Big news today. My new story, The Mongolian Wizard, is up on Tor.com. As you might be able to guess from the cover illo, it's a Ruritanian fantasy set in "a fractured Europe that never was," as whoever writes Tor's intro material puts it. You can also most likely guess that it's meant to be first and foremost entertaining, that it's an adventure story, and that it has a dark edge to it.
What you can't guess from the illustration is that this is the first of a series. I liked Ritter and Sir Toby, the main characters, so much that by the time I'd finished the story I had the plot for another story. And by the time I'd finished that, I had the plot for a third. These guys -- and the situation they're in -- have really got a hold on my imagination.
Right now, in fact, I have the shape of the entire series roughed out in in my mind. I know how it's going to end and what major plot twists will occur along the way. I even know who the mysterious visitor in the final adventure will be.
Does all that sound like I'm pushing this story hard? I am. I want everybody to love these stories and these characters as much as I do. Just to keep the pressure on me to write more.
But decide for yourself. War is brewing in Europe and all the greatest wizards of the continent have gathered together to try to stave it off . . .
You can read the story here.
And speaking of the illustration above . . .
Illustrator Gregory Manchess has done a fantastic job of not only picturing the characters as I saw them myself, but of conveying the mood of the story and indeed the feel of the entire series. Mostly, though, what it does is let you know if this is the kind of story you want to read. If the picture makes you hope that "The Mongolian Wizard" is as good as it is, you'll almost certainly like the story. But if it doesn't look like your sort of thing, you can pass it by with a clean conscience.
Did I mention that I like this artwork? I really like this artwork.