Here’s what Tor.com says about “The Ugly Woman of Castello Di Putti,” which is live on the site today. (The lovely cover illustration is by Richard Anderson)
Returning to the world of Stormwrack where she set the Tor.com story “Among the Silvering Herd,” A.M. Dellamonica offers a new story that takes us deeper into this fascinating world, the setting of her new fantasy novel Child of a Hidden Sea.
The Fleet, integral to the governing of a world that is mostly water sprinkled with a number of islands, must deal with a unique form of magic, inscription, which is so subtle that its effects can sometimes only be known in retrospect. When a ship of the Fleet visits an island where scripping is common, the crew members of the sailing vessel Nightjar are at a disadvantage when faced with local matters of which they know little. Strangers on the shore, indeed, they may enjoy the local customs… but also may attract unwanted attention that could cost them more than embarrassment or money.
The Castello di Putti has a suggestive sound to it, but don’t be deceived. This is a story of civil strife, of culture shock, and ultimately of the risks and rewards of naval duty. Filled with Dellamonica’s fresh, inventive worldbuilding and the joie de vivre of a society in flux, it shows a side of Stormwrack very different from that presented in the previous tale.
Here’s the opening paragraph:
They had barely come ashore before the riot started.
Sindria, capital of Erinth, was a city of black marble and volcanic glass, a dark architectural foundation layered in color and light. Carved urns and stone window boxes built into the structures all burst with bougainvillea and daisies. Fruit trees nodded along the avenues, laden with oranges, lemons, and sun-burnished golden plums.
As they strode up from the landing, they passed a young couple, a fine-featured woman and handsome man, decked out in vivid fabrics, leaning on each other and sharing the support of a sturdy hardwood walker.
As you can see, I have a cover now for my upcoming Tor.com novelette, “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti.” It’s small here, but if you want a better look there’s a link here you can use.
This story is the second of the series I’m calling The Gales. The first was “Among the Silvering Herd”, and like that story, this one features Gale Feliachild, ship’s Captain Royl Parrish, and their ridiculously handsome first mate, Garland Parrish. Their first adventure took them to Redcap Island, where Gale realized that Royl was considering turning the ship over to Parrish, because he’d like to retire. The second takes them all to one of her favorite island nations, the volcanic island of Erinth, for something of a holiday. Unfortunately, there seems to be a conspiracy afoot against her good friend, the ruling Conto.
The story will be out in early March. I will keep you posted.
(But wait! There’s more! Buy now and we’ll give you… um… forks?)
These stories cover certain events on a world called Stormwrack many years before the opening of my upcoming novel, Child of a Hidden Sea. I hope to be unveiling that cover soon… it is not quite finalized, but what we do have is gorgeous.
I have begun Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall
this week, having finished The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History and Hild, but I have only just scratched the surface. The bulk of my readerbrain is engaged with my Novel 1 students at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. They turned in their first chapters this week, and are deep in the workshop process. The group of them have some delightful books on the go; it’s always incredibly cool to see novels just sprouting, in this very new stage. I’m a fan of beginnings: many of my all-time favorite TV episodes are pilots. But I do need to pick myself another history or science book. I find it easier to read non-fiction when I’m reading student submissions. Hmmm, this probably means it’s time to crack The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013.
Next quarter I will be teaching Creating Universes, Building Worlds, and in the spring I will be running the more advanced Writing the Fantastic. Both classes will be open to new and returning students–I’ve had people take CUBW more than once, just for the chance to workshop again. Both have filled fast the last few times they’ve been offered.
Speaking of books, my very fun day-counting app now has an entry for the release of Child of a Hidden Sea; it’ll be out in 223 days.
As it says: I am not doing Nanowrimo this year; I have books to rewrite, and stories on the go. There’s no discrete 50K chunk of wordage I need to generate, and so many things to finish.
The finishing is pleasant, though I do love the mad plunge through a draft. And the November part of Nanowrimo usually appeals to me. I sometimes struggle to get writing done after Halloween, and having a huge deadline and braggable goal has sorted that challenge rather handily for me in the past.
What I am doing, now that the Child of a Hidden Sea* copy-edits are on their way back to New York, is skimming through book two, currently titled Daughter of No Nation, as preparation for buckling down to really polishing number three, Nature of a Pirate. I am also considering what I may set as my 2014 writing goals: what I want to do, and what I need to do. Glancing up from the project at hand, in other words, to look at the work and career as a whole. If there’s a short story you wish I’d tackle, or a universe you want me to return to, now might be the time to put in a request.
*Yes, the book’s already available in ebookstores for pre-order, even though its release date is June. The above link is for Amazon – here’s Chapters Indigo. Cool, huh?
The tall ship festival made for a fun morning. It would have been worth it just to finally make it to the shores of Lake Ontario, after five weeks in the city without a glimpse of water. The harbour is very pretty, and I could see Billy Bishop Airport and Toronto or maybe Ward island.
I shot my first Toronto cormorant, paddling in the fresh water:
The ships were fun to tour. I didn’t pick up anything I hadn’t learned on my day sail with S.A.L.T.S., but I did learn about an organization called Sisters Under Sail, and am contemplating whether my next research sail might be with them. In the meantime, I’ve bought their T-shirt.