A Stranger in Paradise Afterthoughts

Phew, and there we go- the finish of A Stranger in Paradise, the culmination of my work… thus far! Even as soon as I’d finished A Serpent in Zion, I’d started thinking about this story a lot- but it changed quite substantially in the year and a half between writing A Serpent in Paradise and starting on A Stranger in Paradise. The Prester John and Paradise aspects were fairly set, but my initial thinking had involved a US accountant being sent to Prester John, and discovering that he was Famine’s pawn; I had this idea that he’d be a power-stealing kind of guy, but this wound up becoming more Nash’s hat, and so I decided to tie together Betty into it.

Betty, herself, was interesting to write for this; Putting her out of her place of power to have her face a challenge she couldn’t just claw her way through. Well, not until she got to those sandwiches. It was also interesting to tie up the Jack and Jill plot; this marks the first time I’ve had a plot-line stretching between two stories. I hope seeing them get their asses kicked was satisfying to you readers out there.

And of course, remember. People are strongest when they’re together.

So, onto the character poll! Usual rules apply, vote for as many characters as you like; I can’t promise it will guide my future writing, but it may give me thoughts. http://www.strawpoll.me/13574403

And for my more esoteric poll- Do you want the world to change? Or do you want it to stay the way it is? http://www.strawpoll.me/13569952

As per usual, if you have questions you want to answer, ask them here, or e-mail them to mgexaminers@gmail.com. Remember, your questions- no matter how foolish they may seem- matter a great deal to me. I like to make sure my work is understandable. If there are theories you have, lingering questions remaining behind, or things you’d like to know more about, ask; and you may receive!

Next up is a short story from the perspective of Jenny Nishi, on what it’s like to be an immortal goddess.

Chapter 35: War in Heaven

“No?” asked Conquest, mockingly. “It’s not your decision. No one can protect her. Not the Sisters. Not the gods. Not you, Nash. She sold herself, a long time ago. This is calling in her debt, and you are not able to interfere. This is not a problem you can fight your way out of. You are magnificent, don’t get me wrong. You are brave, and strong, and I will be more than happy to comfort you. But even if you were to fight us today, tomorrow, the next day, we will take her from you the moment your guard is lowered. She will come with us willingly, now, simply to save you the pain of fighting, and failing against us. She will not fight us, because she is too weak to win, and because the conflict would cost you and those around you dearly. And then, she will be tortured. You don’t know the depths of pain that can be caused, Nash. You have dipped your toes in the pool of loss and suffering, and thought you knew what it was. But she’s going to hurt.”

Continue reading “Chapter 35: War in Heaven”

Chapter 30: The Seventh Angel

I hit the ground in front of Prester John’s tower, rolled, and was up again. I found myself immediately faced with a half dozen friendly faces, which was a welcome change of affairs. Huitzilopochtli stood there. Marinette and Itzpapalotl flanked her. Ogoun was with them, and Legba still in his greyhound form, and Xipe Totec shining golden bright in the midday sun. They had armed themselves for war, and were flanked by a few dozen of their eagle and jaguar warriors, and a group of angry looking Vemana. I smiled. “Well, look what the cat dragged in. And just what I needed to see. I’m going to get some power. When I get it, I’ll have about an hour.” I lifted my head to study the top of the tower. “That’s just enough time. Things’ll be finished by then, one way or another.”

Continue reading “Chapter 30: The Seventh Angel”

Chapter 29: And I Saw An Angel Coming Down Out Of Heaven

The flaming sword flickered through the air. Nash raised his hands, and it was only instinct that saved him. He had moved to the side at the same time, and his hands passed through Michael’s without touching them. The archangel’s Grace was in full swing, and Nash couldn’t touch him.

Continue reading “Chapter 29: And I Saw An Angel Coming Down Out Of Heaven”

Chapter 27: Abandon All

The ice was slippery, but it was less than an hour to reach the edge of the gaping hole. Nash knelt down, and frowned, staring down the smooth walls of ice. Climbing them would be impossible. “Fuck,” he murmured. One of the chains hung nearby, massive iron links looped together, ending in a tremendous collar that hung down, into the blackness visible within the ice. “Not getting out that way,” Nash muttered, and shook his head as he stood up. “Unless any of you might be able to pull something off?”

Continue reading “Chapter 27: Abandon All”