Author Features - Tor/Forge Blog

Heading_title

Close
post-featured-image

Thorns & Fairy Tales: T. Kingfisher on writing Thornhedge

thornhedge by t. kingfisherT. Kingfisher is a busy writer. She’s got books with Tor, and books with Nightfire, and today she’s on our blog to talk a little about the creation process of her latest novella, Thornhedge.

Check it out!


Way back when, in 2015, in my other life as a children’s book author, I had a book published called Harriet the Invincible, the first of the Hamster Princess series. Harriet, the hero, is very fierce and very confident, and she’s also the princess at the heart of a “Sleeping Beauty” retelling (also a hamster). It was a fun romp and I enjoyed writing it enormously, and a lot of readers liked it, too.

But as inevitably happens when you retell a fairy tale—or at least when I retell one—I found myself with all these extra possibilities in my brain afterward. Directions that I could have gone but didn’t. Characters that I could have written but passed over in favor of others. Themes that went unexplored, ideas that never got fleshed out, all the usual writing baggage. And yet somehow, this time, it was different. It didn’t go away.

Apparently, I was not quite done with “Sleeping Beauty,” or perhaps the story wasn’t quite done with me.

I usually find my way through a fairy tale by questioning all the assumptions in it, starting with who the hero and the villain are. The wicked fairy that curses Sleeping Beauty is supposed to be the villain, of course (and yes, I did love the movie Maleficent, but even then, the princess is one of the good guys). So in this case, I started thinking, what if the princess was the villain? After all, why would you trap someone inside a hedge of thorns, anyway? Because you wanted to contain her. Because there was some reason you didn’t want her to get out. Because she was dangerous, and maybe you weren’t a very skilled fairy, so you did the only thing that you could think of to do.

I wrote about three paragraphs with this idea in mind, and Toadling more or less dropped into my lap, fully formed. I rapidly found myself writing the diametric opposite of the book that I had just written. (It’s hard to think of two characters less alike than Toadling and Harriet, although I love them both.)

Once I had Toadling, the whole thing just flowed. It’s lovely when that happens (also, sadly, rare). Many characters bolt off with the story, and I am left staggering behind them, frantically trying to take notes, but Toadling was very polite. Her backstory unfolded pretty much as I typed it. I learned she was raised by greenteeth as I wrote the sentence about them; I learned that she could turn into a toad when she did it on the page—all the little discoveries that you always make writing a book, of course, but happening at my usual typing speed, without sitting and staring at the wall for an hour, or nearly rupturing my wrist tendons trying to keep up.

It was really very sweet, and so if someone asked me about Thornhedge, I would probably say that it is a sweet book, and then presumably someone would point out that the heroine is raised by child-eating fish monsters and the villain is torturing people and animating the dead, and I would be left flailing my hands around and saying, “But it’s sweet! Really!” because I am not always the best at judging the tone of my own work.

. . . I still think it’s sweet, dammit.

The other amusing thing about Thornhedge is that it was the first book I sold to Tor, though it has come out after a couple of others, because publishing. I had written most of it, had it lying around in my mental trunk, and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Novellas were hard to place at the time. There was one magazine that told me flat out that they couldn’t afford to pay me anything like what it was worth, which I respected, but which left me with this weird wrong-length . . . thingy.

And then I saw that Tor had an open submission period for novellas coming up.

Huh, I thought. I should send this in. When is that, again?

Then, a few minutes later: Waaaaait a minute—I have an agent! Agents don’t have to wait for that! They can just send in books!

(I have written more than forty books now, and I am still sometimes not entirely clear on this whole “being a professional writer” gig.)

So my agent sent in Thornhedge, and Tor very kindly came back and said, “Yes, we will take this, and also, what else you got?” which is why Nettle & Bone and What Moves the Dead have also come out by the time you’re reading this. So I am very grateful to them for taking the chance, and also to Toadling, weird as it is to be grateful to a figment of your imagination, for paving the way.

T. Kingfisher

North Carolina

June 2022

T. KINGFISHER (she/her) writes fantasy, horror, and occasional oddities, including Nettle & Bone,What Moves the Dead, and A House with Good Bones. Under a pen name, she also writes bestselling children’s books. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, dogs, and chickens who may or may not be possessed.

Pre-order Thornhedge Here:

Image Place holder  of amazon- 68 Poster Placeholder of bn- 87 Place holder  of booksamillion- 11 ibooks2 43 Image Placeholder of bookshop- 46

post-featured-image

Q&A With Ed McDonald & Catriona Ward

Daughter of Redwinter by Ed McDonald / Looking Glass Sound by Catriona Ward

Recently, fantasy author Ed McDonald (of Daughter of Redwinter fame) and horror author Catriona Ward (you might recall The Last House on Needless Street and Sundial, but have you added Looking Glass Sound to your TBR?) dropped by our office to answer some of our burning-est authorial questions! And we thought those answers were SO good, that we’re sharing them with all of y’all 😎

Check ’em out!

video source


How Long Have You Studied the Blade? 

video source


What Inspired Looking Glass Sound?

video source


As a Seasoned Author & Game Master, How Do the Two Disciplines Relate?

video source


Could You Describe Your Writing Process?

video source


What Character Do You Relate to Most in Daughter of Redwinter?

video source


What Advice Do You Have for Authors Trying to Write Horror?

video source


Rapid-fire Questions!

video source

Order Daughter of Redwinter Here:

amazons bns booksamillions ibooks2 81 indiebounds

Pre-order Looking Glass Sound Here:

Image Placeholder of amazon- 14 Place holder  of bn- 43 Place holder  of booksamillion- 90 ibooks2 93 indiebound

post-featured-image

Halloween Activities & Romance Tropes: Hits Different When It’s SFF

The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake

Is Halloween your favorite holiday? How do you feel about tricks? And treats?

Olivie Blake returns to our blog to deliver both in the conclusion to her series of features on complimentary Romance Tropes and Halloween Activities: Hits Different When It’s SFF 🎃❤️👽

And what an auspicious day to engage in such holiday-ful delights: The Atlas Paradox is now on sale, freshly released into stores yesterday! If you vibe with any of the tropes from this series (including previous articles: Conspiring Fates and So Wrong It’s Right), then have we got a dark academia, will-they-won’t-they-oh-my-god-WHO-they-really-did series for you!

(We do. It’s the Atlas Series)

And on with the article! Here’s Olivie!


By Olivie Blake

Soulmates

Sometimes I don’t understand the appeal of surrendering my free will to the whims of a universe that probably doesn’t know that I exist (and not in like, a cute way, where we fall in love when I take my glasses off), and other times I think wow, it would be really cool if the exact right person just fell into my lap. I get it, soulmates enthusiasts! It’s a trap, but a sexy one, and furthermore, one that ensures your anxiety/flaws/fear of failure can’t get in the way. Because what could be luckier than the universe conspiring to reward you with everlasting love, even if the person bearing your mark/scar/tattoo happens to be someone you’d rather set on fire? The universe knows what it’s doing and that’s what matters, so this Halloween, why don’t you make things easier on fate by repeating the events of your luckiest day? Sure, it might sound unrealistic—how often does lightning strike twice?—but I would argue it’s merely practical. You know how they say when you’re lost just stay put? My theory is: go right back to the scene of the luck and inevitably the luck (and your soulmate) will find you. Oh god, don’t look now, but the eldest descendent of your rival bloodline/the criminal profiler currently hunting you is here. It’s probably nothing though, I wouldn’t read into that.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Marriage of Convenience

This one may have its roots in a slightly archaic class-driven economic partnership view of marriage, but is ultimately very wholesome when done right (e.g., with lingering hand touches and/or eviscerating banter). After all, what you really love is people who fall for each other slowly and gain each other’s respect over time! You appreciate a long game, so for you, I recommend competing in a chess tournament this Halloween. Every piece is meaningful, every move requires strategy, and you can also take the opportunity to hold your coworker/diplomatic nemesis’s smoldering gaze for a pulse too long just before destroying them on the board. Checkmate, motherfucker!

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Love Triangle

Admit it—you just love being desired. You can say it, we’re all friends here! You don’t just want everlasting devotion, you want choices, and that’s okay. (Relatedly, I read that single straight men are having a harder time finding a partner because women are raising their standards for emotional availability and commitment and honey, that’s called #growth.) But I do feel I should point out that while it’s very sexy to be thus pinned between a rock and a hard place, it’s also a high ask in terms of normal day-to-day life. So this Halloween, while you’re out on the town, why not try being desirable in the form of the mom friend? Nobody will ever love you more than the girl crying in the bathroom over some guy named Kevin. Nobody will ever be more devoted to you than the one you have a spare tampon for. Do you happen to have gum in your purse, or a hair tie? Baby, when you’ve got everything, you’re the hottest club in town. 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Fairytale Retelling

The most important aspect of a fairytale retelling in my view is the deadline. Narratively speaking: the stakes! Of course, they’re also very gory, which makes this perfect for Halloween, a celebration of death and resurrection, and also costumes, e.g. a gown conjured by your fairy godmother or a disguise made from the hide of your talking donkey. Whatever activity you choose, you only have until midnight or the consequences will be dire. Somebody will die. Of fun! Or murder. The choice is yours, but the deadline looms. Might you dance your slippers to pieces? Perhaps inherit a colonizing throne? Mayhap the Unseelie Court will find themselves in need of a new bard! Whatever the outcome, the sense of urgency is what matters, and you simply cannot waste time with the demon hunter/witch hunter/vampire hunter who is currently out for your blood—

Or perhaps. Could it be? 

Has it been them all along? 

Yes, it’s clear now. 

Only one of you can come out of this alive. 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Enemies to Lovers 

It’s a duel at dawn. They’re coming to end you, and you’ve arrived to destroy them, just as you both swore you someday would. You see them approaching and from a distance, you can see they’re… oh. Oh, they’re hurt. What happened? Who did this to them? Only you were ever supposed to hurt them. Look them in the eye and make them tell you everything that happened. 

Oh.

Oh.

Now, of course, too late, you’re discovering that you’d die for them. No—you’d kill for them. Both are true, or neither. Perhaps all you want is to live!, to be with them!, though of course it can never be that way between you. Can it? Too much stands in the way, and yet the two of you lock eyes and understand implicitly, without a word, that they are, and have always been, yours. 

And I am… also here, so, uh… okay! Well anyway, I guess it’s been a productive Halloween. I’m just going to… I’m just going to go, then, shall I? Ha ha ha, don’t mind me, you guys keep doing what you’re doing, it’s very disturbing and sexy… Ahaha nooooo don’t… don’t kiss… 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Olivie Blake is the pseudonym of Alexene Farol Follmuth, a lover and writer of stories. She has penned several indie SFF projects, including the webtoon Clara and the Devil with illustrator Little Chmura and the BookTok-viral Atlas series. As Alexene, she has written a young adult rom-com, My Mechanical Romance. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, new baby, and rescue pit bull.

Purchase The Atlas Paradox Here:

Poster Placeholder of amazon- 57 Placeholder of bn -61 Image Placeholder of booksamillion- 37 ibooks2 66 indiebound

post-featured-image

Halloween Activities & Romance Tropes: So Wrong It’s Right

The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake

Hello all Halloween enjoyers and spooky season fans among us! Olivie Blake is back for Part 2 in her series on matched Romance Tropes and Halloween Activities that one might engage in. If you missed her write-up on Conspiring Fates, make sure you catch it before / after / while you read on today’s theme: So Wrong It’s Right 😈

And watch out for Part 3—Hits Different When It’s SFF—dropping Tuesday, October 25. Also pre-order The Atlas Paradox before it releases on that same Tuesday, and upload your receipt here to receive a gorgeous custom enamel pin 🤩


By Olivie Blake

Fake Dating

Is there anything more satisfying than having to kiss for a thinly veiled plot mechanism, or being forced to share a bed with someone who just so happens to be extremely grumpy and/or hot? A classic deserves a classic, and for that reason you should attend a wedding. That’s right, a wedding! Who’s getting married on Halloween except for people who love doing the most?? Obviously finding the appropriate co-conspirator for a situation with this degree of nuance is the hard part, and the bad news is that everyone else you know is in the wedding except for your mortal enemy the beast who kidnapped your father/the person you once drove across the country with only to discover they don’t believe men and women can be friends, but we’re not asking them, right? I mean come on, we’d rather die! Sure their lips look really soft! Yes they have surprisingly kind eyes! Do they smell like clean linen and the last time you truly felt loved? Of course! But, like, is that even relevant?

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Bodyguard Romance

You want someone who’ll lay down their life for you, which is honestly very relatable, and you also kind of have a power fantasy? Which is also hugely relatable. I can’t make you president or anything, I’m not a genie, so I guess the next best thing is suggesting that you get a dog. Look, it’s fine! Love comes in many different forms! Come on, let’s go to the animal shelter and find someone who’ll make you feel like a king and also literally maul the face off your enemies, including that coworker/single man in possession of a good fortune who keeps showing up in all our fantasies uninvited. Oh wait—oh my god, does Cujo love them? Is he… is he licking them?? That’s embarrassing, we should have gotten a cat. 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Holiday Romance

In this economy can we really afford to be too sparing with our joys? Live deliciously! Excess or death! For you I propose being the host of this Halloween occasion, and your theme? New Year’s Eve every twenty minutes. That’s right, every twenty minutes a countdown followed by the kissing of a stranger/conveniently located crush/beloved platonic friend. This is the most luxurious, indulgent, Gatsby-est party conceit of all time, and it’s my gift to you. Of course, with this much celebration your schoolyard nemesis/rival bookstore owner is bound to attend, and it’ll be just your luck that you’ll be situated near them when the clock strikes midnight for the sixth time. But what can I say? At least there’s cake.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Academic Rivals to Lovers

This one’s easy because there is nothing sexier than intelligence. I barely even need to do any work! You’re in the library, they’re in the library, you’re both nerds trying to summon demons or whatever you’re doing “for school,” and honestly, while academia is mainly a theater for the real world, I salute your commitment to aesthetic. Plus, you may hate each other, but you also grudgingly respect each other’s intellect while being desperate to prove your own, which as far as I know is Ancient Greek for belligerent sexual tension. The only real secret is (lean in close, I’m whispering) it doesn’t technically matter which one of you is more proficient at the obscure metrics designed by Delphian authority figures, so you might as well just make out! Unless your rival is—oh, fuck them, never mind. Stay vigilant, the only important thing is that your former bully/contract criminal archnemesis looks stupid and you don’t. 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Forced Partnership

You know what’s sexy about being forced to work with someone? Fate. Destiny. What’s sexier than the combination of close proximity and a deadline? You have some options here, one of which is an escape room, because obviously what could be better than paying money to be locked in a room and forced to puzzle your way out with three people you sort of know and also Kevin? I’m obviously being sarcastic because an escape room is my worst nightmare and so are group projects. An alternative scenario: a geocache scavenger hunt. It’s basically a quest, you don’t have to be physically caged, and chances are, someone else on the same quest is moments from racing you to an obscure book in the public library, which actually has a great selection of vegan cookbooks (who knew?). Oh look, here they come now, I told you this was a good ide- oh. Never mind—it’s just them again, your rival coworker/evil space wizard with a temper as fiery as their weapon of choice. This fantasy generator’s clearly broken. You should speak to whoever’s in charge.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Grumpy/Sunshine or Opposites Attract

Finding a soulmate means finding your other, better (or in my husband’s case, substantially worse) half. Whether you’re the manic pixie dreamboat or the resident prophet of doom, what you want is someone who brings out the best in you. What you need, then, is an artificially high stress environment, and while yes, an escape room would certainly do the trick, my proposed alternative is a Chopped-style cooking competition. One basket, four ingredients, and a competition for who can create the most delicious meal. At this point you might be saying to yourself, Olivie, are you just hungry? And the answer would be yes, but irrelevant! First of all, I’m part Filipino and food is my love language. Secondly, the kitchen is an objectively sexy place. Depending on the talent pool, sparks could literally fly. Is it my fault that your devious vampire nemesis/the journalist exploiting your trauma as a perennial bridesmaid happens to be making panna cotta in your kitchen? Maybe, but that’s neither here nor there.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Olivie Blake is the pseudonym of Alexene Farol Follmuth, a lover and writer of stories. She has penned several indie SFF projects, including the webtoon Clara and the Devil with illustrator Little Chmura and the BookTok-viral Atlas series. As Alexene, she has written a young adult rom-com, My Mechanical Romance. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, new baby, and rescue pit bull.

Pre-order The Atlas Paradox Here:

Image Place holder  of amazon- 54 Image Place holder  of bn- 13 Poster Placeholder of booksamillion- 53 ibooks2 87 indiebound

post-featured-image

Halloween* Activities & Romance Tropes: Conspiring Fates

The Atlas Six by Olivie BlakeLove Halloween? Us too, and “us” (of course) includes bestselling author of The Atlas Six (now available in trade paperback) and peerless essayist / suggester of things-to-do, Olivie Blake.

We are THRILLED to have her on our blog for not one, but THREE features where she’ll give a romance trope rundown, and provide a spooky scary Halloween activity to match!

Check it out part one right here, and watch out for subsequent additions to these series, which you can expect to see roll out per the following timeline:

Conspiring Fatesur here already lol
So Wrong It’s Right – Wednesday, October 19
Hits Different When It’s SFF – Tuesday, October 25


By Olivie Blake

(*Let it be known that provided one is not a coward, these activities need not be singularly confined to Halloween. I fully expect to see this post adapted for St. Patrick’s Day, Flag Day, and International Women’s Day.)

I’ll tell you the truth: I love love. And I don’t just mean wholesome love. As someone who describes their own work as both a six-person love story and a deranged family drama, I find that there’s nothing more satisfying than throwing people together and watching sparks fly (and on occasion watching those sparks become arson).

Of course, I’m also a human being, and while some might find it overly sentimental to be thus taken with the perennial pursuit of happily ever after, I would argue that nothing concerns us more as a collective. Is there anything more defining of our species than the desire to live, laugh, love? As an Instagrammable wall near my usual coffee shop sans serif-ly puts it, people are the best thing that can happen to anyone—which, to me, is precisely as true as the inverse is true. 

In any case, we’re well into the season of the macabre (or Lit Girl Autumn, for all those who celebrate) and for some of us, Halloween is our Super Bowl, our Joker, and our Valentine’s Day all rolled into one. In an attempt to help you navigate the complexities of finding love amongst the mortals (or not—I see you, paranormal romance junkies!) I’ve devised the following list of suggested Halloween activities based on your favorite romantic tropes. 

Starting things off with a group of tropes I’ll theatrically call Conspiring Fates:

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Friends to Lovers

If your favorite trope is friends-to-lovers, you love seeing a new side to someone who’s always been there. Lingering. Haunting you, like a ghost. But in a hot way! Anyway, since you’re all about the levels to it, why not take one of your unlikely sides out for the night? Skip the party and go roller derby. Did you know there are basically no rules? (I’m being told that’s inaccurate but it sounds open to interpretation.) Better yet, invite a friend you’ve told yourself you’d only sleep with if you were stranded on a desert island because honey, we’re in tropeville now. Imagine the prospects… the adrenaline rushing through your veins, the carnal intimacy of recreational violence, a moment locking eyes with your close platonic friend over the sensual application of an ice pack… Oh god—don’t look now, but that person we hate from school/work/the evil empire/the deli is here, probably stalking you. Ugh. Let’s get out of this fantasy and move on. 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Unrequited Love

Oh, so you love pain? That’s cute. Your Halloween plans are an evening of primal screams! In case you don’t know what a primal scream is (though you probably do, since your preferred form of romance is Suffering™) it’s when you go somewhere you won’t be arrested or institutionalized to engage in what Merriam-Webster calls “a violent outpouring of raw emotion” (sidebar, that definition is metal as hell) until everything seems, you know, generally all right again. As the mother of a toddler, I engage in many primal screams and can tell you that when done correctly, it really does approximate orgasm. A similar energy—should you be confined indoors on account of inclement weather or Victorian seaside convalescence—would be a cathartic cry, which is essentially the same thing but weeping. Though, try not to disturb your neighbor, who—oh come on, it’s your coworker/rival inheritor to the Genovian throne! Of course it is. Ugh, we hate them. Moving on.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Memory Loss

You like things tragic, don’t you, but with a little bit of gaming the system for that happily ever after workaround. For you, might I recommend a seance? I know it seems a little on the nose, what with it being Halloween, but listen, nobody ever complains about presents at Christmas. The truth is you’re a touch greedy, aren’t you? You want the angst of unrequited love plus the benefit of falling in love twice, which is basically like wishing for more wishes. Wow, you’ve really talked me around to this, I like your thinking. Honestly, why shouldn’t you have it all? Summon the spirits babe, we’re dialing up the other side to find out what consequence for romantic hubris awaits us. 

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Star-Crossed Romance

There’s a very fine line between this and unrequited love in terms of pain, because while the star-crossed lover at least gets to have something mutual (a definite plus), it likely comes with the side effect of a tragic death (:/). But hey, who doesn’t love movie night at the cemetery! It’s the perfect Halloween activity, because 1) there might be vengeful spirits 2) sitting under the stars is serene and good for your mental health 3) the spirits might not be that vengeful 4) it’s romantic because it reminds us that in the end we return to the earth! Of course, this is a fairly popular Halloween activity so you may run into someone you don’t like, such as that coworker/former friend turned dragon gem traitor/rival restaurateur who has shown up to this looking all breezy and sexy. Look at them over there being disgustingly winsome/revoltingly stoic/tall! Excuse me, my friend and I came here to be hot goths in peace and we are leaving.

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Second Chance at Love

This trope is having a bit of a renaissance this year, owing to what some might call a Persuasion adaptation and others a yassified travesty (I take no position on this matter of course, I am merely your romance concierge). For those who love this particular trope, might I suggest engaging in one do-over to spark another? We all have the one who got away, of course, and in all likelihood, we were also all once the subjects of an institution that now needs money, man hours, and time. If relationship karma works the way Hollywood has convinced me it probably does, then why not kick it off by volunteering at your former elementary school? Spend the evening with several small children (dressed as the characters from the franchise starring a handsomeish white guy and his friends) because hey, you never know what may lead you back to the road not taken. Besides, not only will you do some good for your community and potentially cross paths with the love of your life, you might also run into your mom’s friend Susan, who really likes your hair this way and thinks it’s great you’ve finally made something of yourself! Thanks, Susan, we will definitely friend your nephew on Facebook, his comedy does sound edgy and his podcast seems great!

━━ ˖°˖ ☾☆☽ ˖°˖ ━━━━━━━

Olivie Blake is the pseudonym of Alexene Farol Follmuth, a lover and writer of stories. She has penned several indie SFF projects, including the webtoon Clara and the Devil with illustrator Little Chmura and the BookTok-viral Atlas series. As Alexene, she has written a young adult rom-com, My Mechanical Romance. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, new baby, and rescue pit bull.

Purchase The Atlas Six Here:

Image Placeholder of amazon- 38 Placeholder of bn -16 Place holder  of booksamillion- 68 ibooks2 19 indiebound

post-featured-image

But What if You Added a Dragon? How Jenn Lyons Would Improve 6 Books

13Jenn Lyons is the author of the epic A Chorus of Dragons series, and she’s also one of the foremost dragonic scholars of the contemporary age. Here we consult her comprehensive knowledge of dragon lore to understand what SFF titles would benefit from the inclusion of one (or more) dragon(s).


by Jenn Lyons

I have a confession to make: I’ve never written a novel that didn’t have a dragon in it. Now, as I’m known as an epic fantasy author whose first series literally has the word dragon in the title, this may not seem like much of a confession, but please I understand: I mean all the novels. The unpublished novels that no one has ever seen, sitting in a metaphorical drawer.

Yes, the sci-fi novels too.

Why not, after all? Dragons deserve some love in any genre fiction story, whether that’s something set in a slightly speculative version of our world today to stories of the far future set in space. Raymond Chandler used to say that anytime he was stuck in a story, he’d have someone walk into a room holding a gun. Me? I have a dragon crash the party.

Works every time.

Now obviously, there are a number of sci-fi books which already contain dragons. The Dragonriders of Pern books by Anne McCaffery, Roadmarks by Roger Zelazny, and Phoenix Extravagant by Yoon Ha Lee are just a few books where the setting is scifi but my favorite monster is still in the house.

With that said, here’s a few sci-fi books that I feel might have been made just that tiny bit better by the introduction of a dragon:

The Kaiju Preservation Society by John ScalziThe Kaiju Preservation Society

No, don’t be silly. This already has dragons in it. John Scalzi just calls them something else. Respect.

 

 

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn MuirGideon the Ninth

It’s easy to look at Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir and accuse me of cheating by slipping a fantasy novel into the mix, but no, it turns that this story of necromancers, dead worlds, and the cost of resurrection is, in fact, sci-fi. That said, there’s enough magic flying around (or what looks like magic) to make the addition of a dragon not just thematically plausible, but easily justifiable. Who wouldn’t want to see a cadre of necromancers forced to deal with a dragon? (Probably a dead dragon. Yeah, let’s face it: this dragon’s absolutely dead. And angry about it.) Quite frankly, nobody in any Houses would’ve been surprised to find a dragon in the bowels of Canaan House. Maybe the only surprise was that there wasn’t one.

The Fifth Season by N. K. JemisinThe Fifth Season

N.K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy about a world regularly torn asunder by extinction level events (book one’s titular The Fifth Season) hardly needs a dragon. There’s more than enough fire from volcanoes and that one time someone opened a rift right across the entire continent, straight down into the world’s mantle. In fact, I suspect the biggest issue with a dragon in these books is the distinct possibility that no one would notice. Or if they did, would probably just give a resigned shrug as if to say “Sure, why not a dragon, too?”

All Systems Red by Martha WellsAll Systems Red

Given the nature of Martha Well’s stories about a very cranky SecUnit construct called Murderbot and its battles against far-future corporations (and its own feelings), I would absolutely want to see a dragon in one of these tales. A dragon that I suspect would immediately adopt Murderbot, because it too understands what it’s like to live in a universe where everyone assumes you’re only around to kill people and tear shit up.

I mean, yes, watching Murderbot fight a dragon would be awesome. More awesome? Watching Murderbot and a dragon fight something else.

Cibola Burn by James S. A. CoreyCibola Burn

I love the Expanse series, written by James S.A. Corey (the joint pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Frank). I’d love to say that I was into the books way before the TV show; that would be lying. I discovered the books because of the TV show, and immediately devoured everything that was out at the time (and continued to do so until the end of the series). Cibola Burn, the fourth book, takes places almost entirely on an alien world that humanity is attempting to colonize. It was the perfect opportunity to introduce a dragon, and I’ve got to be honest here: the authors completely missed their shot. Not a single dragon to be found anywhere. Not even a protomolecule entity shaped vaguely like a dragon. Disappointing.

And no, despite the name, Tiamat’s Wrath also has a depressing lack of actual dragons.

Dune by Frank HerbertDune

I know what you’re going to say here: Frank Herbert’s masterpiece doesn’t need dragons; it already has sandworms. But hear me out here. What if the Empire had tried to genetically engineer an alternative to sandworms? An alternative developed on another equally inhospitable planet more fully under the empire’s control, like say, Salusa Secundus? The experiment wouldn’t have worked, of course, but perhaps they ended up with something useful anyway, if only for having bad tempers and lots of sharp, pointy teeth.

All I’m saying is the Empire’s forces could’ve shown up on Arrakis with both Sardaukar troops AND dragons.

And those are just a few examples. Now I don’t expect authors to go rush out and write a bunch of sci-fi complete with dragons in it…

But why not?

post-featured-image

When is Savitar’s/Jaden’s Book Coming??

Image Place holder  of - 15Fans have fallen in love with the characters of Sherrilyn Kenyon again and again, and dedicated Kenyon fans have long waited for news regarding two favorites among favorites: Savitar and Jaden.

With Shadow Fallen recently landing in stores, there’s no better time for an update on these two characters.

From Sherrilyn to you, check it out!


By Sherrilyn Kenyon

For over twenty years now, the number one question I’ve been asked regarding the DH series has been: When is Savitar’s/Jaden’s book coming?

Believe it or not . . . we’re almost there!

When I first started writing the Dream-Hunters as a part of the Hunter Legends (Dark-Hunter, Were-Hunter, etc.) series back in the 1980s, I had no idea just how popular either series would become. I never dreamed as a teen that both the Dark-Hunters and Dream-Hunters would become #1 New York Times bestsellers (or that it would take decades of struggling over gargantuan obstacles to get them there). Ironically, the Dream-Hunters hit #1 before the Dark-Hunters did.

Life seldom turns out the way we think it will, right?

And just like we had the two books that led us into the much-anticipated Acheron (Devil May Cry and The Dream-Hunter), Shadow Fallen is the first of the two books that will lead us into Jaden (Shadow Fallen and Queen of All Shadows).

While each book will stand on its own, it’s also a road map that will build on each other to give backstory and characters that are a vital part of Jaden’s history. Each giving a fuller understanding of the immortal who’s captured so many hearts.

History that is also important to Savitar whose book will come out after Jaden’s (Shadows Within). While both characters have appeared in so many books, there is still so much about them that hasn’t been told.

So much that is yet unknown. With Shadow Fallen, we delve more into the Nether Realm and those creatures that are vital parts of Queen of All Shadows. Readers who have been paying attention to the last few books and in particular Stygian and the character Shadow will remember that our shadows are a lot more than what we think they are.

They’re our duplicates. That dark place where we bury the more sinister parts of our nature and hide them away. But they are also very dangerous because our shadow twins can overtake us and become us. It’s why the place Shadow and Lombrey call home is just so scary and dangerous. And so important to understanding Jaden and what he’s been forced to fight for centuries.

Why he became the demon broker that he is.

How he fathered the children we also know and love.

So many questions to be answered! Finally.

But have no fear, these won’t be the last of the series. There are still many other characters left with stories to be told. Remi. Shadow. Simi. Thorn. Jared. Caleb. Apollymi . . .

And I haven’t forgotten Nick. I fully intend to return to his series and finish the last four within the next two years! Please bear with me as I finally get caught up on my writing.

It’s still taking a bit to get all the kinks out, but things are settling down and soon the engine will be back where it was and purring right along. Thank you, everyone for sticking with me. I’ve always said that I have the greatest fans in all the world! And I really do!

Purchase Shadow Fallen Here:

Place holder  of amazon- 72 Place holder  of bn- 92 Placeholder of booksamillion -24 ibooks2 75 indiebound

The owner of this website has made a commitment to accessibility and inclusion, please report any problems that you encounter using the contact form on this website. This site uses the WP ADA Compliance Check plugin to enhance accessibility.