From the Author
Shafter is a science fiction novel that had its start as a short story in one of the best writing classes I took in college. A graduate student got permission to teach a speculative fiction workshop focused not just on writing and editing but on submitting your works to markets. Back then, it was unheard of.
At the time, I had not mastered the speculative short story because I get sucked into my characters' worlds. I had not yet learned the balance of information for a short story when I had a universe worth of fascinating things to reveal. Even as I learned the differences with short stories, Shafter refused to be confined. It blossomed into a long novel during the National Novel Writing Month some years ago.
Thanks to excellent feedback, the story has undergone radical changes. Some were to deal with length, cutting beloved characters and stripping out subplots to make it more in line with length expectations, while others were to improve the story itself.
As with the short story issue, the first version of this novel contained more than the story could support at a reasonable length. I mourn the removal of some layers in the culture of Ceric, but like all my worlds, it's full and complete in my head. Ceric colony has an origin story that may someday see the light, and a history built of generations born and raised in an alien landscape with extreme challenges both among their communities and with survival itself.
You can read more about its history, and read a short story that was cut from the novel, on my website.
About the Author
Margaret McGaffey Fisk is a born storyteller whose tales often cross genres and worlds to bring the events and characters to life. She currently writes romance, science fiction, and fantasy but will go wherever the story takes her. A daughter of diplomats, her early years were filled with many cultures, those very much alive and those long turned to dust, as well as people who both pondered the great thoughts and were grand pranksters. Whether from wild adventures into the desert to climb sand mountains, poking around little known archeological sites, or visiting bazaars and inner cities, she came out of that time with a love of culture and an all too sharp awareness of culture clash. She currently lives in a Nevada desertscape with her husband, and a rotating collection of cats and sons. When not exercising her creative muscles, she has been known to tame the relatives of beasts in the wild—feral cats. In a different time, you’d find her before a bonfire or with a mug of ale and a lute spinning tales for all who are in earshot. Now, though, you can read her explorations of loyalty, love, and conflict wherever you might be. Her newsletter is published monthly with questions for readers, notes on what she's publishing or working on, and excerpts of works in progress. Her website is: http://margaretmcgaffeyfisk.com