Candlemark & Gleam continues its mission of discovering talented new voices. We are delighted to announce that yet another explorer has joined the crew of our intrepid starship: Robin Shortt has come on board with his novel Wellside, a tour de force of subgenre fusion that just cries out to become an immersive movie directed by someone with the visual flair of Peter Jackson or Guillermo del Toro.
Robin was born in Canberra and lives in Vancouver. His stories have previously appeared in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild anthology Winds of Change.
Below is the irresistible synopsis that Robin supplied for Wellside:
Ben is stuck. His parents’ divorce left him trapped in a backwater town, the locals all suck (except for his classmate Essa), and he’s just been caught breaking into a fairly big corporation’s servers and they’re probably going to try him as an adult.
Essa is also stuck. A vengeful ex-lover left her trapped in a backwater world, the locals all suck, and she has no way back home to the Well, the vast bottomless pit lined with doors to countless realities.
A lucky accident (not so lucky for Ben) frees Essa and now they’re both in the Well, with its invisible lizards, cities hung from cats’-cradles and Library made of sand.
Essa wants revenge. Ben wants a way home. The awakening of an ancient threat to the Well puts both their plans on hold. On the run, their only allies a clockwork spider and a girl made of iron, they’ll have to work together to save Ben’s world and all the others.
We expect to show Wellside to the world within the next year, along with vibrant new launches and returns from other members of the Candlemark crew: we just announced Lise Breakey’s beguiling Unraveling Timelines and the reappearance of Nick Moss in Justin Robinson’s Fifty Feet of Trouble; we’ll soon be launching To Shape the Dark edited by Athena Andreadis and unveiling the mesmerizing artwork that Alan Caum created for A. M. Tuomala’s Drakon—and that’s just the prow of the starship. Keep this frequency open!
Photo: Robin at the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo (sculpture by Kunio Shachimaru).