As you may have read, snow has covered Britain in a thick blanket of shame and embarrassment as a few inches of the white stuff brings our country to a screaming, juddering standstill.
This was my house yesterday when I left for work. The sight made me skip work, loot several chain stores while I still could, and refuse to doff my cap respectfully when the local landed gentry sailed by on their unicorn-pulled sled. I spent the rest of the day building a guillotine and stalking the royal family through celebrity magazines.
It seems strangely apropos, though. I have two stories in the birthing canal and almost ready to enter the world, and they both take place in worlds buried beneath snowy blankets.
The Long Road Home, from Twenty or Less Press
Three days before hibernation and the corpse of the human ambassador Rembik is sent to investigate is as cold as the winter smothering Rheged.
“Find an answer,” Uncle tells him. “We’ve spent ten years building a relationship with the aliens, and you need to give them a damned good reason not to leave.”
But Rembik and his partner are social outcasts and his girlfriend appears to be in the middle of everything.
Maybe the reason the human’s ghost keeps following Rembik is that they’ve got more in common than either realized.
(I’ve been making the very final edits to The Long Road Home over the past few days. I’m very proud of what Michele, my editor, and I have put together.)
Journeys in the Winterlands, from Vagrants Among Ruins
“The world that we were living in was hanging by a thread. We could all see it. If it wasn’t this, then it would have been something else: war, famine, disease… Society could not sustain itself forever. Everything ends.”
Three writers. Three stories. The end of one world.
Nine years ago, the Earth struggled in the throes of an industrial revolution. Steam trains scythed across the countryside, and great aerostats drifted lazily across the skies. The cities swelled with factory-smoke and bilge-water while people thrived or starved in their streets.
On All Souls Day, that all changed. A great star fell into the sky, bringing a perpetual twilight that turned most of the population against each other–twisting men and women into the ferocious, sky-mad Affected. When the star finally disappeared the world froze. Now, Callista trudges across the icy wastes in search of her mentor: everyman-turned-folk-hero The Web of the North, who might just be the last frozen glimmer of hope that she has left.
Allegra Hawksmoor, John Reppion and Dylan Fox come together for an exercise in collective storytelling and world-building that will lead you into the ruins of factories submerged beneath the ice, probe the wrecks of burned-out airships, and provide a glimpse into the minds and deranged communities of the Affected and Unaffected that struggled to survive out in the snow.
Flip down the sky-guards on your goggles, and step into the Winterlands…
(I talked about my contribution to the collection in my Next Big Thing post. The collection, though, is certainly greater than the sum of its parts and full credit needs to go to Allegra for making it live and breathe.)
Don’t worry. I’ll let you know–in no uncertain terms–when you can buy them. The Long Road Home will be available as a download, and Journeys in the Winterlands will be available in both download and dead-tree formats.