From Uptown Local and Other Interventions: "Herself"

by Diane Duane
Herself

In the heart of Dublin, something is killing the People of the Hills — and it’s going to take Ireland’s only superhero to stop it…

In honor of Saint Patrick’s day… a taste of something Irish for #SampleSunday.

The Irish Thing can hardly avoid being part of the “ground of being” of someone who’s lived in Ireland for nearly a quarter-century. That familiarity, though, with the way things really are here (insofar as anyone, “blow-in” or native, can ever tell what’s really going on in this island…) can make the inhabitant a little impatient with the perceptions of outsiders: particularly those who think Ireland is some kind of theme park that should be preserved to match its overflow into the last couple of centuries’ popular culture. I have actually stood in Dublin Airport and heard fellow Americans complaining that Ireland has broadband: as if it’s somehow polluting the cultural purity of the place. (I saw another American look around absolutely without irony or humor intended and say, disbelieving, “I thought it was supposed to be thatched.” The airport. Was supposed. To be thatched.)

…Yeah. So you will understand that when I was invited to participate in an anthology called Emerald Magic: Great Tales of Irish Fantasy, before I decided what story I wanted to write, I asked casually if I could see a list of the other contributors. When I saw the list, it was as I thought: only one of them (our former neighbor Morgan Llewellyn) had ever lived here. One of them (the excellent Tanith Lee) might have at least been here. And I knew in my bones what way everyone else would be going with their stories: the Celtic twilight, thatch everywhere, the soft green countryside, the old school Ireland and the old-school myths of a century or so back. I immediately thought, Somebody’s got to actually get into Dublin, where a third of the damn population lives! Somebody’s got to at least spend a little time in the here and now. …I’m going urban on this one.

So I wrote “Herself”. The first part of the story appears here. Edited to add: During St. Patrick’s week of 2011, this story was available by itself for (US) 99¢. That offer is over, but the story appears in the Uptown Local and Other Interventions anthology, which is available for USD $5.99 at the page linked to above.

Enjoy, folks!  …And don’t dye the beer green.

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