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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/item_id/2189142-Beyond-the-Rails
Rated: 18+ · Folder · Steampunk · #2189142
My signature series, a trilogy of steampunk adventures in the skies over colonial Kenya
New cover by Bryce Raffle


         In the spring of 1882 a young man arrives in Mombasa, Kenya with a plan to change the world of science. A man ahead of his time, Nicholas Ellsworth is a botanist fresh from Cambridge whose mission is to catalog the flora of Africa and unlock its medicinal secrets for the benefit of mankind. Intrigued by a lovely young woman who happens to be an airship pilot of extraordinary skill, he falls in with a crew of expatriates, misfits and castoffs all, whose cargo blimp, the Kestrel, carries them from one adventure to the next as they try to eke out a living moving all manner of cargo out beyond the rails. Their captain, a disgraced former military commander, is employer, protector, and father-figure to the young pilot, the Anglo-Prussian engineer, and a fugitive American gunslinger whose mysterious past could catch up with him at any time. Climb aboard and hang on for a thrilling ride through an alternate history!

DEDICATION


         First and foremost, I must thank Patrick Wells, who dragged my reluctant fantasy-writing self to the world of steampunk. Then my handful of core fans, who kept the spark alive with their enthusiastic support when I might have otherwise quit. And last but not least, I must prostrate myself before my wonderful family, who not only encouraged, but provided me the time and the space to find my way in this strange new world. Without these fabulous people around me, none of this would have been possible.

Update, April 10th, 2020: Another acknowledgement to my long-time good friend Bryce Raffle , who gifted me the new cover that you see here. Covers are a side-gig for Bryce, and if you've ever priced professional covers, you'll know that his are waaaay reasonable, price-wise, and doubly so when you consider the quality you're getting. Is this a plug for a friend? You bet your sweet acidopholis, it is, and a more deserving gentleman would be hard to come by! Seek him out when you're in the market for a cover, and give him a chance to dazzle you!

PREFACE

         A few words of explanation are in order. These are stories of the close-knit crew of a ramshackle airship seeking to make an honest living on the African frontier in the 1880s, but not our 1880s. History is still recognizable, but slightly skewed, hopefully in a way that my cherished readers will find entertaining. I have used Swahili as the lingua franca of the Kenyan Colony, which is not entirely accurate, but falls within artistic license, and serves the needs of both author and story. I have tried to make its meaning evident through context, but for those who wish to follow the dialogue literally, there are many good translators on-line. I have put my sweat and my love into this, and it is my hope that you, the reader, will justify my efforts by taking pleasure out of it. If that happens, and you’d like to let me know about it, I would love to hear from you, and maybe even get a dialogue going. But whether that happens or not, enjoy the ride!

         Update to preface: Thus I wrote in February 2015. As of today, April 2019, I am tired, retired, and grappling with a muse who seems to want to move on to greener pastures. I have a number of other projects in various stages of completion, but my main desire as a writer is to be read! I am giving away this, my signature trilogy, for the price of a mouse click. I ask for neither money nor reviews, but simply that someone enjoy it, and that if it moves you at all, maybe leave me a comment. Whether that happens will have a great deal to do with whether I continue to write, or find another use for my time; I don't intend to spend the time I have left shouting in an empty auditorium.

*Hotair2* Jack “Blimprider” Tyler *Hotair2*
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/portfolio/item_id/2189142-Beyond-the-Rails