Sema (A Tale of the Northern Clan) now on Penumbra

Few things make me happier than knowing my work is appreciated.

By editors and publishers.

Readers, definitely. Other authors, oh yeah.

And editors and publishers? Yeah, you betcha.

Such is the case with Sema (A Tale of the Northern Clan).

The Northern Clan stories started out quite differently. The first one, written in the early 1970s, dealt with someone becoming aware of their magical powers and realizing the responsibility their use entailed.

What is it based on? Well, first, myself and my experiences (I’ve often stated I write autobiography).

Do I think I have magical powers?

Of course I have magical powers. I write stories, don’t I? What can be more magical than that?

And specifically, the story is a metaphor of growing up, becoming aware of one’s needs, abilities, and responsibilities in the world. More than growing hair in funny places, the original Tale of the Northern Clan was written before the concept of a Northern Clan existed and simply dealt with dealing with new feelings, new wants and desires, and deciding whether they would rule your life or you’d rule them in your life.

What teenager hasn’t experienced that?

For that matter, what late sixties-year-old hasn’t experienced that?

That original story received praise from early readers (we didn’t have the concept of “first readers” in the early 1970s) and I was never satisfied with it. The first version of Sema came out in 1988, went through several revisions, and now appears in Penumbra (it’s also in my Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires anthology), and somewhere in the middle of Sema‘s revisions I realized it and several other stories-in-progress were all part of a single mythology and thus The Tales of the Northern Clan was born.

That original story is still in progress and should be done early Spring 2022.

Meanwhile, enjoy Sema (A Tale of the Northern Clan).


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