Sale! “The Shipwright” to Abyss & Apex


Pleased to announce that Abyss & Apex have bought by story “The Shipwright.” It should publish sometime in the first half of 2016.

I’m excited to have this story forthcoming, as its one I’m particularly excited about. You might have heard it said (by Hemingway, for one) that an author should know way more back story about the world and the characters than he lets on in the story. Well, that is certainly the case with this one, which started life as 10,000+ words of story plus huge documents of background research on Polynesian cultures, tropical climates, sailing vessels, etc. before getting down to fighting-weight for submission (around 6800 words).

The story itself takes place on what I’m calling (for now) the Drowned World, where the only land is an archipelago of small islands that ring the tropical equator (extending as far north and south on this world as the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn do here on Earth), the result of a cataclysm in the ancient past. The chief means of navigating this broken world were left behind by the departed Ancients: ship-beasts, giant semi-sentient sailing vessels of living flesh and bone.

My inspiration for the ship-beasts came from my betta fish (aka Siamese Fighting Fish), blue whales, and the massive treasure ships of Ming Dynasty admiral Zheng He.


So much of this particular iceberg remains under the waterline, as it were, that I have ideas for an entire trilogy that takes place after the events of this story (think of this as the backstory set-up). And then…

Well, I feel like this is my Pern or Discworld: a world I could come back to again and again in stand-alones, an on-going series, sets of trilogies that span generations and the varied geographies and cultures of the Drowned World…

I hope you like it.

– S.