First, I just moved to Denver, Colorado! My wife and I are relocating for the summer and fall for work reasons on both ends, with my distinct goal to write FIVE novellas and the first draft of a Martian-Fantasy novel. More on that when it happens, as well as announcements for THE SAGA OF THE PANTHER!
Second, I'm proud to announce that Bards and Sages Quarterly has published my Sword & Sorcery short story, The Shimmering Scale, in the recent edition of their magazine! Click on the cover's caption to check out the e-copy!
The Shimmering Scale was initially written in the spring of 2015 when I was working on a series of four short stories centered on one of my main heroes, Jishnu the Srijati, who appears in Paper Demons, Stout, Reefer Snakes, Mask of the Kravyads, Narrows, with The Shimmering Scale being the most recent story in the chronological order I have presented. At its heart it is a rather bleak story about the struggles of PTSD in the face of having to continue to do bad things and the psychological pressures that bury us when that happens. Written much in the vein of Glen Cook's The Black Company, it is also one of the few pieces of my work that is formulated in the first person Point of View.
The plot of the story first came to me during a study of Monsanto's corporate policy of not allowing farmers in India to store excess seeds from their cotton crop for the following year's planting, which had caused many of these good folk to end up in worse poverty than they already endured--a poverty that drove many farmers to commit suicide out of shame because they could not provide for their families. I found the idea that a contract would be held in higher regard than human life so appalling that an immediate story popped into my head: Just like in The Black Company, Jishnu and the mercenary company he belongs to often find themselves having to work for villainous patrons who pay them to do things even mercenaries would despise doing. Once that premise was established the narrative almost wrote itself.
I hope everyone checks it out and there will be more updates from Colorado soon!