This is the announcement that Thunder Canyon will be appearing in Rage of the Behemoth this summer along with a whole host of other excellent authors of heroic fantasy. I'm thrilled to be a part of it, mostly because I've seen it build from the ground up. Some of the more astute of you may raise an eyebrow at how an RotB slush reader just happens to get past the slush pile and accepted into the anthology itself. Well, in the words of Michael Westen, "Let me tell you a story."
Through my involvement in Return of the Sword, I was asked by the newly formed Rogue Blades Entertainment to read the submissions for the next anthology and pass up my comments and thoughts. Clicking on the Rage of the Behemoth tag to the right will give you all the details of that situation. I was asked to read slush because I shared the vision of the final product with editor Jason Waltz. In the course of reading I kept getting frustrated that the stories were not capturing two important things: 1) Rage, and 2) Behemoths. My thoughts quickly coalesced into the exact style of story I thought should be accepted. At first I resisted but as the characters began to form I could hold back no longer and I wrote Thunder Canyon in secret. So I suppose I had a bit of an advantage in that I knew what wasn't working but personally, I was ready to write the type of story that was needed. Luck is the intersection of opportunity and preparation. So I submitted the story (read by other slush readers) and it fell favorably upon Jason's eyes.
Now for the story itself. It is the tale of Rath, a simple blacksmith who never asked to be a hero but is plunged into a situation that requires steely determination, brutal and unrelenting anger, and a sharp blade. Here is an excerpt from the opening scene:
"Rath slid a knife between the guard’s ribs while holding the man’s mouth shut from behind... His revenge had begun."
The other prominent character in the story is the behemoth, a thirty foot tall stone giant from a hidden race called the Wen Quaar. (The origin of the name is a blog post all its own. Suffice is to say I stole it from myself.) The giant is also in a position he doesn't want to be in and looks forward to correcting it and enacting a little revenge of his own. So the basic plot is: Anger + Large Things + Target Rich Environment = Blood + Wreckage.
All that and a love story as well.