Shane Jiraiya Cummings is a popular writer of dark fantasy. You can get the short-story Smoke Dragon for free on his website.
Power-hungry and greedy people are to be found all over the world I imagine. Along with the hunger for more we also sometimes find those who work for a lighter world.
Smoke Dragon is the story of the fight between two who are on the polar opposites of the above traits. The people fighting on the side of the Smoke Dragon want what they do not have even if it means killing to get it. On the other side we find Yamabushi Kaidan and his apprentices.
In Smoke Dragon we get a story packed with action, magic and martial arts set in a kind of Japan. Mr. Cummings writes a fascinating tale of disillusionment and the fight for something more than oneself and those nearest and dearest to us.
Originally published as “Yamabushi Kaidan and the Smoke Dragon” in Fantastic Wonder Stories, ed. Russell B. Farr (Ticonderoga Publications).
- 2008 Ditmar Award Nomination, Best Novella/Novelette
- 2008 Aurealis Award Nomination, Young Adult short story