Juvenile Delinquents Against the Future — Dweller in the Crack

Just over a year ago, my novella Dweller in the Crack was published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing — but I didn’t have a blog at the time, so I didn’t note the occasion. So here’s everything you always wanted to know about the book (didn’t you?).

Dweller in the Crack is the fourth published story about Karaghr and Failiu — Kari and Fai to their friends. They’d describe themselves as wandering teenage sorcerers, lovers and outlaws. Others might describe them as a couple of homeless juvenile delinquents who know a few spells and fake the rest. The truth is probably somewhere between the two.

Kari and Fai’s stories are set in the same world as many of my other stories, including At An Uncertain Hour and Eltava: A Sword for All Ages. In fact, the Traveller, who figures in both books, makes a cameo appearance in the first of the stories, while Kari, in a somewhat different later life, will appear in several other novels, including the one I’m currently writing.

The first three stories were published by various markets between 2009 and 2011. In Steal Away, they inadvertently saved the day and were given the resources to leave the city of Errish, where they were living in what can only be described as a squat. In Rainy Season, they tried to fix the climate for a community of islanders and only made things worse. While in The Temple of Taak-Resh, they actually managed to summon a demon — though a reasonably benevolent one.

For some reason, I didn’t write more about Kari and Fai for a few years, but a while ago I wrote a much longer story, Dweller in the Crack. Without giving away too many spoilers, this story involves a missing city, a child-goddess, time-travel, a nightmare future, a crack in reality, and a threat to the whole world and maybe more. And, in the end, Kari and Fai find that perhaps they really are the great sorcerers they claim to be.

I love writing about Kari and Fai because they’re neither heroes (even flawed ones) or villains (even with redeeming features). They’re something far more awesome and terrifying — teenagers. Absurd, romantic, passionate, chaotic, wildly in love with new experiences (and with one another), and always just on the edge of creating mayhem. Always with the best of intentions. Well, usually.

I have three more story ideas for Kari and Fai, and I just have to get around to the minor detail of actually writing them. And I’m sure there’ll be more.

Some years ago, I described Kari and Fai (with apologies to Johnny Mercer) as “two drifters off to see the world”. I still think that sums them up better than anything, and I’m going to enjoy following them as they see more of the world. And maybe blow up odd bits of it.

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