Melissa Scott

is creating Views from the City of Astreiant

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Access to all Patron posts, plus an Astreiant-themed thank-you card - most of them handmade by me. (Nothing fancy, but drawn from my collection of stamps and images that remind me of Astreiant and its environs.)
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Access to all Patron posts, an Astreiant-themed thank you card (see above), and the option to offer a prompt for a sketch. No guarantees that I will get to every single one, but I will do my level best to come up with something suitable!




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A Window to Astreiant

Many of Astreiant’s stories have never made it into print. I spend a lot of time sketching on these novels, roughing out short scenes that give me a feel for an event, a character, a twist of magic, or the effects of some peculiar conjunction of stars, and this offers a chance to see some of those extra scenes. Sometimes they’re from points of view that I can’t use in the novels — how the necromancer Istre b’Estorr acquired “his” ghosts, or how junior pointswoman Aliez Sohier defends her boss Rathe when he’s not around — and sometimes they’re bits of background, like the multiple poisonings of the kings of Chadron, who rarely die natural deaths, or the sea-stories Rathe heard as a boy from the summer-sailor Old Steen, or the play that made Chresta Aconin the most hated man in Astreiant for an entire summer. Sometimes they’re character pieces, bits from characters’ childhood or their careers before the novels begin; sometimes they’re pure domesticity, exploring how daily life works in this city of everyday magics. They’re a window into the larger world of the novels, and that’s what I’m offering here: at least one sketch, a minimum of 500 words, that gives a glimpse of Astreiant and its people that you wouldn’t otherwise see.

I began this series with my late partner, Lisa A. Barnett, and together we wrote the first two novels, Point of Hopes and the Lammy-winning Point of Dreams. After her death, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go back to this world that we’d build together. Fortunately, Steve Berman of Lethe Press persuaded me that I could at least consider filling in a missing piece of the story — how pointsman (a sort of policeman) Nicolas Rathe and ex-soldier Philip Eslingen became lovers — and then encouraged me to go back to the novel that Lisa and I had begun plotting when she got sick. And I discovered, working on those two projects, that I still very much loved the characters, the city, and their world. Originally, we’d talked about doing a novel for each of the fifteen points stations in Astreiant, and I still hope to give each of them at least a story. These sketches are part of that process, and I’m delighted to share them with you.

Why a Patreon?

Well, very simply, any additional income buys me more time to write. Monthly income makes it much easier to pay monthly bills, and means I don’t have to take on as much contract work. And the less contract work I have to do, the more I can write, and the quicker these sketches find their way to novels.

Who Am I?

I’ve been writing science fiction and fantasy since — well, my first published novel came out from Baen Books in 1984, so it’s been a while. (And that doesn’t count the things I wrote before my first sale.) I’ve won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer, four Lambda Literary Awards, and four Spectrum Awards. I’ve written space opera based on Hermetic and neo-Platonic science (Five-Twelfths of Heaven, Silence in Solitude, and The Empress of Earth) and near-future queer cyberpunk (Trouble and Her Friends, The Jazz). I’ve written alternate histories in which Alexander the Great turned west instead of east (A Choice of Destinies), and Elizabeth I sent poets Sir Philip Sidney and Christopher Marlowe to save the King of Scots from a plague of witches (The Armor of Light), not to mention a secret history, the Order of the Air, in which Jo Graham and I follow a group of veteran flyers, survivors of the First World War, as they face occult threats in the interwar years (Lost Things, Steel Blues, Silver Bullet, Wind Raker, and Oath Bound). I’ve collaborated on two fantasy mystery series, one set in a very different Victorian England (Death by Silver and A Death at the Dionysus Club), and, of course, the Asteiant novels, where astrology steers most things, including murder (Point of Hopes, Point of Knives, Point of Dreams, and Fairs’ Point). In short, I’ve done a lot of very different kinds of stories over the years, and have no intention of cutting back now. In fact, on my drawing board now are an epic fantasy, a serial space opera, and a far-future SF novel about salvage and immortality. (And the idea that arrived unbidden last week, complete with working title: The Unmurdered Poet.) But Astreiant remains a fixed star, to use the novels’ terminology, a world of stories I hope to continue writing for many years to come.
$435 of $500 per month
An entry of at least 250 words from my notes, almanacs, and imaginary reference books, covering some facet of life in Astreiant. This may include maps and horoscopes as well.
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 81 exclusive posts
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 81 exclusive posts

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