On November 1st, Serial Box released The Fisher of Bones, a revisionist take on the Moses quest, written by the awesome Sarah Gailey. This is Serial Box’s first release in collaboration with Fireside Fiction and we have invited Sarah Gailey today to give us a bit of a primer for The Fisher of Bones!
5 Things You Need to Know About Fisher of Bones – A Primer
1.Fisher of Bones is a horror story structured as a flash serial. The entire thing is about fourteen thousand words wrong – novelette length – and follows the last leg of the pilgrimage of the Children of the Gods. It’s being released one chapter at a time for free via Fireside and Serial Box, and you can purchase the entire thing via Fireside or on Amazon.com. Importantly, this is horror — and, while the whole thing is tense and harrowing, the ending is what makes the reader truly understand why there is only one genre into which this particular story could fit.
2. The Gods of Fisher of Bones are deeply Other. The Gods lack an understanding that human limitations are anything more than theoretical roadblocks. They are powerful, with their own interests and ambitions — and one of those interests just happens to be offering an invitation to the promised land. This is not an indicator of infinite compassion or special interest in a particular set of humans. The invitation simply states that if the recipient makes it to the right place at the right time per the instructions offered, the Gods will be there, and the gates will be open. They are generous, but insistent: a repeated refrain throughout the story is ‘The Gods give only gifts.’ They are gifts that one does not have the option of refusing.
3. The world of Fisher of Bones is unforgiving. It is a world in which the Gods are present and immediate and demanding. Those demands don’t come with divine assistance — they come with hardship and suffering. That suffering is not caused by the divinely-justified character-building that some like to ascribe to pain; it is simply the suffering of existence, and life, and emotion, and complication. Fisher Of Bones is the story of a journey to a promised land, and it does not take place in a vacuum. The movements of the narrative are set within the context of a society that is in a death-spiral. Every character in Fisher of Bones has chosen to take this impossibly hard journey based solely on the hope that the final destination of the journey will give them an escape from the collapse of their civilization. It is a story of stubborn hope that somewhere on the other side of suffering, there is something better waiting.
4.Fisher of Bones is a story of the burden of leadership. Fisher of Bones begins with the death of the Prophet, which immediately coincides with his daughter’s ascension to his position. The story explores what it’s like to be a daughter stepping into her father’s position, in charge of the lives of people who aren’t sure whether or not they trust her at all. It’s also about the way that a shifting power dynamic impacts a marriage — Fisher’s relationship with her husband is changed by her rise to power, and their attempts to navigate that change are weighted even further by the way their family begins to grow as the story goes on. Fisher is carrying her entire tribe’s survival, and the weight of her grief over her father’s death, and her husband’s insecurities. Over the course of Fisher of Bones, she discovers just how much strength is required to carry such a burden.
5.More than anything, Fisher of Bones is about faith. Faith is a gift. Faith is a curse. Faith is power. Faith is vulnerability. Faith defines the characters of Fisher of Bones — and it breaks them, too. It makes them demonstrate deep sacrificial compassion, and it moves them to commit atrocities. Every character in the story is working through their understanding of the will of the Gods, and as their faith changes, so does their ability to understand why they’re on a journey to the promised land at all. By the end of the story, they come to see that there is no faith that is adequate to lend a true understanding of the will of the Gods.
Hugo and Campbell award finalist Sarah Gailey is an internationally-published fiction and nonfiction writer. Her nonfiction has been published by Mashable and the Boston Globe, and she is a regular contributor for Tor.com and Barnes & Noble. Her most recent fiction credits include Mothership Zeta, Fireside Fiction, and the Speculative Bookshop Anthology. Her debut novella, River of Teeth, was published in May 2017. She has a novel forthcoming from Tor Books in Spring 2019. Gailey lives in beautiful Oakland, California with her husband and two scrappy dogs. You can find links to her work at www.sarahgailey.com; find her on social media @gaileyfrey.
It sounds… AWESOME, right? Make sure to check out Fisher of Bones and Serial Box now.
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