Teaser Tuesday 9/9/2014: “The Sable City”

So this week’s teaser comes from The Sable City by M. Edward McNally, which I’m not very far into but looks like it’s going to involve dwarves, samurai, magic, and blunderbusses. Oh, and a tribal mask, apparently. If that sounds steampunkish to you, you’re not alone.

“Ooooh, somebody STOP me!”

Then someone shouted “Look!” and pointed, and all eyes turned to see a pair of hands appear on the edge of the timber path. A drowned rat the size of Tilda Lanai hauled herself topside from a quick climb up a pier post.

A pair of hands attached to a drowned rat hauling herself topside? Sadako, is that you? Umm, to quote a certain vizsla dog, if anyone needs me I’ll be hiding under the bed …

Once you see her, it’s already too late to run away.

Meanwhile, the final editing pass on The War of the Ravels continues — I’m down to the last 60 pages or so, but I think it sounds better if I say it’s 85% complete!

Bernard looked at the pole-arm in his hands, then up at the stand, where Brannoc’s quarterstaff had been reduced to fragments and a heap of leather ribbon. He almost felt like he should gather up the pieces and bury it or something, but of course that was sentimental nonsense, just like his absurd attachment to Brannoc’s hat.

Ah yes, Brannoc’s hat. Bernard did have a tendency to lose it, almost as often as my wife loses sunglasses, although she never lost a pair of Oakleys quite this way:

“Good luck,” Aldric said, as Nebandalex went through and Bernard followed. Not trusting her voice at this point, Mercy turned and gave Aldric a goodbye smile, then moved forward. The blast of cold air from the other side staggered her as she stepped through. She felt the brief surge of vertigo Cynidece had mentioned, as if her brain thought she was falling; then she stumbled out onto the frozen mountain path, falling to her hands and knees. She rolled over and stood, and as she prepared to close the portal, something else came through it, a small grey and white blur. Trouble bounded up onto Bernard’s shoulders, snatched his hat off his head, and leapt away again, carrying her prize through the window and back to Aldric’s estate.

The panel shrank in on itself and vanished, closing off their view of the lowlands.

After a moment, Cynidece said: “I shall not be fetching your hat for you this time, Bernard.”

6 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday 9/9/2014: “The Sable City”

    1. She did indeed! Here is her introduction in “Shards”:
      “We can work,” Bernard said.

      “Plenty of people can work,” the little man said. “We’ve all the staff we require.”

      “You do?” Ambrosia looked around the room. “Where are they?”

      “I said we’re not open yet. When we are open, we have a man to supervise the kitchen. We have more men to cook the food and put it on plates. We have girls to carry the plates back and forth. We have boys to wash the plates. We—” He broke off as something shot out of the gap in the curtains, skittered along the bar, and, using the man’s head as a platform, launched itself up to an exposed rafter, clinging upside down with tiny claws dug into the wood and a long, furry tail wrapped around the beam. It peered at Ambrosia with huge yellow eyes, then at Bernard, then at Nebandalex, making a soft chittering sound in the back of its throat. Its fur, which had been whitish-grey when it emerged, slowly darkened to match the tone of its surroundings.

      “What’s THAT thing’s job, then?” Bernard said.


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