Salve! Happy Weekend!
Alexandros is back with a purpose in his first chapter in Laurel Emperor. I admit, I’ve been struggling a bit with his story line right now. Ever since the events in Steel Praetorian, and their resolution, it’s been tricky to try and shoehorn him into the events that are engulfing the rest of the nation, without making it seem forced. While he is a hero, the idea that he could just come in and replace someone already loyal to Constantine and his loyalist faction is very unlike him. So I’ve had to come up with an alternative idea for him to follow. More beyond the break.
Hi all! Today’s update focuses on the center of the action here in book #4, Steel Praetorian.
If you don’t want to read spoilers, don’t read ahead! Just enjoy looking at this lovely little map so you know where the action will be taking place!
I thought that I’d put together this handy quick-reference guide to communication in the world of the Steam Empire Chronicles. So click read on to learn more about how Romans (and others) talk with each other! (Besides Latin, Yes, I know they already speak that language.
Sorry for the delay in posting but I wanted to have a lot to share! Below you’ll find a sample illustration and the final cover and back cover illustration/artwork. I’m really excited to share these with you. Kickstarter backers have access to almost all of the illustrations as well, which come as a perk of being a backer!
With these done, and the maps being finalized, all that remains is for me to double check all the formatting and illustration locations, receive the final files and upload them to the Amazon, B+N, and Smashwords book sites. With that done, I can order proof and final copy print books and prepare to send them out to all my backers and then place them up for general sale! Without further ado, here’s the illustrations.
Can’t wait to share the entire book with you!
Oh, and did I mention there’s a good chance I’ll be getting The Steam Empire Chronicles translated into a different language? I’m in negotiation with a company to license and distribute my book in Portuguese. We’ll see where it goes, but I’m excited to explore this opportunity!
I was checking out my Amazon Author Page the other day, and happened to be reading the reviews that people have given. I was struck by the comments in several, in particular those that said my novel was a great read for someone looking for something other than the usual Victorian steampunk. I’m flattered by these comments, but it had me thinking, why don’t we see more ‘alternate’ steampunk novels? (You can see more about how to respond to reviews here)
I suppose this question is answered in the most basic form by looking at the origin of
the word steampunk. “Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery,especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century.” (According to Wikipedia) or if you prefer Urban Dictionary, “What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.”
So that gives some insight, but not enough. You have to look at the words 19th century and western civilization. Most Steampunk happens in Victorian (or proto-victorian) England/ Western Europe or in the wild west. Even those novels that don’t explicitly take place in those locations include people from those locations. Peshawar Lancers, by S.M. Stirling, takes place in India, but a Englishized India.
So why do we not see more steampunk writing from the Far East? Or Africa? South America? People write what they know, and what they’ve learned. If you’re an American or British writer, you probably know western history with a spattering of eastern history when it coincides with western. I would LOVE to write a steampunk novel about Brazil (and I’ve actually got one way way wayyyy on the backburner in idea form) but I happen to have a great resource who grew up in Brazil as a major partner in it. If left to my own devices, could I write a novel? Sure, but I doubt it would be truly authentic. Steampunk doesn’t have to be authentic (it is, after all, science fiction), but the culture it is based on does need to feel and act authentic. If you don’t know about a different culture, how can you write about it?
There are a few authors who are trying to breach the boundaries of ‘traditional’ steampunk, but you’ll have to look good and hard for them. If you have any suggestions, leave them below and I’ll edit the post. I’d love to read some other non-standard steampunk ideas. For more information, check out this great post on Beyond Victoriana.
In the 4th of July Holiday spirit, I figured I’d share a bit more of the most recent update to Antioch Burns. In this scene, the Mongols attempt to eliminate the remnants of a Roman patrol on the outskirts of Antioch before they can warn the city….
So I’ve had a few requests from different readers asking for more information about the vehicles and contraptions in Brass Legionnaire. So enjoy reading about some of the lovely technology in my world.
Mechaniphants – Large, elephant looking walkers with razor sharp tusks and a small crew compartment on top. General fitted with a repeating ballista or two small scorpion launchers. Used to break enemy battlelines
Ostrichines – Ostrich-looking cavalry mounts that seat one cavalryman. Faster than a horse, but also louder. It’s generally used to support mechaniphants and escort infantry columns. They are also frequently employed as fast scouts.
Turtles – Think rolling turtle shell with a few heavy ballistas and you’ve got the idea.
Siege Caterpillar – Essentially just a covering to protect infantry from missiles, the purpose-built constructs are so massive they have to be constructed on train tracks to hold their weight. But once they are going, virtually nothing can stop them.
For Civilian use, you also have your standard fare – motortrolleys, steamtrains, cargo haulers – essentially large hollow bricks with wheels or legs, they are multipurpose and can fit any need imagined.
Military – The Romans were not huge fans of Poseidon/Neptune and the ocean – just remember the trouble they had knocking out the Carthaginian’s fleets in the Punic Wars! They essentially adapted the somewhat traditional trireme by modifying it with a large gasbag.
Older ships look more like ocean vessels with a gasbag strapped to the top. Newer vessels are of a similar design but the ‘ship’ part is now connected directly to the gasbag component, so the ‘gondola’ is in direct contact, rather than hanging like a hot air balloon.
There are civilian uses – generally mass passenger and cargo ones – and a few privately owned airships which are hand made to the owners specifications.
Skimmers – Lightweight flyers crewed by young teens. Unarmed except for a ‘stinger’ these are primarily scout and messenger units.
That’s all I’m going to give away today, folks.
BY THE WAY – BONUS OPTION FOR READERS –
If you’ve got an idea for a creation that you’d like to see make it into my next novel, Copper Centurion, let me know. I love hearing suggestions and am totally willing to incorporate reader ideas into the novel. I’ll even let you name it if I like it. Pop a comment below, or send me a message on twitter – @dottalini
Oh, and check out Brass Legionnaire if you haven’t already. It’s five-star reviewed on Amazon, and you get a great read. Perfect for these hot and hazy summer days.