TIME LIKE BROKEN GLASS is my first fantasy novel, although not my first fantasy story. Nor is it even the first story that I have written for this particular fantasy setting.
This novel represents my third foray into the world of Magistria, a fantasy universe created over ten years ago by writer G. W. Thomas. Inspired by the shared world anthologies like Robert Lynn Aspirin’s THIEVES WORLD or the WILD CARDS universe created by George R. R. Martin, Thomas conceived of a magical world where mages controlled a certain element. There were mages who could control fire, some who could control ice and others who could control metal or plants. There were even mages whose specialty was death and whose arcane talents could reanimate dead flesh.
I was only one of more than a dozen authors who contributed a story to the first anthology, MAGISTRIA: THE REALM OF THE SORCERER back in 2005 and I was in good company. Lillian Csernica, Joshua M. Reynolds, Laurence Barker, Robert Burke Richardson and Robert J Santa were only a handful of the anazing writers who submitted stories. (The book is still available today from Amazon.com if you want to check it out).
Working from the shared world introduction and outline – the “bible” of the universe, if you will – I seized on the idea of the air mage. The air mage was a sorcerer who could control the winds. I liked that idea but I wondered if there could be a subset of those mages who controlled the air in a more subtle way, by manipulating the air using vibration.
To that end I wrote The Singer and the Song, a story about Foundman Singer, an air mage who had lost his memory due to a trauma and did not know that he was an air mage.
The first anthology was moderately successful so a second anthology was planned. For this I wrote a story called Seeds in Winter about a plant mage attempting to learn the secrets of a death mage to ressurect her dead lover.
The first anthology had been edited by G.W. Thomas. The second one was to have been edited by Robert J. Santa at his own Ricasso Press. At the time, freshly excited about the Magistria universe, I suggested to Rob that I could write a novel length story about Magistria. He was behind the idea so I began writing the story that would eventually become TIME LIKE BROKEN GLASS.
Unfortunately Ricasso Press never released the second anthology.
By that time, G. W. Thomas had moved on to other things and the anthology was forgotten. TIME LIKE BROKEN GLASS sat in a (virtual) drawer for a long time.
Years later and G.W. Thomas is now in charge of RAGE MACHINE BOOKS. Rage Machine had published my first two novels, the second of which, DEBT’S PLEDGE enjoyed considerable success. I immediately began to write a sequel to DEBT’S PLEDGE. I was keen to have it finished and published one year after the publication date of the first book.
Unfortunately, other obligations got in the way and progress on that book was slowed down to the point where I was not going to make that deadline.
I had another book written, but was not convinced that it was “up to snuff”. I suggested that perhaps Rage Machine could finally publish TIME LIKE BROKEN GLASS. G.W. Was behind the idea and now, finally, the book can see print.
TIME LIKE BROKEN GLASS is a fantasy novel, featuring magic and magicians, But it is also a time travel story. I am chiefly a science fiction writer and I have always been fascinated with time travel. I love books, movies and tv shows featuring travel through time from Kieth Laumer’s Dinosaur Beach to THE TIME TUNNEL to DOCTOR WHO.
But time travel is usually a science fiction trope. What kind of a high fantasy could I write with time travel as its central conceit? So I created the time mage and with a lot of enthusiasm and heedless of the potential confusion I went ahead and wrote it. Constructing a narrative that involves time travel can be tricky. It requires meticulous planning and careful plotting.
But I didn’t do any of that. I just threw all the pieces in the air and started juggling as best I could, hoping that the entire thing would make sense when it was all done.
Surprisingly, it did!
How well? You can judge that for yourself. It is available at Amazon.com right here and will soon be available at other e-book venues as well as print versions.