Bone Roads: Nine Stories of Magic and Wonder

A ghost searches for revenge in ancient Egypt. A boy unearths the bones of a dragon. A girl risks awakening a dark god to save her dog…

He reached out a hand and touched Grace’s cheek. The touch made her shiver. “You can’t save everyone, Grace.”

“I don’t want to,” Grace whispered. “Just her.”

Bone Roads is a collection of nine fantasy short stories, eight previously published in magazines and anthologies from Realms of Fantasy to Strange Horizons, and one story exclusive to this collection.

Note: some of the stories in this collection are not suitable for children.

When the Dragon Falls – Excerpt

There were sounds in the night, and shapes that flitted across Tam’s peripheral vision, and lights that blinked and were gone before he could focus on them. Bats chasing fireflies across the lake, he told himself. But he got up from his sweat-damp sheets and crossed the room to the window, and watched the flickering lights and flitting shapes and listened to the sounds, because they might not be.

The Sea Beyond Thule – Excerpt

Dicaearchus has always claimed that the Kasiterides Islands lie to the west of Gaul. Dicaearchus is a fool. Let him sail to the west if he wishes, if he ever moves his fat arse from the library in Athens. No, the Kasiterides Islands are due north of Gaul. We left them behind two days ago, with a fair warm wind behind us.

I have calculated that the coastline of the main body of the islands is 40,000 stades long. You would not think it a quarter of that from Dicaearchus’s map. He was ever careless in his work. I burned his map and let the ashes flip free in the wind.

The Land of Reeds – Excerpt

The dead, he had discovered, had mouths and could speak, but they could not be heard.

Or, they could not be heard by the living: the dead talked among themselves with voices of sand and dust. Amenemhet did not wish to talk to the dead. A man who has been murdered wishes to speak to those still living, to lay testament before them, to give warning.

The dead, in their crowded voices, said that Re no longer travelled through the underworld each night. They said that his face was now no more than a ball of fire in the sky. There were no more demons in the underworld, no Apep the serpent, no Amemet the great devourer, no gates, no judges, no scales. There was no Land of Reeds.

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The Nine Stories

  1. When the Dragon Falls
  2. A Field Guide to Ugly Places
  3. The Frog King
  4. Five Things of Beauty
  5. Dawn, by the Light of a Barrow Fire
  6. The Sea Beyond Thule (exclusive to this collection)
  7. The Land of Reeds
  8. The Western Front
  9. At the Gates

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