The Inaccessibility of Heaven

A noir novelette about Fallen angels, exile, and a serial killer on the loose. Published in Uncanny Magazine.

  • Ignyte Award Winner, 2020, Best Novelette
  • Hugo Award Finalist, 2020, Best Novelette
  • Locus Award Finalist, 2020, Best Novelette

Night. A night like any other in Starhollow: the headlights of cars, small and lost between the skyscrapers; the smell of hydromel and wine wafting from those few bars still open; and above me, the distant light of the stars, a constant reminder of the inaccessibility of Heaven.

I climbed the stairs to my flat, exhausted, my arms covered in claw-marks. At the shelter I worked at, drunken Fallen had started attacking some of the newcomers–and had turned on me when I’d tried to intervene.

I fumbled in my bag for the key, wincing as the leather scraped against my skin. I didn’t blame the Fallen for attacking me or getting drunk: I knew all too well how former angels balanced on a knife’s edge between despair and madness, and how easy it was for them to let go–in a city which sold their bones as drugs.

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