Molly Fyde and the Darkness Deep

A reader came up to me at the Savannah Book Festival and asked when the next Molly book would be out. I honestly don’t know. I have two versions of this book in draft, one of which is long and complex; the other dives right into her next adventure. It might be a month of playing around with these before I decide which direction to take it. I can tell that I was writing the first of these for myself and the other draft for the reader. After the break, you can read the opening bits of the former.

Is this on?

The table? Yes. Of course.

The Circle records everything.

But the Secretary manages the recordings. Right?

Speak freely. My office will handle the rest.

Will someone tell me why the war council has been summoned? I’m assuming you all have heard—

One war’s end does not mean the end of war, Councilman.

This is about the Human girl, right?

Astute as ever.

Careful who you insult. My Wadi was a pace longer than yours—

Now it’s a full pace?

Enough. Both of you.

I side with the Counsel of Interior. Are we really here for a single girl?

Not a single girl. There are two of them. The one who is your queen will be trouble enough, but I believe if we work together, the crown will crush what lies beneath it.

And the Human? 

My sector is erecting monuments to this girl.

Mine too.

It’ll be a religion in a matter of sleeps.

Already is.

Is it too late to simply dispatch her?

Would you douse a fire with oil?

Cultural is right. Killing her would launch a crusade.

Killing her is always an option, but we must discredit her first.

Discredit a child who ends wars? I wish you luck.

Your wish may have already been granted.

What do you have to report?

Her Wadi is dead.

The living Queen?

Those rumors have already cooled in my district.

The more provincial of districts are the last to know.

Pants of Laughter

We have the body.

The Wadi Queen’s?

No, the Human’s you idiot.


Yes, the Wadi Queen. It was buried on Lok.

And you have it?

I can work a shovel.

It’s truly dead?

Does this mean she is no longer a Drenard? No longer a threat?

It means she’s a Drenard in name only. Like you.


With a dead Wadi, the fourth verse means nothing.


So the rest was coincidence?

Are you a believer?

Of course not.

Where is the body?

We have it.

We’ll put it on display.

Or serve it for soup.

We’ll do neither. We will encourage this cult.


They think her incapable of dying.


Let’s have them put this to a test.




The powerful winds of Drenard filled the Wadi Thooo’s wings, driving her high and fast through the air. Far below her lay a cracked and brightly lit landscape, canyons splitting off and rejoining, over and over, to create a world that looked from dizzying heights like a Wadi’s scales. The newly born Wadi watched as thousands of footsteps passed by with no effort, the fierce and steady gusts powering her and the other flying Wadi along.

One of her siblings screeched with a lungful of delight as he soared beside her. The three of them flooded the air with powerful scents of delight, of mixed memories from before their births, all of the thoughts and emotions swirling with the much fainter memories rising up from the ground, from the millions of other Wadi leaking their thoughts into the air.

Wrong way, one of the flying Wadi scented, a male kin, but it came as a happy observation, not a complaint. They were all too joyously alive to dare complain.

No. This is right, another scented. I feel it.

The Wadi agreed, but she was sure that it was a leftover memory, a recollection from some wingless life. They had their mother’s memories in them, leftover in a complex aroma to fill their eggs and teach them all a child should know. Among these lessons were memories of memories, ancient things, little hard stones of truth trapped among the day-to-day of surviving. Mother-of-mother truths and even older. A scent of some great journey Wadis embarked on back before wings withered to nubs. A great journey with winds at one’s back, a companion at one’s shoulder, soaring toward the center of the light, rising above the cracked earth before peeling away toward darkness. Even as these newborn Wadi soared over the home of their brethren—who were bound to the ground with their wingless backs—this Wadi was sure that this was their journey, one not taken in many a memory.

Up. Up! A sister scented, and the Wadi remembered. Not remembered, so much as knew. Deep in her bones, in the parts that get passed from mother to daughter, she knew that this was right. They were going the wrong way, but that was a brief part of the journey. Up ahead, with the two lights directly above them, the currents of wind would rise in a great, turbulent column of air. They would ride these, lifted to magnificent heights, before the powerful currents turned the other way, running in circles above the whole of their home, driving them all the way back around to the other side of a great sphere, larger than any egg could ever be, one side of which was lit, the other side bathed in darkness.

This is right, she scented the others. This is right. She flapped her mighty wings and darted forward, slicing ahead of the rushing air. The others screeched and followed, diving and turning and reveling in the freedom of life. This way, she told the others. This is where the dark Wadi go.

21 responses to “Molly Fyde and the Darkness Deep”

  1. Hugh this sounds really good, I can’t wait until it comes out. I’ll be following the progress and I know you’ll keep us all updated. You know better than anyone which book would appeal more to a wider audience, but I really like this excerpt. Is this an allegory of self-publishing… Just kidding.

    The Bern Saga is really great and I think the world building as usual with your work is the strongest part. I hope I’m not being a kiss ass, or seeming like one anyway.

    Micah Ackerman

    “Not everyone can write a novel… We’re the lucky ones.”

  2. Thanks for the update Hugh. I must admit was was boycotting Sand until I heard about Molly. I believe at one time you hoped to have it out by Oct 2013 (when I happened to be going on vacation and was hoping to read it) and have been sulking ever since. Just knowing she is not forgotten lets me move on.

    Thanks for letting us enjoy ride on the back of your imagination and hard work!

  3. Great as always! I had begun to wonder if Molly would be able to exert her willpower over you with your already packed life. Glad to get a glimpse of the next installment. I’m sure you will work through the writing/editing and come up with the best reader experience possible.

  4. Oh man, I dropped what I was doing to read this, and I enjoyed it a lot! Having finished the series only a few weeks ago, I am already eager to read another Molly Fyde installment. It’s good to know that it is still in the works.

  5. So excited for this whenever it does come :)

  6. Hi Hugh.

    Some of your latest blogs have been “number and stat heavy” regarding the business end of publishing.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to share numbers on how the Molly Fyde series has stacked up against Wool in terms of units sold. It doesn’t have to be actual numbers, but a percentage comparison would be interesting. I’m a big believer that you don’t “live the dream” … instead … “the dream lives you.” That the dream come true that is “Wool,” will be different to the dream come true that is “Molly Fyde.” It goes some ways in supporting and perhaps giving some perspective on your recent blogs on the success of self publishing versus the traditional route. That it is better to realise the dream come true … through self publishing … to whatever degree of success, versus the 99.9% chance of dying on the traditional route. A comparison for all of your books would be great, especially on how you felt / imagined they might perform, versus the actual reality. I hope this isn’t too deep, but I’m inclined to think that “Wool” chose you as the writer to bring it to life and not the other way around. So did Molly Fyde, so did Dust. That they will ultimately determine your success as a writer and not the other way around. I’m inclined to think that most wanna be writers ask the same question “HOW DID YOU FRIKIN DO IT??” versus appreciate that actually … you didn’t. You just wrote. The fact that you were chosen to write “Wool” was an in fact an honor. That you may not be chosen to reach this dizzy height again with any of your future books. But no that matter what … you will continue to keep on writing with the same passion and enthusiasm.

    Does this make sense?

    As always, thanks for your inspiration and enthusiasm


  7. I guess I’ll have to get going to read the Molly Fyde books…

    And what is Invariable? I just noticed that hanging out in the status bars:)

  8. Hugh, it’s good to know that you struggle sometimes with having multiple versions of the same stories, and a hard time choosing between them. Been there, done that!

  9. Ahhhhh……I miss the Wadis. Thank you, Hugh! Can’t wait for this!

  10. YES!!!! Molly Fyde continues!! *does the happiest-of-happy dance of joy!!*

  11. It wouldn’t be against the rules to put both versions out there….

    1. Rules? What rules?

  12. I want to read the one you are writing for yourself!

  13. I’m excited to read #5, no matter which version you choose. When I hit the opening to book 4, I was completely blown away that you made me care about a lizard. Okay, a Wadi. But you managed to make me really care about her and her mate.

    And love the in-world insults ;D

    “Careful who you insult. My Wadi was a pace longer than yours—
    Now it’s a full pace?”

  14. You truly cause it to seem quite simple with all your demonstration having said that i to uncover this disorder for being really something which i consider I’d certainly not recognize. The item form of senses far too intricate as well as vast in my opinion. Now i’m awaiting your future organize, Let me seek to get the hang of them!

  15. I want a wadi — like the one Molly has! When will we be able to buy them in stores? I want one for my pillow to sleep with at night. Keep me safe and cozy!

  16. So… why did Molly disappear from the progress meter? That makes me so sad… :(

    1. I check the progress meter ever so often and have to same question!!!! I hope it doesn’t mean what I think it does :(

  17. Eight months later….any news on your decision? Would love to dive into Molly’s next adventure.

  18. Hugh,

    I recently stumbled upon your work and have quickly devoured each book hungrily. Your writing never ceases to amaze me, throughout all the books I have read thus far. I find myself so completely immersed in the worlds you have created, experiencing emotions so deep I would not have believed words could draw them out of me. The Bern Saga stands at the top for me, having struck personal chords and resonating within me. I will anxiously await the arrival of the next book, although it truly feels as though I’m waiting for my loved ones to return from a treacherous journey. I have become so attached to Molly and her comrades that it seems they are simply across the galaxy while I wait here hoping for their safe arrival so they can share stories of their adventures. I wish you best of luck with your truly wonderful writing and I am looking forward for what’s to come!

    One of many adoring fans,
    Kathryn T.

  19. So here we are, January 2015, I’ve just finished Book 4 and was hoping to dive into Book 5…

    Wadi Thooo…calling all Wadi Thooo…

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