[GUEST POST] Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. on Airship Versus Flying Kraken Battle Tactics: A Steampunk Primer (Plus: Bonus Deals and Content)
Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. grew up in the United States and Canada but he prefers to think of himself as British. He attended the University of Waterloo where he earned an Honors B.A. in English with a Minor in Anthropology. He has lived on Prince Edward Island, met the sheep on Hadrian’s Wall, eaten at the first McDonalds in Moscow, excavated a 400 year old Huron Indian skeleton and attended a sperm whale autopsy. Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders, Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War and Romulus Buckle & the Luminiferous Aether are the first three installments in his new steampunk series, The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin. He currently resides in California. Find out more at hos website and follow him on Twitter as @RichardEPreston
Captain Buckle hurdled over tentacles, moving beneath dozens more that lashed back and forth in the darkness overhead. “Have at the monster, mates!” he shouted into the teeth of the wind, and slammed his axe down upon the joint of a thick, writhing arm. The blade sank deep into the jellyfish muscle beneath, sending up gouts of yellow blood. The tentacle snapped back reflexively, nearly tearing the axe out of Buckle’s hands as it whiplashed away.(From Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War by Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.)
In Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War, the second novel in my Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin steampunk adventure series, the airship launch Arabella is caught in an ice storm and attacked by a flying alien beastie which resembles a mythical kraken. Kraken encounters with airships are rare but zeppelin crews, operating in earth’s alien-creature-filled post-apocalyptic skies, understand the tactics needed to handle of this kind of situation.
What follows is an airship vs. flying kraken battle primer, complete with Crankshaft Air Corps tactical notes, employing the Arabella incident an example.
Please Note: a gorgeous illustrated schematic of this battle sequence is featured inside the new Steampunk User’s Manual by Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovitch. The artist is Locus Award winner Jeremy Zerfoss. TOR.COM has an exclusive look at the illustration and an exclusive FREE ROMULUS BUCKLE SHORT STORY, “An Officer and a Gentleman,” on their website here.)