Fiction

Novels

Dawnbringer

Two angels given mortal flesh are sent to guard two star-crossed lovers, born scions of rival merchant houses. At first, it looks as though love will conquer all, and the rift will finally be mended. But there are those who hate the word peace with a passion so much that it poisons everything they touch, corrupting house to turn against house, mother to turn against child, and angel to turn against angel. Dawnbringer is the perfect meld between classic and contemporary fantasy, with shades of Romeo and Juliet, told from the perspective of guardian angels, in a world where sorcery and monsters are commonplace.

“I have to admit that I have rarely enjoyed a Forgotten Realms novel more. The book is easily read by anyone unfamiliar with the Realms, is entirely stand-alone (so far) has exceptional characterization and a complex but easily followed plot. It borrows plot devices from Shakespeare while also being full of sword and sorcery pulp action. I highly recommend Samantha Henderson’s

Dawnbringer.”

— Graping for the Wind Reviews

Heaven’s Bones

Dr. Sebastian Robarts is a man paralyzed by the fate of his adored wife, dead in childbirth, their only child with her. He searches for a way to build angels from women, a pastime known to Scotland Yard as murder. Robarts meets the Vistani seer named Trueblood, who becomes his assistant and leads him to the Antebellum-era domain of Riverbend, controlled by the sadistic Dr. Weldon, to create angels, unfettered by conventional morality, or even rules. When the murderer returns to earth, it is the task of a Vistani policeman and a woman with a strange connection to Robarts to stop him. If he can be stopped.Heaven’s Bones skillfully blends horror and steampunk and classic Victorian literary style into something exotic and fascinating.

“If you enjoy the experience of discovering the story as you read, pulling the various threads and making connections, then you’ll like this book. Samantha Henderson has succeeded ably with a difficult multi-threaded story.”

— SF Revu

Short Fiction

“ The Strange Tale of Samuel Winchester” (with Andrew Nicolle)

“ Your Fairy is Serenity Elfsong”

“ Maybe the Stars”

“The Hairy Tree”

“L’Etoile Flamboyant”

“Shallot”

Though the core idea is science fiction, the story feels like a fantasy—in part, no doubt, because to everyone except the Lady, it is a fantastical series of events and not something they can connect with the skies above.  Henderson shows successfully that the two genres need not exist on either side of a wall.  She writes beautifully and with perfect pacing, quickly painting a striking cast of characters: a very strong story.

— Tangent Online

“Everything You Were Looking For”

“Beside Calais”

“Outlander”

“The License Plate Game”

“The fantastic element comes in late in the tale, and Henderson keeps it vague just what’s happening. The focus of this story is on the kind of everyday resentments that might lead someone to make the sort of terrible choice demanded in a fantasy story. ‘The License Plate Game’ is a nicely written, thought-provoking piece.”
– Fantastic Reviews Blog

“Cinderella Suicide”

I’ll admit up front that “Cinderella Suicide” is not the type of fiction I usually prefer to read.  However, I was bowled over by its sheer elegance.  It is more than a science fiction story of body-modded mercenaries.  Henderson has woven in elements of a mythic quest as well as a poignant and somewhat horrific resolution.

— Tangent Online Reviews

“Escaping Salvation” (with Josh Rountree)

Escaping Salvation by Josh Rountree and Samantha Henderson is the sort of story that could be used for the kernel of a pretty convincing novel.  It’s set in a post-apocalyptic southwest where fuel and water are scarce, electricity is gone, and people are living in camps.  Dirt angels, large giant sand golems, form from time to time and wreak havoc on people and settlements.  The main characters hunt these creatures and take their parts to sell.  They stumble on a camp and into the midst of a family drama that is years-old, which conjures up dreams of wind power and enough water to live.  This story is very earthy and real, with a strong sense of magic pervading the land and the lives of the people living on it.  RECOMMENDED.

— SFFWORLD.COM

“The Red Bride”

“I particularly liked ‘The Red Bride’ by Samantha Henderson. It’s a simple story, slyly told, set on an alien planet (apparently, though the feel is deliberately fantastical) as the long-enslaved local race finally revolts, behind the title character.”

— Locus

“Skin in the Game”

“Deutoroi”

“East of Chula Vista”

“Chandra’s Game”

Henderson’s prose is crisp and energetic, and while there are no lengthy, drawn-out passages of description, one gets a clear visual of what this world looks like. The strength here is in how Henderson awakens our senses by evoking touch, sound, smell, and taste. The world is gritty and real, and the climax when it arrives is satisfying as well as unexpected. Highly recommended.

—The Fix

“Garkain”

“Tongue”

      • Dog vs. Sandwich, October 2008

“The Mermaids’ Tea Party”

      • Helix, Summer 2008

“Extreme”

      • Farrago’s Wainscot, Spring 2007

“The Ballad of Delphinium Blue”

      • Sybil’s Garage, February 2008

My favorite story was Samantha Henderson’s “The Ballad of Delphinium Blue”, a lyrical story of a “bist-girl” on another world, and her betrayal by a handsome Earthman.

— Rich Horton

“Better Out Here”

      • Behind the Wainscot, March 2008

“Shallot”

      • Fantasy, 2007

Though the core idea is science fiction, the story feels like a fantasy—in part, no doubt, because to everyone except the Lady, it is a fantastical series of events and not something they can connect with the skies above.  Henderson shows successfully that the two genres need not exist on either side of a wall.  She writes beautifully and with perfect pacing, quickly painting a striking cast of characters: a very strong story.

— Tangent Online

“Monsters of Abiding Grace”

“Bottles”

“Curse”

      • Clarkesworld, December 2007

“The Black Hole in Auntie Sutra’s Handbag”

      • Lone Star Stories, 2007

“Hollywood Ending” (with Mikal Trimm)

      • Spaceships and Sixguns, Winter 2007

“Starry Night”

“Such a Lovely Shade of Green”

      • Fantasy Magazine, December 2006

“Histories”

      • Lone Star Stories, December 2006

This dark fantasy has an eldritch tone, almost Lovecraftian, as a human is trapped by forces unhuman and unknowable.

— Internet Review of Science Fiction

“The Mandarin’s New Tea”

      • Beyond Centauri, October 2006

“Grandmother”

      • GrendelSong, September 2006
      • Reprinted at Chizine, June 2011

“Honey Mouth”

      • Heliotrope, August 2006

“Wild Copper”

      • Lone Star Stories, June/July 2006
      • Reprinted in Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, 2010 (Buy this anthology)

“Cinderella Suicide”

I’ll admit up front that “Cinderella Suicide” is not the type of fiction I usually prefer to read.  However, I was bowled over by its sheer elegance.  It is more than a science fiction story of body-modded mercenaries.  Henderson has woven in elements of a mythic quest as well as a poignant and somewhat horrific resolution.

— Tangent Online Reviews

“Girl with a Lute”

      • Chizine, April/May 2006

“How I Got Fired from the Best Damn Job in the Whole Wide World”

      • Sybil’s Garage, Winter/Spring 2006

“Route Nine”

“Business Week”

      • Shadowbox Anthology, 2005

“Scales”

“The Tailor and the Fairy”

This is a nice play on the eighteenth-century literary fairy tale device in which the tales are written as though told by the governess. But they certainly never had a governess quite like this. This brings humor and a sharp edge to the story. Henderson handles both aspects of the finely told tale with equal skill in an assured performance.

— Tangent Online

“Debbie and the Deep Blue Sea”

      • Sybil’s Garage, Spring/Summer 2005

“Ms. Found in the Footprints of a Stoat”

      • Lone Star Stories, April/May 2005
      • Reprinted in the Lone Star Stories Reader, 2008 (Buy this anthology)

“Five Ways Jane Austen Never Died”

      • The Fortean Bureau, March 2005
      • Reprinted in Fantasy: The Best of the Year, Prime Books, 2006 (Buy this anthology)

“The HP Lovecraft Cookbook”

      • ELP Library, December 2004

“Disposal Service”

      • Hell Hath No Fury, December 2004

“Scones”

      • The Lost Pages, Halloween Issue 2004

“Fixing It”

      • Would That It Were, Oct/Nov/Dec 2004

“The Bijou”

      • The Fortean Bureau, September 2004

“Seven Tears in the Sea”

      • Invitations, September 2004

“Terror at Twinkingham”

      • Eggplant Productions Library, June 2004

“Paranoia”

      • Abyss & Apex, May 2004

“The Legend of St. Ignatz the Provider”

“The Raven and the Snake”

“Leviathan” 

      • The Fortean Bureau, November 2003

“Abroad”

      • Bloodlust-UK, June 2003

“Just Cause” 

      • The Fortean Bureau, June 2003

“Dead Letter”

“Celine”

      • Office Number One, September 2002
      • Reprinted in Project M Zine: Hadez, June 2004

“Empire”

      • The Nocturnal Lyric, Issue #57, 2000

“My Big Fish Story”

    • Theater of Blood, Issue #5 1995