Well, here we are. 2021. I think, looking back at the onslaught of the past year – and looking ahead at the hard work of the new year, my energy is very Yang Xiao Long (from RWBY): “Yeah, I’m scared…but I’m still standing here.”
If you need an escape after 2020 – and you want to see what I’ve been writing during the pandemic – here is a new book: Incursion. It’s the first book in a new series, The Dakotaraptor Riders!
From the back cover:
Looking for a thrilling tale with lesbian dakotaraptor riders, were-brachiosaurs, Slavic witches, triceratops cowboys, carnivorous cacti, and invaders with machine guns mounted on deathreaper tyrannosaurs?
If you’ve been looking for a series like that, Stant Litore has your back. In Incursion, join Sasha Nightwatcher and her wife Yekaterina on a wild dash across the violet prairie to save their alien homeworld.
You can pre-order here. The paperback edition will be available for order later this month.
Or back my work on Patreon and start reading it today with your membership.
A bit from the book:
Here’s a passage from the book that I feel keenly here at the end of one year and the start of another:
In my memory, I have just fallen from Ihira’s back at high speed and I am winded. Ihira stands nearby in the grass, waiting for me. Mom reaches her hand down, but I don’t take it. I can’t, Mother. I can’t.
Her voice is deep and melodic, a voice for braiding up the night with. Yes, you can.
I keep falling. It’s too hard.
Get up, daughter.
Just let me lie in the grass a moment, Mom.
She crouches beside me, hands between her knees. She looks at me. Her hair is black as night, her eyes gray as steam rising from the flanks of a ceratopsian herd. Her face and hands are wrinkled and strong and kind. She moves them, signing as she talks, as our people often do. You keep falling, do you?
Yes, Mom. Tears of shame burn against my eyelids.
You know what you have, Sasha?
I shake my head.
She takes my hand in hers, presses the smooth metal surface of the Founder’s book into my palm, closes my fingers over its pages. The book is still warm from her hand. You have a bruised hip, two bruised ribs, a cut lip, dirt on your cheek. And you have the Founder’s book and your mother’s stories and the blood of a nightwatcher in your body, and you have a whole lot of hope in your heart. You have hope, Sasha. That’s what you have. Hope. It’s the best thing that ever was or ever will be. Spun from stories, stronger than medicine, older than this world. Hope is what braids our lives together. Hope carried our people between planets and hope carries us through the red rain and hope will carry you. So will Ihira. Now get on your feet, daughter, and get in her saddle and ride.
“Straight for the heart and delightfully weird.” – Joseph Brassey, author of Skyfarer and Dragon Road
“Stant Litore’s Incursion brings a new and fantastic universe alive, packed with vivid characters and colossal beasts—yet amidst the story’s intense action and swirling dilemmas, he never loses sight of his raison d’être: the power of human connection.” – Richard Ellis Preston, Jr., author of Romulus Buckle and the City of the Founders
“In these dark days, we need reminders of what makes us human: community and song, collaboration, story and hope. The Dakotaraptor Riders gives us those reminders. Woven onto the warp and weft of a rich folklore that feels completely authentic, and yet contains threads that will make contemporary folklorists grin, this tale of clashing philosophies, racing dakotaraptors, and abiding love is a salve for a wounded soul. It reminds us not only that the fight can be won, but that the fight is worth waging against the forces of destruction, of cruelty and colonialism. This book is The Dark Is Rising for science fiction. Read it, and let it braid your frayed threads whole again.” – O.E. Tearmann, author of The Hands We’re Given (Aces High, Jokers Wild)