Ian MacLeod. Tumbling Nancy. (Subterranean Press Magazine Summer 2012)

Online here.

A well-written, blackly and drily humorous horror story with a literary bent both content-wise and stylistically.

The protagonist is a hard-bitten literary agent, who started her career in the 1960s in London, and who remarks that the swinging sixties ‘belonged far more to the songs of Rolf Harris and Ken Dodd than it ever did to the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix’. She finds a way to replace the owner of a small literary agency, and has a penchant for representing writers of the deceased variety – far easier to work with. When the author of the ‘Tumbling Nancy’ series of (awful) children’s books falls into that category, the hard-bitten agent espies an opportunity.

In visiting the client’s house, she finds out the nature of the muse….

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