20 \ 108

I deduce their fall, as I sense her flight. The rest goes accordingly. More will come, quickly enough; I’ll know when it comes for me. I have no worry, and my own fear has died over and over. I’ve never gone with it.

What about them? This, one of the largest and most fraught questions of my life. What about them? The things it has meant, with what I have seen and been.

It’s almost comforting to be caught in self absorption. I think practically nothing of myself, except what may be mine to accomplish. I have nothing but myself here in these walls, which to me are nearly illusory. I am entertaining this illusion now, though it may not entertain me for much longer.

I could send my being out in some way, in some direction, for the cost of the time it took. This has taken me all the time till now to be able to do. I’ve made myself and been remade, to become able. I accept my abilities like fate, but the decision has always been mine – in the surprisingly rare points where one exists.

Here and now, I have no decisions to make. I do little but recall who I am, and try not to think about the parts missing.

19 \ 107

This is no more trying than anything my forebears have committed. Missing the Ascendant; missing the scion. We have a succession, like we’ve always known to have. The Imperium is still the Imperium. I’ve made it as it is now – this is what we’ve all said.

I have made it as it is now, so it will continue. As it will, so shall I. All we have, our lives from beginning to end. All this I must.

I am the twenty-fourth ruler of this era. We have forged a memory, all our lives, from beginning to end. The way it could be, and the way it is – we all step upon this stone. It really is not so simple, and never has been. We are thus, and at times the grand total outweighs even a lifetime.

Unwearied, at full measure, equal to my greatest moment. I am always.

(from The Annals of Celeste, Magus the 24th)

Section Headings & Draconid Pronouns

Informing as to method shifts.

Section headings in The Enfolding Abyss will be jointly numbered: the first, greater number is its position in the entire cross-book storyline, the second smaller number is its position in its book.
e.g.
108 – 19
Bones of Starlight # – The Enfolding Abyss #

Draconid Pronouns: Nonbinary
The dragon species in Bones of Starlight is not two-gendered, and during the first book I couldn’t figure out how to signify it well in writing, as the common ‘they’ creates a bit of a mess with multiple characters in a paragraph.

It takes eight to make an egg. Whichever eight dragons agree on this egg. Two genders, or gender at all, isn’t applicable to these elementally based beings. In an empire partially founded upon their integration, they would not be incorrectly signified, certainly not after twenty-four generations.

I am using the pronoun structure introduced to me by Bogi Takacs at Worldcon 74:
e / em / er / eir
singular / plural / singular possessive / plural possessive

Anyone familiar with English pronouns will be able to recognize them grammatically. Syntactically, I find it better to use ‘E with a prefacing apostrophe, so it doesn’t resemble an unknown character named E.

The Enfolding Abyss and further volumes will be written with this pronoun structure regarding the dragons. Fire On All Sides may be re-released in corrected form, probably upon trilogy completion or at whatever time it becomes pressing.