In honor of today’s release of Spear, a glorious, queer retelling of Arthurian legend full of dazzling magic and intoxicating adventure from Nebula and Lambda Award-winning author Nicola Griffith, we’re thrilled to share some of its stunning artwork. Rovina Cai has created five interior illustrations, all emotionally evocative: immanence, despair, loss, reaching out, and belonging. They complement the text beautifully. Below, Nicola Griffith writes about two of her favorites.
Fiction and Excerpts 
In seventh-century Britain, a new religion is coming ashore and small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. Hild is the king’s youngest niece, with a glittering mind and a natural authority.
She is destined to become one of the pivotal figures of the Early Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby. But for now she has only the powerful curiosity of a bright child and the precarious advantage of a plotting uncle, Edwin of Northumbria, who will stop at nothing to become overking of Angles.
Hild establishes a place for herself at his side as the king’s seer, and she is indispensable—as long as she doesn’t lead Edwin astray. The stakes are high—life and death—for Hild, for her family, and, increasingly, for those who seek the protection from this strange girl who seems to see the future.
Drawing from the few records history has left us, Nicola Griffith has brought the young Saint Hilda’s harsh, but beautiful, world to vivid, absorbing life in Hild, available in paperback from Picador on October 28th.
“Cold Wind,” by Nicola Griffith, is a dark fantasy tale about a woman who enters a Seattle bar on a cold wintry night in the midst of the Christmas holidays, searching for something . . . or someone.
This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by consulting editor Ellen Datlow.
More than one review of Hild has characterised me as an sf/f writer who has left the fold to try my hand at this historical fiction thing. I’m not convinced I’ve left anything. If I have, I haven’t stepped very far.
When I first started reading I found no essential difference between Greek mythology and the Iliad, Beowulf and the Icelandic sagas. The Lord of the Rings, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Eagle of the Ninth all spoke to me with the same voice: the long ago, wreathed in mist and magic. My first attempt at fiction (I was eight or nine) was a tale of a hero with no name—though naturally his sword has a name, and his horse, and dog. I’ve no idea if there would have been any fantastic element or not because I abandoned it after the first page. A brooding atmosphere, it turned out, wasn’t enough to sustain a story.
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