“Lovers of soft fantasy with low stakes should already have After the Dragons on their radar … This is a fantastic read for people who love climate fiction and fantasy but who need to just lose themselves in a gentle story now and then.” — Book Riot (link)

“This is a slim, beautiful jewel-box of a novel. It is vividly atmospheric and feels real as if tiny flocks of dragons might sit on telephone lines in modern-day Beijing. It explores falling in love in the wake of grief and the ways in which we try to exert control over our lives. Its quiet intimacy will break your heart and give you hope — and also dragons. Perfect, beautifully drawn dragons. It’s a lovely debut and I look forward to seeing what Cynthia Zhang does next.” — Mary Robinette Kowal, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of The Calculating Stars

Read more praise for After the Dragons here.

Watch Cynthia Zhang read from her novel here.

About the Book

Cover of Cynthia Zhang's novel, After the Dragons.
Cynthia Zhang’s After the Dragons will be published by Stelliform Press on August 19 2021. Cover art by Wang Xulin, design by Yu-Lobbenberg Rachel.

Dragons were fire and terror to the Western world, but in the East they brought life-giving rain…

Now, no longer hailed as gods and struggling in the overheated pollution of Beijing, only the Eastern dragons survive. As drought plagues the aquatic creatures, 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? Eli and Kai must confront old ghosts and hard truths if there is any hope for themselves or the dragons they love.

After the Dragons is a tender story, for readers interested in the effects of climate change on environments and people, but who don’t want a grim, hopeless read. Beautiful and challenging, focused on hope and care, this novel navigates the nuances of changing culture in a changing world.

The cover art for After the Dragons is by Wang Xulin, with typography and design by Yu-Lobbenberg Rachel.

About Cynthia Zhang

Photo of the author of After the Dragons, Cynthia Zhang.

Cynthia Zhang is a Ph.D. student in Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture at the University of Southern California. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Kaleidotrope, On Spec, Phantom Drift, and other venues. She is a 2021 DVdebut mentee.

Pre-Order After the Dragons

After the Dragons Paperback | $21.99 CAD
Release Date: August 19, 2021
Ordering directly from Stelliform, you will receive a paperback printed on recycled paper. At this time, paperbacks ordered from other sources such as Amazon are not printed on recycled paper stock. Payment is through PayPal, in Canadian dollars.

The book will be shipped to you in August 2021, ahead of the release date.
After the Dragons thumbnail
After the Dragons Ebook | $9.99 CAD
Release Date: August 19, 2021
Ordering directly from Stelliform, you will receive a DRM-free Ebook copy of the novella, in either EPUB, Mobi, or PDF format. Payment is through PayPal, in Canadian dollars.

You will receive a download link in August 2021, ahead of the book’s release date.
After the Dragons thumbnail
Format :

Also Available From:

  • Your local independent bookstore
  • Bookshop.org (link)
  • Weightless Books Ebooks (link)
  • Barnes and Noble (link)
  • Alibris (link)
  • Amazon.com (link) | Amazon.ca (link) | Amazon.co.uk (link)

Also see our current and forthcoming titles here or under the “Books” tab.