Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Conspiracy of Silence Reviewed by Steampunk Traveler

The Traveler's Steampunk Blog  reviewed Conspiracy of Silence (the first book in the second series of Space:1889 And Beyond ebooks from Untreed Reads, and co-authored by Andy Frankham-Allen and Yours Truely) last October, but for some reason it slipped by me. It's a very nice review, giving us ten out of ten Zeppelins and the Badge of Honor (editor's pick), which is about as good as it gets.

The reviewer believes it's the strongest of the Space: 1889 and Beyond books to date. I wouldn't want to compare it to other folks' work, but I think it's the strongest of the three books I worked on. Check it out. Here's the link to the review.

An Incredible Model Zeppelin

If you like Steampunk, it's hard to imagine you don't have a soft spot for zeppelins. I sure do, ever since the 1971 film Zeppelin with Michael York and Elke Sommer -- and probably long before, but that's what sealed the deal. Well, the 1986 Miyazaki film Laputa/Castle in the Sky really sealed the deal, by why quibble?

I recently was directed to an amazing link which shows dozens of pictures of a 28mm zeppelin as it was built, step by step, by two brothers. It's for a 1930's pulp game, rather than a Victorian steampunk game, but agin why quibble. A cool zeppelin is a cool zeppelin. The picture at the top of the page shows the forward section in an early stage of completion. The one below shows the same section from a different angle and a little later in the construction.

The girders are made with heavy card stock and the exterior panels appear to be cut from cerial boxes. That's a great forward obervation bay, isn't it? There are a couple 28mm figures in the picture as well to give you an idea of its size.

Since this is a 1930's model it includes an aircraft hanger and biplane fighter painted in German markings. That's not relevant to Steampunk exactly, but check it out when you visit the site. They did a really nice job.

Here a close-up from the passenger lounge in the complete model. I love the attention to detail and it's followed throughout this massive model. I think the little model zeppelin in the lounge is a nice touch.

Finally, here's a long view of the completed model. Of course there is no top half as it's used as a complete game environment. Here the link. Check it out by all means.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Forever Engine - A Map of Europe

Baen Books commissioned this map of western Europe in 1888 as a two-page spread in The Forever Engine, due out next January. I like what they did with it, particularly the gears for cities and towns. It covers the area where the action of the novel takes place and from some of the unlikely smaller locations included, you can probably figure out that some of the important action takes place in out-of-the-way places like Kokin Brod. You get a nice look at London and Munich as well, however.

They've also commissioned cover art well in advance and may end up with some interior art as well, so I'm very pleased with the care they're taking with the project. It's not too soon to start some buzz about this book. If it sells well, I can pretty much guarrantee sequels. When we get a little closer to publication, I'll post some sample passages here. As soon as I get the go-ahead from Baen (which I think will mean as soon as they are happy with it) I'll post the cover. Cool cover.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How Dark The World Becomes -- now street-legal

Well, How Dark The World Becomes shipped in early February and is in Barnes & Nobles around the country as well as available through Amazon and directly from Baen Books, my publisher. I'm pretty excited. I already had a reading in Champaign, IL at the Iron Post (a great local jazz bar) and I have another one coming up on April 13 at the Jane Addams Book Store in Champaign, IL at 1:00 PM, as part of the Boneyard Arts Festival. Stop by if you're in the neighborhood. For than matter, I'm doing a book signing at the Champaign Barnes & Noble on Saturday, March 23rd at 1:00 PM as well. No reading, but stop by and say high if you happen to be in east-central Illinois around then. And as a writer friend of mine has said, "I wouldn't be offended if you bought a copy."

Here is the book back-copy:

An Addictive Taste of Freedom

Sasha Naradnyo is a gangster. He's a gangster with heart, sure, but Sasha sticks his neck out for no man. That's how you stay alive in Crack City, a colony stuffed deep into the crust of the otherwise unlivable planet Peezgtaan. Alive only -- because if you're human, you don't prosper, at least not for long. Sasha is a second generation City native. His parents came to this rock figuring to make it big, only to find that they'd been recruited as an indentured labor force for alien overlords known as the Varoki.

Now a pair of rich young Varoki under the care of a beautiful human nanny are fleeing Peezgtaan, and Sasha is recruited to help. He'd prefer to leave the little alien lordlings to their fate, but certain considerations -- such as Sasha's own imminent demise if he remains -- make it beneficial for him to take on the job.

Sasha discovers his simple choice has thrust him in the midst of a political battle that could remake the galactic balance of power and save humanity from slow death by servitude. Now all he has to do is survive and keep his charges alive on a hostile planet undergoing its own revolution.

But it's the galaxy that had better watch out. For now the toughest thug in Crack City has gotten his first taste of read freedom. He likes it, and he wants more.


If you've read it, please go on Amazon or Good Reads and review it. Good or bad, call it like you see it.

Here are some handy links.

Baen link to both the physical and e-book.

Amazon link to the physical book.

Amazon link to the Kindle e-book.