We’re delighted to welcome Cynthia Zhang to the Stelliform family with a debut novel. She comes to us with previous fiction and non-fiction published in Lunch Ticket, Leading Edge, Orca Literary, and Coffin Bell.
A science fantasy with LGBTQ protagonists, set in an alternate Beijing where dragons can be found perched on wires overhead and in gutters underfoot, After the Dragons is a debut novel for both author and publisher.
Read more about After the Dragons below:
They were fire and terror to the Western world, while in the East the dragons brought life-giving rain. Now, no longer hailed as gods and struggling in the overheated pollution of Beijing, only the Eastern species survives. As drought plagues the aquatic dragons, a mysterious disease—shaolong, or “burnt lung”—afflicts the city’s human inhabitants.
Jaded college student Xiang Kaifei scours Beijing streets for abandoned dragons, distracting himself from his diagnosis. Elijah Ahmed, a biracial American medical researcher, is drawn to Beijing by the memory of his grandmother and her death by shaolong. Interest in Beijing’s dragons leads Kai and Eli into an unlikely partnership. With the resources of Kai’s dragon rescue and Eli’s immunology research, can the pair find a cure for shaolong and safety for the dragons? The spectres of grief and disease hang heavy over their relationship and Eli and Kai must confront old ghosts and hard truths if there is any hope—for themselves or the dragons they love.
We’re excited to share more about this book in the coming months.