Zira, a roguish explorer and treasure-hunter from a medieval world, is drawn into the multiverse-spanning machinations of a charming, amoral mystic. She finds herself exploring the between-space known as Qalidar and strange echoes of her own home world. While dealing with a terrible loss, she discovers disturbing things about the forces that shaped her universe and the inhuman intelligences that are trying to warp it even further.
This novella has a weird history. Once upon a time, there was Eposic. They published my story, "Starshadows in Sideways Time" in The Book of Exodi (out of print). After that book, the next one was scheduled to be Out of Order, in which the theme was, as you might have guessed, stories with a mixed-up temporal presentation. I don't remember if time travel was a requirement or if Faulknerizing would be allowed. My submission for that book was "As Always," the precursor to Part One of this novella.
Well, Eposic accepted "As Always," but went out of business before Out of Order was published, so I got the story back. I sent it to a couple of other places. I also sent the story that would become Part Three of Losing Lanterns around a bit. "As Always" actually got accepted by another outfit that went out of business before publication. I got a couple more rejections and got bored with the whole process. I know, I know, but it just occurred to me that I already knew how to get art and do layouts and all that, so maybe there was no reason to burn all those hours dealing with the ritual bullshit of submitting stories elsewhere.
I had intended all along for the two stories to mesh into a larger collection once they were done with their appearances in third party magazines, so I decided to just go ahead and re-shape them into a novel. Or a novella. Whatever.
Then I finished it, and everybody hated the end. Eventually, I agreed with them.
Then I finished it again, and here it is.
Stars, Specters, and Super-Powers
- Starshadows in Sideways Time: In the far future, a space ark fleeing the dying universe is assaulted by mysterious alien entities.
- All Your Friends Are Monsters: Two medieval warriors escape a gladiatorial slave pit with the help of an ally who might be more dangerous than their enemy.
- Turmierre Returns to the Sky: Horgic and Charn meet their benefactor and discover the purpose for which they were freed.
- A Bad Habit: An enhanced agent in a world of government-controlled supermen begins to explore new abilities.
- Its Own Place: A traveler’s entire reality begins to unravel after encountering an occult ritual.
- Mister Blue Sky: An emotionally scarred super-powered hero and her friends go up against a quirky magical menace with the help of a famous otherworld champion.
- The Man Comes Around: Unfortunate hikers are caught up in the battle between an alien scientist and the villainous Covenant.
- Misfits and Mistakes: In the midst of an alien invasion, competing factions of super-powered beings struggle to claim one powerful but unpredictable resource.
My work has also appeared in some anthologies by Peryton Publishing.