The Glass Thief is a story set in a world unlike any other.
I’m not being arrogant or dealing in hyperbole when I say that. It’s just a fact. I have never encountered, in published or unpublished literature, a world where sentient lobsters are the dominant species. Sea-creature adventures like Finding Nemo or The Sign of the Seahorse or Deep Wizardry come close, but none of those require quite as much explanation. So, I’ve created an introduction to the world to help ground you before you dive into the adventures of the Cuttlefish Gang.
A “lobster,” in The Glass Thief, is a creature that resembles the lobsters you may have seen in tanks or on plates or in the wild on Earth. But it’s not identical. These lobsters crawl on many legs and have antennae and claws like their Earth counterparts. But they also live on land and breathe air. Furthermore, though lobsters do share a lot of organs with higher mammals, I’ve fudged parts of their anatomy to allow recognizable human emotions. The size of the lobsters doesn’t matter much, but it helps to think of them as human-sized in relation to their buildings.
The lobsters of the Eye believe themselves to inhabit the only city in the world. In order to survive, they have to hydrate themselves regularly, or risk a slow death from thirst. This is easy for those with means, but since the Eye is built out of sand–and the sand was only right for building far away from the ocean–poorer lobsters struggle to bathe themselves. Eating food is not necessary to survive, but can help put off drying out from thirst. A certain amount of water is kept safe in the city for giving birth, as lobster larvae can only be viable in pools.
The rich spend pieces of wood backed by a treasury full of valuable sea glass. All glass is meant to be property of the Eye’s ruling council, but the Governors and their associates just as often seize it for themselves. In fact, the Eye is running so low on money that the few virtuous politicians remaining have turned to hiring thieves to intercept the shipments of their glass-grubbing colleagues.
We join Staever, leader of the most skilled gang of those thieves, just before a routine heist turns out to be anything but…