Dragon Rehabilitation

Have you noticed that at some point, dragons became the good guys? It’s very much a 20th Century development in western culture. Until probably the 1960s, with Anne McCaffrey and Ursula K. Leguin, dragons were always bad, ranging from (to use the D&D system) lawful evil to chaotic evil. But still evil. Now, we see dragons ranging from practically candidates for sainthood to no better or worse than average to, hmm, I’m not certain how to classify the dragons from A Song of Ice and Fire because so much depends on who is “managing” the beasts. Continue reading

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I’ll talk, I’ll talk!

If anything terminal happens to the neighbor’s new security light, I had nothing to do with it, I was nowhere near it when the accident occurred, and I have witnesses and receipts. Promise. Although, if looks could kill, that floodlight from h-ll would have died a hundred times over.

Redquarters is in a middling nice neighborhood. Crime is not all that common, aside from littering, kids trying to see if they can go 0-60 in less than a block, and occasional windows shot out by BB guns. We do lock our doors and back gates, but don’t worry about someone stealing the cement animal in the flowerbed. Continue reading

Come Wind and Flame

By nine-thirty that morning, the west wind had begun picking up dirt, sending dust and even bits of gravel skating across the ground, then into the air. Just before ten the moan and howl became audible. Smaller birds walked, and the harriers fought the wind as they hunted. The western sky took on that reddish-tan color, then the entire sky turned brassy tan as soil from New Mexico and the western Panhandle took to the air. The howl became constant, punctuated with occasional rattles of small stones hitting the wall. The noise of the wind drowned out the singing of the power lines. People became twitchy, watching the sky, sniffing the wind, listening for the sound no one wanted to hear, the crackling roar of the red devil of the grasslands.

And then, somewhere, two powerlines touched and arced. Sparks flew. And the battle began.

Continue reading

Reader Question

So, I’m in the throes of another Colplatschki novel that has turned itself into two volumes. Given the period it is based in, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I realized that development.  This series is probably going into the record-books as the longest one-off short story in the history of the English language, up there with the five books of the Hitchhiker’s Trilogy. Those of you snickering and pointing at me can just stop now, thank you. Someday your characters will gang up on you and then we’ll see who is laughing.

Anyway, here’s the question. This book (and its second half) really want to get published. They are better than the Colplatschki book I’d intended to release this coming fall, the one about the Great Fires. Is there any interest in my running that book (Fountains of Mercy) as a Saturday serial on the blog? It would still get published as a book-book, just not this calendar year.

An Odd What If

Blessed Purim to my Jewish readers!

What would have happened if the Princes of Kiev, in the late 900s, had not converted to Greek Orthodox Christianity, but to Judaism? There’s actually a weak precedent for a nation converting, in the tradition of the Khazars of the Crimean steppe in the 400s-500s, and Judaism was one of the faiths the princes considered. Continue reading