I often wonder if there’s any good in writing fiction, if by doing so in some way the world is made slightly better.

Is the world made better by simple joy? Put like that, the answer seems like it should be yes.

TiH: Outtakes

“What should we do with him?”

“Let’s give him a bunch of firedust and teach him Moonshadow Fist.”

There was a pause. “Why would we possibly do that?”

“I dunno. See what happens.”

“That is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.”


Master Feng woke me up. “Want to take a bunch of firedust and learn forbidden martial arts?”

What kind of stupid question was that?

“Yes!” I said obviously.


“This is Moonshadow Fist. I’ve decided to teach you this because it’s highly linear and effective, but it does tend to warp the mind toward violence and confrontation.”

“Got it. I’m with you.”

“Good,” he said and attacked me.

Our initial exchange pulled my guard down, and he swung a wild, open palm behind him while blocking both my hands with one of his. His finges trapped me, and I could not dodge. Mid-strike his hand turned gold and began to burn, and when he hit me, open palm to the forhead, he shouted, “Ko!”

It means Hand of Knowledge in an old and blasphemous tongue of Men.