Recent Reads: The Old Races Collections

Baba Yaga's Daughter

I’m starting a new Old Races short story project, so during our Great Internet Hiatus, I re-read the two story collections I’ve done.

I almost never re-read an entire book I’ve written. I read URBAN SHAMAN when it was published, and I’ve read THE CARDINAL RULE twice just for fun, but generally I just flip through a book looking for a detail if I need to look something up, so it was kind of fascinating to actually sit down and read two books in a row written by me.

I still think BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER is one of the best things I’ve ever written. There’s one story I would demystify a little more now if I could revise it, but overall I’m really pleased with the whole collection. Incredibly pleased with it, actually.

YEAR OF MIRACLES as a collection doesn’t hang together as well, to the point that reading it has completely changed what I intended to do with the new ORSSP. I am, in short, dissatisfied with the YoM collection, and so I’m going to be writing 3-5 new “Origins” stories—stories that happen before the Negotiator Trilogy—and then a whole bunch of “Aftermath” (post-trilogy) stories, including Grace’s story, “Kiss of Angels,” for the new project.

All the Origins stuff will eventually be collected in a print edition that will contain the novella “Year of Miracles” as an anchor piece, and all of the Aftermath stuff will be (more eventually, I suspect, as there’s more to do there) collected in a print edition with “Kiss of Angels” as the anchor piece. I will be much happier with that, and will feel they make much stronger collections than the current Origins/Year of Miracles/Aftermath chronological setup I’ve got going.

What was interesting, from a reading-to-refresh POV, is that wow, there’s stuff I’d TOTALLY forgotten about. Whole characters I’d completely forgotten, nevermind the setup for stuff I implied (to myself if no one else) while writing them. Of course, the flip side of that is there are places where I clearly had a vision for where I was going when I wrote a story and I now have essentially no clue where I intended to go. I’m sure I’ll figure it out, but it’s kinda funny to read a story and think “Yep. Yep. I was goin’ somewhere with that, all right,” and have NOOOOOOOOO IDEA where that somewhere was. :)

So I took a lot of notes, and generated a lot of new ideas, and if I can shape the Origins stories up a little, I have a really quite clear idea of what I’ll be doing with the Aftermath stuff (it more or less involves an apocalypse O.O). I think it’s gonna be good!