Thursday, March 9, 2023

 When Swords Fall Silent

The body hit the floor with a thud exposing the third mistake Royce Melborn made that night.

And so begins the short story starring Royce Melborn as his seventeen year old self back in the dark ages of his Ratibor residency. As most of you know—those of you who are plugged in enough to visit this ancient blogsite—I’ve affirmed on many occasions that I do not wish to write about the youth of either Royce or Hadrian because by themselves their stories would be depressing, and more than dark. But now comes this. What the hey?

Of this limited elite crowd who continue to visit this ivy overgrown blog, there are fewer still that know how I hate writing short stories. (Even though I stated this only two blog posts ago.) I don’t like them because I write novels. The two aren’t the same, but don’t tell me that. When I was in high school I received poor marks on essays and research papers because I wrote them in story form. It’s what I do. As such, when writing a short story, I approach it like a novel with one exception. While I need to tell just as complete a tale, I must squeeze it into a little itty bitty living space of less than a tenth the length of a novel. This is as much fun as going on a weeklong ski trip limited only to carry-on luggage. It is then, in this less than appealing hole in the ground that I begin my rejection of the very notion of short fiction. Add to that the previously mentioned aversion to a Royce Melborn biopic and as you might guess I wasn’t much into the idea. 

I will now go way out on a brittle tree branch and say that of that tiny population that visits this blog, and know that I hate writing short stories, fewer still are aware that I have now written twelve, but that I’ve never sold any. I have however given them away. Usually this is for charity of one form or another from hurricane relief funds to helping out fellow writers down on their luck. If you haven’t figured it out yet, this then is the reason I do them. And in this case the cause is St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and the criteria, as presented to me, was an assassin story. 

I could have tried doing another wedge-in to the existing Riyria timeline as I have in the past, but there has always been an important bit of information lacking from the Riyria stories concerning Royce. This project provided the perfect opportunity to address: How Royce got his name. 

And so, now there will be an even smaller sub-sub group of hardcore readers who visit this blog and know the answer to that arcane bit of trivia. For the rest of you, the ones who tried to do a search on the capital city of Saudi Arabia, you might consider a new short story about a young assassin who got himself in a bit of trouble. But be careful, for hanging out with Royce can be addictive. 

The anthology containing the short story: May Luck Be With You, is entitled When Swords Fall Silent. And contains the work of more than a dozen of the best modern science-fiction and fantasy authors, including Terry Mancour, Andrew Rowe, Marie Brennan, and many more.

You can obtain the anthology as an ebook, an audiobook, and for a limited time, a gorgeous high-quality hardcover print edition that includes character illustrations. For more information go to the When Swords Fall Silent Kickstarter, running now.

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