Remember when I wrote my ranty response blog about Steampunk Outside of Colonialism? Yeah well, that spurred me onto a whole side project when I was annoyed at my cyberpunk series. I couldn’t stop thinking about a non-Victorian steampunk world and what exactly that would entail until I finally decided to create myself a little alternate history/fantastical sci-fi/mythological story set in East Asia and the Ottoman Empire…(with aliens!).
Initially, it started off as a short story, but then morphed into a serial of novellas–7 in total (if you know me, you’ll not be surprised at all). At least, that’s what I have planned. Currently, there’s only one completed, but one is more than zero! Read on for details about the story and info in publication (EEEEEE!).
So, without further ado, let me introduce:
Cloudbreaker: Where we Began
When an imperial airship crashes into the tea plantation just beyond Zan’s workshop, life gets more exciting for the orphaned shipbuilder’s apprentice. The Cloudbreaker, run by an ex-imperial soldier and diverse crew with dark pasts, depends on Zan for repairs. His mechanical aptitude quickly impresses Captain Malviya, who invites him to replace their wounded engineer and join the crew in a journey to Istanbul, the Empire’s capital. But, there’s only one problem: inherited debts tie Zan to his master, prohibiting him from leaving Ya’an, the city of his birth.
However, when Zan finds a peculiar device in the ship’s wreckage that looks like no technology he’s ever seen, things grow even more complicated. Destined for the Empire, Captain Malviya isn’t the only one who seeks this device to increase her influence. Dangerous mercenaries, a mysterious British ambassador, and a war raging a continent away put the lives of the crew—and that of Zan—in danger. Can the Wayfinder bring peace before the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Britain destroy each other? Or is the device more dangerous than it seems?
Join me in this first installment of my Cloudbreaker series, where we meet Zan, Captain Malviya, and the crew of the Cloudbreaker as they begin their journey to the ends of the earth, searching for an alien technology that could change the course of history.
A bit of background
This is meant to be an alternate history of events that happened starting in the 1600s. Instead of losing the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Ottoman Turks actually win the battle which opens a gateway to the west (Europe). During the next 200 years, they are the ones taking over western European countries which brings them to a war with Britain. The Ottomans are what’s referred to as “the Empire” here.
Also, King Albert died in 1861 (true fact), but instead of surviving him for 40 years, I have Queen Victoria dying in the couple years following that. Her son, Albert, is now king having taken the name of King Edward VII (true fact, though in real life he did this in 1901). In my story, he’s young and fairly incompetant and stubbornly doesn’t want to give ground to the Ottomans so he can try and uphold the name of his mother. Their fight with the Ottomans causes Britain to lose territory they conquered in the east and prevents them from other acquisitions so the east is now fairly free from British influence. Present day is 1874.
Oh it’s happening. I have decided that I can’t wait on Fallstaff Books to get around to reading In Memoriam (and most likely rejecting me even still) so I am going to make my own product! I’ve finally said screw it to self doubt! Here I come!
My plan is to have character concepts soon and a cover following then set up a Kickstarter (maybe?) or some other way to fund editing. I’d like to have something to show, even if it’s only bookmarks and posters, for this fall during con season. I’d love to have something to talk about at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writer’s Conference in September (another eeee!!!!). I’ve wanted to go to this con for many years now but the cost has been a deterrent. But, this year I get to go!
If I know anything about timelines it’s that whatever timeline I set, will probably be inflated by about 50%. Thus, I am saying publication this winter, fully expecting it’ll be done by spring. So, that’s where I’m at.
It’s not much but…screw it…it’s a big fucking deal. Be proud of me. I know I am.