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Showing posts from January, 2013

Happy 200 to Pride and Prejudice

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"I want to tell you that I have got my own darling child from London," was what Jane wrote to Cassandra onJanuary 29th, 1813 when the first copy of the first edition of Pride and Prejudice was put into Jane's hands. 

In her letters, Jane always referred to her books as her darling children, and two-hundred years later, her books remain some of the world's most popular, proving that a legacy of literary wealth lives far beyond what any author could imagine.

Happy birthday to Pride and Prejudice. May its literary prowess, incomparable wit, and insuperable delicacy outlive many a novel as its sits amongst the stars in the constellation of literary mastery.  

To read this and all of Jane's work, visit Project Gutenberg: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1342

Story for the Day: Aldus Craughleigh

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Nobody enjoys tax season-- unless you're Aldus Craughleigh. Known for his gleeful love of numbers, Aldus, the kingdom's treasurer, is the only one in the world who looks forward to adding receipts and canceling deductions, but as much as he disturbs the citizens of Frewyn, his absolute abhorrence for disorder will one day be the ruin of him, as Prince Draeden discovers:

 To the treasury they went, and sitting at his desk before the great vault was Aldus Craughleigh, the kingdom’s treasurer, a man chosen for his ability to sit long hours poring over accounts, his unaffectedness with regard to being in the presence of immense fortune, his indiscernible joy with regard to counting and cataloging every coin, and his powers at disconcerting those who were late in their taxes. He was a particular man, glorying in efficiency and regulation, and was therefore a horror to every maid in the keep who did not perform to his notions of sterility and organization. He wiped everything, polish…

Story for the Day: The Hachamba

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Nothing says celebration like the Lucentian Hachamba. The Hachamba, or the 'one-two', is a lively Lucentian dance, reserved for the major holiday of Lucentiana. The holiday commemorates the day on which the elves arrived in what was then Old Lucentia and escaped the plague that had destroyed their original homeland. The most significant part of the holiday is the grand Hachamba procession, which begins on the edge of the capital and ends at the Royal Plaza. Thousands of people come to watch the parade, and nearly the whole capital participates by performing the dance and wearing intricate costumes which don't always function as they should-- as Kai Linaa discovers: 
  Kai Linaa and Unghaahi were almost late to take their places at Leraa’s side; a few of the adhesives on Kai Linaa’s befeathered and bejeweled outfit were amiss: some were sticking to her skin as they ought to do and others curled and rolled up, refusing to remain stuck to her for any tolerable length of time. …

Read "Remembering Kindness"

Read "Remembering Kindness," one of the series' short stories involving Commander Vyrdin for free today! Either follow the link here: http://issuu.com/papercranebooks/docs/papercranebytes-1?mode=window or read from the embedded reader below:

Story for the Day: Cake is a Serious Business

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To Prince Draeden, who must eat every ten minutes to be perfectly appeased, food is a serious business, but there is no business so serious as cake, birthday cake being the most serious of all.

Draeden led the party to the capital wall, where they sat amidst the crenellations and presented the cake to Vyrdin in a more official tenor.                 “All in line,” Draeden announced.                They formed a line and saluted- even Bryeison, for good measure- and Draeden marched in front of Vyrdin and clicked his heels with grandiose step.                “Captain,” he called out.                Vyrdin lifted his chest and stood with his hands at his sides. “Sir!”                “As it is your birthday, it is your duty to cut this cake and share it as you will. As your commanding officer, however, I demand to be given a larger slice than the one that Bryeison receives.” He opened the box with a grand flourish, and resuming his usual good-natured air, smiled and said a most jovial, “Ha…

Remembering Kindness Published

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Remembering Kindness, the short story I wrote about Commander Vyrdin's childhood, is going to be published in a fantasy anthology at the end of next month! Here is another small preview of the piece:


Piling the bricks in the field, Vyrdin was silent, rapt in rumination, remarking his work without being conscious of it, wondering why all his entreaties and faithfulness to the Gods had gone unanswered. Many asked for wealth and distinction, but all he asked for were the simple comforts of a satiating stew, a tepid bath, and the amber warmth of a lighted hearth. Family and acceptance no longer bore a strong hold on his heart; all his aspiration was now for finishing his work and finding a tolerable shelter before the coming snows should appear. He enjoyed being out while the snow made its drifting descent, the delicate white with its pearlescent sheen furnishing the northern countryside. He loved the soundlessness of the neighbouring hills under the authority of the quieting flakes, g…

New Year's Day Story: Draeden and the Grey Gull

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Prince Draeden has a longstanding hatred of the Frewyn grey gull. While he and Bryeison were doing survival training in the Highlands, one of the infamous gulls came and stole their breakfast. Draeden took the crime as a personal slight and decided to have his revenge when he and Bryeison returned to the crags years later. His revenge, however, is somewhat thwarted:
A sharp cry from a gull just beyond the threshold suddenly drew Draeden's attention. He turned and founda large grey gull attacking their breakfast, one that looked decidedly like the one who had plagued their breakfast many years before. Sometime during the night, the mesh of protective rushes he fashioned to shield their fish from the gulls must have been carried off, and the gull was happily digging his beak into the smoked fish.“Leave that alone!” he cried, throwing a stone at the hovering bird. “I will pelt you if I must,” picking up another stone.                 The gull, however, would not obey him and began to …