Posts Tagged ‘Gabrielle Harbowy’
A debut novel from a respected editor, publisher, and author, Gabrielle Harbowy that takes us into the fascinating world of Hellmaw. The main character, Quills, is a delight, wonderfully cynical, self-sufficient, tattoo artist, exile, and powerful daemen.
Harbowy slips easily into the world of novelist with her debut, Of The Essence. Quills may not be human, but she has no love for the politics of the other exiles from her homeworld of Arnaut. But taking advantage of the daemons seeking her services as a tattooist for whom daemons can get far more than ink, Quills has put herself on the radar of the powerful Araunt war exiles. It turns out, keeping to yourself is much more complicated than it seems. The fact that you have no use for the schemes of others, doesn’t mean they have no use for you.
The novel is set in a new shared world, Hellmaw, from The Ed Greenwood Group, (Ed Greenwood of Dungeons and Dragons fame, creator of The Forgotten Realms.) The main character, Quills, brings us a beautiful commentary on human behavior…from a daemon. As a character, Quills is sharp, smart, cynical, and self-sufficient. The beauty of this character isn’t that she’s a “strong female lead,” in the stereotypical way, but she’s independent in a sensible way. Rather than simply throwing off the limitations of her sex when she first arrives on Earth in Medieval Europe by shapeshifting into a man, Quills makes her own place, one that isn’t historically implausible or simply silly in the context of the history of the region. Harbowy doesn’t throw away tradition and convention to make a point, she makes her point by fitting her female lead into a strongly patriarchal society without compromising either the character or plausibility.
In the present day, Quills has made for herself a life in an exile she doesn’t regret. Living among the humans of London Soho, Quills is a tattooist, inking mundane art onto humans, and not-at-all mundane work on her fellow daemon exiles. For payment, each daemon gives Quills a sample of their essence, which carries the power of their individual magic. Quills is able to ink these magical essences into both her own skin, and for other daemons who come to her specifically to purchase powers they would not have otherwise. Considering the vast array of both secrets and magic Quills has been accumulating as insurance for centuries, she would seem to be in a safe position, especially for one determined to stay safely out of everyone else’s scheming. She soon finds that the power-hungry among the exiles have plans for her.
When she’s set up to take the fall for the murder of one of the exiled warlords, Quills finds herself in a desperate race across her adopted country of England, tracking down and solving the clues that will lead her to the real killer, before the warlord’s allies come for their revenge.
Though Quills has never been averse to enthralling and using humans to her ends, she finds herself relying on a human whose strength of character and determination are the perfect foil for Quills’ strengths, and weaknesses. The evolution of their relationship is a lovely and natural progression that becomes something close to magical for Quills when she needs it most. Alongside this are set the varied relationships Quills has developed with her fellow exiles, the sort of many layered, complex constructions that can only develop over centuries.
Harbowy writes with the precision of an editor, and the sensibility and passion of a writer. Quills brings us into a fascinating new world as a character you’ll want to follow through until the end. I hope very much that Quills will appear again in this shared world setting. Of The Essence is the seventh book in the Hellmaw universe, a great place to start or as the next one to pick up. A highly recommended work from a talented and promising author.
Wow I waited forever to get to this announcement, didn’t I? In my defense, it’s not entirely procrastination and laziness. The final details are still being nailed down, and I don’t have a final cover to share with you. But it’s getting close so I’m not going to wait!
Jake has finally found peace and a family with the man he loves. But when the unimaginable happens, Jake finds himself on the run with his greatest enemy and the man who betrayed them both.
If he can’t find a way to bring down the man who now wields the power of an emperor, he’ll lose not just his own life, but his daughter’s as well.
Wanna read it? Well you don’t have to wait long! There will be giveaways coming up after the release, but if anyone wants a pre-release copy to provide an honest review, just shoot me a message. Contact info on this page.
When the Hero Comes Home 2 e-book is now available for purchase! Want a preview? Below you’ll find an excerpt from my own contribution, Waiting for You. But that’s only one of the stories in this great anthology.
They say you can never go home again…
Join us for all new stories of heroes whose journeys have ended, and whose quests have been won–or lost–as they discover the fate of the people and places they’d left behind.
Featuring bestsellers, luminaries, and bold new voices. The print book contains 21 science fiction, fantasy, and urban fantasy short stories. Buy the ebook (epub or Kindle) for 8 bonus stories!
Now, for the promised preview:
It had been one thousand one hundred thirty-nine years, eight months and fifty-four days, Earth standard, since Tess had last seen the planet of her origin.
The jewel tones of Earth came into view and Tess noted an odd fullness in her torso, recording the possibility that the pull of gravity was affecting her more strongly than it should. Another sign her body was deteriorating beyond repair. She filed the information in her error logs and flushed it from active RAM. Time enough to analyze the data when she was upgrading.
She wondered if any of her current body was salvageable or if she’d end up downloaded into a new one. It was a daunting thought. She chided herself for the sentiment. She’d spent far too much time alone with biological life forms. They were attached to their form for good reason, but Tess had no such excuse. She had been too long in this body, she decided, and had grown inappropriately attached to it.
That too could be merely a malfunction. It had been six hundred years, eighty-six days since she’d last patched her kernel. She’d checked the relay satellites on her way back and determined with 75.62% certainty that she and the satellites were obsolete technology, incapable of receiving or processing the data packets sent from Earth.
Contemplation of that, and the changes that would be necessary because of it, occupied more of her available memory that it should have.
Tess’s long range scanning capabilities were limited—her ship was little more than a shell for her body that held the long-range travel drive and fuel source—but even from 2.37-5 light years away, she could detect marked changes on Earth from her last recorded scan. Data transmission across her internal network quickened.
Slowing as she approached the planetary flight space, Tess transmitted her ID and requested permission to land on-planet. The silence preceding the response lasted a full 3.7 seconds longer than she expected. When it came, the reply was:
“What are you?”
For the rest, you’ll have to buy the book. Go get one!
The short story Gabrielle Harbowy and I have been writing together, “Skin Deep” has been accepted to the anthology called Carbide Tipped Pens, edited by Eric Choi and Ben Bova, to be published by Tor next year.
Check out the anthology’s Facebook Page to see who else will be in it and keep up with all the news.
The collaboration was my first time co-writing and I was a bit nervous about how it would work out. But it was the perfect team effort, she was strong where I wasn’t, and vice versa. She’s been my editor for two books now and two short stories and it made for a smooth blend of our voices, so that the story has its own unique voice, rather than sounding like two authors’ work cobbled together.
We’re both excited to be a part of Eric and Ben’s anthology. I’ll keep you updated!
And I’m in it! I’ve been really excited about announcing the sale of my short story to the upcoming anthology When the Hero Comes Home 2.
It’s the first hard scifi I’ve sold. And being in When the Villain Comes Home with authors I’ve admired since before I knew I was ever going to share my writing was an amazing experience. So the chance to do it again, to work with Gabrielle Harbowy and Ed Greenwood and see the incredible stories that are going to come from these other authors just tickles me to my toes.
Now I get to be a part of When the Hero Comes Home 2, expected release August 2013.
We have 29 excellent stories lined up for you, 8 of which will be available exclusively in the ebook version of the anthology.
The following listing is in alphabetical order by author.
* denotes ebook-only bonus stories
*Bagabones by Jacquelyn Bartel
Beginning by Jillian Boehme
Bringing Back Raby by Chaz Brenchley
After the Winds by K.T. Bryski
Living Bargains by Suzanne Church
Vasilissa’s Doll by Elaine Cunningham
The Last Perfect Heart by Fanny Valentine Darling
Remnants by Erin M. Evans
*Prince Goldgriffin Rides In by Ed Greenwood
*Closure by Gabrielle Harbowy
Jack Crochety by Larry Kay
Juan Carceres in the Zapatero’s Workshop by Derek Künsken
Safe Within You by Mercedes Lackey
Broken by K.D. McEntire
Narcolepsy by Bob Neilson
The Last of the Unicorn Hunters by Diana Peterfreund
Waiting For You by Leah Petersen
*Blood Runs Thicker by Mary Pletsch
*Come is the Wolf in her Wounding by Dan Rabarts
*The Return of Hobard the Vanquisher by Mike Rimar
The Hero of Abarxia by Deborah J. Ross
*The Stiletto by Maggie Sokoll
A Spray of Bittersweet by Andrea Stewart
Faces of the Revolution by James L. Sutter
A Sword that Heals by Clint Talbert
*Smoke and Feathers by Juliette Wade
Call of the Sky by Cliff Winnig
Faith by Chris Wong Sick Hong
The Clever One by Jamie Wyman
It should be available for pre-order soon. I’ll keep you updated!