TOF is pleased to announce that his story "The Journeyman: On the Short-Grass Prairie" has been accepted for publication at Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact. The story describes an adventure undertaken by Teodorq sunna Nagarajan, whom my perceptive reader will recognize as a player in the novel Up Jim River. This story takes place on his home world, called World, well before he finds his way to the Spiral Arm and the company of the harper and the scarred man.
As teaser, the story opens thusly:
A Snake in the Grass
Teodorq sunna Nagarajan the Ironhand slept on the open prairie in a spot no wise man would have chosen for a camp, and in which therefore no cunning man would think to find him. And cunning indeed were the men who followed the spoor of the son of Nagarajan. It was a cold-camp. Fire warms and counsels and keeps at bay certain creatures; but others it beckons, and those others Teodorq was disinclined to signal.
On all the Great Grass, he feared no man; but fearing a score of men was another matter. One Serpentine, he could meet knife-to-knife. Half the clan, maybe. But not all the Serps all at once. It would be a songbound feat even to evade them.
He had scattered caltrops made of thornbrush to warn of unwelcome guests, as a cautious fugitive might do; but he had spread them half a league to the south, so that any who stepped on them would think he had gone toward Mud River, seeking sanctuary with the boman of Luviness, who was a distant cousin by marriage to his father. The best false trail is one a prudent man would choose.
Though if Teodorq had been a prudent man, he would not now be on the lam.