Friday, April 26, 2019

Read the First Chapter of the Iron Dragon's Mother--Free!


The promotional season (had you noticed?) for The Iron Dragon's Mother has begun! Over at, they've posted the first chapter for anyone who wishes a taste to read for free.

But before you do... I should say here that my novel is filled with flying mechanical dragons, fights to the death, the birth of a locomotive, passion, intrigue, excitement, and adventure..

I mention this because the first chapter is a careful depiction of an old woman dying in the hospital. When I told this to Paul Park, he smiled in that gentle, tolerant way of his, and said, "You really know what the fans want, Michael."

By which he meant that it might not be the most commercial possible opening to a novel.

Touche. Also mea culpa. But when your chief goal is not money but too simply write the best book you are capable of writing, you have to go where the muse leads. And in this case, she told me to let the reader know what a remarkable woman was dying and how deserving or not she was of the adventure she was about to find herself in. So I set out to bring Helen V., the dying woman, as vividly to life as possible. I hope I succeeded. But that's a judgement for the reader to make.

Now that you know all that, you can if you wish read the first chapter here.

And today's picture from the Image Book is . . .


This particular collage, I think, speaks for itself. I hope so anyway because I tried several times to explain it and finally had to give up.

Above: For those who came in late, my latest novel, The Iron Dragon's Mother, will be published in 60 days. To draw attention to this fact, I'm serializing the Image Book I made to help me imagine a strange world for the book.



HANNAH'S DAD said...

The link is just to "". I had a look around for the first chapter, but didn't find it - perhaps it's not up yet?

Looking forward to reading the book when it comes out - though while I'm waiting, I notice that Amazon says "Michael is the author of the Mongolian Wizard novels", so I can keep myself busy with them :)

Michael Swanwick said...

I've corrected the link. For some reason, the first two attempts tested positive... and then didn't work. As soon as I find out who owns the Web, I'm going to write them a good, stiff letter.

Joe Stillman said...

Confirmed; the link works!

I think it's a great hook of a chapter, barbed on the last sentence. Can't wait to read more.