From the latest ansible. I’m not actually sure if this is by Ursula Le Guin, or by Langford after Le Guin sent him the inspirational quote: “Michael Chabon has spent considerable energy trying to drag the decaying corpse of genre fiction out of the shallow grave where writers of serious literature abandoned it.” But either way it’s rather good.
Something woke her in the night. Was it steps she heard, coming up the stairs — somebody in wet training shoes, climbing the stairs very slowly … but who? And why wet shoes? It hadn’t rained. There, again, the heavy, soggy sound. But it hadn’t rained for weeks, it was only sultry, the air close, with a cloying hint of mildew or rot, sweet rot, like very old finiocchiona, or perhaps liverwurst gone green. […]