Terrestrial Magic Goes Live

I maybe, kinda, sorta am posting an urban fantasy/post-apocalyptic web serial online. So…surprise?

The first chapter has just gone up, it will post on Thursdays, and here’s the premise:

Most sensible people avoid fire-breathing carnivores that prey on humans. But Jordan has built a career out of studying such legendary animals, creatures thought mythological until their reemergence in the world three decades ago. She and researchers like her believe that knowledge is the key to reclaiming the land they’d lost back then, when humanity retreated into designated safety zones.

But when the humans moved out, the legends moved in. They were the descendants of mythical heroes, inheriting the powers of their ancestors, and they weren’t afraid of the monsters. Jordan never expected to run into a legend, but when a field expedition turns into a trap for her team, she realizes that one deliberately tried to kill her. It’s a diplomatic nightmare the Roman authorities might happily sweep under the rug. But if Jordan doesn’t figure out who attacked her and why, they could try again. Yet even if she does solve the mystery, what could one stubborn scientist possibly do to stop a powerful legend?

For those of you who know something about me, you’ll notice the premise incorporates a lot of elements that rely on my own particular knowledge: my scientific background, my semester abroad in Rome, and my study of ancient history. Hopefully, I’ve managed to take all of that and tie it into a decent story.

4 thoughts on “Terrestrial Magic Goes Live

  1. Theo Promes

    Well, this is a surprise, indeed!
    The premise sounds fun, and I am eager to find out more, although right now I am still at the point where I have lots of questions about the setting, especially since writing urban fantasy with events on a global scale raises a *lot* of them – most fantasy stories I’ve read that take place in a contemporary setting have some level of secrecy, which allows the author to mostly avoid dealing with the various real world aspects that would intrude, like geopolitics, military, economy and such. You don’t have that luxury, chapeau for biting that bullet, I am very curious to see how it will work out.

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    1. Thanks for checking it out! I always kind of thought that keeping the macro-societal stuff in my world was me writing urban fantasy like someone who also loves epic fantasy. Though the post-apocalyptic setting helps remove the story a little from our time, specifically. I will definitely be interested to see how well or not people think that approach works.

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      1. Theo Promes

        Ah, I guess the epic fantasy comparison fits, especially with the fire-spitting lizard in the very first chapter 😀

        Regarding the distance created by the time-jump(?) of 30 years and the post-apocalypse state of the world, I didn’t mean to say that I’d expect actual figures from our time to show up or anything like that (especially not italian politicians, ugh), but that I think it requires more work on an author’s part to get their readers to suspend their disbelief, if that makes sense?

        Like, if you tell a fantasy (as in classic pseudo medieval) story, you can essentially just say “this is the good king, whose country gets attacked by the neighbouring evil king, and our heroes have to save the day” and there you go, most readers won’t question the details too much, because it is not a world they are particularly knowledgeable about – a student of medieval history, however, might ask what the good kings’ nobles are doing neglecting their vassal oaths or things like that.
        If a setting is close to the world the readers live in themselves, everyone is much more of an expert when it comes to the background – much like after reading the first chapter, my thought process immediately went “well, what’s wrong with our helicopters and air-to-ground missiles for killing the nasty lizards taking our land?”

        Just to be clear, I don’t mean to say that its not a good idea to write a story like this, in fact, quite the opposite, I love that you do and I am excited to read more, but I think the relative sparseness of stories with that particular flavour of (large-scale near current time) world-building is because it is harder to do so than write a setting that is more alien. Similarly is it much rarer to find a sci-fi story playing in 2035 or even 2050 than those playing in the far-off future where our current world does not resemble the setting much anymore. As I said previously, I am happy you are taking that on, in my opinion it adds quite a lot to the narrative because once the suspension of disbelief has happened, the events are much closer to home and the narrative is more impressive, in a way.

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        1. I’m still chuckling at your “Italian politicians, ugh” comment.

          I think I understand what you’re saying about the familiarity of the setting–at first I assumed you just meant the nitty gritty details of an actual functioning society, hence my epic fantasy comment. But you’re right, people are going to feel comfortable thinking about the level of technology, etc. I’m definitely excited to work with this kind of setting. Also marginally terrified, but mostly excited.

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