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Shades in Shadow

by N.K. Jemisin

Publication Date—Jul 28, 2015

Three brand new short stories by Hugo, Nebula & World Fantasy Award nominated author N.K. Jemisin, set in the world of the Inheritance trilogy.

From the shadows of the greater stories, away from the bright light of Sky and wending ’round the sagas of the Arameri, come three quieter tales. A newborn god with an old, old soul struggles to find a reason to live. A powerful demon searches for her father, and answers. And in a prequel to the Inheritance Trilogy, a newly-enslaved Nahadoth forges a dark alliance with a mortal, for survival… and revenge.


On the morning of her eighteenth birthday, Glee decides to go and find her father.

She goes downstairs to inform her mother of this.  Her mother is unsurprised.  “If you were anyone else,” says Mother, “I would accuse you of being impulsive.”  There is a hint of irony in her voice as she says this, but Glee ignores it.  She is aware that her mother does not laugh out of cruelty.  It’s simply her way of appreciating that which makes Glee different.

Because Glee does not have impulses.  She makes carefully-considered decisions, having weighed their benefits and consequences and informed herself as to the alternatives.  She often does this with a speed that most mortals would consider unseemly at best, impossible at worst — or impulsive.  But there is no impulse involved.  She has no intuition and ignores any “gut feelings” she experiences, if she’s ever had one.  Certainty, or at least the comfort of high probability, is what she prefers.

Her mother understands this, and likewise understands that it’s pointless to try and talk Glee out of any decision she’s made.  But she does ask one question, and it is the one that Glee has been dreading.  “Why?”

There is an answer to this question, even if it is not the answer:  “Because I can.”

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