Only One Death

If he does not find a way to save them, Dhinal knows his people will die. Every single one of them.

The apprentice shaman has travelled for years, searching for the answer, along the way gathering a ragtag band of misfits, each harbouring secrets of their own. The latest member of this group, Strings, is running from something, her dreams haunted by flames and terror.

Together, they arrive in the bustling city of Eastsea, seeking a guide to the legendary and lost Amethyst Mountains.

Kees is tired of the city. She knows it is slowly killing her and longs to seek solitude in wild places, far away from the noise and stench of others.

Dhinal and Kees understand the wilderness does not care about you, it simply exists. Whether you live, or whether you die, is up to you, to your companions and to sheer chance. Winter is whispering in the high places, dangers-unknown abound in the forests, and fractures begin to appear in the group itself.

The truth, Dhinal knows, is that there are many ways to die, but only one death. And this journey will test them all, in ways they could not possibly imagine.

At its heart, Only One Death takes the well-loved trope of a group of adventurers on a quest, then turns this upside down and inside out, demonstrating how danger, secret motives and hidden desires can swiftly tear apart the strongest of groups — and Dhinal’s group is not the strongest. Not by a long way.

A permafree introduction to the dark and dangerous fantasy world of The Lesser Evil. This free novella also contains a link to a further free bonus tale, Dust and Death, featuring some of the characters from Only One Death.

Meet Alexander M Crow

I was born in 1977, one of the micro-generation of people who experienced an analogue childhood and digital adulthood. Sometimes called Xennials, sometimes ‘The Star Wars Generation’, this duality had a definite impact on how I see the world.

I am Scottish. Technically, I was born in England, in a now dead and disappeared county, but my family moved to the far northern islands of Orkney when I was eight and I grew up there. Scotland remains the closest thing I have to a home nation.

I write for a sort-of-living and travel and live in places where the small amount of money I make from my words goes further. This feeds into my work, new experiences and cultures adding extra flavour and detail. Rather than the oft-derided “Digital Nomad” tag, I prefer the more Snufkinesque “Globally Feral”. It fits. I am not a travel writer, but a writer who travels.

Edge of the Breach

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EDGE OF THE BREACH
Book 1 of the Rift Cycle

We all become monsters at the edge of the breach. In a post-apocalyptic world where season of birth determines power — spring healers, summer mages, fall shapeshifters, and winter shields — a man and a woman emerge from tragic childhoods to lead humanity on opposite sides of an interrealm war.

There is a hole in the sky. They call it the Rift. A portal to the gods. The scar of a suffering world. Through it, the gods rule the last scraps of civilization, harkening war. As chaos beckons, two leaders emerge from the ashes of a dying planet.

Julian Kyder is the son of an abusive rape victim who compensates for his abandonment through psychopathy. Sira Rune is a cancer survivor who dedicates her life to living free and fearless while experiencing the taboo and the unorthodox. Rune is the only one unafraid of Kyder, and that terrifies him, because he only knows how to function through fear. Even though she gives him more chances than he deserves, how much violence can she forgive? When is a person beyond redemption? While he struggles to control his demons and she struggles to find purpose, the gods drag the ruined world into war.

CONTENT WARNING: The Rift Cycle is a highly graphic series intended for mature audiences. It is about the raw, harsh, brutal nature of truth, and it is violent, gory, and unflinching in its execution.

TAGS: science fiction, fantasy, grimdark, horror, psychology, LGBTQ, mental illness

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