The Last Tsar’s Dragon

So, I got an email asking for a short story for a new dragon anthology and thought: I am SO done with dragons. But no sooner had I said that aloud, then my traitor mind responded: “The tsar’s dragons were harrowing the suburbs again.” The next three or four sentences spun out quickly.

Not being a fool, I tried to think of what would come next, remembered Adam’s old band playing a rousing cover of the song “Rah, rah, Rasputin…and sent him an email with the first paragraph, and a note: “Want to play?” And we were off. Thirteen thousand words later (The computer counted them, I did not), we were done. Sold the story to the anthology. Got paid. Felt fine.

Fast forward a couple of years and I said, “I think we could make it into a novel.” Adam did not look impressed. I sent the 13,000 word story off to several of my editors who didn’t think it was a novel either.

Fast forward another couple of years and I was putting together several short story collections (of my own stories) for a small but wonderful sf/fantasy publisher, Tachyon, and I noted they were doing a lot of and interesting novellas. The aha moment was quiet but there. I sent them the story with a note about turning it into a novella. They loved the idea.

And so we began. . .

Now, a novella is about 35,000 words. The original story was about half that. Writing another 15,000 words was both easy and very hard. We shook the story up, added some major characters to the storyline, and surprised ourselves with what we discovered along the way, all the while the Tachyon team–editor and publisher and marketing director–cheered us on. So far the early reviews have been overwhelmingly good. Fingers crossed.

Around the Web:

What reviewers have said:

  • “Vivid, gripping and actually riveting as the Red Danger takes a whole new meaning here. Loved it.” ― The Book Smugglers
  • “In essence, Yolen and Stemple create new origin or ending tales for key people of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. The dragons, though a real part of the story, are also a metaphor for power, and the story becomes as philosophical as entertaining.” ― Grasping for the Wind
  • “Seriously clever and rigorous hard sci-fi about the difficulties of planning a political revolution.” ― Caustic Cover Critic

Comments are closed. Please check back later.

 

Comments are closed. Please check back later.