READ THIS MAD, BEAUTIFUL NOVELLA HERE
J.M. Guillen is a madman who writes books in multiple speculative fiction genres called The Irrational Worlds series, all of which tie together battling the same eldritch forces across time and space. I’ve read several of the others which are fantastic in their own right, especially Rationality Zero. But Tommy Maple’s story holds a special place in my heart.
You see, The Herald of Autumn has stuck with me ever since I read it a few years ago–the prose and poetry and storytelling is magical. It is fey and wild and absolutely stunning, a mixture of mythology a la Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, part dark fairy tale and part Lovecraftian horror that sinks its hooks in and keeps you reading.
Tommy Maple wears the mantle of Autumn, and as such is bound by the will of the Autumn Queen. Tommy is a wild and free spirit, but when he is awakened too early from his slumber by a trickster shaman who has somehow gleaned his true name, Tommy realizes something terrible is happening. He doesn’t know if he can trust his ancient enemy, but an evil threatens to sweep through the land. The Herald must reclaim his weapons and defeat the shambling creature, for if he does not, he will be destroyed and rise to join the shadow forces threatening to unmake the world.
Continuation of the story told in Herald goes on in The Harrowing of Twilight. The author recently re-published The Herald of Autumn on Kindle Vella, so do yourself a favor and read it. You will not regret it, I swear.