Elizabeth Bear: An Ill-Considered Boast
I came here to sell you a book.
I mean, there’s no point in beating around the bush, is there? Actually, it’s worse than that. I’m here to sell you three novels, because what I have in hand is the last book of a trilogy.
Steles of the Sky is the third book in the Eternal Sky trilogy.
It is preceded by Range of Ghosts and Shattered Pillars.
These three books are the story of Re Temur and Samarkar, a younger grandson of a dead Khagan and a Wizard who has sacrificed everything–family, social standing, the hope of children–for a chance to be her own person. Allied with (among others) a laconic tiger-woman warrior, a martial monk sworn to silence, a doughty young woman of the horse tribes, an elderly engineer, a deposed Caliph, more academics than you can shake a stick at, and one very smart horse, these two race to contain the plots of a necromancer who uses vile, ancient sorcery to raise armies of blood ghosts, control giant raptors, and destabilize Imperial currencies.
Megafauna! Explosions! Economics! Twisted magics relict of poisonous ancient regimes! Absolutely no prophecies!
While I am admittedly biased, I think it’s pretty awesome. And the whole thing is published now, so this is a great time to binge-read the whole sprawling thing!
And thereby hangs the other part of the tale.
You see, a couple of years ago, I made an ill-considered boast.
I told a bunch of my writer friends — and possibly the entire internets — that I could write an epic fantasy series and deliver it on time, on word count, and in the agreed-upon number of volumes. (Three, in case you were wondering.)
Alcohol was not actually involved. But probably should have been.
If you write or read epic fantasy, you are now laughing at me. This was the considered equivalent of Babe Ruth pointing to the flagpole in center field.
I very nearly did it, too.
The story is complete. It’s in three volumes. They were all delivered and published on time.
The third one ran a bit long.
Okay, a hundred pages.
More words for you!
And now all my writer friends think I’m an asshole.
* * *
Elizabeth Bear is an awesome human being and one helluva writer. One of my favorite things written is by E-Bear — “Shoggoths In Bloom.” (Read that story right here.) I’ve also read Range of Ghosts and it’s jaw-dropping stuff. Amazing prose and intimate in its epicness, and she has now reminded me that I can read the next two in the series.