Out Now: The Sword of Saints and Sinners

I have a new story out in Daily Science Fiction: The Sword of Saints and Sinners.

bible with a sword handle in front of it

150 Year Old Bible With Sword

When I nabbed this title during the annual Codex Weekend Warrior Title Rummage Sale, I knew the story had to be about justice… and injustice. For the characters, I turned to the Old Bailey Online project (oldbaileyonline.org), which digitized the records of London’s central criminal court from 1674 to 1912. Some of the stories implied by those crime summaries are fascinating, some are heart-breaking, and all of them are very human.

Out Now: Miss Karami’s Academy For Time-Warping Ladies

woman in steampunk clothes standing in front of a large clock faceI have a new story out in Kaleidotrope this month: Miss Karami’s Academy For Time-Warping Ladies. It’s a fantasy of manners involving twins, time travel, and tons of mischief.

Ryksa and I are not quite identical twins. That’s how I got caught doubling myself—warping time in a manner that was, as Mother phrased it, “unbecoming for a lady in proper Society.”

This story was inspired by the annual Codex Weekend Warrior Title Rummage Sale, run by the amazing Vylar Kaftan.


Out Now: Fools Pass Under

I have a new story out in Mysterion.

“Fools Pass Under” is a historical tale balancing on the tightrope between dark fantasy and horror. The year is 1633 and a massive troll slumbers beneath London Bridge. John Potter swore an oath before God to sustain the bridge, which should have been a simple matter of collecting tolls and paying for repairs. But when the houses that line that bridge catch fire, the troll awakens… hungry for human flesh.

image of historic London Bridge

Claude de Jongh’s View of London Bridge, circa 1632

In reality, London Bridge did partially burn down in 1633. The damage to the buildings upon the bridge was expensive enough that repairs hadn’t been completed 33 years later when a far more famous fire began in Pudding Lane. The Great Fire of London spread towards the river but the burnt-out portions of London Bridge served as a natural firebreak and prevented the flames from crossing the river. A fire thus saved Southwark and the south bank from the Great Fire, proving once again that history is sometimes stranger than fiction…

Sale: Fools Pass Under

I’m delighted to announce the sale of my story about the troll of London Bridge, “Fools Pass Under,” to Mysterion. It’s tentatively scheduled for publication around Thanksgiving (late November).

image of historic London Bridge

Claude de Jongh’s View of London Bridge, circa 1632

Out Now: Field of Cloth of Gold and Blood, Sweat and Tears

Henry VIII and Francis I at the Field of Cloth of Gold


I have a new story out in Alternate Peace, edited by Steven H. Silver and Joshua Palmatier, available directly from the publisher or from the usual suspects (Amazon | Barnes & Noble).

This anthology called for contributors to imagine alternate histories – but with a bit of a twist. Most stories in the alternate history genre take their “divergence point” from a moment of violence, often from battles or assassinations. The authors in this anthology were challenged to imagine more peaceful ways in which history might have followed a different path.

In 1520, King Henry VIII of England met King François I of France on a field near the border of their two kingdoms (there was a land border, thanks to the Pale of Calais). Not much came of it. But what if the king of England at that historic meeting of monarchs had not been Henry VIII – that infamous second son who broke with the Catholic Church in a desperate search for an heir – but his elder brother, the lost Tudor prince, Arthur of Wales?

Pick up your copy of the anthology today and find out!

Cover Art: Alternate Peace

While the cover’s still being designed, here’s a sneak peek at the cover art (by Justin Adams of Varia Studios) for Alternate Peace, an alternate history anthology of that will contain my story “Field of Cloth of Gold and Blood, Sweat and Tears.”

mountainous village with a waterfall in the background

Alternate Peace Cover by Justin Adams of Varia Studios

The anthology will be released this summer (June or July 2019). I’ve read my fellow contributors’ stories and it’s going to be a great anthology – you can pre-order it from https://squareup.com/market/zombies-need-brains-llc


Out Now: Remember, Remember

I have a new story out today in Factor Four Magazine, Issue 5, available in print or digital format (you can also subscribe to the magazine and get access to everything they’ve published to date).

CC-BY-NC-ND National Portrait Gallery 5529

“Remember, Remember” is an historical tale of time travel hijinx. Normally, we write time travel tales about modern people going back in time to change the past (or historical people coming forward to the present and finding it vastly superior), but why wouldn’t someone from the 17th century want to use time travel the same way we would – to change history for the better?

And if anyone had good cause to try to change her own past, it was Elizabeth Stuart, Winter Queen of Bohemia…

UPDATE: This story is currently available to read for free at http://factorfourmag.com/remember-remember-by-kat-otis/

Sale: Field of Cloth of Gold and Blood, Sweat and Tears

Now that the Table of Contents has been announced, I’m thrilled to say I have a story forthcoming in Zombies Need Brains’ Alternate Peace anthology this summer.

“Field of Cloth of Gold and Blood, Sweat and Tears” imagines how the 1520 meeting of kings at the Field of Cloth of Gold might have unfolded had a certain “malign vapour” not struck down the inhabitants of Ludlow Castle in 1502.

For the full TOC, see https://jpskewedthrone.dreamwidth.org/497980.html

16th c. image of the Field of Cloth of Gold showing procession of royals, temporary palaces, and tiltyards

By Unknown – Royal Collection, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49241403