THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT, my first short fiction collection, officially releases today from Tachyon Publications. This collection includes every piece of short fiction I have ever written (with the exception of two “codas” to the Spiritwalker Trilogy which don’t truly stand alone without knowledge of the trilogy) as well as five essays.

I can therefore safely say that these are the very best of my short fiction because this volume contains ALL my short fiction (so far).



One of the essays and one of the short pieces, “On the Dying Wings of the Old Year, On the Birthing Wings of the New” are original to the collection. The other pieces have been published elsewhere or online. Some (like “The Queen’s Garden”) came out in limited edition anthologies while others are long out of print. Thus many readers will have their first chance to read them here.

While my first novel was published in 1988 (THE LABYRINTH GATE), my first short story wasn’t published until 1994, by which time I had published eight novels. If I include the two Spiritwalker coda stories, I have published fourteen short stories over the course of my career so far, while my twenty second and twenty third novels will appear in 2015 (COURT OF FIVES and BLACK WOLVES).

My “natural length” is the novel. I might go farther and say that my natural length is the trilogy. Regardless, writing short fiction remains a challenge for me because my mind doesn’t really create story in such tight packets. I hope to write more (as I’ve said elsewhere I have six half-written Spiritwalker stories in progress), and perhaps someday there will be a second collection.

For now, I hope you enjoy this one.

I wrote a longer piece, published on Book Smugglers, about publishing this collection called “The Courage To Say Yes.”


NOTE: As of writing this, Amazon does not list the ebook version on its site. However it is available. Until Amazon gets the ebook version up, you can find the ebook for purchase on Tachyon’s website.


Meanwhile, here are a few of the reviews that have so far appeared:


Publishers Weekly (starred review)

This collection serves beautifully both as an introduction to Elliott and as a treat for fans who want more of her marvels.”

Snowflakes and Spider Silk

“I highly recommend this book for people who enjoy fantasy and science fiction, but also people who want to expand their social consciousness. This is an excellent, enjoyable, thought-provoking book.”

A Fantastical Librarian

If it isn’t obvious from this review, I really enjoyed The Very Best of Kate Elliott. It shows off Kate Elliott’s strengths and the themes she’s been writing about for the past twenty years. In my opinion though, this collection should come with a warning, because it is like a gateway drug. I knew I loved Elliott’s writing from the Crown of Stars series, but now I want to read ALL. OF. HER. BOOKS.”

The Book Smugglers

“The framing of The Very Best of Kate Elliott is clear: feminist stories featuring a diverse group of female characters presented in a variety of roles and journeys. The most obvious extrapolation here for me given my personal interests is how topical and important this collection is as it fits into an ongoing conversation about places for women – as writers, readers and characters – in SFF. The fact that I absolutely loved every single story and every single essay is just the cherry on top of Mount Awesome.”