Tabat

Appearing in March 2015 from Wordfire Press, Volume I of The Tabat Quartet: Beasts of Tabat!

The novel will be released on March 27, 2015 at Emerald City Comicon. Details will be posted here as soon as they’re available. Right now they’re still working out cover details.

In early April, “Primaflora’s Journey” will appear in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, showing one section of the book’s events from an entirely different perspective, that of Primaflora, a Dryad who’s been abducted for purposes beyond her guessing.

I’m currently working on Volume II, Hearts of Tabat, which will be followed by Exiles of Tabat and Gods of Tabat.

Tabat is the fantasy seaport in which I’ve based numerous short stories and now this novel. Tabat exists in a steampunk magical world where intelligent beasts such as unicorns and dragons exist but have no legal rights. Their status is in part a reaction to the depredations of the sorcerers who created many of them in the Shadow Wars, which destroyed an entire continent, but over time, humans have come to depend economically on the exploitation of their labor and sometimes even their physical bodies.

Tabat started as a proposal for an area for an online game my friend James was creating in the mid-nineties. I wanted to do a seaport, and I was inspired by the building system that James had created, which allowed one to add conditional descriptions to a room, ones that would only appear if certain conditions were met, such as it being high tide, or spring, or some combination of similar factors. I loved that, and created things like a street whose tiles underfoot changed according to the lunar cycle.

The game never came to pass, but several years later I returned to Tabat. At the time Armageddon was closed to players every Saturday in order to allow the staff to coordinate and conduct maintenance. I suggested that a MUD set in a very small area would allow the players to socialize and roleplay, and set about recreating the city, mapping it out and beginning to figure out some of its history. That project also never was completed, but finally in 2004 I began writing stories set in Tabat, because I knew it so well.

As I’ve written in it, it’s continued to grow in clarity and new landmarks have appeared, such as the Piskie Wood, the Great Tram, and the waterfall in the Duke’s Plaza. Its growth has been shaped by my interest in and reading of early American history. I’m very fond of Tabat, and I’d like to see it reach the heights of other fantasy fiction cities, such as Ambergris and Lankhmar.

Here is an updated version of the chronology of Tabat according to existing stories/novels.

The Shadow Wars

  • Love, Resurrected (appeared in BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES)
  • A Twine of Flame (available in EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)

Early Tabat

Modern-day

  • The Bear (appeared in AIOFE’S KISS)
  • The Bumblety’s Marble (appeared in PAPER CITIES and EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)
  • Dryad’s Kiss (appeared in GRYPHONWOOD)
  • Events at Fort Plentitude (appeared in WEIRD TALES and EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)
  • The Ghost-Eater (forthcoming in XIII)
  • I’ll Gnaw Your Bones, the Manticore Said (appeared in CLARKESWORLD and EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)
  • In the Lesser Southern Isles (appeared in BLACK SAILS and EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)
  • BEASTS OF TABAT (novel)
  • Narrative of a Beast’s Life (appeared in REALMS OF FANTASY and EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)
  • Primaflora’s Journey (forthcoming in BENEATH CEASELESS SKIES)
  • Sugar (appeared in FANTASY and EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)

Legends and Fairytales

  • The Dead Girl’s Wedding March (appeared in FANTASY MAGAZINE and EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)
  • A Key Decides Its Destiny (appeared in SAY… and EYES LIKE SKY AND COAL AND MOONLIGHT)