Tag: aztec

Prayers of Forges and Furnaces up at Lightspeed Magazine

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Lightspeed Magazine has published my Aztec Western/steampunk story “Prayers of Forges and Furnaces”, a reprint from Sean Wallace’s Mammoth Book of Steampunk .

Snippet:

The stranger came at dawn, walking out of the barren land like a mirage—gradually shimmering into existence beside the bronze line of the rails: a wide-brimmed hat, a long cloak, the glint that might have been a rifle or an obsidian-studded sword.

Xochipil, who had been scavenging for tech at the mouth of Mictlan’s Well, caught that glint in her eyes—and stopped, watching the stranger approach, a growing hollow in her stomach. Beneath her were the vibrations of the Well, like a calm, steady heartbeat running through the ground: the voice of the rails that coiled around the shaft of the Well, bearing their burden of copper and bronze ever downwards.

The stranger stopped when he came up to her. They stared wordlessly at each other. He was tall, a good two heads taller than Xochipil; he held himself straight, like an axle or a rod that wouldn’t break. The glint wasn’t a sword or a rifle, after all—but simply that of a dozen obsidian amulets, spread equally around his belt, shining with a cold, black light that wasn’t copper or bronze or steel, but something far more ancient, from the old, cruel days before the Change.

Read it here. Author spotlight here. And please remember to subscribe to Lightspeed or buy the issue–not only will you get the content early, you’ll also help support the magazine that brings you awesome fiction.

D-1: competition, with Aztec cuisine!

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So, in order to celebrate the impending release of Master of the House of Darts (small reminder: you can see the trailer here), I’m holding a little competition.

Prizes are as follows:

1st prize: your choice of EITHER:
-a glyph artwork (it’s from Guatemala I think), which will look fabulous with a frame and hung upon your wall, a signed copy of Writers of the Future XXIII, which has the very first Acatl short story with the original Marcus Collins artwork, and a signed copy of Master of the House of Darts.

OR:

-a signed copy of Writers of the Future, a signed copy of Master of the House of Darts as above, and a tuckerisation. I will put a character with your name (adapted for correct ethnicity if the story requires it), and a few telling details in the next work I tackle. I’m hoping it’s Unclean Spirits, the Foreign Ghosts sequel, but if the series doesn’t sell and I never end up writing the sequel within a reasonable amount of time, I’ll shift it to an appropriate novelette. In addition, you will also get a sneak peek at the Vietnamese space station novella.

2nd prize: whichever of the two prizes above the 1st place winner doesn’t choose.

3rd prize: your choice of signed book, either Writers of the Future, Servant of the Underworld, or Harbinger of the Storm.

The rules are as follows: I will put everyone’s names in a hat, and draw at random. Your name gets put in the hat as many times as you have points. Get points in the following manner (they’re all cumulative, so you can do several of those things at the same time):

1. 4 points for creating and posting your favourite Aztec-inspired dish (a few hints here, and you can also google “Aztec food” for plenty of other websites. Basic staples include maize, cactus, turkey, various spices and chillies, and cacao beans). I will NOT judge how authentic the recipe is, or even check to see that it’s eatable, but mainly how creative you are!
(however, do not try to sell me a hamburger as your favourite Aztec food…)
ETA: sorry, wasn’t clear. Post the Aztec dishes in the comments of this post or its LJ mirror.
2. 2 points for telling me, in the comments, your favourite character in the Obsidian and Blood books, and why. There’s a handy list of characters here if you’ve forgotten their names (which can always happen with Nahuatl tongue-twisters…)
3. 1 point for simply commenting, either on this blog post or on the LJ mirror
4. 1 point per repost of this on FB, LJ, Twitter, etc. (comment with a link to the post(s)/RT and I’ll credit you).

ETA: sorry, my brain went on holiday… You have until next Tuesday (Nov. 1st) to enter.

This is open to anyone, wherever you are in the world–so get cooking and reposting 🙂

D-1: Master of the House of Darts trailer

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Yup, once again, I have way too much time on my hands…

Let me know what you think, and I’d be very grateful if you shared/RTed/etc.
(sorry about the preview–I’ve tried to pick the best image I could, but youtube’s automatic choices aren’t excellent, to say the least…)

ETA: sorry, the competition is coming a bit later today, when I’ve finished with the various picture uploads…

Steampunk or no steampunk

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Couple interesting discussions/rants/funny stuff about steampunk courtesy of Charles Stross, Cat Valente and Cherie Priest–echoing some of the stuff I was saying earlier about what the 19th century really looked like.

Guess I picked a fine time to write Aztec steampunk… (seriously, though, I’m sticking with it for the moment, because it might not be rigorous science or rigorous history, but it makes me broach lots of interesting subjects. Don’t really read enough Victorian steampunk to comment on the above links, but it certainly makes one think. Giving me lots of story fodder, if nothing else).

Misc Obsidian and Blood news

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So, the synopsis for book 3 came back from AR towers with a couple of very perceptive editorial comments. I’ll need to sit down and rework it, but I’m going to start working on it as soon as I’ve finished the current short story.

Temp title is “Master of the House of Darts”, which has the inconvenient of not fitting on a cover, so it’s only a placeholder until I have a brilliant idea for an alternative title. Going to be referred to as MHD/book 3, methinks… Focusing on human sacrifice, the Aztec way of waging war, and Tenochtitlan’s relationship with its neighbours.

Also, I’ve put up the combined character index for books 1 and 2 of the series online (warning, mild spoilers), and the combined Aztec glossary (no spoilers, bar if you want to see what concepts I used in books 1 and 2 🙂 ).

And for those French-speakers among you, Eclipse, the imprint of Bibliothèque Interdite, which bought the French rights to the series, has announced its initial lineup, which most notably includes Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker. Haven’t seen the actual books other than the mockups, but I do like the sober look very much (and they’re not systematically reordering a cover if they like the original version, which is interesting). Also, I’m a big fan of their big shiny banner (see below).

Eclipse Banner

Sneak peak at Age of Miracles, Age of Wonders

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Via Andy Cox, the title spread for my upcoming “Age of Miracles, Age of Wonders” (forthcoming in Interzone 230, the very next issue).

Title page spread

Er, wow? I am *so* glad Interzone is back to full colour. It looks awesome! (plus, mechanical men. And fallen gods. And Aztecs. You can’t really go wrong with any of those).