To Be A Man (A Roderic Barr Adventure)

Back in March 2011, Cold Magic (Spiritwalker #1) was part of the DBWAHA March Madness book tournament.

As part of the game, during the second or third round, I pledged to write a short story featuring the character Rory if I won that round. I did win the round (eventually losing in the Elite Eight to historical romance novelist Courtney Milan), but because the mere thought of writing a short story intimidates me, it took me months to work my way through it. Due in large part to a challenge by writer N. K. Jemisin (The Inheritance Trilogy, you should read it), I managed on the day after Thanksgiving 2011 to finish this story about a sabertooth cat who can wear the form of a man.

You can read โ€œTo Be A Manโ€ here, on my website, right now (in January 2012 I will try to make an ebook version available).

Disclaimer: The story has no redeeming social value whatsoever. It includes mild adult content and certainly innuendo. Also, no dogs were actually harmed in the writing of the story. Donโ€™t say I didnโ€™t warn you.


ALSO (potentially spoilery):

For those interested in such details, the story takes place in the same time frame as the very end of Cold Magic. In Chapter 28, when Bee and Cat realize they are essentially prisoners in the Barry household, Rory offers to turn into a sabertooth cat as a distraction so they can escape. They get out of the house and continue their adventures. After the confrontation at the factory and while being escorted home, Cat overhears two soldiers talking about a sabertoothed cat that got into the prince’s menagerie. The story follows from there. In the last chapter of Cold Magic, of course, Rory shows up while the two young women are crossing the city at night.

14 thoughts on “To Be A Man (A Roderic Barr Adventure)

  1. Pingback: Rory gets his own story, plus a giveaway | I Make Up Worlds

  2. I loved this as well, it was cheeky and funny. Brought Rory’s mischief nature even more. Thanks again.

  3. haven’t noticed any reason for the English Channel missing on the Europa maps other than a note about background, Quarterany something, any special reason for that or someplace I can go to see the reasoning behind it? tks blm

  4. Thanks for the question, Bruce.

    The world of Cold Magic is based on the prolongation of the ice ages. The map shows significant ice sheets in the north and over the Alps. The water locked up in these ice shelfs means the sea level is significantly lower. What we call the English Channel was in fact dry land, and a large portion of the North Sea was land at one time in the not too distant past as well during the last glacial maximum (which occurred during the Quarternary, a period of Earth’s history). The existence of magic is posited (within the “world” of the story) as the reason the ice age prolonged.

    So that is why the English Channel is “missing.” The sea level is lower than it is in our modern day.

  5. The link to the story is broken.

    Also I wondered if you have a more detailed map of the area where Cold Magic takes place. I’m finding the one in the book a bit confusing (made worse because the area of interest is right in the middle of the two pages). Am I correct in assuming that Four Moons House is located somewhere in the middle of our English Channel? I was poring over google maps yesterday trying to reconcile the fact that the Rhine delta is pretty far to the NE of Canterbury, England. Does Adurnum correspond to our Southampton?

  6. Thanks for the heads-up. I fixed the link in the post (I hope–at least, it worked for me).

    A more detailed map of which area? Of Adurnam in particular? I actually only have the two maps that are in COLD FIRE, one of Europa and one of North Amerike and the Antilles. COLD STEEL will probably include an updated map of Europa. I could see about including a map of Adurnam.

  7. It works now, thanks for responding so quickly! I like the story. Rory’s solution to the problem is genius :).

    Yes, a map of Adurnum would be nice. I also was hoping for a map showing the route that Cat and Andevai travel. Four Moons House and Haranwy are not on the existing map.

  8. ๐Ÿ™‚

    My editor has requested more details on the map for book three, rather to match your requests, actually!

  9. I always feel vaguely guilty writing a character who is this much fun… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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