At first glance it was a simple enough job, go to Aserol and find out what’s happening at the Waster mine. For Horis Strongman it’s the start of an adventure, there are things that don’t add up and he stumbles upon a secret. It’s enough to kill for, but can he stay alive to expose it?
In a world where Coal is King, where machines of Metal are powered by Steam and Clockwork, those in power want him silenced by any means.
Accused of a terrible crime, Horis is forced to run, aided by those who can prove his innocence, and unsure of whom he can trust.
From the mines to the skies, on the oceans and rivers, The Rocks of Aserol could change the world.
Available on Amazon
“Captivating Steampunk Reading”
Five Star Review on Amazon By Ian
I’ve only read about ten steampunk novels to date, which I guess makes me a light reader of the genre. That said, this is by far the best one I’ve picked up. The author establishes a sense of period so convincingly in the opening chapters that I felt transported to his world, mind, body, and soul. You can barely go a paragraph without some devilishly clever steampunk device implicating itself into the story. The grimy, sooty, coal-infested cities of a steampunk age are felt no less viscerally. But for all the awesome world-building, you can’t have a great novel without great characters; they have to be even more alluring.
I took immediately to the coal mining company’s representative, from whose perspective the story is told, Horis Strongman. On the surface he’s little more than a rule-abiding bureaucrat who has been chosen for the job because he’s expendable. Maybe so, but in character he’s surely not lacking. Seeing him move along his character arc from someone of total innocence at being chosen to be the company’s fall guy and to be implicated in a horrific mining accent to one where he slowly becomes aware of just how corrupt the company officials are that he works for is something to behold. There are forces at play so beyond Horis’s paygrade and understanding that there appears little chance of his ever getting to the root of things, especially when that conspiracy extends to the most powerful people in the country.
Horis finds assistance in two very unlikely characters, a one-handed ex-military man now working at his hotel, and a fellow hotel clerk, a lovely Victorian-era woman who fancies him. Not much of a posse considering what they’re up against. Still the underdogs are as colorful and picaresque as the era itself.
Follow them into a world of intrigue and corruption that seems surprisingly modern for this alternate-history piece. For those who need something more than ahead-of-its-time science and technology, considering we’re in the Victorian era, please note the dragons, referred to as drogans. Making this a bit of a fantasy/sci-fi hybrid. The mix is intoxicating fun in any case.
About the Author
A native of Brixham in Devon, Richard Dee’s family left Devon when he was in his teens and settled in Kent. Leaving school at 16 he briefly worked in a supermarket, then went to sea and travelled the world in the Merchant Navy, qualifying as a Master Mariner in 1986.
Coming ashore to be with his growing family, he used his sea-going knowledge in several jobs, including Marine Insurance Surveyor and Dockmaster at Tilbury, before becoming a Port Control Officer in Sheerness and then at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich.
In 1994 he was head-hunted and offered a job as a Thames Estuary Pilot. In 1999 he transferred to the Thames River Pilots, where he regularly took vessels of all sizes through the Thames Barrier and upriver as far as H.M.S. Belfast and through Tower Bridge. In all, he piloted over 3,500 vessels in a 22-year career with the Port of London Authority.
Richard was offered part time working in 2010, which allowed him to return to live in Brixham, where he took up writing and blogging. During this time, he also set up and ran a successful Organic bakery, supplying local shops and cafés. The urge to write eventually overtook the urge to bake but Richard still makes bread for friends and family.
Richard is married with three adult children and two grandchildren.
His first science-fiction novel “Freefall,” was published in 2013, followed by “Ribbonworld” in 2015. September 2016 saw the publication of his Steampunk adventure “The Rocks of Aserol.” and “Flash Fiction,” a collection of Short Stories. He contributed a story to the “1066 Turned Upside Down” collection and is currently working on prequels, sequels, and new projects.
He publishes through his own imprint, 4Star Scifi, named after his wife and daughters, his 4Stars.
He can be found at www.richarddeescifi.co.uk and contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
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