Friday, December 22, 2017


Ken Scholes is the award-winning, critically-acclaimed author of five novels and over fifty short stories. His work has appeared in print for over sixteen years. His series, The Psalms of Isaak, is published by Tor Books and his short fiction has been collected in three volumes published by Fairwood Press.

Scholes is a winner of the Writers of the Future Award, France’s Prix Imaginales, the Endeavour Award and a scattering of others. His work is published internationally in eight languages. Scholes’s also a public advocate for people living with C-PTSD and speaks openly about his experiences with it.

Scholes’s eclectic background includes time spent as a label gun repairman, a sailor who never sailed, a soldier who commanded a desk, a preacher (he got better), a nonprofit executive, a musician and a government procurement analyst. He has a degree in History from Western Washington University. His nickname is Trailer Boy in homage to his childhood home on the outskirts of a small logging town.

Scholes is a native of the Pacific Northwest and makes his home in Saint Helens, Oregon, where he lives with his twin daughters.

He applied the Page 69 Test to Hymn: The Final Volume of the Psalms of Isaak, and reported the following:

From page 69:
“I am Captain Endrys Thrall of the New Espiran Council Expeditionary Force. I’ve had my people watching and waiting for you at every likely place you might turn up. We lost track of you when you joined the Androfrancines in the Beneath Places.” He paused. “Until the dream, of course.”

His words moved faster than she could comprehend them, but something in his tone and posture caused her to relax her grip upon the knives. “You’re watching for me? Why? And what is this expeditionary force?” And where, she wondered, is New Espira?

The captain smiled. “There is a lot to explain. We’re watching for you because you are Winteria bat Mardic, daughter of the Younger God Salome and the Dreaming Queen of the House of Shadrus. My ship bears an ambassador who is eager to meet you. On his behalf, I extend an offer of asylum for you and your companions. Caldus Bay is not presently safe. We can keep you out of Y’Zirite hands.”

Winters looked out over the bay. “I don’t see a ship.”

He shook his head. “No, you don’t. But return with the others after nightfall and we will provide you refuge and transportation.” He turned away, toward the coast behind them. “Of course, you are under no obligation to accept our hospitality. But there is a squad of Blood Guard tracking you and a sizeable reward for the capture of your Androfrancine traveling companions. I’ll wait for you here tomorrow.” He started walking. “If I do not see you, I will assume you have made other plans for your safety.”
On December 5, the last volume in my five book series, The Psalms of Isaak, hit bookstores and wrapped up a decade of my creative life. I think Marshal has been kind enough to have me over for most if not all of the books and I’m glad to be back again talking about Hymn.

On page 69 of Hymn, we join Winters just outside Caldus Bay where she has been hiding with Tertius and Hebda. She is meeting yet another player in the game of Queen’s War – a captain from a place she’s never heard of who knows a great deal about her. Truth be told, even I have been surprised as the world of Lasthome has unfolded over the years.

I knew when I wrote Lamentation that there was an empire of Y’Zir hidden away and seeded it into the end of the first book. But I didn’t know about the New Espirans until I reached the very end of Requiem. (For those who love the series, you’ll want to mine my novelette at, “A Weeping Czar Beholds the Fallen Moon,” for bits of backstory, like reference to the region of Espira.)

I think what makes this selection the most true to the book and the series over all is the introduction of yet another mystery that expands their understanding of their world and place in it. A stranger showing up with an offer of aid. I think part of what has made the books work has been that constant sense of a mystery to be solved to engage curiosity. Who destroyed Windwir? Why? Who are these mysterious runners in the Wastes? What is this song that is affecting the mechoservitors? Who is the mechoservitor Charles? What is the antiphon? They are solved as we move through the books but new ones continue unfolding even here in the third act of the over-arching story.

I’m pleased with how all of the mysteries are resolved – or left open – by the time we get to the end of it. I hope you are, too.
Learn more about the author and his work at Ken Scholes's website.

The Page 69 Test: Lamentation.

The Page 69 Test: Antiphon.

The Page 69 Test: Requiem.

--Marshal Zeringue