Salep & Silk
by Josh Wagner
cover by Kiva Singh
“Wagner has an ear for engaging dialog and a knack for creating his own folklore based on historical facts with sprinkles of pop culture, strange creatures and stories within stories… he has that nuanced sensibility for weaving low-brow humor with very original wit.” –The Independent
Two travelers, three time periods, a princess and a cop. From the fall of Rome to the advent of artificial intelligence, an ancient road between East and West remains… Mahzun comes from west of Samerkand, Jamuk from the eastern frontiers of Central Asia. Once a year they meet along the Silk Road to continue a family tradition sharing food, stories, and the latest ideas. In act one (550CE) a beautiful Eastern Princess smuggles the secret of silk from China to Rome. Act two (1280CE) takes place on the eve of Mongol power in Central Asia, and a lesson in binary math accompanies an investigation into the mysteries of love. Act three (1806CE) features a Frenchman on his way to China to deliver the world’s first functioning android from one emperor to another.