Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Phoenix in Darkness has begun

Black Gate has published the first part of my short novel in their online fiction series today, and will be publishing the rest over the next two weeks. "A Phoenix in Darkness" is the longest story that Black Gate has ever published.

Those (three) of you who have been following my blog for a while will remember Phoenix. I talked about it incessantly as I was writing it, back in 2004. It forms an important chapter in my War of the Elementals canon, revealing a turning point in the history of Aulus and Kulsin. My original blurb to describe the story went like this:
For centuries, the Ordo Dominorum has defended humanity against threats beyond its comprehension, but the Order’s secretive ways and strange powers have earned the Domini only fear and hatred from those they seek to protect. Aulus and Nathan, two young Domini, believe that the Order’s success in hunting down and destroying magical threats has now made it possible to reform the Order and make it a part of the world. Will the murder of a fellow Dominus by a peasant woman be the impetus to begin this change . . . or proof that the Order has not been as successful as they believed?
I'm a different writer now than I was when I wrote the first draft of this story eight years ago. I'd definitely write it differently if I were writing it now--for one, it would be shorter. My style is terser now. I like to think that I'm a better writer, but looking over this story in preparation of the publication, there's a richness to the descriptions that I'm not sure I'd do justice to today. That's the burden of an author's evolution: constantly wondering if what you're gaining is worth what you're losing. I believe it is in my case, but stories like this make me wonder.

A lot of the War of the Elementals is not yet published, but you can find out what Aulus was up to prior to this in "A Stranger in the Library," previously published in Aoife's Kiss, and now available on Kindle. The rest of my published stories can be found here.

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