Category Archives: Just The Facts

Just the facts, ma’am. Tell us in your own words, what’s so special about this thing you’re writing?

Just The Facts, Ma’am: Black Ice

This is the first post I’ve ever made along these lines. It’s hard to describe Black Ice without getting into some serious spoilers, or it feels like that at the start. All the salacious parts are the juicy secrets! I can tell you it’s an anthology, a braided novel, a book of related stories set in the same urban fantasy world. The same city, even. One of those world in an urban microcosm things. I can tell you with a straight face that it does not have werewolves or vampires in it. Nor does it have plucky teenage heroines, or sultry outsider detectives chased after by lustful members of the opposite sex. Or the same sex. Either way.

What does it have? Lordy. It does have a detective protagonist in two stories. It has a plucky heroine, I’ll admit it right now. I like stories with plucky heroines, they remind me of me. It has non-humans, and it does have faeries, I’ll be up front about that right now. Not the super-pretty fine and courtly faeries, though. I’m leaving the politics out of it for now. It has a faerie and her girlfriend, bystanders who get hit and bystanders who punch back, zombies, conspiracies, mysteries, murder, explosions, desperation, friendships, lies, and socks.

I’m not even kidding about the socks.

When I started Black Ice it was a short story. Several years ago I had dived back into the world of noir and pulp in a big way, and thought I would break out the old writing muscles and see how rusty I was at it. And because I’ve been a big fan of urban fantasy since elves drove racecars, well, why not? I told a short story about a necromancer and a detective, but when I was done there were more questions than answers. What were Hellhounds? What did the perpetrators not want anyone to find out? Clearly this needed another story. And another one after that. And then I did other writing challenges, and this world had percolated and grown so much in the back of my mind that, well, why not set these stories there? A magically enforced romantic soul-bond  was the perfect thing for a horror story, and she became my second protagonist, my heroine. Randi Teller, who refused to let her mother or anyone else call her Miranda and who was most comfortable getting her hands dirty in the middle of a crisis.

Other ideas for urban fantasy and supernatural fiction got folded into the world of Black Ice, which picked up the nickname Black Mold for how it kept growing. The faeries developed a mafia. The zombies rejoined ordinary life. By the time Nanowrimo came around again I had enough material for a Nano-novel, the culmination of this first collection, though I knew I’d have stories left over. So this final novella in the Black Ice anthology brings together several characters in the awareness that Something Bad Is Going On, and the leftover material goes into the two books to come, White Lightning and Gray Matters.

What else can I tell you about Black Ice? If I were to shoot it as a movie, I’d get Luc Besson to direct, maybe to collaborate with Timur Bekmambetov. I’d have Guillermo del Toro consult on the designs for the non-human characters with their non-human faces, even some of the non-human homes, though we won’t see those until White Lightning at best. I’ve already talked some about the soundtrack, but for the score maybe Graeme Revell, or Jeff Danna for White Lightning. For casting, well. I’ll leave that to the imagination of the reader. I do have my own ideas, but that’s between me, the Editrix, and my girls. What else can I tell you about Black Ice? I’ll be talking it up here and elsewhere, and if you’ve been reading Gods and Monsters you’ll have a fair idea of what it sounds like, with a bit more cigarette smoke and road coffee. Keep an eye out. Keep a corner of an eye out. I’m sure you’ll see something interesting.