“An Officer and a Gentleman,” the Romulus Buckle Prequel Short Story

My “An Officer and a Gentleman” short story is available for download from Amazon. The tale is set in the world of my Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin steampunk adventure series, and in it the young Lieutenant Romulus Buckle faces his first great test under fire when his armed trader airship Bromhead is attacked and boarded by pirates.

An Officer & a GentlemanIn writing “An Officer and a Gentleman” my primary focus was to give a series reader the rousing action and adventure they expect but also to reveal a crisis point in Romulus Buckle’s earlier life which can be considered important to the development of the older character they know in the novels. I had long been ‘aware’ of this event and its ramifications but it was illuminating to sit down and flesh it out so specifically. Things popped up that I didn’t expect, elements that inhabited the threads of the story tapestry all along–it was just that I, the storyteller, hadn’t consciously discovered them yet. The events are bloody, tragic and heartwrenching, and Romulus’ experience aboard the Bromhead very much colors the way he handles romantic love and danger later on. The reader also gets an opportunity to see a little more of his beloved sister Elizabeth who has been a mysterious figure so far.

If you are new to the Pneumatic Zeppelin series please read the series book introductions below, and I have provided links to the first two full-length novels.

City of the Founders CoverRomulus Buckle and the City of the Founders: in a post-apocalyptic world of endless snow, eighteen-year-old Captain Romulus Buckle and the stalwart crew of the Pneumatic Zeppelin must embark on a perilous mission to rescue their kidnapped leader, Balthazar Crankshaft, from the impenetrable City of the Founders. Steaming over a territory once known as Southern California–before it was devastated in the alien war–Buckle navigates his massive airship through skies infested with enemy war zeppelins and ravenous alien beasties in this swashbuckling and high-octane steampunk adventure. Life is desperate in the Snow World–and death is quick–Buckle and his ship’s company must brave poisoned wastelands of noxious mustard and do battle with forgewalkers, steampipers and armored locomotives as they plunge from the skies into the underground prison warrens of the fortress-city.

Captain Romulus Buckle must lead the Pneumatic Zeppelin and its crew of never-do-wells on a desperate mission where he must risk everything to save Balthazar and attempt to prevent a catastrophic war which could wipe out all that is left of civilization and the entire human race.

Cover for Engines of WarRomulus Buckle and the Engines of War. The frozen wasteland of Snow World—known as Southern California before an alien invasion decimated civilization—is home to warring steampunk clans. Crankshafts, Imperials, Tinskins, Brineboilers, and many more all battle one another for precious supplies, against ravenous mutant beasts for basic survival, and with the mysterious Founders for their very freedom.

Through this ruined world soars the Pneumatic Zeppelin, captained by the daring Romulus Buckle. In the wake of a nearly suicidal assault on the Founders’ prison city to rescue key military leaders, both the steam-powered airship and its crew are bruised and battered. Yet there’s little time for rest or repairs: Founders raids threaten to shatter the fragile alliance Buckle has risked everything to forge among the clans.

Even as he musters what seems a futile defense in the face of inevitable war, Buckle learns that the most mysterious clan of all is holding his long-lost sister in a secret base—and that she holds the ultimate key to victory over the Founders. But rescuing her means abandoning his allies and praying they survive long enough for there to be an alliance to return to.

Romulus Buckle III Final Luminiferous AetherRomulus Buckle and the Luminiferous Aether (COMING Spring, 2015) Romulus Buckle’s search for Elizabeth, his missing sister, takes him into the treacherous depths and political intrigues of the great underwater steampunk city of Atlantis.

SteampunkUsersManual-850Also, if you are a steampunk fan I’d highly recommend The Steampunk User’s Manual by Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovitch. It is a sumptuously designed book which explores various aspects of the steampunk movement/universe and also features a wonderful diagram of the airship vs. kraken battle (by artist Jeremy Zerfoss) from Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War.

“An Officer and a Gentleman” FREE Short Story TOR.COM Exclusive

An Officer & a GentlemanHello and welcome to my blog. Thanks to TOR.COM, here below, and for a limited time (three weeks), you can download an exclusive free digital copy of my new short story An Officer and a Gentleman, which takes place within the world of my Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin steampunk adventure series (the short story is available at the end of this post and this OFFER ENDS 9 NOV 2014 NOW CLOSED).

NEWS: Also, Amazon has placed the Kindle versions of my first two full-length Romulus Buckle novels on sale for $3 each! (You can find them on the home page carousel or straight on Amazon if you’d like to pick them up).

TOR.COM is also providing an EXCLUSIVE FULL-ON FIRST LOOK at the Steampunk User’s Manual‘s gorgeous airship/kraken battle diagram (by Jeremy Zerfoss) on their website here (in case you wandered in from somewhere other than the TOR link, of course): http://www.tor.com/blogs/2014/10/download-a-free-romulus-buckle-story-from-the-steampunk-users-manual

An Officer and a Gentleman is a prequel to the Pneumatic Zeppelin timeline. It recounts the day when the young Lieutenant Romulus Buckle faces his first great test under fire when his armed trader airship Bromhead is attacked and boarded by pirates.

SteampunkUsersManual-850This free An Officer and a Gentleman short story is being offered in conjunction with the release of the fabulous Steampunk User’s Manual:An Illustrated Practical and Whimsical Guide to creating retro-futurist Dreams by Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovitch. Along with a sumptuous journey through the creative wellhead of steampunk, The Steampunk User’s Manual also features an illustrated diagram of the heated airship versus kraken battle in my Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War novel. If you are a steampunk fan, reader and/or creative, this book is as close to a must-have as can possibly exist, in my opinion.

City of the Founders CoverPlease allow me a moment to introduce you to my Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin steampunk series, which includes Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders, Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War and the soon to be released (Jan, 2015) third installment, Romulus Buckle and the Luminiferous Aether.

This swashbuckling series follows the adventures of a war zeppelin crew across the skies of a post-apocalyptic California. Humanity has barely survived total extinction during a brutal alien invasion and has built a new Victorian-based, steam-powered civilization out of the frozen ashes of the old world. With war imminent, Captain Cover for Engines of WarRomulus Buckle and the crew of the Pneumatic Zeppelin must navigate a perilous, unknown landscape filled with treacherous enemies and alien beasts on a quest to defeat an evil power so profound it defies the imagination.

The heart of the Pneumatic Zeppelin story lies in its characters, and the crew of the mighty zeppelin includes Romulus, the dashing but damaged captain, Max, the beautiful, zebra-skinned, alien engineering officer, Sabrina, the red-headed navigator with a dark vendetta, and Ivan, the gawky Russian-blooded engineer who has a wugglebat for a pet.

Romulus Buckle III Final Luminiferous AetherIn the upcoming book, Romulus Buckle and the Luminiferous Aether, Captain Buckle and his officers run a submarine blockade in order to enter the mysterious underwater city of Atlantis. With an all out war looming, they follow clues which they hope will lead them to Elizabeth, Romulus’ kidnapped sister who is prophesied to be the key to victory and their own survival. But the journey to Atlantis is perilous and what awaits them in city is entirely unexpected. (Luminiferous Aether is schedule for release in January, 2015.)

Please DOWNLOAD my short story An Officer and a Gentleman below. I hope you enjoy the tale. Thanks for dropping by! (Offer ends 9 Nov 2014)

SORRY: THE EXCLUSIVE DOWNLOAD WINDOW HAS NOW CLOSED

(A big thanks to TOR.com, Jeff VanderMeer and the An Officer and Gentleman cover artist, Jeremy Zerfoss.)

(And please remember, both Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders and Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War are $3 each on Amazon Kindle right now until 16 Nov 2014!)

An Officer & a Gentleman

“The Steampunk User’s Manual” has arrived!

Here we go – it is book release week for The Steampunk User’s Manual by Jeff VanderMeer (Southern Reach, Wonderbook) and Desirina Boskovich (and the brilliant assistance of Ann VanderMeer, Adam Mills and Selena Chambers).

SteampunkUsersManual-850Desirina’s description of the book is perfect: “It’s an unbelievably gorgeous book…which thanks to the generosity and expertise of hundreds of contributors, is filled with creative wisdom, Steampunk history, forward-looking insights, mind-bending exercises, step-by-step projects, surreal alternate histories, artistic challenges that are fantastic in scope, and amazing art on every page.”SUM page 1

 

SUM title pageSUM--Irene GalloGreat stuff! And they were kind enough to include the kraken/airship battle sequence from my steampunk adventure novel Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War in a gorgeous two-page feature illustrated by the bearded and swashbuckling Jeremy Zerfoss.This is the first time I have had the honor of being included in this kind of collection and it has been a great experience.

Steampunk Users Manual--PrestonPlease check it out if interested!

Below are some great links to descriptions and introductions to the book:

Jeff VanderMeer’s Ecstatic Days blog: http://www.jeffvandermeer.com/2014/10/06/the-steampunk-users-manual-its-release-week/
SF Signal Sneak Peek: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/10/steampunk-users-manual-sneak-peek/

Cover Reveal for “The Steampunk User’s Manual”

The Steampunk User’s Manual! A beautiful cover for an amazing book by Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovich. An absolute ‘must have’ for steampunk fans.

SUM

And I am also honored to have a two page feature in the book (illustrated by Jeremy Zerfoss, who has a guest blog coming up very soon) which is a gorgeous illustration of the Kraken/airship battle from Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War. This is the first time that my work has been highlighted in this way and I owe a debt of gratitude to Jeff, Desirina and Jeremy for including me in the book.

A Zerfoss teaser of the kraken battle

John DeNardo at SF Signal has the official Cover Reveal/Synopsis announcement for today: www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/06/exclusive-cover-reveal-the-steampunk-users-manual-by-jeff-vandermeer-and-desirina-boskovich/