Monday, November 7, 2022

"Nightwatch over Windscar"

K. Eason lives with her husband and a trio of disreputable cats in Southern California, where she teaches first-year college students about zombies and food (not at the same time!). Her short fiction has appeared in Cabinet-des-Fées, Postcards from Hell: The First Thirteen, Jabberwocky 4, Crossed Genres, Kaleidotrope, Ink: Queer Sci Fi Anthology, and Shapers of Worlds: Volume III. She has written the On the Bones of Gods trilogy, The Thorne Chronicles, and The Weep duology, the second book of which, Nightwatch over Windscar, is now out from DAW Books.

When she's not writing or commenting on essays, she's probably playing D&D.

Eason applied the Page 69 Test to Nightwatch over Windscar and reported the following:
From page 69:
Gaer started for Notch with long strides. He shifted his perception sideways into the aether, into the layer where code lived, and fired a simple exploratory hex at Notch. The battle-rig—had it been healthy, whole, undamaged—should have snatched his code out of the aether, crumpled it up, and thrown it back at him as a warning. Instead his equation slid past the rig’s defenses.

At first glance, this passage appears a poor fit for the Page 69 Test. It’s deep in Gaer’s head, and he’s arithmancing, and a newcomer to the series might be lost. Arithmancy is somewhere between magic and coding, and Gaer’s found a break in the defenses of one of his allies. But Gaer is also a vakar--a species and a people not part of the Aedis--a quasi-religious organization devoted to defending the Confederation--to which his allies belong. Although he’s been seconded under treaty to assist the Aedis, he’s also a spy. And even if relations between his people and the Aedis are good now, well, they weren’t always, and war is an ever-present possibility.

But the passage--and the rest of the page, which follows Gaer thinking through the implications of his discovery--adhere pretty closely to larger themes in the book. Nightwatch Over Windscar is very much concerned with the liminal spaces where borders meet, clash, and rupture--not merely physical or political boundaries, but more personal ones: oaths and loyalties, what we believe about ourselves versus what is true. Gaer’s musings about his discovery in this passage echo forward through the pages, setting up what for him is a life-changing decision that also carries ramifications for the Confederation and the multiverse itself.
Visit K. Eason's website.

The Page 69 Test: How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse.

Q&A with K. Eason.

--Marshal Zeringue