Blade & Branch & Stone is now up at Podcastle! This is a lovely audio recording of my story, ably hosted by the amazing Matt Dovey and a trio of great narrators.
(This is also a LONG one, folks. It was a failed novel; you should be glad I stopped at 11,000 words.)
This story is a deliberate homage and (I hope) tribute to good old JRR Tolkien. I’ve always thought the ending of The Lord of the Rings was too easy. The men inherit Middle-Earth, and the elves conveniently go over the sea, abandoning the land they’ve fought for, and the Ents… well, they’re in the woods somewhere. What happens when the age of colonialism comes and trees are cut down and men sail all over the world? Blade & Branch & Stone is a story about a world without a conveniently evil Sauron, just two very different perspectives on the planet. Hope you enjoy it.
(And if you do, please throw some support at Podcastle. They pay writers very well, and each year they do an awesome showcase of women & nonbinary writers, Artemis Rising, and do it all based on support from listeners. They’ve been my favorite short story podcast through four different editorial incarnations and eight years.)