Talking Snakes Or People With Tails; #SciFi or #Fantasy ? #SampleSunday

Here’s a snippet from “Blood of Mermayds,” one of the stories in my upcoming science fiction collection, available for electronic preorder on Amazon. It’ll be in print, too, pretty soon.

“Blood of Mermayds”

excerpt — by Marian Allen

Other Earth 3cThere were three of them, taking up half the street, gliding over the cobbles with their long, muscular, fluked tails glistening, rippling behind them. Older ones usually wore tops that covered their featureless chests, disguising the evidence that they weren’t mammals, but these tads were bare-chested. The two with dark hair wore high-quality gill-bands that would filter oxygen for them for up to two weeks, but the band on the blond tad was cheap and good for no more than a day. First time on land, was my guess.

They called back and forth in the clicking, squealing language they used to each other out of the water.

Iris looked past me and shuddered. “Ugh! Nasty things. Talking snakes, is what they are.”

“People with tails,” I said, just to be contrary.

“Uncle Phineas doesn’t like them. You can see him staring at them in here and in the street.”

“Uncle” Phineas was one of those new priests who claimed districts and demanded tithes. I thought they should call themselves something other than Uncle and Aunt, which is how the true priests of Micah title themselves. Iris can say mermayds on land are unnatural all she wants to, but I say a priest making demands is worse.


Rush right over and preorder a copy or three. You can always get a paper copy later. 😀

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: If a race/creature is another species and not supernatural beings, is the book science fiction or fantasy?


I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Talking Snakes Or People With Tails; #SciFi or #Fantasy ? #SampleSunday

  1. Jane

    August 2, 2015 at 8:19am

    Your question used to have an easy answer: No supernatural elements = scifi.

    But then Dune came along. It seemed like scifi. It smelled like scifi. But it just wasn’t. Not exactly. It was just too mystical. No one knew how to take its wild mainstream success. Jealousy and slyness sprang up. Suddenly, a LOT of scifi writers were adding elements of “say-whaat?” to their writing.

    And the rest is history.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      August 2, 2015 at 1:25pm

      Perzackly. I let people categorize my mermayds as fantasy if they really insist, but they’ve always been sf in my mind.

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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