Back in July (that long?) I mentioned that I’d been working on a novella called “Indigo Rain.” While there’s a lot of details to be worked out, there’s a good chance that it’s going to appear in print—with illustrations by a terrific artist—for Further Confusion 2013. I’ll probably put up a fairly substantial preview once things seem to be in motion.
“Rain” is set in a fantasy world that I wrote a lot of stories in back in the dark ages: the Empire of Ranea. Ranea has magic and multiple races, but diverges at least a bit from the canonical fantasy worlds otherwise. Magic is treated more as an engineering discipline than a mystical force by most, and you’re likely to see it showing up in seemingly mundane fashions everywhere—which isn’t to say that there’s no grand and wondrous magic, but that the place has a decidedly different feel. The multiple races include humans, but rather than elves, dwarves and hobbits there’s a mix based on other animals, including Melifen (cats), Vraini (foxes) and Rilima (mice). And it’s more Victorian era than medieval, and—at least in some areas of the Empire—rather cosmopolitan and progressive. Of course, that brings with it considerable class and racial tension, not always kept well under the surface.
Most of the original stories show their age; with the exception of the once-famous “A Gift of Fire, A Gift of Blood,” they’re not particularly sophisticated. “Indigo Rain,” though, should make a great introduction for new readers. It’s the longest Ranea story written to date, does a better job of showing the world than any of the other stories—even though it’s only showing one part (and frankly, not the part the tour guides would take you to)—and I can’t wait to introduce people to Roulette and the other characters.
More soon, hopefully! Meanwhile, I’m flirting with doing another new Ranea short, more in the few thousand word range, for free posting, and seeing if any of the older shorts are salvageable enough for me to rewrite. (Way back in 2008, Eurofurence 14 attendees might remember me reading a scene from a prospective rewrite of “A Gift of Fire.” It’ll happen eventually, I promise. There’s also another novella I did a few years back I need to rewrite called “Going Concerns,” but that’s for yet another day.)
(Originally published at Coyote Prints)