“You can buy anything you might desire from Gray Alys. But it is better not to.”
Those were the opening words of my short story “In the Lost Lands,” first published in the DAW anthology AMAZONS II in 1982. In the first decade or so of my career most of what I wrote was science fiction, set amidst the Thousand Worlds, the shared background of dozens of my stories and my first novel, DYING OF THE LIGHT. “In the Lost Lands” was a bit of a departure; a pure fantasy. (I loved fantasy just as much as SF, but back in the 70s and 80s there was not much of a market for fantasy shorts). It was meant to be the first in a series of stories about Gray Alys, a mysterious sorceress in a distant, magical realm, who provides her patrons with whatever they might wish… if they are foolish enough, to buy from her. You deal with Gray Alys at your peril.
I wanted to write six or eight or ten Gray Alys stories, then put them all together in a collection… or perhaps a “fix up” novel. That was a common approach back in those days. And one I used myself with another character, Haviland Tuf. I wrote a series of Tuf stories, then an interstitial to bridge them all together, and published them as TUF VOYAGING.
Alas, for whatever reason, I never wrote that second Gray Alys story. (I did begin one, long ago. Got two pages, I think, then set it aside, and never returned to it). Why? Damned if I know. It was a long time ago. I always liked the character, though.
That’s why it thrills me to announce that she will soon be appearing on the big screen. IN THE LOST LANDS, the movie, wrapped filming in Poland a few weeks ago! Paul W.S. Anderson, director of MONSTER HUNTER, EVENT HORIZON, and the RESIDENT EVIL series, helmed the picture. Milla Jovovich stars as Gray Alys, and Dave Bautista as Boyce. Constantin Werner (PAGAN QUEEN) served as writer and producer. IMDB has information on the rest of the cast.
We’ve just started the post-production process, and there’s a lot of special effects and other work yet to do, so IN THE LOST LANDS likely won’t be appearing at your local cinema until some time in 2024. We are also hoping to do a tie-in graphic novel, which will include both my original story (quite short, at 6,000 words or so) and the larger, darker, more expansive world of the film. That’s still in early days, though.
And who knows? If the gods are good, and IN THE LOST LANDS turns out to be a hit, maybe we’ll get to tell the further adventures of Gray Alys after all. I have a sheet of ideas around here somewhere…
Source: Lost and Found | Not a Blog