The first issue of the Citadel commercial epub, Excursions from the Citadel, will be out on Amazon Kindle on March 1st! We are taking advantage of the 5 days of promotion on Amazon in which our ebook will be free to targeted readers. So if fantasy or just good writing is your thing, tune in to this blog for announcements about when it will be going for free! It holds the collection of work by three authors including myself or “the circle of three” as we’ve dubbed ourselves. The theme is shape-shifters as I’ve already mentioned in a previous post. Before I delve into anything, I would first like to put up the following two links that provide good summaries of the different types of shape-shifter stories there are and the functions a shape-shifter serves in a story:
Themes in shape-shifter stories: http://www.writing-world.com/sf/shape.shtml
Role of Shape-shifter in stories http://www.betternovelproject.com/blog/shapeshifter/
Now, shape shifter is a very popular theme lately I was told and Keyword Analytics tell me the same thing. But I have to say that personally I think of it as a lame theme in the sense that I feel like the majority of stories starring shape-shifters fall into a couple of moulds that just don’t interest me or I’ve grown tired of. So if you are someone like me, I want to say that you can rest assured that the Excursions from the Citadel doesn’t have a single story in it that really falls into any of the conventional moulds as I think of them or if it does, then it tips around on its head.
We have 5 and ½ stories included in the first issue- the half a story is the first part of a two-part running serial story written by me, what I called Thread in my first post of this month. In this post, I want to focus on discussing how each of the stories relate to the designated theme of shape-shifter and takes it beyond the conventional moulds that I personally find hard to relate to.
Firstly, most of stories have applied the concept of shape-shifters as a story element in a broad way. By this, I mean specifically that it has taken the two concepts of transformation and transcendence under the umbrella of shape shifters or rather shifting in shapes as we prefer to call it.
Transformation is easy. A shape-shifter is technically a sentient being able to shift into another form, usually a bestial form when we think about shape shifters. But three of the stories here are really about shifting in shapes which is subtly different from such a conventional image of a shape shifter. In particular, who says that one of the form has to be a sentient form? That is how two of the stories have incorporated the transformation element of the shape shifters theme. The other story doesn’t go this route but is still subtly different from the conventional sentient being to bestial shape-shifter image that everyone has grown used to.
Transcendence can be seen as Mental or Character Transformation. It can also be about a final moment that leads characters to euphoria and a higher state to where they were. These are essentially character growth or self discovery stories and the element of a shape-shifter or shape shifting plays a somewhat minor or peripheral role in the story. In this issue, we have one story each with the theme on character growth and self discovery. We also have one story that I already alluded to briefly in the above paragraph that I think belongs to this category in the sense that the ending is imminently satisfying for the main character involved.
Now, we do have one story that includes the conventional shape-shifter and is essentially a story of a protagonist being on the run from shape-shifters. And there the novelty mainly comes from the type of the protagonist that the author has chosen. There’s an additional novelty in the setup for this particular story but I’m not giving all the elements away so I won’t get into it here.
Overall, I think this particular volume that I’m personally involved has something to offer for both those who really like to read anything involved shape-shifters or some like me whose taste run the other way. But don’t just take my words for it. There will be excerpt releases on this blog over the next week starting from Monday Australian time. On each day I will release a single page or scene’s worth of except for a particular story. So stay tuned if you are an avid reader of fantasy, the shape-shifter theme or just appreciate solid good writing.
Also, next to follow is my own personal review of each story in this epub which will provide more of an outline of what each story’s plot is. It’s a biased review but I’m in the mood for it.