It’s the turn of the Beetle-kinden for December, as we begin the home run to February and the release of Dragonfly Falling. The Beetles are a mainstay of Empire in Black and Gold and its sequels: Stenwold and Cheerwell are two of the most important protagonists, Collegium perhaps the single most key place. Still, this is an accident of plot and locality. The story of the Wasp war could be told just as easily from the point of view of a Sarnesh tactician, for example, or an itinerant Spider-kinden rogue – or a Wasp Rekef Major, for that matter. Perhaps eventually it will be. We see the war through Beetle-coloured spectacles, but their race is neither uniquely destined, nor drearily “vanilla”. Indeed there are Beetles and Beetles, and the Collegium breed is notably different to their cousins in Helleron, their more distant relatives in Myna, or the multitude of Beetle-kinden living and working industriously within the Empire.
So, I give you a new story, To Own the Sky, which comes with it’s very own extra-special Christmas bonus, as shown here and another of David Mumford’s splendid pieces of kinden art (and one of my favourites) here .