Louise Katz moved to Adelaide to attend art school after completing her secondary education in Canberra. After travelling and working in Europe, Katz returned to art school in Sydney, studying painting, sculpture and printmaking. Some of her short stories have been published in anthologies of speculative fiction.
'The Fifteens of Stone House have reached Attainment: the day ‘girlies’ may Beseech for the privilege of being Perfected and serving as womanidols in the Orchid Nursery. Among the Stone House girlies are Mica, a pious believer, and Pearl, vivacious and dangerously irreverent.
'When Pearl goes missing, Mica hopes fervently that her friend has been chosen for Perfection. But Mica finds stronger indications that Pearl has absconded, including a map that shows a path out of Perfect State towards the boundary where Civilisation meets Unrule. Mica feels bound by love and duty to seek Pearl — to save her from punishment if she is caught by the Ecumen or, worse, if she has left Civilisation.
Mica's search first takes her to Hagovel, the crossroads where the cursed Hag is suffered to exist in miserable solitude — an object lesson for the disobedient. Beyond Hagovel is a frightening physical and moral terrain where insurgents and outcasts are still fighting a strategic war against the clerical dictatorship.
'But first Mica must bring herself to violate the secret-sacred space that is the Orchid Nursery.' (Publication summary)
'Edwina Nearly has problems which range from the banal to the absurd. Her neighbours are fanatical control freaks who leave threatening letters on her doorstep. Her mother, who writes software programs by day and works as a belly dancer by night, is dating a series of unsuitable men and making herself miserable. Her brother is becoming robotic. And now her diary has developed a will of its own and is writing back to her, offering unwanted advice.
'To give herself a break, she decides to visit the Art Gallery one afternoon. There, she falls, Alice-like, into a painting, 'The Garden Of Earthly Delights', a place in which the laws of physics do not apply.
'Edwina finds that she is able to come and go between the Garden and her home in inner-city Sydney at will. All deeply weird, but also seductive, especially when she meets the beautiful and complex Janus - who looks a lot like Paul, a boy Edwina would very much like to know better. Against the advice of her prophetic diary, Edwina rushes headlong into love.
'But who is this enigmatic Janus? How can it be that he bears such an uncanny resemblance to Paul? When Janus wants to enter Edwina's world and finds his way out of the painting, he threatens to destroy Edwina and those she loves'.