It feels strange to be heading into 2016 and knowing I won’t have a new novel released this year. At this time last year, I was working on Miranda and Caliban, and I didn’t know for sure what the future held in terms of publication; now I do. In case you missedthe announcement back in September, it was acquired by Tor Books, and due to a full slate, it won’t be scheduled for publication until 2017.
However, I am delighted to announce the official release of A Fantasy Medley 3, which received a starred review from Publishers Weekly: “This short anthology collects riveting fantastical stories from four of fantasy’s glowing stars… The engrossing collection closes with ‘One Hundred Ablutions,’ a standalone story from Jacqueline Carey that finds three fantastical races competing for the resources and control of one small valley – and depicts the price of seizing power. For fans of fantasy, these stories offer something special and delicious, with a rare level of quality.”
‘One Hundred Ablutions’ was inspired in part by an exhibition of banner paintings by Indian artist Nilima Sheikh depicting the history of the Kashmir Valley, which I saw at the Art Institute of Chicago. I can’t exactly explain why, other than the fact that it got me thinking about places that have seen myriad cultures come and go. You never know what’s going to spark an idea… though museums are a good bet!
I don’t often write short fiction. As you may have noticed, most of my work centers around plots that need room to breathe – but a novella is a sufficient length for me to unfurl a story that concludes with some resonance. While pondering this one, I found myself thinking about a short story I’d read decades ago that had a lot of scope and ended on a haunting note. I managed to track down the pulpy-looking paperback with musty yellow pages in my cluttered library, hoping to re-read the story and see if it stood the test of time. In fact, it did; it turns out the story I had in mind was the Hugo Award-nominated ‘And Seven Times Never Kill Man’ by George R.R. Martin.
Not only that, here’s a fun fact: Legend has it that the illustrations for this particular story inspired the look of Chewbacca, leading some to claim that GRRM invented wookiees.
As for what’s next… well, I’m working on something completely new and different; once again, nothing I’m ready to unveil yet. There’s plenty of time to address that in the months to come!
Stop by the Tattoo Gallery to check out some fresh ink, and here’s wishing you all the best in the New Year!