Those of you who’ve read Wild Hunt will know why this is such a big deal for me. I suppose it’s a risk when working with real-life situations and mysteries that one of them might be solved after the book comes out. Hard to regret it, though. (And hey, it’s not like I haven’t run into this before — I remember having to revise an early draft of Spiral Hunt after the Sox won the World Series, which till then had been a major plot point.)
I am so going to be following this story. And I really hope they get the paintings back, and that they’re in good condition. Those frames have been empty far too long.
“A Family for Drakes” is now up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
This story has a strange genesis. About six years ago, I dreamed the scene at Traben’s Crossing, ice, drakes, Vigil, and all. I remember dreaming I was one of two children, and that when the drake spoke I could understand it.
I also remember being convinced in the dream that this was a trailer for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Which was mildly boggling when I woke up and remembered that no, there wasn’t anything like this in The Two Towers.
I tried to write a story with what I remembered from the dream, but it crumbled in my hands. My narrator (Bron, at the time) didn’t have any believable motivation, the drakes themselves seemed irrelevant, and I really had no idea where it would go after that one clear scene. Hell, I didn’t even get to that one scene; I was bogged down in getting there, and abandoned the draft.
A little while back I started thinking about dragons. (As one does.) About ownership of dragons, such as that could be, and what circumstances could contribute to them turning up out of nowhere, and about responsibility for dragons. And with that came some thoughts about family, what responsibility one has to family, when it is time to turn away.
And this story surfaced in the middle of that, and finally I had the context for that one scene.
I’m not sure how much of that dream remains in this story, but the story itself is one I’m proud of. I hope you enjoy it.
She pushed up to her hands and knees as a third drake, this one smaller than the others, landed in front of her. Its eyes gleamed, red glass in a mask of bone and black wood, and furnace-stink swept over them. The drake turned its head to regard her with its other eye, lipless jaws parting in a grin.
A few updates for a Monday morning:
– I can’t believe I haven’t mentioned this yet, but “Sunlight Society” has been reprinted in Rich Horton’s anthology Superheroes, out now! With stories by Peter S. Beagle, Kelly Link, Leah Bobet, Carol Emshwiller and more, the anthology is amazing, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
– “Serpent in the Gears” has been reprinted, this time as audio fiction in the Steampunk Specs compilation. Available both as audiobook and CD, the audio anthology includes some fantastic stories by steampunk masters, and my story as well.
– A new story will be out in Beneath Ceaseless Skies later this week: “A Family for Drakes,” which, though not explicitly set in the same industrial fantasy world, could certainly have some of the same hallmarks if you move back a few centuries. It’s a bit grim in places, though I think ultimately hopeful. It’s also a bit strange, in that I dreamed a scene in this story about ten or so years ago, and it’s only just now made it into a real story. Inspiration from dreams is a chancy thing — do it too often and you end up with the Tale of Missing Your Flight While Naked And Also Behind On Your Deadline — but now and then, something’s come through that way. I’ll say more about it when the story’s up, but that post may be a little delayed, because…
– I’m going to FogCon this coming weekend! Which, yes, means that I’ll be on the West Coast for about a week. It’s been far too long since I was in San Francisco. I’ll be with family for a lot of it, but if you’re at FogCon, come say hi! (Really. It’s my first time there, and I suspect I’m going to feel so very very lost.)
Writing-wise, I have one more round of revisions to do before I hand this draft over to BRAWL (biggest problem: make the ending understandable) and because of that “Detective in Urban Fantasy” panel at Boskone, I now find myself with a first-draft Hercule Poirot pastiche set in a semi-urban fantasyland. I don’t even know any more, man. Inspiration is nuts.