Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Terra Mechanica – Coming Soon!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on May 12, 2014

TerraMechanicaCoverWell, folks, it’s not Frayed Knights 2, but one of my latest projects is getting released in a few days –

Terra Mechanica: A Steampunk Anthology

I was kinda surprised how many long hours went into a short story. I thought it would be a lot easier working with a publisher to handle all the crap (especially stuff I don’t really know how to do in the book publishing world), but it turns out there’s a lot more to do after the contract is signed.

Still, this was a lot of fun, and I was excited to try and exercise my writing in a non-interactive format. I expect I’ll keep up the writing on the side… in addition to game development… and blogging… and the day job… Hmmm. I wonder if I really need all five hours of sleep every night?

Anyway, I’m reading through the advanced reader copy now, and I’m enjoying the other stories in the anthology (which I only knew by title before). Fun stuff, if you are into steampunk. Actually, I was a little worried that my own story might be a little too light on the steampunk side of things, but the stories have so far run the gamut. One is much more of a straight-up fantasy set after the U.S. Civil War, except for the inclusion of a mechanical companion. Another (Pete Ford’s story, ‘The Voyage of Valerie McGrath’) resembles vintage sci-fi to me … with the exception that the flying ships over an alien planet have “clockwork” autopilots rather than computers. So even if you aren’t really into pure ‘steampunk’  (as if such a thing existed), there’s a nice variety of speculative fiction.

My own story is entitled “Dots, Dashes, and Deceit.” It’s about a recently unemployed telegraph operator and a mute savant who discover a secret plot encoded within innocent-sounding telegraph messages. It was inspired while I was doing research for a totally different story idea, and learned that a lot of what I thought was science-fiction technology in 1880 actually existed. It might not have been in common use, but international cables, fax machines, and of course the telephone were all invented and in use at the time. Things like online romance, telecommunications fraud, identity theft, and all that jazz that we think are artifacts of the Internet age were actually present a hundred years earlier.

So I ended up with a very different story, revolving around Morse code and telegraphy. And of course, villainous international corporations, airships, and mechanical men. Because steampunk! And it’s just plain fun.

Anyway, I’m extremely excited for the book (naturally)! It will be available via Amazon in print and popular ebook formats on May 31.

Filed Under: Books - Comments: 4 Comments to Read

  • Noumenon said,

    You actually sold this really well in this blog post.

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    I did? Cool. I guess the best selling is just educating people about something. I know that for me, unless I hear it referred by a friend (or my wife), I have no clue what’s available or what’s good. This was especially true with steampunk – once I got sucked into it, I immediately wanted to read steampunk fiction, but I had no idea where to start. Fortunately, going to a Steampunk convention, they had a panel on just that subject… 🙂

    My first story submission for a previous anthology was a fantasy story, but was rejected. I still liked the anthology anyway… 🙂

  • Felix said,

    Amazon only? No Smashwords?

  • Rampant Coyote said,

    The other books by Xchyler Publishing are available on Smashwords, so I imagine this one will be, as well. I don’t know if it will be available the same day or not.