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.
In 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.
Romulus 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.
Romulus 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 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.
Also, 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.