Every now and then a book will change your life.
For me, that book comes out on 27th June 2015. It's called "Steel and Bone".
Now, I’m not saying that this is going to be a groundbreaking, genre-defining, best book ever (it will though, really). But it will definitely be the book that changes my life.
Let me tell you a little about "Steel and Bone".
Published by Xchyler Publishing, based in the USA, "Steel and Bone" is an anthology of nine steampunk adventures. For those who don't know (and shame on you) steampunk is a genre of science fiction, and sometimes fantasy, that includes technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century steam-powered machinery. Think Eleventh Doctor’s first Tardis and you’re pretty much there. Steampunk stories often have a Victoriana feel or an alternative history setting, though like all the best genres, there's massive scope for where you go with it.
The stories in Steel and Bone are all around the 10,000 word mark, and have been written by nine authors from around the world. Obviously, being an American anthology, most of the authors are American, but there are a couple of Brits and a Aussie too. The stories are all very individual and different, each one coming from an open call for submissions under the banner "The Mysterious Island of..."
Here's a quick rundown of the nine stories.
- The Clockwork Seer by Katherine Cowley: On an island of oddities, a young clairvoyant struggles for normalcy, but deadly automatons have other plans.
- Sindisiwe by Scott E. Tarbet: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale.
- Stand and Deliver by TC Phillips: Neither shackles, slave labour, nor the island’s deadliest inhabitants will prevent these brothers from meting out justice to their father’s murderers.
- Island Walker by C. R. Simper: Kit digs her treasures out of trash heaps, but the theft of her invention leads to discoveries money can’t buy.
- A Mind Prone to Wander by Danielle E. Shipley: Beyond a locked door lies Rowan Charles’ death or his sanity, and the survival or extinction of his people.
- Curio Cay by Sarah E. Seeley: The future of humanity rests in the hands of three time-traveling scientists battling biomechanical creatures in the Jurassic past.
- The Mysterious Island of Chester Morrison by Kin Law: Dodging her chaperone, a debutante stumbles into adventure and romance at the World’s Fair.
- Revolutionary by John M. Olsen: A dirigible captain goes down with his ship, and wakes to find himself a captive of a sky-dwelling civilization.
- The Steel Inside by Gail B. Williams: Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants
In case you missed it (knew I should have demanded a bigger font), that’s me – Gail B Williams, finally published. I mean, technically, I’ve been published before (my novel, Foreshadows is still available, but that was self-published, and I’ve also had some other stories published too, but not for anything as vulgar and wonderful as money). This is the book that sees me published by someone else. For money, no less!
Now I know what you’re thinking – that’ll be her off to enjoy a champagne lifestyle then, leaving us geeks in the dust and going to hang out with Hollywood’s finest.
Relax - my lifestyle isn't about to change, the 9-5 will stay in place, and I'll still be reviewing comics, editing other peoples novels and going cap in hand to agents and publishers trying to get my novels accepted, but this is still huge for me. It's a change, a boost, an affirmation that I can write and that I'm not completely wasting my time when I do so.
The book comes out on June 27th, in both ebook and physical formats. The publishers are doing a book bomb on the day. To find out more, see the Steel and Bone Facebook page.
Go on –get your steampunk on, have a look at the book (Steel and Bone on Amazon) and help a struggling author or nine.
Gail lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. Well okay, she lives in Swansea with her husband and daughter. And the world’s most demanding cat. To find out more about Gail, check out www.gailbwilliams.co.uk - Dare you!