Deborah Kalin is an award-winning writer of literary speculative fiction, author of the collection Cherry Crow Children and The Binding novels. Her work has won two Aurealis Awards and has been shortlisted for the Shirley Jackson Awards, the Ditmar Awards and the Australian Shadows Awards.
She lives in Melbourne, subject to the whims of a toddler who thinks she's a cat and a cat who thinks she's a person. Both of them whinge, mostly about sleep and food. (The toddler wants less of each, the cat more. Both want more outside time.) Kalin herself hasn't slept uninterrupted through the night since March 2012.
New Persia is a city surrounded by salt pans and beset by theriomorphs. And Alessa Kinshin, an archaeological anthropologist at the University of New Persia, is determined to learn why the creatures first haunt and then abandon the salt.
"Stories of children lost to the theriomorphs were like the ammonite fossils: everyone had their own."