Tremontaine Season 3: The World of Ellen Kushner + Contest

Today, we’re talking about the new season of your latest serial addiction, Tremontaine. From the team at Serial Box, this is part of a new form of storytelling that combines the best of series TV, ebooks and audiobooks. Keep reading for more from creator Ellen Kushner, plus your chance to win the entire first season.

The Wonderful World of Ellen Kushner


This piece originally appeared on the Serial Box blog. You can find a link here.

Tremontaine is the critically acclaimed prequel to Ellen Kushner’s beloved Riverside novels, which developed a cult following beginning with Swordspoint in 1987. The “Fantasy of Manners” focuses on decadent world building and interpersonal intrigue, and has been noted for its progressive expression of gender and sexuality. Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine season 3 is brought to you by Ellen Kushner, Joel Derfner, Karen Lord, Delia Sherman, Racheline Maltese, Paul Witcover, Tessa Gratton, and Liz Duffy Adams. The first episode is available for free at Serial Box and can be found here. (link:

So what’s it like, everyone asks me, to open up your cherished world to other people to write in?

I’ve always enjoyed collaboration: my creative life has been full of it, from theatrical adaptations with Shirim Klezmer Orchestra and Vital Theater, to writing an entire novel with my partner (now wife), Delia Sherman—not to mention Terri Windling’s shared world Bordertown series, which a lot of us (then) young fantasy writers[1] created together under Terri’s creative vision and guidance.61SFC+IyI8L

For Serial Box, I wanted the freedom to open the story up to other writers, without having to worry or micro-manage content. So when I agreed to oversee and collaborate on a new work set in the Swordspoint world, I just insisted that it not take place during or after any of the three existing novels.[2]

After all, I’m still creating solo work about various members of  the Tremontaine family, with a new novel in progress, and I didn’t want to risk even accidentally inserting any contradictions. I was looking forward to taking some of the older, minor Swordspoint characters and showing them when they were in their prime—and even getting some back-story on the greatest of them all:  Diane, Duchess Tremontaine.

I’ve always prided myself on implying a world that was a lot bigger than what was in the books.  You (and I) are just following my characters around, after all; you only see what they see, and they are not necessarily interested in everything.  Which is why Delia could have pretty free rein delving into the University and even the city’s middle class when we collaborated on The Fall of the Kings.

What I didn’t fully realize was just how grand and glorious bringing in four new authors would be!  Suddenly there was math and science, cacao beans and navigation, colored inks and red herrings . . . and of course a lot more cooking!  Not to mention a giant vengeful swan pudding.

The lovely thing about this particular gang of writers is how, despite our copious idiosyncrasies, we’ve all jelled into a cohesive unit, with each one lending his or her strengths (and obsessions!) to what we all hope looks like an unbroken whole. We have argued and bitched and fretted and fumed . . . but mostly we have laughed a hell of a lot, and gotten the chance to admire and benefit from each other’s brains and talent.

So:  What’s it like?

It’s like . . . it’s like home. With all your favorite relatives. And a giant vengeful swan pudding.

  • [1] Original Bordertown writers included Charles de Lint, Emma Bull, Will Shetterly, Midori Snyder and me.
  • [2] If you’re just joining us:  Swordspoint was followed by The Privilege of the Sword, which takes place fifteen years later and is narrated by the teenage niece of one of the original main characters. Next comes The Fall of the Kings, which is about forty years after that. And in between are a lot of short stories to fill in the gaps.  More info here on my website.



Since launching last year, serial fiction startup Serial Box has been featured from coast to coast including stories on NPRWiredBuzzFeed and i09. Serial Box was called “a godsend for a niche market of readers” by The Chicago Tribune.

As one of the flagship serials from Serial Box with tens of thousands of readers across multiple platforms, Tremontaine has made waves in the serial, LGBTQ, and fan fiction community.

Tremontaine introducers readers to a world where ambition, love affairs, and rivalries dance with deadly results. In this serial, Ellen Kushner and a team of writers return readers to the world of scandal and swordplay introduced in her cult-classic novel Swordspoint. Readers familiar with the series will find a welcome homecoming while new fans will learn what makes Riverside a place they will want to visit again and again. Tremontaine follows Diane, Duchess Tremontaine, whose beauty is matched only by her cunning; Rafe Fenton, a handsome young scholar with more passion than sense; Ixkaab Balam, a tradeswoman from afar with skill for swords and secrets; and Micah, a gentle genius whose discoveries herald revolution. Sparks fly as these four lives intersect in a world where politics is everything, and outcasts are the tastemakers.

Team-written by some of today’s most exciting authors, Tremontaine season 3 is brought to you by Ellen KushnerJoel DerfnerKaren LordDelia ShermanRacheline MaltesePaul WitcoverTessa Gratton, and Liz duffy Adams.

Find it: Season 1 AmazonSeason 2 AmazonSeason 3 Episode 1 AmazonSeason 3 Episode 2Season 3 Episode 3 AmazoniBooksSeason 1 iBooksSeason 2 iBooksSeason 3 Episode 1 iBooksSeason 3 Episode 2 iBooksSeason 3 Episode 3 iBooks,  Serial Box

A new kind of publishing company for a new age.

While technology has rapidly evolved, the way publishers and writers bring books to readers really hasn’t. Storytelling in TV has become more sophisticated and multilayered, podcasts have risen to mainstream media status—but ebooks are just books on digital devices, not easier, more fun, or more social than they were before.

Serial Box is here to change all of that: artfully blending together the best of series television and the convenience of ebooks and audiobooks to bring readers a new form of story telling. Releasing fiction serials over the course of 10-16 week seasons, Serial Box is about delivering addictive episodes straight to the user’s digital device to be read or listened to anytime, anywhere.

Taking a few pages from the world of television, Serial Box hires a team of a talented and award-winning writers to collaborate on each serial, pulling the best ideas to develop great characters and craft a narrative that captivates readers over the course of the season. A new ensemble of writers works on each series, so each will vary in genre and length, but they’ll always be entertaining page-turners that keep you wondering what will happen in next week’s episode.

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3 winners will receive season 1 of TREMONTAINE, International.

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