Derfel Cadarn Posted August 10, 2022 Share Posted August 10, 2022 Bit of a strange request here, but I'm looking for LGBTQIA sensitivity readers for my recently finished epic fantasy novel, The Blood Hour. The first round of edits have been done with my agent, and once finalised it will be submitted to the various UK/US fantasy publishers (Orbit, Tor, Gollancz etc). A number of the characters fall under the LGBTQIA umbrella, in particular one character introduced halfway through is what we might consider agender (but not asexual). Other characters in the group are pan, bi, and one likely gay though this is not confirmed in this book. As a hetero CIS male, this is all well outside my lived experience, hence the request for people in the LGBTQIA community (particularly those with an interest in fantasy) to read the book and point out anything that might cause offense through ignorance, or could be improved. The agender character will take on a more prominent role in the next book, which I'll be planning soon, and so while any feedback will help improve The Blood Hour, I'm also looking ahead. I'm not particularly after (though happy to receive) general feedback; I'm posting in this thread because I'm specifically looking for feedback relating to the LGBTQIA elements/characters. If anyone is interested in reading over this book (the Word file can be sent to kindle), please let me know either in this thread or by DM. As mentioned, the book has undergone one round of edits, so it's pretty polished and mostly error-free. If anyone's interested, I've outlined a brief description of the setting/characters, and am happy to answer any questions. Spoiler The setting: Earth tens or hundreds of thousands of years from now, after a number of catastrophes. Humanity's development approx equivalent to 1500-2000 years ago. Geographically the world's mostly recognisable as ours, but there have been changes, and it's also inherited a second moon. Araka=Africa, Keram = Europe. The book starts in the city of Mask in northern Araka (essentially Egypt, albeit with inspirations from Morocco) and will involve a mixed group of adventurers travelling south and west across the desert to find an ancient temple. After a number of misadventures in Mask, of course, including perhaps the gutsiest, 'cheekiest' assassination in history. The 'travel' part is essentially Egypt to Nigeria as part of a caravan made up of 3000 camels, across a vast desert. And post-caravan, through a rainforest. With flashforwards to 2000 years in the future, which ties in to the main plot. Characters: Shukara: A magicker and leader of the group, hailing from southern Araka. Essentially a young, black female Gandalf. Not entirely forthcoming with the group. On a quest to save the world, which will lead her to the tomb of the Bone King. Tamira: An eighteen year old native of Mask, <spoiler> turned thief turned assassin, nearing the end of her vengeance quest. Knows Shukara from an adventure five years previous. Garius: A sellsword from Daria in southern Keram (Italy/Greece). He's trying to break a curse, in-between guarding caravans and indulging in drink and sex. His curse plays an important role. Basically an anti-paladin. Roan: A gladiator from northern Keram (Scottish, basically). A bit of a nod to Conan. He was enslaved half a world away and isn't fucking happy about it, wanting nothing more than to return to his people. Jassan: A desert ranger. Hails from the Kavari tribe, named after the Kavari Desert. The clans of that tribe mostly live on the fringes of the desert, claiming many of the oases within. Caravans wanting to cross the desert (the Sahara, essentially) must travel with Kavari rangers. The Kavari are a blend of the Berbers of North Africa and the San (Bush) people of South Africa. Previously adventured with Shukara and Tamira, which led to a rise in eminence for his clan, with increased wealth and political danger. Shuang: Ostensibly a bard from the Mountains of Valal in the very distant east (China), who meets the above during the caravan journey across the desert. They do not identify as either male or female, though they do pursue romantic/sexual relationships. Shuang walks the path of the Optimal, that will lead them to the Unbroken Circle. Laquan: A warrior accompanying Shuang. His late wife was a bardic mentor to Shuang, and his response to her awful death saw him exiled. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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