Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

The Wind Harp Sings

Two months ago, I mentioned I had made my first fiction pro-rate sale. The story was The Wind Harp, part of a far larger universe that I have been slowly bringing out in the world (Dry Rivers and Planetfall also belong to that universe). I read excerpts of Planetfall and The Wind Harp at this year’s Readercon.


The Wind Harp appeared in today’s Crossed Genres Deadlines issue. Because it was my first pro sale, they also feature an interview with me. For those who read the story I have a small gift: it had a brief coda, excised to meet length requirements. If you leave a comment about the story, either at the magazine site or here and I like the comment, I will send you the longer version of the story, accompanied by Heather D. Oliver’s stunning full-color depictions of its main characters. The image here shows Heather’s preliminary sketches of the story’s two pivots: Antóa Tásri of Ténli and Dor-Nys Teg-Rav of Gan-Tem.

Postscript: My friend Francesca Forrest read the story when I first wrote it and her comments on it made me very happy. Here is her incisive outline of The Wind Harp.

13 Responses to “The Wind Harp Sings”

  1. Asakiyume says:

    Congratulations on publication!

  2. Perla says:

    I liked it. It’s the kind of science fiction I’ve always wanted to read. I like stories with a particular attention to world building, especially with original settings (prefabricated worlds and situations don’t raise any sense of wonder in me). You created a very rich and complex universe. I’ve had at first a little difficulty with names (they looked all the same, when I began reading) and words in their language. But it’s the kind of difficulty I like, because language is one of the things that can best convey the “flavour” of a culture and allow us to get really immersed in a world. There are people who like to read of characters named “Alice” and “Bob” even if they are from another galaxy. I am the exact opposite kind of reader.

  3. Athena says:

    Thank you, Francesca! A tiny step but it counts. And I still remember and enjoy the comments you made when you first read the story.

  4. Athena says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the story! As I mention in the post and the interview, it’s part of a larger universe where you see a lot more of these cultures and their worlds. Names and terms always sound confusing in an unknown language. People have the same reaction when they read foreign literature. Perhaps the story terms/names will sound less strange when you read the extended version. *smile*

  5. Perla says:

    “the story terms/names will sound less strange when you read the extended version”
    Yes, it was easier the second time. Thank you!
    I’m looking forward to reading other stories set in this or similar universes soon.

  6. Athena says:

    With luck and some stamina on my part, you will!

  7. intrigued_scribe says:

    Congrats on publication!

  8. Athena says:

    And thank you, my dear, for the wonderful comments and stunning illustrations!

  9. PK says:

    I’ve finally worked up the courage to take you up on your invitation! Having had a bit of time to mull things over, I’ve decided that I really admire and am impressed with your ability to show rather than tell with regards to worldbuilding. Not only is the universe well-realised, but you show three complex sociopolitical systems (plus another of their interactions with each other, I suppose!) at once while still providing enough information that, by the end of The Wind Harp, all of them are comprehensible and vibrant.

    I’m really pleased to see there are more stories in this setting as I was very intrigued by Antóa and the Confederation!

  10. Athena says:

    Dear Paige, I’m delighted that the people and worlds in the story came alive for you. Lagniappe forthcoming!

  11. As you already know, I want more of the Wind Harp.

    So how many novels are needed to do you universe justice?

  12. your, not you.

    Sheesh. Typos.

  13. Athena says:

    Five or six. Several exist, at various stages of completion. As well as a cycle of interlinked stories.