News and updates about Alis’ books, Alis’ site, and Alis herself.

Liesmith, chapter 16.

Alis’s Note
… aa-aa-and part three surprise genre change!


The night started out awesome: ice cream, video games, nail polish, and Em. A real girls’ night in, doing girly things, to make up for all the time Em had been spending recently with that guy she’d met online. LambChop, or whatever his real name was.

It was just at the pinkest part of dusk, and Wayne was in the kitchen, fetching food while Em lounged around on the couch, newly painted toenails up in a foam thingie. They were a good hour into their main activity for the night, replaying Remnant World 2: Red August without saving (or dying) in order to unlock the final costume. It was about three hours of gameplay, if they took the short route (which they would). Em was working through the “normal day” intro scenes, up until the opening of the August Room, after which she would hand the controller over to Wayne and spend most of the rest of the evening hiding behind a pillow.

It was that sort of game.

Wayne was adding choc chips to their ice cream when she heard, “Wayne! Cutscene!”

She hurried back into the lounge room with the bowls, just in time to watch Carol rip the red tape off the August Room door. Wayne had played RW2 at least five times already, and the scene was still creepy as hell. Watching Carol walk into the featureless corridor, Wayne silently chanting Go back go back Carol go back as the latter vanished farther and farther into the blackness, knowing what she’d find on the other side, the room full of—

The lights flickered.

Read more »

2020-09-07T10:03:21+10:007th September, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 15.

Alis’s Note
True story, the original version of this chapter was one of the original scenes I wrote for this story, way way waaaaaaay back in circa 2003-ish; I even have extremely old, terrible art of Lain for it in some sketchbook somewhere. That version of the story was originally set in Redmond (LB, Inc. was basically Microsoft, rather than the more Apple-esque company it’d eventually morph into) which is why there’s a handgun here. Because I wanted Lain to keep the gun (it’s a plot element Later™), I had to handwave a bit on why David would actually have one, seeing as casual handgun ownership in Victoria is kinda… not really a thing.


Sigmund spends most of the afternoon asleep in my office, his dreams dark and restless.

He wakes up a little after five, tousled and confused, and blinks at his surroundings for a few moments before his brain catches up to where he is. Stuttering and apologetic, he’s more interesting than emails and spreadsheets, and so I join him on the couch, pressing him back against the leather and devouring his awkwardness with all the want of a nerd at Comic-Con.

Much better than spreadsheets, particularly when my hands slip underneath Sigmund’s too-worn, once-black T-shirt, caressing soft, dark skin. Despite the pounding of his blood he feels cool beneath my hands and mouth. Mortals always do.

Outside, the city Bleeds.

Read more »

2020-08-23T19:31:00+10:0023rd August, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 14.

Alis’s Note
Did I mention yet that the main inspiration for the structure of this story was Audition? Because yeah it was…


The con call is long and difficult and not at all like the feel of Sigmund’s lips or the taste of his self-conscious lust, meaning that my mind’s not so much on the work as it is on him. On the coarse feel of his hair and sharp scent of his soap, on the softness of his flesh and the hesitance of his embrace.

He’s not a great kisser. Unpracticed. But that can be fixed, with time, and I’d be lying if I said the thought of plucking open his awkward virginity wasn’t something I was looking forward to, the very best kind of déjà vu.

By modern standards, Sigyn had been young when we’d married. Young and mortal, caught in the firestorm of the most capricious of the gods. But she’d devoured the apple and taken to her place in Ásgarðr with a ferocity unmatched across the heavens, and the whole Nine Realms had been the rubes and patsies for our mayhem.

Read more »

2020-07-30T18:25:30+10:0030th July, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 12.

Alis’s Note
… let’s speed this up a bit.


The world still hadn’t ended by Monday, which Sigmund decided to take as a good sign, even if it did mean that he had to get up for work. Sunday had been uneventful, minus a bit of ribbing from Em and Wayne about his date and the fact that their progression raid kept wiping on the last boss. But that was all regular, Really Real World stuff. No gods, no monsters—well, the ones on the computer, but pixels didn’t count—and, most important, no apocalypse. Sigmund had considered messaging Lain on Sunday evening, but had decided against it, and Lain, for his part, seemed to be respecting Sigmund’s tacit suggestion to leave him alone for the weekend. He did that a lot, Sigmund realized. Respected boundaries, at least when Sigmund set them. It was nice.

Read more »

2020-07-06T12:40:06+10:006th July, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 11.

Alis’s Note
… aaaand we start on Part Two (Baldr)! True story: the Völuspá excerpts were originally supposed to be from the original texts, but the publisher at the time made me translate them into English because Old Norse would “confuse” people. Publishing is great!

 [A]xe-age, sword-age,
shields cloven,
wind-age, wolf-age,
ere the world falls;
no man will
spare another.
—“Völuspá,” stanza 45


Considering Sigmund spent the night sleeping in a bathtub, Saturday morning wasn’t as horrible as it could have been.

Someone had brought him blankets.

Blankets and pillows, in fact. They looked stripped straight off the bed outside and were cocooned around him. It was comfortable, despite the porcelain beneath, and Sigmund didn’t want to get up.

He had a killer headache.

Read more »

2020-06-29T09:41:18+10:0029th June, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 10.

Alis’s Note
The end of Part One, also known as  “who’s ready to get hit with the massive oncoming genre shift train?”


You have to understand that, up until about two seconds ago, I’d been having a really fantastic night.

Read more »

2020-06-14T10:39:14+10:0014th June, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 9.

Alis’s Note
… we got there in the end!



Sigmund’s dad answered the door, which was about the worst possible way to start the evening. Sigmund could hear murmured introductions as he pulled on his shoes and hopped down the stairs half-in, half-out of his jacket, but by the time he reached the door he was pretty sure words like boyfriend and date hadn’t been uttered and—thank gods—Lain wasn’t carrying flowers or something equally humiliating.

(does that mean this isn’t a date?)

Read more »

2020-05-31T11:03:24+10:0031st May, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 8.

Alis’s Note
… hahah yes I totally remembered to post this on time. Totally.


“Left! Roll left!”

“I’ve got it, I’ve got it!”

Five seconds later, staring up at the briar-and-circuitry-covered crotch of a Dark Faerunner, Wayne had to admit she did not got it.

It’d been a long, long day.

Read more »

2020-05-09T13:34:52+10:009th May, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 7.

Alis’s Note
So, uh. Hope everyone is still keeping inside and washing their hands. Have some story updates?


The Hat People did find them on Sunday, stumbling out of the bush. Sigmund was feeling okay about it all, though. They’d eaten rabbit and Fantales and laughed around the fire. Then Sigmund had fallen asleep on the rocks, the day’s panic catching up to him. When he woke, he was sore from the ground but less so from his arm. Then Lain had asked if he felt like a badass yet, roughing it in the bush.

Most of the rest of Sunday was spent getting fussed over by doctors and pumped full of ibuprofen for his shoulder. As long as he didn’t try lifting anything heavy, or reaching upward, he was okay.

He did have to sign a lot of forms, though. Waivers saying he wouldn’t sue the company or speak to the press. Lain scowled at his paperwork for a long time before putting his own name down.

“Do you think there’d be money in it?” Sigmund asked, only half joking. “Suing, I mean.”

“No,” said Lain. “And I wouldn’t try. LB’s lawyers are notoriously vicious.”

Sigmund signed.

Read more »

2020-04-19T09:24:56+10:0019th April, 2020|Tags: , , |

Liesmith, chapter 6.

Alis’s Note
There is an even more longerer version of this chapter here, for those who’re really hankering for some additional awkward nerd bush romance. Also: music!


Friday saw Sigmund stepping out of Dad’s car onto the grass outside LB, carrying his tent and sleeping bag and flashlight and Swiss Army knife and towel and compass and mosquito repellant and sunscreen and, Jesus, Dad. I’ll be okay. It’s only for the weekend.

Except Dad had been so excited about it all. More excited than Sigmund, even. So Sigmund hadn’t had the heart to say anything.

Which was why here he was, standing on the lawn, weighted down with ten million packs like a huge nerd while everyone else was standing around clutching small gym bags.


Read more »

2020-04-05T11:17:46+10:005th April, 2020|Tags: , , |
Go to Top