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Thursday, June 1, 2023

Excerpt: Dragon Springs & Other Things: A Short Story Collection: Book I by Raven Oak

by Raven Oak
June 1, 2023
Genre: short stories, fantasy
This debut collection by multi-award-winning author and artist Raven Oak brings together fantastical stories from the past ten years of her career, ranging from gothic and urban fantasy to post-apocalyptic and steampunk tales.

You’ll find coffee-drinking ghosts, ever-changing faces, elemental spirits who both protect and harm, assassins, magical pockets, and snarky creatures in these ELEVEN fanciful fictions. Dragon Springs & Other Things contains SIX never-before seen stories for your enjoyment, including two stories featuring fan favorite character, Ida, from Oak’s Boahim Trilogy.

STORIES INCLUDED: Mirror Me, Water the Fire, Alive, Learning to Fly, The Drive to Work, The Ringers, Cookie Man, Amaskan, Peace Be With You, Friend, The Snark, and Dragon Springs & Other Things.

Excerpt from the story “Dragon Springs & Other Things” in Dragon Springs & Other Things: A Short Story Collection Book I by Raven Oak – 6/1/23

“A dragon? Why a dragon?

“The real question is why not a dragon. I mean, can’t you see it?” I asked.

My father frowned, his bushy brows climbing further towards his receding hairline.

“No, no—just picture it! Robo-wings in gold stretched out across the blue skies of Gharmon. What a sight. Everyone would love it!”

My father sighed. “Now Jonna, wouldn’t this time off from your studies be better spent developing something of…well, better use? Perhaps fixing the plumbing at the academe or working on that new steam powered contraption—that rolling thing. What did Bron call it?”

“A train, Father,” I muttered and repressed the urge to roll my eyes.

“Yes, the train. Why can’t you make something like that? His Majesty would be sure to notice us—your work.”

“Just what I need. Another man telling me what to do.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

I waved a roughened hand in the air. He wouldn’t understand even if I tried to explain it.

“Besides, what would you make a dragon out of?”

I grinned. It was a question I’d contemplated for years, ever since I’d been apprenticed to Bron. “Springs and…well, other things you wouldn’t understand—it doesn’t matter. I’ve got the plans drafted and a space in Bron’s workshop ready to go….”

He leveled a new stern glare. “I had hoped you were beyond such…frivolous ventures, Jonna. You’re fifteen and ’prenticed to one of the best tinkerers in the kingdom. It’s a high honor, not one to be taken lightly or squandered away on a fantastical nothing.”

“But a dragon would be a boon to the crown! A guardian and means of travel both. Imagine, Father—flying!”

“And crashing to the rocky ground below. Dead. What would I do if I lost you?” His voice trembled as he spoke, and he gripped my shoulder tightly.

Have to make your own tea for once.

“Promise me you’ll put your time to something more worthwhile. Something…safer.”

A picture of the train popped into my head. Twelve people had lost limbs developing it—a fact my father either ignored or was not aware of—and I nodded. What he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.

At least not yet.

About the Author:
Multi-international award-winning speculative fiction author and artist Raven Oak (she/they) is best known for Amaskan’s Blood (2016 Ozma Fantasy Award Winner, Epic Awards Finalist, & Reader’s Choice Award Winner), Amaskan’s War (2018 UK Wishing Award YA Finalist), and Class-M Exile. She has more than a dozen short stories published in various anthologies and is even published on the moon!

Raven spent most of her K-12 education doodling stories and
500-page monstrosities that are forever locked away in a filing

Besides being a writer and artist, she’s a geeky, disabled
ENBY who enjoys getting her game on with tabletop games,
indulging in cartography and art, or staring at the ocean. She lives in the Seattle area with her partner, and their three kitties who enjoy lounging across the keyboard when writing deadlines approach. Her hair color changes as often as her bio does, and you can find her at

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