Child of a Hidden Sea
I am very pleased to announce that another of the Gales, “The Boy who Would Not be Enchanted,” has been accepted for publication at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. This is the first of the stories to be slated for an appearance outside Tor.com. The first three Gales are “Among the Silvering Herd,” “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti” and, most recently, “The Glass Galago.”
(The fourth, “Losing Heart among the Tall,” is also slated to appear on Tor.com).
This sale may mean the stories will appear out of order, depending on publication dates. This is no great problem. They’re like a family; you can meet them out of birth order.
The Gales switch POV from story to story, and this particular piece of the puzzle is told by one of the characters who is important in the Hidden Sea Tales universe but who doesn’t get as much time in the sun, especially in A Daughter of No Nation, as some of you would like: Nightjar’s gay first mate, Tonio Cappodocio. It is a tale he tells when he’s reached the grand old age of seventeen, and is looking back on Gale Feliachild, Garland Parrish and his youthful stowaway adventure of so many years before. (Five years, in other words. Oh, what a foolish twelve year old he was!)
I love this story, and have been reading bits of it for years at queer-themed events. I’m thrilled about this sale, and excited about you all getting to read it.
“The Glass Galago”
On Wednesday the third of the Gales, “The Glass Galago,” will be launching at Tor.com. (The first two Gales are “Among the Silvering Herd” and “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti”.) This new story takes Gale Feliachild and Garland Parrish to the Fleet itself. It’s not the first visit for either of them, obviously, but it’s their first time together. Gale learns a little more about what it was that got Garland disgraced and kicked out of the service. I hope you guys like it.
I was offline a fair bit during the holidays: didn’t eschew Facebook or Twitter, by any means, but I definitely spent more of my waking hours away from the computer. When I was working, it was often on fiction. There’s a proposal I’m pulling together for what might be my next ecofantasy novel; its working title is Tom the Liar, largely because in my head the main character shares some traits with the Hiddleston Loki. My editors have also sent some notes back on The Nature of a Pirate, so I’m keen to buckle down to revisions. I worked on setting up a spring book tour, and should be announcing dates soon. I thought about some teaching stuff and tried mightily to finish reading David Jaher’s The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World, but didn’t quite get that done before the new year.
The holidays themselves were low-key and pleasant. There was some sleeping in, some feasting, some wonderful time spent with friends. And now it’s snowing in Toronto, and 2016 has come, and I am looking forward to a year filled with wonders and surprises.
Book launch weeks tend to see me gadding about the Internet, and this time is no exception. A.C. Wise, for example, interviewed me this week about, among other things, the writing process that brought me ’round to producing A Daughter of No Nation. This was a particular thrill because I loved loved LOVED her new story cycle, The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again.
Other bits of gadding: Amazon selected ADONN for its Best Books of December feature, and Barnes and Noble featured it in its New Books Round-up.
Finally, here’s my favorite review quote so far, from Caitlin Paxon’s write-up at Tor.com:
I appreciate a sequel that knows what its readers want, and A Daughter of No Nation definitely knows that we want more swashbuckling sea battles, more wacky biology, and more smoldering Captain Parrish, ASAP.
I’ll also note that she is coming out strongly in favor of more swash un-buckling, by which she means she’d very much like for Sophie to get into Captain Parrish’s pants.
It can be tricky to know what to say about a book on its birthday, particularly if it is not the shiny debut of a series. I don’t want to spoil Child of a Hidden Sea for anyone who hasn’t read it yet, after all. Even so, I want to say a few things about where the story picks up in A Daughter of No Nation.
It has been six long months. Sophie Hansa is at home, trying as best she can to prepare herself for what she hopes will be a not too distant return to the world of Stormwrack. She’s attempting to learn skills that mesh with Age of Sail technology, to ensure that she’s fit, healthy, and ready to face a range of physical and mental challenges. There’s endurance training. Knot tying. Re-upping her CPR. Astral navigation. Memorizing everything from A Standard Book of British Birds to simple experiments from the history of science. As the book opens, that’s what we where we find her.
Anyway, I thought it might be fun to right now invent a rundown on what everyone else has been up to:
Bramwell Hansa, for example, is as intrigued by Stormwrack’s existence as Sophie herself. Is it an alternate Earth? A future one? Why does magic seem to work there? Wait… seem? Clearly it does, but how? He’s been been working with his sister on the data they have gathered so far, teaming up develop research plans for any future expeditions. Because, you see, they have to know.
My first impulse was to say that it all been rather nose to grindstone for poor Bram–that he hasn’t been dating. But I think all of you who keep telling me how much you love Bram will agree he could use a nice fellow in his life. Six months, though… he can’t have had anything too dramatic going on, or his sister would have noticed, and cared, and talked it to death. He’s not in a relationship when the book opens, and there’s nothing about recent drama in A Daughter of No Nation. So… was it all science and no play? Did Bram meet someone–have it flare and then fizzle? You tell me. I’m open to to anything, as long as it’s consistent with Bram’s character and what I’ve got on the page.
Sophie’s half sister, meanwhile, definitely isn’t getting any. Come on, guys–Verena’s so young! Anyway, she’s got a huge unrequited crush on a certain tasty ship’s captain, and she’s not about to let that go anytime soon. Also, she’s adjusting to her new job. It’s a big job and she’s completely inexperienced, so naturally, a few mistakes have been made. Good thing the boss isn’t a hardass, right? She is? Well, that’s awkward…
As for the Nightjar crew and Captain Parrish, I’ve got to tell you that they have been having a rough time of it. They lost someone important to them in the first book, as you may remember, and the past half year has served both as a mourning period and an upheaval. Life and work go on, as they must, but the rhythms are changed, and not everyone’s able to dance to the new beat. In fact, the medic and the bosun have both thrown up their hands and quit.
So for Garland and Tonio in particular, things feel precarious. That’s how it is when you lose the people who matter most to you. The ground crumbles underfoot. Everything in life is, simply, harder.
Finally, there’s the Fleet’s chief Duelist, Judge-Advocate Clydon Banning of Sylvanna, legal eagle and sword fighter extraordinare. He isn’t even faintly bereaved. Someone died? Did I kill them? No? Then why are we discussing this, exactly?
Cly has been a busy busy boy. He has taken a leave of absence, dug deep into a bunch of musty legal codes and old lawsuits, and even reviewed his will. He has demanded and earned the equivalent of a higher security clearance from his government, and then elbowed his way into the club of higher-ups holding onto Stormwrack’s most tightly guarded secrets. Put another way, he has obliged the Convene of Nations to tell him about the existence of Earth. Now he is considering how he might best exploit this newfound knowledge… and Sophie, inevitably, will be the key to all his plans.
Do you have a favorite Stormwrack character who’s not included in this roundup? Let me know and I’ll give you a hint about what they’ve been up to.
Second books aren’t always about charm. Sometimes they’re about rolling up your sleeves, raising your fists and damnwell plunging your characters so deep into the dip you might never get them out again. A Daughter of No Nation has tall ships, sirens, man-eating cats, teenage con artists in love, dryads, slaves, leech attacks, tedious dinners with frightful cousins–because danger has many flavors–a really nasty kudzu infestation and the resurrection of a dead conspirator on Issle Morta, island of the judgey monks.
Doesn’t that all just kinda scream holiday gift?