Today I’m happy to announce the re-release of a story you might not have seen before.
This story was originally published in C is for Chimera, a 2016 anthology edited by Rhonda Parrish. I’m proud of this story for several reasons. First, I actually do like the story itself, its imagery and its theme. Second, I’m proud of how it happened.
I wasn’t supposed to be in this anthology. I was just ending a vacation in Denmark with my husband when I got the message from Rhonda. One of her anthology authors was not able to turn in a story, and because it was an alphabet anthology it needed a full 26 stories, one per letter, and would I be able to write a story to theme in the two weeks before it went to layout? Oh, and for the letter N?
Of course, I said, without the faintest idea of what that would be.
I started a story on the flight home, about medical chimeras and genetic engineering, but it had, like, two decent lines and I trashed it. Then I started another story, about a prince and the original Greek Khimaira and its dark foretelling, and this one started to come together.
(By the way, that’s where the Ivory Throne came from! I had just seen Denmark’s throne made of
unicorn horns narwhal tusks.)
I had a lot of fun researching this piece, which I did a fair amount of despite its short turnaround. I drew on some unorthodox ideas of Atlantis and a lot of earthquake and volcano research, from a frighteningly fast geological crack in Africa to toxic gasses that kill in seconds.
The first bull mentioned in the story is a red roan, and of course that is a reference to the famous bull-leaping fresco from the palace of Knossos. If you’re going to borrow from history, at least make it obvious!
I’m happy to have this story out again. It has a new title for independent reading and two shiny new formats.