Trial of Flowers, by Campbell Award-winning author Jay Lake, explores the City Imperishable. Gods long since laid to rest now spread terror in the night, while invading armies race the oncoming snows of winter to besiege the walls. The City Imperishable's secret master and heir to the long-vacant throne has vanished from a locked room, as politics have turned deadly in a bid to revive the city's long-vanished empire.
The city's dwarfs, stunted from spending their childhoods in confining boxes, are restive. Bijaz the Dwarf, leader of the Sewn faction among the dwarfs, fights their persecution. Jason the Factor, friend and apprentice to the missing master, works to maintain stability in the absence of a guiding hand. Imago of Lockwood struggles to revive the office of Lord Mayor in a bid to turn the City Imperishable away from the path of destruction. These three must contend with one another as they race to resolve the threats to the city.
A decadent urban fantasy in the tradition of Perdido Street Station, City of Saints and Madmen, and The Etched City, Trial of Flowers showcases one of speculative fiction's hottest talents.
Joseph Edward Lake, Jr. (1964-2014) was an American science fiction and fantasy writer. In 2003 he was a quarterly first place winner in the Writers of the Future contest. In 2004 he won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in Science Fiction. He lived in Portland, Oregon, and worked as a product manager for a voice services company.
Lake's writings have appeared in numerous publications, including Postscripts, Realms of Fantasy, Interzone, Strange Horizons, Asimov's Science Fiction, Nemonymous, and the Mammoth Book of Best New Horror. He was an editor for the "Polyphony" anthology series from Wheatland Press, and was also a contributor to the Internet Review of Science Fiction.
Photo by Roger Podva, 2009.