I am delighted to have my illustration "The Folded City" and also my story "Senseless" included in a new anthology, IN THE END. You can buy it on Amazon in print here: https://www.amazon.com/End-Charity-Anthology-Cliches-Cause/dp/1983796565 or in ebook here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CXKGBYS - note that it is in matchbook program, so you get the ebook free if you buy the hardcopy!
Senseless is a Torn World story, about the finding of Lichenwold; it takes place about 50 years prior to our current timeline. Have an excerpt:
“You used to be able to see where the barrier reached the ground from here,” Lenar told them, as they came at last to the ridge and looked out. He pointed, and the place was obvious. The forest had thinned to scrubby brush, and then gave way to ground that looked completely barren creeping up the foothills on the opposite side of the valley. By contrast, alpine foothills to the east were showing mottled red and deep green ground cover.
They camped that night at the edge of the forest, the big, shaggy snowies browsing eagerly at the brush after their long, steady day. Reqem barely slept, and rose eagerly with all of the others well before the sun had broken the ragged horizon.
“There won't be any everberries,” Tivikai observed, when they broke past the last brush to the open land beyond.
It wasn't as barren as it had appeared from further away. Tiny new life was struggling to take hold in the silty soil, and there were several swaths of grass, already turned to dull fall colors. But nothing grew that hadn't blown there and taken root that summer – the only berries they identified were fruitless sprouts.
When it grew too steep for the heavy snowies, they stopped. Before anyone could suggest otherwise, Reqem scrambled down his saddle ladder and continued to explore on foot. Imain joined him, and after only a moment more, Tivikai came after them, nearly plowing into Reqem's back when he abruptly came to a halt around an outcropping of rock.
“Here, now, give a woman a warning when you're going to stop like that,” she scolded them, then looked up and saw the same sight.
Her shrill whistled call to the others broke Reqem from his slack-mouthed gaze.
Before them, past a pile of rock and mountain granite, was a road. It sheared into fractured plates and finally to rubble to their left, and to their right, it plunged into the mountain.
Knowing that the ancients had been capable of building miraculous things was quite different than witnessing one of those things. The opening yawned like a mouth, but perfectly square, and the surface of the road, though aged and cracked, was unnaturally flat and smooth.
The three rangers scrambled over the rock and stood in wonder, staring into the darkness that stretched impossibly away.
“Where does it go?” Imain asked in awe.
“It could go anywhere,” Tivikai said, sounding equally impressed.
“Let's find out,” Reqem said at once.
(The Great Northern Gate illustration is only attached for fun - the anthology edition is illustrated by Samuel Hazen!)
Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1628066.html