A fantasy short story about a girl who finds her soul in her sock drawer, a waif in her cabin, and love in the homicide squad. This is somewhere in that odd boundaryland between magical realism, urban fantasy, and I don't know I just made it up. People often complain that I don't explain how magic works in my stories; I'll just say that magic doesn't work, magic is.There might be something or other in here for anyone who has ever loved a book inordinately as a kid, or not loved one that all your friends loved, or had a pretty good parent who nevertheless had feet of clay.Or if you think everything north of the Wyoming line should have been turned over to the elves a long time ago.
Read the story to meet plain old goddam Amy, and I hope you'll like her as much as I did, when she occurred to me.
Originally published in Jim Baen's Universe in 2006; remember, it's Jim Baen's Universe, and the rest of us just live here.
About the Author
I used to teach in the Communication and Theatre program at Western State College. I got my PhD at Pitt in the early 90s, masters degrees at U of Montana in the mid 80s, bachelors at Washington University in the 70s; worked for Middle South Services in New Orleans in the early 80s. I do paid blogging mostly about the math of marketing analysis at TheCMOSite and All Analytics. If any of that is familiar to you, then yes, I am THAT John Barnes.
Which, of course, is why you can find my blog at thatjohnbarnes.blogspot.com. On Twitter I am JohnBarnesSF.
There are also many Johns Barneses I am not. I am not the British footballer, the Australian rules footballer, the former Red Sox pitcher, the Tory MP, the expert on ADA programming, the biographer of Eva Peron, the authority on Dante, the mycologist, the travel writer, the guy who does some form of massage healing that I don't really understand at all, the oil executive, the film historian, or that guy that Mom said was my father. I do wish I'd written that book on titmice, though.
I used to think I was the only paid consulting statistical semiotician for business and industry in the world, but I now know four of them. So now I have a large market share of a growing field.
Semiotics is pretty much what Louis Armstrong said about jazz, except jazz paid a lot better for him than semiotics does for me. If you're trying to place me in the semiosphere, I am a Peircean (the sign is three parts, ), a Lotmanian (art, culture, and mind are all populations of those tripartite signs) and a statistician (the mathematical structures and forms that can be found within those populations of signs are the source of meaning). The branch in which I do consulting work is the mathematics and statistics of large populations of signs, which has applications in marketing, poll analysis, and annoying the literary theorists who want to keep semiotics all to themselves.
I have been married three times, and divorced twice, and I believe that's quite enough in both categories. I'm a hobby cook, sometime theatre artist, and still going through the motions after many years in martial arts.