Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The Language of the Dragon - introductory offer

Can a book be on sale if this is the first publication, so that there's no previous price for comparison? Semantics! I'm releasing The Language of the Dragon today and it's going to be 99 cents for a while -- at least until the second Dragon Speech book is available - after which I'll bump it back up to my usual price for light fantasy novels. I'm calling that a sale.
(At the same time I've raised the price of A Pocketful of Stars back to $3.99. I'll put it on sale again for brief periods connected with promotions. The main reason I'm raising the price is that it's not eligible for a lot of promotions unless I temporarily drop the price again.)
Marketing makes my head hurt.
Writing is much more fun, and the prospect of people reading what I've written is even better. (And do NOT point out that there's a connection between marketing and readers. Anyway, the inept way I do it, I'm not sure there is any connection.)
I'm excited about releasing this book, the first of the Dragon Speech series, in which I hope to do to linguistics what I did to pure mathematics in the Applied Topology books. Hmm. I shall probably never dare step on a university campus again... Anyway, here's an excerpt from Language of the Dragon:

At night, after the communal meal, Teller would sit at his flimsy desk and replay his day’s collection of language notes, scribbling as he did so in the narrow ledger with the stained green cover. Koshan contrived to get a glimpse of the writing but was left no wiser than before: it was some kind of spiky script that he couldn’t begin to read.
A spiky script for a stony language?
One day a villager interrupted their preparation of dinner to say that the professor wanted an interpreter. Koshan followed the man and found Teller pestering Rukshana. That was odd; Rukshana was one of the few people in the village who’d been sent to Tireza every summer to attend the seasonal school there. The school didn’t teach German, but if anybody knew enough English to communicate with Professor Teller, she should.
He had the feeling she didn’t want to communicate with Teller. He told Koshan that he needed to know exactly what she had said just before something or other had happened.
“Nothing happened! The wool is clean now, that is all,” she snapped. She put aside the sieve on which she’d rested a bundle of wool while tweaking the horsehair string tied across the sieve to beat dust out of the bundle.
“But she barely touched it,” Teller complained.
Koshan took a pinch of the wool between finger and thumb, raised it and blew on the fibers. “If you can get all the dust and dirt out so quickly, Rukshana, you should clean the wool for the whole village!”
“The old man is mistaken,” she told him, flushing. “I had to work a long time to clean this much!”
“Nein! She did not,” said Teller.
“And now,” Rukshana said, “I must begin cleaning another batch.” She put the clean wool in a large bowl, pulled dirty wool out of the sack beside her and arranged it on the sieve, under the taut horsehair string.
“And then she said, ‘Djnd vlaad dzlaamk!’” It was Teller who voiced the grating words.
Dust and loose dirt cascaded from the sieve, and Rukhshana’s fingers were only just raised to pluck the string. White-faced, she turned to the professor, and then to Koshan. “I did not say it,” she cried out. “I never said it, I do not know where he learned it! I never used it to clean the wool – well, only a little, little bit, and my fingers are so sore!” Tearful, she exhibited pink fingertips to Koshan. “Please do not tell anyone!”
“Do not tell them what?”
“That I used the language of the dragon to clean my wool.”


  1. "Introductory Offer" comes to mind rather than sale. I too hate marketing, that evil necessity. ;-)


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