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The Funeral, Ruined is Up for Free

A bit of free fiction today, since Fantasybookspot.com has posted 'The Funeral, Ruined,' to help promote Paper Cities.

This means you can read the whole thing here:

It was the weight that woke Linette. Her weight. The weight of herself.

The flat red sky above Issuer was waiting when she opened her eyes. Five hours before, when she had closed her eyes, it had been a dark, ugly brown-red: the middle of the night. Now it was the clear early morning red, and a thick, muggy warmth was seeping through her open window with the new light. There would be no rain today. Just the heat. Just the sweat. Just that uncomfortable, hot awareness of herself that both brought. The worse was Linette’s short, dark hair, dirty with sweat and ash. The ash that had come through the open window during the night. It had streaked her face and settled in her mouth and she could taste it, dry, burnt and unappealing in her gums. Her left arm, with its thick, straight scars across the forearm, felt heavy and ached; but it always ached. It was a dull, lazy ache in the heat, and a sharp, pointed pain in the cold, as if, with the latter, the brittle weather was digging into her fractured bone to snap it. Her feet, tangled at the bottom of her coarse, ash stained brown sheets, sweated uncomfortably, and her long, straight back could feel the sweaty outline of the bronze frame beneath the thin mattress that she lay on. There was no end to herself, Linette thought, and she would never be able to sleep again, so aware of it was she.


This is one of my Red Sun stories, the world in which the current novel is set. The novel proceeds nicely, and I have a few more days left till I have the whole thing done, and then three or four weeks or rewriting the final bits, fixing up the changes I made and making it pretty, basically. If you're curious, 'The Funeral, Ruined' is the story where I finally nailed the braiding style I wanted for the book down, so you can have a read of this to get a pretty decent taste of how that should work in a novel.