Recent Reads: The Old Races Collections
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!
Delve into the secret history of the Old Races and discover the stories that shape the world of the Negotiator Trilogy!
Year of Miracles
Four hundred years ago, master vampire Eliseo Daisani and dragonlord Janx both fell in love with a mortal woman. This is her story.
oh, that’s nice.
I don’t typically read reviews, but periodically my editors will send one directly to my mailbox and I read it out of a sense of obligation. Usually they’re nice, because generally my editors wouldn’t bother sending me bad ones. :) So a nice BABA YAGA’S DAUGHTER review from Publisher’s Weekly landed in my mailbox, courtesy of my SubPress editors, and it is thus:
In this strong collection of 11* short stories, a mixture of reprints and originals, Murphy (Raven Calls) returns to the setting of her Negotiator trilogy. The spotlight is on two immortals: the dragon Janx and the vampire Eliseo Daisani. Both friends and enemies, they cross paths regularly over the centuries, often drawn to and influenced by women. “From Russia, with Love” features the titular powerful Russian witch; “Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” brings in Susannah Stacey, a would-be vampire hunter in 1870s Chicago, and Vanessa Grey, Daisani’s long-lived assistant. Murphy plays with styles and tone, injecting a sense of myth into “From Russia, with Love,” evoking hard-boiled sensibilities with “Chicago Bang Bang,” and lacing other tales with mystery, romance, and action. Ranging from vignettes to novellas, these offerings grant glimpses of a much larger world, fleshing out its history and pleasing series fans.
*10. I’m pretty sure it’s 10 stories… o.O
The last Old Races e-book collection, AFTERMATH, has now been published!
This collection has one reprint, “Perchance to Dream”, a Janx story also available in the anthology DRAGON’S LURE. It has the ORSSP stories “Awakening” and “Aftermath” (which was the surprise bonus story for ORSSP patrons who subscribed to the ORSSP in the first 5 months of 2011). The other two stories, “Betrayals” and “Choices,” are brand-new.
Margrit Knight has broken the long-held covenants of the Old Races. Ancient rivals are scattered, friendships are broken, and the dragons, djinn, selkies, vampires and gargoyles are beginning to step out of the shadows and into the light.
But the new world may not be what they expect. Dragonlord Janx faces more than he bargained for when human magic interferes with his own. Half-vampire Ursula Hopkins is only starting to understand what she may have unleashed by awakening her brethren, and Margrit Knight herself still has debts to pay after the death of a djinn…
Watch the future unfold in these five new stories of the Old Races!
Buy the AFTERMATH collection:
at Barnes & Noble
Links to all the blurbs and various places to purchase the e-books are available through this nifty animated ad that I made:
(I made the ad for Bitten By Books, but because it’s animated it was TOOOOO BIG for them. But I liked it enough that I wanted to use it, and, y’know, if you want to, you can too. :))