Tor.com content by

Beth Cato

Fiction and Excerpts [1]
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Fiction and Excerpts [1]

The Clockwork Dagger (Excerpt)

, || Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Five Books Set in the Pacific Northwest

The northwestern portion of the United States is known for its ubiquitous coffee stands, frequent rain, and forested backdrops, but fantasy books in the setting also incorporate magic and incredible beings—and not just the famously hirsute Big Foot. Genre authors are inspired by legends from native tribes as well as stories brought by new immigrants to the region. Thunderbirds soar high in the sky here. The Wild Hunt races through the urban labyrinths of Seattle. Kitsune may very well prowl beneath water-laden pine boughs. The undead stagger onward, restless as ever, though perhaps they want a nice, hot latte along with a serving of brains.

The Pacific Northwest often becomes a character itself, with its dreary stretches of weather punctuated by brief, delightful sunbreaks. Gray as the skies may be, the history is downright colorful, allowing some authors to draw on a pioneer past that required particular gumption in order to survive.

[Here are my top five fantasy novels set in the Pacific Northwest…]

Series: Five Books About…

That Was Awesome: The Power of Voice in The Diabolical Miss Hyde

I started reading The Diabolical Miss Hyde, and in the first paragraph, I found voice. Voice is such a nebulous yet vital element in writing. It’s attitude, rhythm, dialogue. It’s what makes a book come alive. Within a matter of sentences, Viola Carr’s novel snared me because of a perspective with blunt, ungrammatical charm:

In London, we’ve got murderers by the dozen. Rampsmen, garroters, wife beaters and baby farmers, poisoners and pie makers and folk who’ll crack you over the noddle with a ha’penny cosh for the sake of your flashy watch chain and leave your meat for the rats. Never mind what you read in them penny dreadfuls: there ain’t no romance in murder.

But every now and again, we gets us an artist.

[Read More]

Series: That Was Awesome! Writers on Writing

The Clockwork Dagger (Excerpt)

Check out The Clockwork Dagger, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut from Beth Cato, available September 16th from Harper Voyager!

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.

[Read an Excerpt]