"So, what happens next?"...
I suspect most writers hate hearing this question after someone reads one of their stories. Especially if they have absolutely no plans for a sequel. I mean, sure, it was obvious that SOMETHING was going to happen to the characters after "A Gift of Fire, A Gift of Blood" concluded -- but that's true of every story (unless all the main characters are dead by the story's close).
If you haven't read "A Gift of Fire," it ran in YARF! issues 5 through 8, and concerned a young artist cat 'morph living in Ranea (an empire that mixes magic and mid-19th century technology with a curious melting-pot of cultures and races, from elf-like Sidhe to anthropomorphics). Mika had a comfortable life, with a nice job and a nice lover, another cat named Dahlu, but was growing to hate its predictability--but he was unwilling to risk losing the security of a known future. In the story he meets a vampire bat named Revar, and--well, it's not necessary to know most of what went on there for this story. The ending saw Revar and Mika going to Raneadhros, the capital of the Empire--but separately. Mika is going to chase his dream of being an artist, one Revar encouraged him to follow, and also because he hopes Revar will be there. For her part, Revar believes she has killed Mika, and has fled to Raneadhros, overwhelmed by loss and bitterness.
I had hoped this sequel would just kind of show up in YARF! with no fanfare whatsoever, but the editorial in issue #12 let the (ahem) bat out of the bag. So here it is. Like the first story, it will run for the next four issues. If there is anyone to blame for the sequel besides myself (after all, I honestly had no plans to continue it), it is partially the fault of remarks by Brent Edwards when we were standing, at dusk, on a windy dock one evening, and partially because of a slightly raggedy pencil sketch Zjonni did in my sketchbook at 4:00 am that you can't have a copy of.
If there is any point in dedicating a novella to anyone, this one is to the people I have met on FurryMUCK--especially Garth Minette, who may have influenced some characterization in "The Lighthouse" and whose last name I fear I just spelled wrong in print. (Nevertheless, it's a lot of fun playing opposite you.) I am also publicly acknowledging Franklin Veaux's help, because it will embarrass him. His criticism may have made the story's ending better, though. Franklin, have I mentioned you should be a writer?
If you have any comments, criticisms, letter bombs or whatever, send them to me at: 33515 Westwood Drive, Ridge Manor, FL 33525. (No offense to the YARF! staff is intended, but ever since "Gift of Fire" was published they have told me they have received LOCs on it but I have yet to see one. So I'd rather have people write directly to me. By the way, this is the ONLY address that has gotten mail to me since February, so if you've written somewhere else since then, I'm not deliberately ignoring you!)
Hopefully I'll see some (or even all) of you at ConFurence 3!
Editor's note: This was written sometime around August of 1991. ConFurence 3 has come and gone, and much fun was had by all.
Editor's note: The story that follows was first printed in YARF! magazine, issues 16 through 19, with excellent artwork by Zjonni. You might want to get these issues so you can see these illustrations. I highly recommend it. I own three of the originals myself. =)
Yarf can be contacted at
Above info is from issue 18/19's subscriptions section.