I was standing outside at four AM one morning under a crescent moon, filling the dog’s water bowl, when the neighbor’s wolf-hybrid keened a long, slow howl. I knew the animal was kept alone on a chain all day and I wondered what sort of life that was. To be a roving pack animal in shackled isolation. And what that must be like for some people as well, cut off from their own kind by a cruelly short leash of burdens and obligations, either real or perceived. The wolf, the moon, and the impassive silver stars, were the inspiration for Conner Harte’s story in The Last Daimon.