Hello dear readers!

Welcome to my new website. We’re just getting started here, so please forgive the dust…

Metamor City at sunrise, as seen from the Dybald Pass in the Dragon Mountains. In Honor and Natasha’s time, the buildings were much smaller…

Chris, my editor at Liminal Corvid Press, tells me that I should say a little about my world and how I came to write The House of Bellvue.

First, I suppose I should start with the obvious: I don’t live in your world, the world you think of as the “real” one. I make my home in Metamor City, which is the capital of the Empire of Metamor (or, more properly, the Imperial Union of Metamor and Allied Nations — and the aforementioned “allied nations” can get a little touchy about leaving out that part, believe me). Things are a little different here from the world you know. For one thing, we have magic, and always have done. Magic and technology have grown up side by side, and each depends a great deal on the other. I can scarcely imagine what life must be like without it.

As I write this, we are now early in the twenty-first century of the Cristos Reckoning, but my interest and expertise lie more than a century in the past. The Progressive Era (roughly 1890-1940 CR) was a time of revolutionary social change in the Empire, when many aspects of life were in flux. Technological innovations such as electrification, steam power and the telephone were improving standards of living and making the world smaller. Millions of people moved from the country into the cities, leading to intense crowding and a rise in crime and pollution. The traditional gender roles of men, women and androgynes were called into question. A large population of veterans returned from the Second Great War, many with terrible injuries or emotional scarring; this forced the Empire to think seriously about what it meant to care for our neighbors, and to ensure social inclusion for the disabled. Most momentous of all, the very class system itself —the rigid hierarchy of nobility, gentry, and commoners—came under tremendous scrutiny, to a degree that had not been seen since the Lantonian Revolution two centuries before. Those who came of age in the Progressive Era could not know where these changes were leading, or what the outcome would be—but when one reads their journals and letters, one sees a spirit of excitement and optimism, a sense that the future was theirs for the taking.

It is in this milieu that I have set the story of the fictional House of Bellvue. I have woven the story of Honor and Natasha into this rich tapestry of historical events, in hopes of giving the reader a sense of what it was like to be a young person in the vanguard of a societal revolution. Young Honor’s story does not precisely follow the lines of any real historical figure of the era, but you can think of her as a sort of amalgam, a composite of many stories I have encountered in my research. Along the way, she and her friends and loved ones have taken on a life of their own, to the point where they feel as “real” to me as the men, women and androgynes who inspired their adventures.

I will have more to say on all these things in the coming months—as my partner Isabela says, there’s nothing more dangerous than asking an academic about her research! But I’ll put a pin in this for now. Once again, welcome, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading these stories as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them.

–Lillian

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