A Tale of Ethshar
This short Ethshar story was written as our 2007 holiday card.
Its initial publication was in the form of a chapbook, with illustrations by Kiri Evans. There were two printings; the first was our Christmas card for 2007, and the second was included as a bonus with copies of The Vondish Ambassador that were sent out early in 2008 to the people who contributed money toward the novel's online serialization.
The story is part of the Ethshar series, which consists of fourteen novels (soon to be fifteen) and eleven shorter works (counting this one, but not one I wrote that hasn't been published yet) as of October 2022. (If you're wondering why there are only links for nine other short works over there on the right, it's because "The Unwanted Wardrobe" is more an April Fool's joke than a story, and "The Frog Wizard" was originally published in a non-Ethshar version.)
"The God in Red" is copyright 2007 by Lawrence Watt Evans.
We've been creating our own holiday cards since the early 1980s -- not every year, but most. Most of these cards, though, have been cards, relying on art or a gag of some sort.
I've always thought, though, that since I'm a writer, I ought to write something to send to our friends -- something more than a cheap gag. One year I did write a dreadful little Feghootish thing, but usually I just haven't had the time or inspiration.
In 2007, though, I'd been spending a lot of time on Ethshar stuff -- The Spriggan Mirror was out, and I was in the middle of writing The Vondish Ambassador, so I had a head full of Ethsharitic customs and magic when the time came to devise a holiday card. "The God in Red" was the result.
I've written more Christmas-card stories since then, and will probably continue to do so, but so far they're not Ethshar stories.
- "The God in Red" first appeared as a holiday chapbook, with illustrations by Kiri Evans and a first printing of 64 copies, in December 2007.
- A second printing of approximately 200 copies was distributed to donors to The Vondish Ambassador who requested it, beginning in January 2008.
- The complete text was put online on November 24, 2008.
- The story is included in Tales of Ethshar (Wildside Press, March 2012).