The woman introduces herself as Isabelle. Setting her sunshiny countenance next to Arianrhod’s icy visage makes them look like drawings of the seasons on a medieval map.Isabelle is the primary narrator of Kelly Hale's "The Isis Method", the final story in More Tales of the City. Here's Kelly:
She launches into her tale: ‘I walk into a bar carrying all of creation enthroned in a hollow. A tomb already raided and looted of treasure. I’m taking it out for sleazy one-night stand.
‘“So, what’s your passion? What do you totally love to do?” asks Gemini.
‘I call him Gemini because of the hair. Part of it is gathered onto the top of his head in fat-rat tubes of a dirty straw colour. The underneath and sides are shaved and dark brown. He’s got Gemini written plain as day in the dreads on his head and the clean-cut nape of his neck. He’s dabbled in veganism, but (judging from the Nachos Grande platter in front of him) feels no moral obligation to avoid strange meat. A deep thinker too. Mostly about pot I imagine.’
Kelly Hale’s contribution to twenty-first-century Earth’s human social welfare was a practical fairy-godmothering network serving children in foster care. She lived in quiet, vaguely contented poverty during which she raised children and authored several works of fiction for small-press publishers. Her first novel, Erasing Sherlock – a fantasy about a time-travelling maid-of-all-work whose case study of the real Sherlock Holmes goes terribly awry, resulting in all sorts of madcap adventures, exciting chases, kidnappings, various acts of reckless passion and an actual volcanic eruption – was awarded a prize for literary awesomeness. Imagine her surprise and delight when, some several years after Resurrection Day, her very own version of Sherlock Holmes walks into her little espresso bar in New London having found her through CreatorMatchCreation. They’ve been creating together ever since. Their critically acclaimed series The One and Only pits Sherlock against Sherlock in a race to beat the clock as these great detectives and chosen contestants chase after clues and each other to solve mysteries spanning every District and to the farthest reaches of the City of the Saved.Erasing Sherlock is the standout novel of the Mad Norwegian Faction Paradox range, published both before and since as a non-series novel. Her other works (including Grimm Reality, co-written with fellow Tales of the City contributor Simon Bucher-Jones) demonstrate her to be a quite brilliant author. For my money Kelly's one of the two best prose stylists to have written for either Faction Paradox or Doctor Who, and her characters are vivid, conflicted and always utterly convincing. Seriously, I can't praise her work enough, and if I tried this post would get quite boring very quickly.
"The Isis Method" is about how the patterns of the past can dog the present; about the developing relationship between two damaged people; about healing, renewal and rebirth; about the investigation of a macabre crime. It's gorgeous, and I love it to pieces.
Oh, and just in case that doesn't make it sound cool enough-- it's got Nikola Tesla in it.