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Samantha Henderson lives in Covina, California by way of England, South Africa, Illinois and Oregon. Her short fiction and poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, Steampunk Revolutions and the Mammoth Book of Steampunk. She is the co-winner of the 2010 Rhysling Award for speculative poetry, and is the author of the Forgotten Realms novel Dawnbringer. For more information, check out her website at samanthahenderson.com.
Just a few questions...
What intrigues you about this particular Tarot card? The Star, with one foot in the water and one foot on land, represents the places between, the place in the gateway where one is in both or neither place, the interstitial. She represents a means of solving mysteries that, while informed by the logical and “real,” comes from the heart of intuition. It intrigues me that she pours water into water, and that when she pours water on the land it returns to water.
Why did you decide to get roped into this project? The mighty will of Netta, and also the fact that it’s a brilliant idea for a project.
Have you ever had dealings with the Tarot before? I’ve had the occasional reading.
What other projects do you have planned? I’m preparing The Red Bride, a collection of short stories (new as well as reprints) which is scheduled to be published by Gryffynperch Books later this year. I’m also working on a YA novel about selchies, in addition to a “magnet-punk” novel set in the world of my short story “Cinderella Suicide.”
How did you decide what to write about? Netta assigned me the Star card, which seemed very intriguing to me. That night, I had a very vivid dream about being at the Griffith Observatory, standing with one foot in a pool of water (like the figure of the Star), and reaching for the sky. From that came a post-apocalypse setting, with Los Angeles drowned by the sea and the Observatory looming above.
How literal did you want to get with your card? Only in calling the little girl L’Etoile Flamboyant, which is one of the interpretations of the Star card.
Is your story a part of something you've written about previously? Khasar, the diabolic hypnotist, was a figure I’d played with before, and I could manage to find his story. He poked his head into L’Etoile Flamboyant and I was happy to keep him on as an antagonist.
Would you like to have written about any other card? Which card? Why? I liked my card! But I think there’s a number of stories that would be fun to write about all the other Major Arcana.
If you could have the power to divine the future, would you or would you not and why? It would be tempting! But no, no. That way lies madness.
An excerpt from L'Etoile Flamboyant
Last night I dreamed about the Painted Children: the Dragon Leviathan, the Boy made of Horses, and the girl, L’Etoile Flamboyant. In the dream, I was sitting at the edge of the cliff beside the ruins, not far from where I lie now, but I was straight and whole again, the tiger reclining beside me like an outsized housecat. The water at the foot of the cliff glistened in the starlight, and the Children were in a boat, little wider than a rowboat, looking up at me. The girl stretched out her arms, and I shifted as if to rise. The tiger gave me a lazy nudge. Not yet, it said, silently. We are still at the business of dying.
Read the rest of L'Etoile Flamboyant in the Allegories of the Tarot Anthology!
About Allegories of the Tarot
Once upon a time, there was an editor with a fascination for the Tarot. She was struck one day by a crazy idea. “Hey,” she said. “What if twenty-two writers each wrote a story about the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana of the Tarot and were fashioned into an anthology?”
The idea would not leave her alone.
And thus, the Allegories of the Tarot was born.
Crowdfunded by a campaign on Indiegogo with the help and support of an amazing group of writers, twenty-two stories were crafted around the mysteries of the Tarot. The group includes a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pulp Ark nominee, a former Bigfoot researcher, a journalist, an award-winning YA author, and a Rhysling Award winner. Professional writers, new talent, and a range of genres boggling the mind: Horror, Speculative Fiction, Bizarro Fiction, Erotica, Mystery, Humor, Paranormal, Epic Fantasy, Literary, Romance, and Historical Fantasy.
What has emerged is an outstanding collection of fiction, unique and mysterious. Stories that will make you cry, make you laugh, and make you think. Stories that make you feel the touch of the Universe.
Dare to step through the portal to shadowy realms and emotional journeys.
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