I am currently querying THE ARCHIVIST AND OTHER STORIES, a 56,000 word speculative fiction collection. These twelve sci fi and fantasy stories imagine queer and trans pasts, futures, and alternate realities, reclaiming space at the center of narratives we have previously been excluded from.
- A transgender knight struggles to set aside violent masculinity and atone for the lives he’s taken.
- A trio of witches risks everything when they resurrect a murdered stage magician.
- An interpreter for an alien species compromises first-contact negotiations by falling in love with xyr counterpart.
- A kabbalist’s apprentice is tasked with destroying the golem that saved her life.
- Fifteen years after tragedy tore them apart, a terraforming crew gets back together for one last job.
These imaginative, emotionally resonant stories have thematic and tonal affinity to the work of Amal El-Mohtar, and a range of genres similar to NK Jemisin’s How Long til Black Future Month. THE ARCHIVIST AND OTHER STORIES is equal parts grim and hopeful, celebrating queer joy and resistance while making room for darkness. A handful of the stories in the collection can be read in the “short fiction” section below. If you are a literary agent, or know someone who might be interested in seeing my work, please do get in touch!
/ 2022, Pseudopod episode 831
Maria Haskins reviewed this story:
OH MY. If you want an unsettling, disturbing horror tale that burrows into the ground, into an ancient grave, and into the past and into history to bring you a different kind of blood-drinking creature, then this story is most certainly for you. Young says about this story: “The speculative elements from this story are based on the death masks found in the grave circles at the site at Mycenae. I have taken serious artistic liberties with the archaeology and the language, Linear B.” I loved every delicious drop of this story and the way it plays around with perspective and power.
ALL THAT WATER
/ 2021, First Place Winner, British Fantasy Society Short Story Competition, published in August in BFS Horizons Magazine
/ 2021, Gwyllion Magazine issue 3
/ 2021, Escape Pod 769 (free to read) Featured on the Nerds of a Feather 2022 Hugo Award Recommended Reading List
Charles Payseur said:
A beautiful story of an Earth visited by aliens and the complex lines of help and love. The piece is careful while still showing people with their messy edges and I just really like this one a lot.
LITTLE CAT FROM THE BRONX
/ 2020, Uncanny Bodies anthology, Luna Press
/ 2019, We Were Always Here, Queer Words Project Scotland anthology, 404 Ink
/ 2019, Shoreline of Infinity issue 14, reprinted in Metastellar (free to read)
/ 2018, F, M or Other: Quarrels with the Gender Binary, Knight Errant Press, reprinted: The Selkie (free to read), and Fusion Fragment
THE COLLECTOR OF CURSED OBJECTS
/ 2018, Esoterica Journal, reprinted: Scrutiny Journal and Astral Waters Review issue 2
IT BROUGHT THE SNOW
/ 2017, Bewildering Stories Magazine, reprinted in Expanded Horizons magazine, finalist in the 2021 Defenestrationism! Short Story contest (free to read)
NOVEL (IN PROGRESS)
Raised in the Shade is a queer, trans historical fantasy set during the Byzantine empire– She Who Became the Sun meets The Goblin Emperor.
In Constantinople, the Fountain of the East, the powers of sorcery are accessible only to a select few. In a city where legacy is everything, Magoi are outside the system. Castrated in childhood, they can father no children: raised between the high walls of the City, their loyalty is forcefully taken by the Empire that maimed them.
Two boys, Iosef and Nikephoros, are sold by their families and taken to Constantinople to be raised as Magoi. Rash, impulsive Iosef rejects the authority that cut him and stole his future, while hardworking Nike embraces life in the City, recognising his only chance to free himself from the poverty of his birth.
Approached by a secretive faction bent on rebellion, Iosef jumps at the chance to put his natural talent for magic to use against the Empire. When Nike saves the life of the prince after an assassination attempt, he is unexpectedly pitched headfirst into the luxuries and perils of court life. When their paths cross again, Nike and Iosef find themselves on opposite sides of a war that has not yet begun. Tasked with killing each other for the sake of powers that see them as nothing more than tools, they realise there might be another way. This is a story of weapons turning against their masters, exploring themes of autonomy, trauma, and the quest for self-acceptance.
Some background on the project: I had long been fascinated by the fundamentally “other” character of the eunuch, but I had never seen a truly positive portrayal– the idea that a castrated person might be able to live a full and happy–even powerful–life beyond their trauma was never presented as a possibility. RITS is an inherently queer story, speculating on the experiences of a historical gender minority that no longer exists in the contemporary world. I was fascinated to discover while researching another project that eunuchs constituted their own socioeconomic class in the Byzantine world, and I wanted to explore what it might have been like to be a part of that community at the time. I’m transgender, so while the story is set in a (fictionalised) medieval setting, it is told through a contemporary transgender lens, and I hope it will be able to enter into dialogue with some of the other amazing transgender speculative fiction that is being published at the moment.
OTHER PROJECTS IN DEVELOPMENT
The Practise (currently in outline stage) is a queer dark academia novel set in a demon-worshipping Edwardian Edinburgh: a grown-up Bartimaeus meets London Spy.
Magicians, also known as Practitioners, use demonic possession to attain supernatural insight and physical strength. But the Entities often have their own agenda, and while the rewards of the Practise are high, the costs can be higher. In Britain, Entities are worshipped as gods, and Practitioners are priests, scholars, and soldiers; a shadowy elite that shape the direction of society.
Still haunted by his experiences during the Second Boer War at the turn of the twentieth century, veteran and former Practitioner Theo Breckenridge wants nothing more than to give up magic entirely. But when an ex-lover dies in suspicious circumstances, he has no choice but to plunge back into the decadent and insular world of the Practise, and in the process, face the demons of his past.