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Amaryllis and Other Stories

Carrie Vaughn

For more than fifteen years Carrie Vaughn has published short fiction across all genres, through time and space, earning praise from critics and readers for twists and turns, shocks and delights, and emotional heart. This collection brings together alien encounters, classic fantasy creatures, strange magic, historical milieus; stories with heart, of people making their ways in the world the best they can, however strange and hostile those worlds might be; rare, hard-to-find stories that haven't been available in years.

All this, now brought together in the first widely-available retrospective collection of Vaughn's work, including her Hugo-nominated, WSFA Small Press Award winning story "Amaryllis," about a post-catastrophe future in which a community struggles to live in balance with the environment and each other.

Table of Contents:

Read free online at WIRED.com

Amaryllis

Amaryllis

Carrie Vaughn

"I never knew my mother, and I never understood why she did what she did. I ought to be grateful that she was crazy enough to cut out her implant so she could get pregnant. But it also meant she was crazy enough to hide the pregnancy until termination wasn't an option, knowing the whole time that she'd never get to keep the baby. That she'd lose everything. That her household would lose everything because of her."

Read the full story for free at Lightspeed Magazine.

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Amaryllis

Carrie Vaughn

This novelette originally appeared in the anthology The End Has Come (2015), edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howley. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Third Annual Collection (2016), edited by Gardner Dozois, and The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Volume 1 (2016), edited by Neil Clarke.

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Amaryllis: Book 1

Carrie Vaughn

Decades after economic and environmental collapse destroys much of civilization in the United States, the Coast Road region isn't just surviving but thriving by some accounts, building something new on the ruins of what came before. A culture of population control has developed in which people, organized into households, must earn the children they bear by proving they can take care of them and are awarded symbolic banners to demonstrate this privilege. In the meantime, birth control is mandatory.

Enid of Haven is an Investigator, called on to mediate disputes and examine transgressions against the community. She's young for the job and hasn't yet handled a serious case. Now, though, a suspicious death requires her attention. The victim was an outcast, but might someone have taken dislike a step further and murdered him?

In a world defined by the disasters that happened a century before, the past is always present. But this investigation may reveal the cracks in Enid's world and make her question what she really stands for.

Set in the same universe as some of the author's short stories, which can be read here:

The Wild Dead

Amaryllis: Book 2

Carrie Vaughn

A century after environmental and economic collapse, the people of the Coast Road have rebuilt their own sort of civilization, striving not to make the mistakes their ancestors did. They strictly ration and manage resources, including the ability to have children.

Enid of Haven is an investigator, who with her new partner, Teeg, is called on to mediate a dispute over an old building in a far-flung settlement at the edge of Coast Road territory. The investigators' decision seems straightforward -- and then the body of a young woman turns up in the nearby marshland. Almost more shocking than that, she's not from the Coast Road, but from one of the outsider camps belonging to the nomads and wild folk who live outside the Coast Road communities. Now one of them is dead, and Enid wants to find out who killed her, even as Teeg argues that the murder isn't their problem.

In a dystopian future of isolated communities, can our moral sense survive the worst hard times?