Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Leviathan Rising

Abaddon Books have recently listed my next novel to be published them on their official website, so I can now publicise it here too. (A few of the cryptic comments I have made in some of my earlier posts should make more sense now, as a result.)

'Leviathan Rising' is the third in the Pax Britannia series and the second to feature the dandy adventurer and agent of the throne, Ulysses Quicksilver. It is quite a departure from the first novel ‘Unnatural History’ as it isn’t set in the British Empire of Magna Britannia and it doesn’t feature many of the recurring cast of characters set up in that first book. However, it does draw on little asides I managed to slip into ‘Unnatural History’ and sets up some more for future books to explore.

In terms of ongoing continuity, ‘Leviathan Rising’ takes place almost directly after the events of ‘Unnatural History’ and a number of months before those described in ‘Fruiting Bodies’, the short story (or rather novella) that appears in the back of Al Ewing’s ‘El Sombra’.

Whereas Ulysses Quicksilver's first outing was a straight action-adventure story, 'Leviathan Rising' is something of a murder mystery as well. I like to think of it as 'Murder on the Orient Express' meets 'The Abyss'. There's a whole host of other film and literary references in it too, but I won't spoil the fun by giving away what they are here... at least, not yet.

Here’s the blurb from the back of the book:

"Around the world in eighty days – in style!"

This proud claim, made by the Carcharodon Shipping Company, is about to be put to the test as its newest and most magnificent submersible cruise liner, the Neptune, sets sail on its maiden voyage around the world. Among the great and the good who have been invited to join this historic cruise is Ulysses Quicksilver, dandy adventurer and hero of Magna Britannia, enjoying a well-deserved sojourn after the traumatic events of Queen Victoria’s 160th jubilee celebrations.

But only days out from the undersea city of Pacifica disaster strikes. First a brutal murder is committed and then an act of sabotage sends the Neptune plunging into the abyssal depths. Trapped at the bottom of the sea, teetering on the edge of the unfathomable Marianas Trench, the few who survive the tragedy discover that their problems are only just beginning.

For far below, in the cold ocean depths, a decades’ old secret awaits them. Lurking in the oppressive stygian darkness is the legacy of a protracted cold war waged between Magna Britannia and the Chinese empire. The Kraken has awoken. Rising from the abyss, like the Biblical leviathan of legend, it hungers and when it hunts none shall escape its primeval fury.

The cover is by the inestimable Mark Harrison and the book will be available from March 2008. You can find out more here, at the Abaddon Books site.


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