I thought it would be interesting to give some more background on my recently published short story The Easy River to Success. The story was published recently by Planet Magazine and is available there for free viewing. Please go over and take a look. I would be interested to know what you think of the story.
The world of the story is one that I have been working on for a while and is also the setting of two other short stories and a couple of novel ideas as well. My initial vision for the world was taken from a part of Gulliver’s Travels where Gulliver encounters people who live on islands that float in the air. I thought it would be amazing to have a fantasy world where one of the key cities was a flying island that orbited the world at a fairly low altitude of say a couple of thousand feet and that could be reached by flying carpets or unicorns. That’s the basis of one of the novel ideas.
This world-building developed further when I started thinking about religious and mythical background. I decided that I wanted the characters from my fiction to be able to interact with their gods in a meaningful way, and perhaps even to find that their idols were often just as fallible as they were – and in fact had once been human themselves too. The idea is similar to that used by Roger Zelazny in Lord of Light.
So I started on the process of creating my world and as a result came up with some interesting characters to populate and some story ideas outside the main novels came to the surface. One of these is The Easy River to Success.
This short story is set in a kingdom called Fei Usure, which is in conflict with the neighboroughing theocracy of Belgania. In a more recent iteration of my world these country names have now been changed as I got more into developing the actual languages of the world into a more coherent pattern. The name of the world changed as well, from Neriador (too Tolkien I thought), to Ladmas (there’s a pun in there by the way).
Here’s the old version of the world, without all the cities and countries filled in. The new version has different names, but is the same size and shape.
I’ll write next time about the characters in the story and some of the politics they are involved in.