RSS

Author Archives: Dave-Brendon de Burgh

About Dave-Brendon de Burgh

I play guitar, write short stories, busy writing my first fantasy novel, I work in a book shop, I collect comics, and I'm a huge Star Wars fan. :-)

Blog Tour: Missing Tomorrow by Ken Scudero (Luthando Couer – Zharmae Publishing Press)

Hey everyone, hope you’re all keeping well! :-)

I’ve joined the blog tour for a new title from Luthando Couer, the Fantasy and Sci-Fi Imprint of Zharmae Publishing Press, so let’s get into it, shall we?

(I didn’t receive a cover image with the media package, but I managed to find the image below)

MTPOSTERRR

Synopsis:

It is the year 500 on the planet of Nibiru, and the elitist Selectmen are in charge. From their majestic retreat in the city of Perfidia, the Selectmen wield control over the planet’s workaday citizens. Private detective Gem Jupiter specializes in paranormal conspiracies, but when he discovers mutated fish on the shores of Myopia City, he knows something isn’t right. The sky is dark and gloomy. Jupiter is quickly coming to grips with how oppressive Nibiru has become. With the help of his investigative group, The Tonic, Gem uncovers secret operations being conducted by the Selectmen. In the midst of his investigation, Gem meets the girl of his dreams, Remy Valentine. Remy is perfect except for the microchip tracker implanted in her wrist. New dangers are served up for The Tonic, as Gem Jupiter and his associates hone in on the frightening truth. The Selectmen are planning something catastrophic for humanity, and only The Tonic stands in the way.

Action-packed encounters, conspiracies, and haunting visions are the foundations of the exciting new Ken Scudero sci-fi adventure, Missing Tomorrow.

KenScuderophoto

About the Author:

Ken Scudero was born in Staten Island, NY in 1989 and has lived there ever since. He studied at St. John’s University and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sport Management in 2011. He self-published his first novel, ‘Comfortably Awkward’ in January 2012 while struggling to find a job after college. Ken has been intrigued by science fiction since he was 10, when he went camping in upstate New York for the first time. It was then he began his existential quest to uncover the mysteries of life and the universe. Fantasy and Sci-Fi films and novels fill his personal library, so it was only natural for him to write his own tale about another world.

And here’s an interview, conducted with Ken by Andy of Zharmae Publishing Press:

Interview with Ken Scudero
by Andy Kubai (Zharmae Staff)

Missing Tomorrow, deals with many different fascinating realms, from mystery to fantasy to science fiction. What elements from your own life do you draw from to bridge these gaps?

With anything I write I incorporate many different realms. In one chapter, you’ll be frightened to turn the page to see what happens next. Then another chapter, you’ll be intrigued by the unknown and eager to see what’s really going on. You’ll even laugh a lot while reading Missing Tomorrow. I feel like there are so many different things that can happen in everyday life, so many different feelings you can have but yet they’re all linked together. For me, you should read a book and experience these different emotions at different times while also feeling the link between them all. No one realm works alone by itself. My life has provided me with plenty of ironic, strange experiences and I’m able to translate that into my writing.

When creating your protagonist, were you inspired more so by fantastical fiction or classical detective lore?

I think Gem Jupiter started as a fantasy character and those fantasy elements drove me to keep adding these layers to his being. The detective traits came after he was already built as this fantasy hero type of character. But don’t get me wrong, he is a private detective and you’ll find plenty of noir detective aspects in Gem’s personality and actions. The fantasy elements are what created and formed him though.

How do you build your fantastical worlds?

It’s a timely process. You have a vision of what you want it to look like and for a while you’re not sure if it is indeed a different version of planet Earth or if it’s some planet we never heard of. Planet Nibiru is based on the real “Planet X” conspiracy. It’s some distant planet that we’re unable to see but it’s out there. I took parts of planet Earth and put them on Nibiru so that life could be habitable. Like Earth, Nibiru has some places that are too beautiful for words but it also has places which scare the hell out of you. I guess as I began trying to describe how I saw Nibiru in my mind, it kind of took off and created itself.

Do you have any set of routines built into or around your writing?

I like to shower beforehand and put on one of my “writer” shirts as if I’m suiting up for battle. I usually have to be drinking something while writing whether it’s coffee, water or beer. I also have to set a goal for myself each time I sit down to write whether it’s a number of words I want to write that day or a certain scene I want to finish by the end of the day.

Who are your favorite authors?

Two of my favorite authors aren’t science fiction or fantasy authors at all—Charles Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson. Not only are they hilarious, they can make anything interesting. They’re my favorite to read when I’m relaxing. My other favorites are Bradbury, Hemingway and Orwell. They’re just brilliant writers and their stories are some of the best I’ve ever read. Those are definitely my top five.

What do you like to do when not constructing the world of Gem Jupiter?

I actually have too many hobbies. I can’t get anything done because I’m always jumping to do something else. I work as an electrician during the day, I do freelance writing for sports websites, I write screenplays, I play guitar, and I play softball. If I’m not doing any of that, I’m probably reading a book or watching a good film.

Where does Mr. Jupiter go from here?

That’s up to the reader to figure out on his or her own after finishing Missing Tomorrow.

Do you have any other books in the works?

I’m working on the second Gem Jupiter novel, the sequel to Missing Tomorrow, which is still untitled.

Where would you like to be in 10 years?

In 10 years, I’m going to be writing a novel while lying on a beach somewhere.

Thanks for talking with us, Ken!

***

I also received code for a Rafflecopter giveaway, but unfortunately WordPress doesn’t like the code – or any other code, it seems. :-(

I hope this title had piqued your interest! :-)

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 10, 2014 in Blog Tour, Spotlight

 

Tags: , , ,

Announcing: Crashing Heaven by Al Robertson (Voyager Gollancz Acquisition)

Happy Friday!

Thought I’d kick the weekend off by sharing news of an excellent-sounding acquisition by Voyager Gollancz:

***

GOLLANCZ CRASHES HEAVEN WITH SPECTACULAR DEBUT SF NOVEL

Gollancz, an imprint of The Orion Publishing Group, has bought world rights to a remarkable SF debut. Written by an assured new UK author, Crashing Heaven echoes classic SF and brings a cutting edge digital twist.

Simon Spanton, Gollancz Associate Publisher, bought rights for two books from London author Al Robertson in a major pre-empt ahead of an auction, through Sue Armstrong at Conville & Walsh.  The first novel, Crashing Heaven, will be published in June 2015.

Crashing Heaven follows a unique friendship and ultimately asks what it means to be human in our technologically advancing world. Crackling with energy and wit, it will appeal to fans of everything from detective noir to genre classics like Neuromancer.

Gollancz Associate Publisher, Simon Spanton said: “From the very first lines of Crashing Heaven I was caught in the tangles of the amazing relationship between Jack and Hugo Fist. It was clear that Al Robertson was a writer completely in command of his material and totally at home in his chosen genre. To find all this, fully formed, in the work of a debut writer is special indeed. Why was I determined to publish this book? It’s a long time since I’ve read a book that takes the familiar and fashions it into something that feels so fresh. And it will be a long time before I can forget the terrifying manic energy, the barely contained rage, the chilling face of Hugo Fist.”

Sue Armstrong added: “Al Robertson is a master storyteller. Every page of Crashing Heaven sparks with energy and it takes a brilliant craftsman to create and control such an imaginative novel, especially one where the characters are as mesmerising as the ideas. That this is a debut is all the more extraordinary. But extraordinary is what Al Robertson does, I knew that the moment I met Hugo Fist.”

Al Robertson said: “’Gollancz publish the writers who taught me how to write. They use new worlds to dig into this one, which is exactly what I wanted to do with Crashing Heaven. It’s hugely exciting to be joining them, I can’t wait to start working with Simon and his team.’

Al Robertson has already been shortlisted for the BSFA short story award and longlisted for the British Fantasy Award. For more information about Al Robertson you can visit his website or follow him on Twitter: @al­_robertson.

Crashing Heaven * Al Robertson * Gollancz * 9781373203402

Trade paperback £14.99 * eBook £7.99

For further information please contact Publicity: Sophie Calder

Tel: 020 752 4314 /sophie.calder@orionbooks.co.uk

***

Sounds good! Looking forward to it when it’s released! :-)

Have an epic weekend!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Announcements

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Spotlight: Shadow of the Mountain by D. A. Stone (Luthando Coeur – Zharmae Publishing Press)

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well! :-)

Here’s a spotlight of a great-looking book from Luthando Coeur, the Fantasy imprint of Zharmae Publishing Press. Take a look!

Shadow

If Tenlon had his way he’d be working with dragons, practicing a bit of magic, and racing horses in his free time. Unfortunately, when the kingdom starts to crumble and the world comes crashing down around him, his dreams of dragons and days of carefree racing quickly come to an end. When war washes over the land, and dragons of legend fall from the sky, Tenlon is reluctantly thrust into an adventure greater than anything he could have imagined. Given a gift that could change everything, he becomes the only hope in a land invaded by a growing darkness that threatens to destroy all that stand in its way. 

Can a dying people rise once more to shine a light into the darkness? Will Tenlon’s most important race, the race to save the kingdom and the people he cares about, be his last?

About the author:

D.A. Stone lives in Philadelphia, keeping good friends close as family. Raised on stories of fantasy, science fiction, and horror from an early age, he continues to expand his horizons into other genres, though his heart will always be in fantasy. He firmly believes that there can be reality in fantasy tales, that there can be truth. Finding it can be one challenge and delivering it on the page can be another, but as in all creative mediums, the pursuit of that truth is essential.

To order copies of the book, click here for Amazon US, an check out the book’s Goodread’s Page here. :-)

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

P.S. Apparently the photo I received was not of D. A. Stone, so I removed it. :-)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 1, 2014 in Spotlight

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Spotlight: Human by Milan Bakrania

Happy Friday! :-)

Here’s another spotlight for you – hope it tickles your fancy!

Human Book Cover 309x475

 

Zenith has been ‘dead’ ever since his Uncle Ryan mysteriously disappeared when he was a child.

Present day – Zenith is now 42 years old.  The world is at the mercy of a relentless virus.

His friend, Joy Irani is missing.  No one has seen him.  It’s all too familiar, but Zenith will stop at nothing to find him.  A series of anonymous text messages leads him to a deserted village.  Moments later, he finds himself on a boat heading into the open ocean…

From a bustling metropolis to a place where the stars descend from the sky, it’s going to be a week like no other!

milan-bakrania

Milan Bakrania has been interested in literature and creative writing since childhood, but never identified it as a career until 2008/09, prior to being made redundant. During an excursion in India in 2012-13, he became attached to the stories of the struggling middle-class and, despite a booming economy, the daily hurdles they had to overcome to make ends meet at the expense of aspirations and simple dreams. This became part of the inspiration for Human. Milan’s first novel, The Emissary, was published in 2010.

To order the book, click here for Amazon US, and to connect with Milan check out the following links: his website, his WordPress blog,  Goodreads, his Twitter profile, and his Facebook Page.

Wishing you all a splendidly epic Friday and a kickass weekend! :-)

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 27, 2014 in Spotlight

 

Tags: , , ,

Spotlight: Fishing for Light by Nathaniel Sewell

Hey everyone, hope you’re all well. :-)

While I get myself organized, writing- and review-wise, here’s another spotlight for you!

FISHING FOR LIGHT by Nathaniel Sewell

Fishing-For-Light-Final-300pxw

 

Blurb:

How do you take your coffee? Ms Prosperina is a genetic monster trying to take over the world by spiking the coffee at her Starry Eyed Coffee Hut chain … and she’ll stop at nothing.

It’s up to her unwitting creator, the geneticist Professor Quan, to stop her. In an attempt to correct his mistake, Professor Quan creates a network of people with the power of true love genetically coded within them. They alone might resist Ms Prosperina’s attempt to change the course of humanity.

Everything hangs in the balance when Eddie, altered at birth by Quan’s genetic mutation powder, fails to follow his pre-ordained destiny. The trauma of his father’s death has left Eddie drifting through a meaningless life and has caused him to stray from Quan’s master plan.

Will Quan succeed in helping Eddie regain the light behind his eyes and will they succeed in foiling Ms Prosperina’s evil plans?

Could the world really end at General Beauregard’s 24-hour fried chicken restaurant?

Nathaniel Sewell

Nathaniel spent much of his professional career in the medical malpractice insurance niche. He has a significant understanding about modern medicine and the potential for human suffering and tragedy. From his work he developed an interest in genetics, and the affect trauma has on the human body. He knows what it feels like to suffer, being a child abuse survivor. He takes great care never to be cruel, and believes in the goodness of man, and nature.

To order the book, click here for Amazon US, and to connect with Nathaniel, check out the following links: his website, Goodreads, his Twitter account, and his Facebook Page.

Hope you’ll be picking this book up! :-)

Until Friday,

Be EPIC!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 26, 2014 in Spotlight

 

Tags: , , , ,

Spotlight: The Necromancer’s Apprentice by Icy Sedgwick

Hey everyone, hope you’ve all been well! :-)

I’m back with another spotlight for a cool title from a UK author; enjoy! :-)

***

Apprentice_eBook_small

Though Jyximus Faire lives in a crumbling tenement in the Underground City, he escapes the squalor daily to attend lessons in magic and sorcery at the prestigious Academy in the City Above.

But the pace isn’t fast enough for Jyx. He wants to learn everything—and he wants to learn it now. Then the dread necromancer general Eufame Delsenza sets her sights on Jyx; she needs a new apprentice, and Jyx fits the bill. When she tasks him with helping to prepare royal mummies for an all-important procession, he realises this might be a chance of a lifetime.

Will Jyx’s impatience lead to him taking his education into his own inexperienced hands, and can a necromancer’s apprentice really learn to raise the dead—and control them?

***

Icy Sedgwick was born in the North East of England, and lives and works in Newcastle. She has been writing with a view to doing so professionally for over ten years, and has had several stories included in anthologies, including Short Stack and Bloody Parchment: The Root Cellar & Other Stories.

She spends her non-writing time working on a PhD in Film Studies, considering the use of set design in contemporary horror. Icy had her first book, a pulp Western named The Guns of Retribution, published in 2011, and her horror fantasy, The Necromancer’s Apprentice, was released in March 2014.

signatureimage_zps31d9d054

For more info on Icy and her work, head on over to her website here. And to purchase your copies of The Necromancer’s Apprentice, head here for Amazon US, here for Barnes and Noble, and here for Kobo. :-)

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 24, 2014 in Spotlight

 

Tags: , ,

Review: Ecko Burning (The Ecko Trilogy Book 2) by Danie Ware

Hey everyone, I’m back with a review of the sequel to ‘Ecko Rising’ – Danie Ware’s debut and the first book in the trilogy. Yep, I’m talking about ‘Ecko Burning‘. :-)

eckobanner.jpg.size-525_maxheight-346

After reading book 1, Ecko Rising, I knew that an important and inventive new storyteller had hit the vast-and-always-busy Spec-Fic scene – Ecko Rising would put Danie and her creation, Ecko, to the test -

- which both passed without a hint of effort, it seems. :-)

‘Ecko Burning’ picks up after and slots neatly beside the ending of the first book, and quickly shifts into high gear, sowing plot-seeds that not only expand upon the events of the first book but also serve to add more background and ‘flesh’ to the characters introduced in the first book.

The principle character, Ecko, continues to be the star of the tale, and it is in this book that we get a much deeper sense of the conflicts raging within him as well as his reactions to what is happening around him. Danie makes an interesting and dangerous choice here – to leave Ecko effectively rudderless and confused, reacting to what’s happening around him, not having a clear idea of just what is happening around him. Why is it dangerous? Well, readers of SF and Fantasy will agree that, most times, the main characters have an idea of what’s going on, what their goals are, who it is they’re fighting or struggling against.

Taking a risk like can lead to a mess of a book as the characters struggle to find their place and purpose again, but it’s not what happens in this novel – Danie allows Ecko to explore, to confront, to hate, and more, which allows him to eventually make a choice that comes across as natural and unforced; and the choice leaves Ecko utterly changed, so he grows as a character, too. Ecko’s supporting cast are also put through the wringer, and there’s a great split-focus on them all. so the reader get’s that all-important look at their motivations and fears, even more so than in the first book.

Plot-wise, I was damned impressed – after the conflicts that the cast had to face in Ecko Burning I was really curious as to what would happen, and I’m happy to say that not only did the action and tension escalate, but more was revealed about the world and its cultures, adding yet more layers to the considerable world-building that Danie revealed in Book 1.

I have no-idea where Danie will take the story in the third book, and I’m happy to say that I trust her to do many awesome, memorable things with this tale. In two books Danie has proved herself a writer and storyteller of considerable talent, able to create unique characters that inhabit wonderful world-building, and I’m definitely looking forward to the finale and the surprises that Danie is sure to spring on us. :-)

9 / 10

ecko_burning

To order your copies of ‘Ecko Burning’, click here for Amazon US, here for Amazon UK, and here if you’re in South Africa. And check out Danie’s website here.

Many thanks to Titan Books for supplying me with an ARC – you guys rock!

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 3, 2014 in Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Spotlight: Samurai and Other Stories by William Meikle (Crystal Lake Publishing)

Hey everyone,

I’m back with another spotlight – this time focusing on a new release by author William Meikle, from Crystal Lake Publishing. :-)

25 January 2014

25 January 2014

Here’s some information about the collection:

In Samurai and Other Stories you’ll find numerous ghosts, many Scotsmen, a big blob, some holy relics, some unholy relics, a Mothman, a barbarian, some swordplay, a shoggoth and people that nobody expects.

This collection by William Meikle brings together stories from the past decade in an exploration of the perils of exploring dark places, both external and internal.

Includes:

SamuraiRickman’s Plasma, Home is the Sailor, Turn Again, Inquisitor, The Scotsman’s Fiddle, The Toughest Mile, The Havehome, The Yule Log, Living the Dream, The Shoogling Jenny, The Haunting of Esther Cox, Dancers, The Brotherhood of the Thorns, The Young Lochinvar, and A Slim Chance.

You can order your copies at the following places: Amazon US (Paperback & Kindle), Smashwords, and directly from Crystal Lake Publishing.

Looks like a great collection! :-) If you’d like to be part of the Release, check out the Event on Facebook! :-)

Until next time,

Be EPIC!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on January 25, 2014 in Spotlight

 

Tags: , , , ,

Spotlight: Obscura Burning by Suzanne van Rooyen (YA / LGBT)

Hey everyone, I’m back with another Spotlight post, this time focusing on a title from a South African author, Suzanne van Rooyen. :-)

suzanne obscura

The Author

Suzanne is a tattooed story-teller and peanut-butter addict from South Africa. She currently lives in Finland and finds the cold, dark forests nothing if not inspiring. Although she has a Master’s degree in music, Suzanne prefers conjuring strange worlds and creating quirky characters. When not writing you can find her teaching dance and music to middle-schoolers or playing in the snow with her shiba inu.

Suzanne is represented by Jordy Albert of the Booker Albert Agency.
Suzanne is also Publicity Manager for Entranced Publishing.

Here’s the blurb:

Kyle Wolfe’s world is about to crash and burn. Just weeks away from graduation, a fire kills Kyle’s two best friends and leaves him permanently scarred. A fire that Kyle accidentally set the night he cheated on his boyfriend Danny with their female friend, Shira. That same day, a strange new planet, Obscura, appears in the sky. And suddenly Kyle’s friends aren’t all that dead anymore. Each time Kyle goes to sleep, he awakens to two different realities. In one, his boyfriend Danny is still alive, but Shira is dead. In the other, it’s Shira who’s alive…and now they’re friends with benefits.

Shifting between realities is slowly killing him, and he’s not the only one dying. The world is dying with him. He’s pretty sure Obscura has something to do with it, but with his parents’ marriage imploding and realities shifting each time he closes his eyes, Kyle has problems enough without being the one in charge of saving the world…

And here’s the Book Trailer:

And for your reading pleasure, an excerpt from the novel. :-)

Enjoy!

***

1.

Cornflakes; scraps of yellow cardboard polluting perfectly good milk. I wash them down with orange juice, dribbling a little from the corner of my mouth where my lips no longer form a smooth crease. From his cross fixed to the kitchen wall, an emaciated Jesus glares at me, making the cardboard cereal even more difficult to swallow.

I drag the paper over and skim the headlines: Obscura panic despite government reassurances that the world probably won’t end. Department stores got ransacked in Albuquerque amid fears of price gouging. People are really starting to freak out. There’s a snippet on page two about the situation in Iraq, how a bunch of American soldiers are demanding flights home to see family before Armageddon. A picture of the Eiffel Tower lit up with candles and strewn with flowers; a phallic offering to whichever god tossed Obscura into the sky. There’s a whole segment on what Obscura might be doing to the weather. Meteorologists predict the worst hurricane season in centuries, increased seismic activity resulting in more tsunamis and volcanoes. The world might not end, but that doesn’t mean humans won’t get wiped out anyway.

“What are you doing today, son?” Dad asks around the edges of the sports section. He should be scouring the classifieds for a job, not that there’d be much point if the world ends.

“The usual.” There isn’t a hell of a lot to do in Coyote’s Luck. Last couple of summers, Danny and I passed the days out by the dam near the reservation with Shira, or worked odd jobs around town, sometimes even helping out at the ranches farther away. This year we’d both been set for working at Black Paw, an eatery sporting kitsch Indian decor and a Mexican menu. Then the fire happened.

“Didn’t you have a job lined up?” Dad folds the paper and looks at me. His gaze doesn’t linger too long on my face before he’s studying his checkered napkin. Mom usually mediates conversations like this one, but she worked the night shift and is still passed out upstairs.

“You really think they’re going to want me serving kids their tortillas?”

“Why not?” Dad still doesn’t look up.

“You can’t even look at me, Dad. How the hell do you think some kids are going to order food and not end up puking on the table when they see my face?” I smash my bowl in the sink and stomp out of the kitchen, slamming the screen door behind me. Dad calls after me, but I ignore him. Nothing he can say will change my scars.

2.

Scrabbling under my bed, I retrieve an A3 drawing book and bag of colored pens. The first few pages are half-finished comics, a story yet unfinished waiting for my imagination. Then there’s a multicolored map scrawled across several pages, denoting my life: pages filled with boxes, each dated and timed, connected by lines as I try to make sense of what’s happening to me.

With a ruler and green pen, I draw a new box, jotting down the details since waking up at Shira’s.

I glance at my watch just to be sure. Tuesday, 21:47, June 26.

The map is a spaghetti mess of interweaving lines and text boxes. I’m not sure when my life got so complicated. Maybe when I was bandaged in the hospital, delirious in an opiate-induced haze, or maybe in those first few days after Danny’s spinal fusion, days I spent pacing the halls waiting to find out if he’d ever walk again.

My starting point is marked in red. April 6. The night of the fire.

I stash the book under my bed and strip naked. The stink of sex clings to my skin. Girls smell different, ripe and cloying. It’s a smell that gets everywhere. Even my hair reeks of girl-musk.

The tiles are cool against my back as I stand beneath a jet of cold water. Although my burns have healed, the scars are still sensitive. If the water is warmer than tepid it feels like I’m on fire all over again.

Running a hand over my mangled flesh, it’s as if I’m feeling the strange surface of some weird planet. Caressing Obscura perhaps. Her cratered and shale-smeared crust probably looks a lot like my skin. At first it was terrifying, the bubbles and swaths of too smooth flesh, the pink knots and swollen ridges slithering down my belly. Now it’s fascinating, all the warped shapes and odd textures. Surreal really, like it’s not my body that got deep-fried.

Not sure what the big deal is about me not being able to have kids. My left ball only looks a little more wrinkled than before, less hairy and more like a prune. The plumbing works just fine. Sex doesn’t feel the same, but then with a girl, how could it?

***

To order copies of Obscura Burning, check out the following links: Amazon US, Barnes and Noble, OmniLit, The Book Depository. If you’re a member of Goodreads, make sure to add the title at this link.

Check out Suzanne’s website here, and you can also connect with her on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook

There we go – another interesting title to add to your shelf! :-) And thanks to Suzanne for offering the excerpt of her novel. :-)

Until Friday,

Be EPIC!

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 22, 2014 in Excerpt, Spotlight

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Spotlight: Muses of Roma by Rob Steiner (Codex Antonius Book 1)

Hey everyone, hope you’ve all had a great Monday so far. :-) I’m back with a spotlight on a title that sounds damned interesting!

If I didn’t have so much on my plate at the moment (all the books I’ve already received for review, writing up reviews of the books I’ve finished, and gearing up for the final edits of my own novel before its April release) I’d definitely be reading this novel.

muses

Since I can’t, I asked Rob Steiner if he’d like to do a guest post on the blog, and when Rob agreed I was damned happy. :-) To get you interested, too, here’s the blurb:

Marcus Antonius Primus began a golden age for humanity when he liberated Roma from Octavian Caesar and became sole Consul. With wisdom from the gods, future Antonii Consuls conquered the world and spawned an interstellar civilization. Three weeks before the millennial anniversary of the Antonii Ascension, star freighter captain Kaeso Aemelius, a blacklisted security agent from Roman rival world Libertus, is asked by his former commanders to help a high-ranking Roman official defect. Kaeso misses his lone wolf espionage days – and its freedom from responsibility for a crew – so he sees the mission as a way back into the spy business. Kaeso sells it to his crew of outcasts as a quick, lucrative contract…without explaining his plan to abandon them for his old job. But Kaeso soon learns the defector’s terrifying secret, one that proves the last thousand years of history was built on a lie. Can Kaeso protect his crew from Roman and Liberti forces, who would lay waste to entire worlds to stop them from revealing the civilization-shattering truth?

Here’s Rob himself. :-)

“What if the Roman Empire had interstellar travel?”

First, I want to thank Dave-Brendon for giving me space on his blog to explain the “big idea” behind my latest novel.  Much appreciated!

So you typically don’t see “Roman Empire” and “space opera” in the same sentence, but that was the unlikely combination that inspired MUSES OF ROMA, my new sci-fi/alt-history novel about a Rome that spawned an interstellar civilization.  When Dave-Brendon asked me to write about where I got the idea to combine the two, I realized the idea had not come to me fully formed, but had evolved over many years.

So where did it come from?

Short answer: Harry Turtledove.  And the Muppets.

***

The first alternate history novel I read was GUNS OF THE SOUTH by Harry Turtledove.  It was a great story, but what I remember most was the cover.  It had a photo of General Robert E. Lee from an old history book, all faded and yellowed.

But in his hands was an AK-47.

It was such a subtle, yet jarring cover that I had to buy the book to find out how Robert E. Lee ended up holding a weapon that wouldn’t be invented until 100 years or so after his death.

Fast forward to 2009.  While thinking up ideas for my fourth novel, I glanced at my bookshelf for inspiration, noticed GUNS OF THE SOUTH, and recalled how I’d always wanted to write a book with a similarly jarring cover.

Alternate history it is, I thought.

The who came quickly: I’ve always been an ancient Rome geek, with numerous non-fiction books on Rome sharing shelf space with my favorite novels.  In keeping with my desire for a jarring cover, I thought, How aboutMark Antony holding a musket?

I liked it.  But something was still missing; I wanted to do an alt-history book, but not a conventional one.  So I sat on the idea for a few days.

Later that week, I was brainstorming my Roman alt-history novel when I became distracted bythe TV in the next room.  My young daughter had it up loud as she often does, and I was about to tell her to turn it down when I heard:  “Muppets…in…spaaaaaace!”

I jokingly thought, Maybe I’ll do Romans…in spaaaace!

I stopped.

Huh….

***

I’m certainly not the first author to combine science fiction and alternate history.  Again, Harry Turtledove did it with his four-book Worldwar series, where aliens invaded Earth at the height of World War II.  Even GUNS OF THE SOUTH had sci-fi elements.  But I was hard pressed to find any Roman sci-fi/alt-history, or more specifically Roman space opera/alt-history.  I’m sure it’s out there, but the point is that I at least had an idea that hadn’t been done to death.

I did a lot of brainstorming over the next year on where we are and how we got there.How did the Romans establish interstellar colonies? What was the one event in Roman history that diverged from our timeline and enabled such an outlandish, science-fictional situation to occur? I wanted that “terrifying secret” to be the core of my novel.

Once I had settled on the “terrifying secret,”I began to fill in the nooks and crannies of the alternate universe as my unlikely heroes fought to survive. How did Roman culture evolve because of this secret?What were the implications on Rome’s future if the secret were revealed? I used many resources on ancient Rome to get the subtleties of Roman culture as right as I could.

I had a blast answering those questions in MUSES OF ROMA…though I did not answer all of them, as this is book one of a three-book series. :-)

You can find the Prologue and Chapter 1on my web site. I do hope you have as much fun reading the novel as I did writing it.

***

There we go, folks. :-) The book is available on paperbackKindle, Nook, iBooks and at Smashwords. I hope you’ve all enjoyed the guest-post by Rob and that you’ve already opened the links to purchase the book. :-) Massive thanks to Rob for agreeing to this guest-post, and I wish him massive success with this novel and all his work. :-)

Until Wednesday,

Be EPIC!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 20, 2014 in Spotlight

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,431 other followers