City of Hope and Ruin
by Kit Campbell and Siri Paulson
GENRE: Fantasy (with LGBTQ romance)
A city that is the whole world: Theosophy and her companions in the City militia do their best to protect the civilians from the monsters, but they keep crawling from the Rift and there’s nowhere to run. Theosophy knows she’ll die fighting. It’s the best kind of death she’s seen, and at least she can save lives in the meantime.
They say the Scarred carve you up while you’re still alive.
A village in the shadow of a forest: Refugees from the border whisper about the oncoming Scarred, but Briony can’t convince her brother to relocate his children to safety. Briony will do anything to protect them. She owes them that much, even if it means turning to forbidden magic.
When Theosophy and Briony accidentally make contact across the boundaries of their worlds, they realize that solutions might finally be within reach. A world beyond the City would give Theosophy’s people an escape, and the City’s warriors could help Briony protect her family from the Scarred. Each woman sees in the other a strength she lacks—and maybe something more.
All they need to do is find a way across the dimensions to each other before their enemies close in.
As the group got closer, Briony could tell they were human. She narrowed her eyes, keeping hold of Poes. People, this deep in the forest? Hardly anyone came in here, especially not this deep. Her mother had made sure she and Jael knew the forest’s ways, but their land backed up to it and Briony needed it for her medicinal draughts. Most people in Westenaedre avoided it unless absolutely necessary.
There was something unnatural about their movements. As they got closer, Briony could make out their features through the gathering dusk. Her breath caught in her throat. People they were, yes, but their faces were covered by some sort of horrific mask that hid their features and gave them insect-like appearances. Tubes twisted from the masks into metallic canisters on their backs. Now she could hear their breathing as well, rough and much too loud. Every whispered tale from the refugees flitted through her head. The Scarred. But they shouldn’t—couldn’t—be here. They were still at the border.
What did it mean that they weren’t?
Her transition to normalcy has been slow, but scientists predict that she will have mastered basics such as fork use sometime in the next year. More complex skills, such as proper grocery store etiquette, may be forever outside her reach.
Kit can be found cavorting about the web at her blog (http://landsquidattack.wordpress.com) or website (http://kitcampbellbooks.com), on Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/campbell1091/), and even occasionally on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/KitCampbell).
Siri Paulson writes all over the fantasy and science fiction spectrum, including (so far) secondary-world fantasy, urban fantasy, steampunk, Gothic, historical paranormal, and YA with spaceships. She is also the chief editor at Turtleduck Press (http://turtleduckpress.com/). Siri grew up in Alberta, Canada, but now lives in an old house in Toronto. By day, she edits non-fiction for the government. Her other current passion is contra dance, a social/folk dance done to live Celtic and roots music. Her favourite places in the world are the Canadian Rocky Mountains and a little valley in Norway.
Siri's short fiction and the anthologies she has edited can be found on Turtleduck Press, at http://turtleduckpress.com/wordpress/2010/11/30/who-is-siri-paulson/ . She blogs at https://siripaulson.wordpress.com/ and tweets at http://twitter.com/Siri_Paulson.
Multi-region buy link for ebook: http://authl.it/B01DYSR7QE