“The King’s Huntsman” is now up at Giganotosaurus. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I wrote this story, and I’ll share my thoughts on it in a minute. First, I need to thank Boy One and Boy Two, my son and his friend, who diligently helped brainstorm the Quilth. Much of her appearance is due to their creativity, while her malice is mine alone.
I wrote this story when I needed to write something entirely different than what I had been working on. I think (I wrote this a while ago–my memory is foggy on some details) it was the only thing I wrote last year where the first line never changed.
Why castles and kings and hunts? I was fascinated by King Arthur when I was young. I read and reread all my books about Camelot. It was one of my favorite fantasy worlds to invent further adventures in.
The trouble with those stories was that when it came time to play, who could I be? What if I didn’t want to be beautiful, or devious, or tragic? What if I just wanted to be the one with the sword, or the bow, the one who rode off on a horse and came back wiser and stronger?
I had only two options. One, be a boy. Two, invent my own characters. “The King’s Huntsman” is for all the times I grudgingly pretended to be a boy in order to have the adventures that I craved.
I started the year with three novelettes. One turned out to be a novel in disguise. Another,”Phoenix,” will be out next month as an ebook through Euterpe, the young adult branch of Musa Publishing.
And now the final one, “The King’s Huntsman,” also has a home! At Giganotosaurus, which thrills me! I don’t have a firm publication date yet, but it sounds like late summer/early fall. I’ll update when I know.
Before I get to the story for today, a quick note about online publications. They’re awesome! The ones I link to are free, but it costs money for them to provide free fiction. Different markets cope with this problem in different ways, but there’s always a way to donate money in appreciation for the work they do, the stories they provide.
Here are links to the donation or subscription pages for the publications I’ve linked to so far. Many places have small enough budgets that even a little donation helps.
Strange Horizons (Strange Horizons has a annual fund drive every fall–I’ll be sure to post when it happens)
GigaNotoSaurus (Donation button; beneath the archives.)
Expanded Horizons (Donation button)
For today, more birds. There seems to be a trend here, though it may simply be that my mind turns to birds in the spring. This story, “The Birdcage Heart,” by Peter M. Ball, was published in Daily Science Fiction last year, February 2011 to be exact. I didn’t have a blog then, so I’m going back to it now. Actually, all I want to say is it’s beautiful and full of grace, and I recommend it.
I’m not sure if there’s a way to donate to DSF, but you can buy the monthly digests on Kindle, if you’re so inclined.
I’ve spent the weekend writing, and working on things related to writing, and dealing with cars. As a result, I’ve not managed to write a weekend post.
Instead, I give you a link. The list of Nebula nominations came out in February (okay, make that TWO links). I was very pleased to see “The Migratory Pattern of Dancers,” by Katherine Sparrow (Giganotosaurus), on the nominee list for Best Novelette. It’s a sad and fantastic and angry story, and it had me more or less from the first line.
If you haven’t already read it, I encourage you to do so.