Updates–Because Things Happen

YMBreaktheGate_5.5 x 8.5_V01

You’re looking at what is probably the final cover for the Prime Books edition of  Yamada Monogatari: To Break the Demon Gate, barring any last minute tweaks. The original–and still official–publication date is December 3rd, but there’s a chance that will be moved up to mid- November. I’ll let everyone know once I know. I still have some hope that the PS limited edition will be out before then, but right now it’s anybody’s guess.  The third Yamada book, The War God’s Son is scheduled for mid 2015. I expect at least one more Yamada novel after that, though of course to some degree that depends on the next two.

Power’s Shadow continues to progress. I crossed the 40k threshold last week, so it’s officially a novel by SFWA standards. The story should wrap up at 60-65k words, maybe 70k at the outside. As of now I have no plans to discontinue the serial, so as long as I can stay ahead on the installments, I’ll keep posting them until the book is done. If I finish ahead of the installments, though, I’ll likely put the ebook edition out rather than waiting to catch up. That’s just theoretical, and probably far too optimistic. As with life itself, we’ll see what happens next.

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 5. Part 4 (Conclusion)

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3Next Stop: Amurlee

 

 

 

Power’s Shadow: Chapter 5, Part 4

 

“Yes. Captain–or perhaps I should say Princess, Callowyn is his daughter.”

“How did you know?” Callowyn asked.

“Let’s just say my instincts served me well, though I wasn’t entirely certain until now.”

Callowyn scowled. “You tricked me!”

“Just a little. I understand why you didn’t want us to know but, as I said, I had no wish to go into this mission with blinders on. You may, of course, inform His Majesty that we know your secret.”

“Why wouldn’t she want us to know?” Sela asked. “What does it…oh.”

Marta smiled. “Exactly. A pirate is one thing, but what if we were to hand over King Boranac’s own daughter to the authorities in Conmyre? What do you imagine the rewards would be?”

“Substantial,” muttered Callowyn.

“And entirely beside the point, Highness. Your father, I trust, understands the full implications of entering a binding contract with a witch such as myself. I must honor our agreement to the letter or the contract is not binding, and I will do so to the absolute best of my ability. He would be a damn fool if he didn’t do the same…and I know your father is no fool.”

“He is not. Just…don’t call me that. I am Captain Callowyn. That is all.”

“As you wish, Captain. One thing, though—do you have anything else to wear?”

Callowyn glanced down at her sailor’s togs. “Why? What’s wrong with this?”

“For its purpose? Nothing at all. But when we arrive in Amurlee, it may be best for all concerned if you looked a little less…pirate-like. A suggestion, nothing more.”

Callowyn looked unhappy. “Since you put it that way…I’ll see what I can do.”

When Callowyn was gone, Sela turned to Marta. “How did you know?”

“As I said, I didn’t know. At least not for certain. But when I first met her, there was something about Callowyn that spoke of the Fourth Law, concerning a thing’s nature versus its appearance. Callowyn’s appearance was not an illusion, so ‘nature’ had to be the relevant bit. I don’t even remember noting it at the time, but I realized, just now when I saw her again, that she bore some resemblance to Boranac. Mostly in the eyes. It occurred to me that what I was seeing was recreated nature, not transformed. We are all a recreation of our parents, but apparently Callowyn’s trigger of my awareness of the Fourth Law meant that there was something about her that I needed to understand. That’s the way the Arrow Path works.”

“So you set a verbal trap and she walked into it.”

“More or less–yes.”

“Will Boranac still send her with us, do you think?”

“I think he will. In fact, I am counting on it.”

((Chapter 5 — Conclusion))

(c) 2014 Richard Parks

Too Much Stuff in My Stuff

WRITING 02

When you’ve been writing and publishing for a while, and especially if you started in the Stone Age, back before Cloud storage and more reliable backups were invented, you tended to accumulate paper: Plain rough drafts, marked up rough drafts, galleys, proof pages, the occasional hand-written manuscript (which technically is the only real manuscript there is) , contracts, copies of preliminary illustrations, you name it. I was no different. I think at that time I had some vague idea of shipping it off some day to some equally vague university collection that wanted that kind of thing. I even used to sign and date first drafts of stories before I filed them away, if you can believe that. Yes, it was that bad. Continue reading

Power’s Shadow – Chapter 5, Part 3

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3Captain Callowyn returns.

 

 

 

Chapter 5, Part 3

Sela, wisely, had kept silent for the most part during the audience with Boranac, but the restraints were gone by the time they were escorted back to their quarters.

“Did he really believe you?”

“Of course he believed me. It was the truth.” Marta felt weary beyond belief—the magic that created a binding contract tended to have that effect on her, but she still found herself wandering around the room settling nowhere, though the chairs and beds did beckon. “The question is,” she said finally, “why was it the truth?”

“I don’t understand,” Sela said.

“As I have pointed out before—the Arrow Path and, ultimately, Amaet, decide the price of any contract—I have no say in the matter. Yet the sword is the price.”

“You must admit that it’s a little convenient,” Sela said.

“Of course it is, and that worries me. I know why I want your father’s swords. But why does Amaet want me to have them? I cannot answer that.”

“That being the case…maybe she doesn’t. Maybe she just wants you to have Sunset.”

Marta idly chewed a fingernail. “Point taken, though then ‘why Sunset’ is a question all by itself. I still believe that what involves one sword, involves all of them. Unless it’s merely coincidence that your father only made seven named swords. And I am a firm disbeliever in coincidence.”

Sela considered. “Perhaps she simply wants you to discover the Fifth Law, whatever it is.”

“There would be a large ‘why’ attached to that as well. Amaet created the Arrow Path, but she’s not known for setting up signposts along the way. My mother once told me that there was a reason for everything Amaet did, no matter how incomprehensible on its face. If I want to stay ahead of her, it would be a good idea to understand that reason.”

Sela apparently had no answer for that, nor did Marta expect one. She went to the window and whistled. Bonetapper fluttered down to perch on the sill.

“Anything?” Marta asked.

“There’s something of a stir going on about the courtyard. Messengers coming and going. Nothing that appears to be a threat. The soldiers who brought us in appear to have returned to their stations along the coast. No signs of a gallows or block being prepared.”

“Thank you for that,” Marta said dryly. “Anything else?” Continue reading

Power’s Shadow – Chapter 5, Part 2

Powers-Shadow-Rough-3Marta and King Boranac in negotiations, and we finally find out what the would-be king’s angle is.

 

 

 

Chapter 5, Part 2

“Let me see the blade,” Marta said, “And I will tell you.”

“I’m not used to running errands, but this situation is likewise something I am not used to.” Boranac turned in his seat just far enough to reach a chest sitting against the far wall. From there he produced an oblong shape wrapped in oilcloth, which he proceeded to unwrap until he produced a bare blade that he lay carefully on the table. “Look for yourself.”

Marta glanced at Sela who bowed slightly and moved forward. The guard by the door put his hand on his hilt, but Boranac waved him back. “They haven’t come for my life, but that doesn’t mean they will get what they did come for.”

Sela approached the table. She didn’t try to touch the sword lying there, and after a moment she backed away.

“Well?” Marta asked.

“That is Sunset. There is no question of it,” Sela said.

Boranac frowned. “It has a name? That oaf Longfeather made no mention of it.”

“Because he is an oaf, Your Majesty,” Sela said, bowing again. “And did not fully understand what he had.”

“Well, I do. Now, then–answer my question, Lady Marta.”

“If the sword is not the price that the Arrow Path demands, I will tell you what the true price is. And if I cannot persuade you otherwise, I will depart without the sword. Is that fair?” Marta asked.

“Will you swear to abandon your interest in the sword?”

“Of course not,” Marta said. “But I will make no effort to steal it from you, if that is your concern. I will merely bide my time.”

Boranac laughed. “You are either very sure of yourself or very foolish, and frankly I’m not sure which.”

“Neither am I, Majesty. Either way, I merely do what I believe I need to do,” Marta said. “And refrain from making judgments when I can.” Continue reading