Tag: Dieselpunk

Airship Legacy BETA

The final draft of Airship Legacy is ready. I need a few BETA readers. The first six people that send me an email request will get an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) in .epub format. I would hope to get some feedback from them on typos or any other issue they encounter.
If all goes well, I expect to release this blockbuster towards the end of August.

Airship Legacy is an eighty five thousand word steampunk/dieselpunk crossover novel. It’s a multi-generational adventure on three continents, on land, sea, and air. There are several strong female characters including an airship captain nicknamed Crazy Taylor.

In the following excerpt, two military airships have engaged in battle near a tropical Pacific island.

Katrina realized it was much quieter. Weapons on both craft had stopped and she heard only the tortured whine of their overstressed engines and the wind, whistling through the many bullet holes. They passed astern of the other airship and were engulfed in the choking oil smoke from her flaming fuselage. By now, both craft were only a short distance above the dark blue of deep water. White spray from waves rolling over the half-submerged reefs was dampening the bottom of their hulls.
Hanz ordered Katrina to twist the wheel and kick the rudder pedals hard to one side. Then he shouted. “Forward mount! Target their bomb bay. See if you they have any left!” In a slow response to their efforts at the helm, the mortally wounded craft rolled to one side, enabling her belly guns to release a final stream of Willy Pæter. Every shot was centered on the double-hatch. The two craft were so close, none of the shots had a chance to spread until after they had punched through the thin metal.
One, last bomb was still in the rack and it was hit with more than a dozen rounds of Willy Pæter before it exploded. That was the final indignity for both ships.
The Blitzlied was hit hard on it’s port side, rolling with the impact until the cabin deck was almost vertical. That only held for a few seconds as the airframe crumpled and their momentum carried them forward. The reinforced keel contained forward and aft gun mounts, the power generator and the bridge. The cabin remained on its side, sliding closer to the water when, without warning, they hit the reef with a loud crash and she twisted sideways to lay full-length against the partially-submerged rocks. As two more waves hit what remained of the wreckage, the cabin rolled back into an almost level position before it slammed down. Water poured in through shattered windows and split seams. All except a few of the instrument lights died and the engines splashed to a stop.
Victoria was the first to free herself from the safety harness and struggle through the knee-deep water, to her brother. “He’s still alive!” She shouted as she released his buckles.
“Over there! That red handle above the door.” Hanz shouted at Katrina. “Pull it down hard!”
As she left the seat, she grabbed the canvas shoulder bag with her spare batteries and splashed over to the buckled hatch. When she hauled down on the red handle, it released an outside panel over the hatch and a rubberized package dropped. As soon as it fell, it started to make a loud hissing noise and inflate. Katrina pushed on the hatch and nothing happened. The second attempt, she just kicked the center support and the whole hatch popped open, then disappeared beneath the foam. She jumped to grab the raft and with one hand on a rope handle, she stood, chest-deep in water. Another wave hit and the remaining fuselage threatened to roll over them.
“Victoria! Hurry!”
Hanz and Victoria carried the limp form of their captain to the hatch. Katrina hauled hard on the rope and swung the raft around so they might tumble in. “Here!” She slung the canvas bag from her shoulder, into the tiny craft. It was obviously only designed for two. There must have been others, but the airship was being torn apart around them. “Use your hands and paddle for shore!” She commanded, then started pushing against the reef and kicking as hard as she could force them away from the collapsing wreckage.

———-

My email is masteranthonystevens@gmail.com

New Releases!

It occurred to me that I’ve a handful of tales that haven’t been published. This will be fixed over the next couple of months. Here’s the first two:

 

Tazia Fahn

A dieselpunk swashbuckler with a strong heroine, corrupt cops, gangsters, and airships!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/687825

Turkey Creek Ghost

A psychotic ex-boyfriend threatens Dani and Ranger Rick in the lush beauty of a state park. Can Abinormal and Grandma Lupe save them?
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/687993

Happy Holidays!

The Inner Workings

Introduction

Let me preface this by mentioning I’n a bit of a history nerd. When I started to write a short dieselpunk story a few years ago, I knew the overall background for my tale. I also knew I needed a realistic setting.

The first step was to create a sub-folder under the folder I have my Work-In-Progress and call it research.

Research

A central part of the tale takes place on the coast of south east Australia. Here are some of the steps my research led me over the next few months.

  1. I started with Google Earth and carefully examined the current cities, seaports, and terrain of SE Australia.
  2. I chose an area from the city of Albany, up to Waychinicup National Park, and Bald Island.
  3. My characters needed a fictional community so I had them develop it on the shore of Two Peoples Bay. That was the easy part.
  4. Next, came research on the history of that area from the turn of the 19th century up until WWII. This part of the project turned into more than 26 pages of URLs, notes, and dozens of photographs in my research folder.
  5. Beside humans, my tale also features a dozen or so machines as characters. Two of these are fictional, but based on existing devices. The rest actually existed in that timeframe. Here’s a partial list:
  • Zeppelins – High technology airships between the two world wars.
  • Schnellboot – German coastal warcraft, similar to the US PT boats.
  • Cloud Dancer – Littoral Combat Ship with a trimaran steel hull, two seaplane catapults, and heavily weaponed.
  • Cloud Singer – A huge and well-armed airship
  • Kingfisher seaplanes – Use a lot during WWII
  1. The next item was a detailed timeline of the events. At this point, I planned to cover two generations of the families involved. I didn’t want my readers to be confused by any logic bombs. This was actually a two part process. In the first part, I created a timeline of real events, along with quotes from historicaly figures that would play background roles in the story.
  2. A list of Australian mineral resources was added to my research notes.
  3. A page of notes on the Aboriginal peoples of Australia prior to and during WWII.
  4. Notes on the Indian Empire (British Raj) at the turn of the century.

Captiva Press

The first short story was released in both ebook and print format by Captiva Press as “Crazy Taylor”. I immediately realized there needed to be a sequel. Unfortunately, Captiva Press closed shop due to family and health issues, a few months later. “Crazy Taylor is not available at this time.

Airship Legacy

Crazy Taylor languished on the shelf while I was writing other tales over the next couple of years.

When I decided to setup this website, I worked with an editor to rewrite some of my previous works. A few of them had been previously published and a few have never seen the light of day before.

One day, I reread a gothic horror short tale I had written as a halloween project more than seven years ago. It dawned on me that it was actually the first chapter of a much longer steampunk tale. As soon as I started working on that, I realized it was the steampunk preguel to Crazy Taylor. The die had been cast and I got to work.

The dieselpunk short story has grown into a crossover work-in-progress of more than eighty thousand words. The new title is Airship Legacy and I expect it will be published third quarter of 2015.

The images below are part of my research notes. At this point, I’m looking for some beta readers for Airship Legacy. Drop me a line if you would like a preview.

These images are the original cover for Crazy Taylor, a promotional postcard showing the Cloud Dancer, and my original design for the Cloud Singer littoral warship.

CloudSinger04
CrazyTaylor_AnthonyStevens432x648
CloudDancer01