• “His Last Victim”
A young police officer volunteers for a novel undercover role, one for which he is uniquely suited. Thus disguised, he witnesses the Ripper’s last horrific crime — and glimpses the high-level cover-up that drew the curtain over the killer’s identity.
Buy “His Last Victim” in The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper Stories. Edited by Maxim Jakubowski. Stories by Carol Anne Davis, Martin Edwards, Barbara Nadel, William Meikle, Steve Rasnic Tem, and others.
• “Escape from the Lincoln County Courthouse”
“Escape from the Lincoln County Courthouse” first appeared in 2016 in the anthology Story Emporium, with cover art by M. Wayne Miller.
Read the reprint at Luna Station Quarterly online, where you can buy the story in print or digital format in Issue 35 of Luna Station Quarterly.
K.G.’s 2016 essay on the lure of the Weird West appears in Nicole Givens Kurtz’s blog Other Worlds Pulp.
Therapist Moira Clark meets her most challenging client — the surviving half of the alien dyad that serves as the Vedan ambassador to Earth.
See the YouTube trailer for “Grief.”
Read the review of “Grief” at All Our Words: Diverse Science Fiction.
For me the best was “Grief,” which involves an alien race where two entities function as one—not quite Trill, but you get the point. When one dies, the other part is inconsolable, so they get a human grief counselor to help. — review on Amazon.