The Book of Kels

Original works of fiction by Kelseigh N.

Plastic Dreams Of a Conditional Me

My first story with a transgender main character, that’s something to celebrate! I’ll be honest I wasn’t sure if I was the right person to write this one. Maybe it would be better in the hands of someone else, including the future me a year from now. But you’ve got to do things that scare you once in a while, so here’s current me’s take on the idea.

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The Flanner

Where my last story, A Plague Of Lucy, was inspired by the new generation of SFF writing, this story derives from something quite a bit older. For quite a while now I’ve been wanting to do something that draws, just a little, from classic SF writer Cordwainer Bird, and this seemed like an excellent chance. Bird came to SFF with a poetic sensibility which really stood out from his peers, which made his work feel like myth and folklore to me. It’s a shame he’s not a more well known name today, compared to some of his contemporaries, and while this yarn ended up going in its own direction, I’m happy I was able to carry at least a tiny bit of that forward.

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A Plague Of Lucy

Talk about a departure from my usual work! This was a brutal story to write, and as terrible as it sounds, I hope it’s just as brutal to read. 

Stylistically, the biggest inspiration for this piece is the fact that I’ve been reading a lot more contemporary SF lately, mostly from Apex and Uncanny magazines. It’s great stuff, but a dramatic shift from the SF I grew up with. So this is my effort to follow the overall style I’m seeing in modern work, which I think is pretty appealing. I’m not sure I succeed on that score, but the effort has value.

Content Note: Violence

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We Build Yesterday

I’ve never done satire before, so this story is a bit of a wide departure for me. Humour is a tough thing to nail down, and I have every admiration for people who are good at it. In this case, it helped that I was pretty familiar with the subject matter due to my association with places like RationalWiki and having athe-ish tendencies myself (although I retain a bit of animism for flavour). When all is said and done, I had fun writing it, and that counts for a lot.

Before any of you ask, Tanith is not a tribute to legendary SFF and horror writer Tanith Lee. Not that I don’t think she’s deserving of every accolade and tribute she gets, but in this case it was the meaning of the name that was critical.

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How the Goddess Was Saved

“Complicated” was the theme this time, and honestly it gave me a lot of trouble. I’m such a straightforward person, and I’m certain that shows in my writing. So it was a puzzle how to add complexity in the first place, much less make that the thrust of the story. In the end, this is more a story about complex motivations than complexity in and of itself, but I’m pretty happy with how my little folk tale came out.

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I Will Hum Tears As I Say Goodbye

A bit of background for this. Ages ago, when I was shooting for art instead of writing, I encountered a drawing challenge which presented 100 themes for which to do art for. While I never actually had the confidence to do it myself, the concept rolled around in my head ever since. So more recently, when telling stories became my focus, I looked up those themes to see if I couldn’t put them to use. This is the first of those stories, starting from one simple word, “Introduction”.

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Nothing Rhymes With Woman

This was a lot of fun to write. The title and theme were inspired by a line from the album Dirtbike by Buck 65, which I believe can still be downloaded here.  This is also the first story that I’ve put through the critique process at Critique Circle, and it was a very good experience.   In a way, it’s the opposite of a romance story, but I don’t know if unromance is really a good name for the genre.

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A Mirror’s Surrender

This story started as an entry into Chuck Wendig’s weekly flash fiction challenge, but due to various reasons I ended up missing the deadline. So I went ahead and started rewriting it to increase the quality.  The challenge in question was to pick two genres at random from a list of 20, and write a crossover story in 1,500 words or less. As luck would have it, I ended up with “Parallel Worlds” and “BDSM Erotica”.  The way forward seemed pretty obvious from there.

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Way Down the Hole

Written for the first anniversary contest at Beginning Writer, with the theme of “A Creative Person”.  Sadly it didn’t win, not unexpected for a first try.  I’ll do better on my next attempt I’m certain.

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Purgatory Has Too Nice a View

This was written as an entry for Chuck Wendig’s weekly Flash Fiction Challenge over at his site, involving taking someone else’s character concept (created for the previous week’s challenge) and writing a story within 2k words. I chose Kira Jessup’s character, Ryan Healey, from her page.

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