When Rye Hackett publishes his first political broadside in 1703, he finds out the hard way why there are so many writers in London's Grub Street: the monsters won't let them leave. After watching his hero Daniel Defoe stand in the pillory, a young lawyer named Rye Hackett gets the courage to publish a political essay. The moment he does, a woman made of mercury spirits him away to a maze of alleys and gin shops. Rye can?t hide from the politicians who suspect his loyalties or from the mercury-women and printer's devils who guard Grub Street at the behest of their mysterious master. If Rye can't convince the scattered witches of London to help him, he'll end up in the pillory himself, or dead - and England could fall back into civil war.
Kate Heartfield is the author of dozens of speculative-fiction stories, including "The Seven O?Clock Man," which was longlisted for the Sunburst Award. Her interactive novel The Road to Canterbury is coming soon from Choice of Games. Her novella The Course of True Love was published in 2016 as part of the Shakespearean fantasy collection Monstrous Little Voices from Abaddon Books. She recently had two novellas published through Tor.com: Alice Payne Arrives and Alice Payne Rides. Her first novel, Armed In Her Fashion, was released by CZP in 2018 and was nominated for several major SF/Fantasy awards. Kate grew up in Manitoba, lived for a year in Belize and now lives in rural Ottawa with her partner and their son. A former newspaper editor, she now makes her living as a freelance editor, teacher and writer.