Saturday, 22 February 2014

Inspiration: The Warlord of the Air

" I thought at first that i saw a massive bank of black cloud moving over the horizon of the hills and blotting out the pale sunshine. With the cloud came a great thrumming sound, like  many deep-voiced gongs being beaten rapidly in unison. The sound grew louder as the cloud began to fill the whole sky, casting a dark and ominous shadow over the Valley of the Morning.
 It was the allied  air fleet of five nations.
each ship was a thousand fleet long. Each had a hull as a strong as steel. Each bristled with artillery and great grenades which could be dropped upon their enemies. each ship moved implacably through the sky, keeping pace with its mighty fellows. each was dedicated to exacting fierce vengeance upon the upstarts who had sought to question the power of those it served. A shoal of monstrous flying sharks, confident that they controlled the skies and, from the skies, the land.

The Warlord of the Air. Michael Moorcock

As part of this Blog I want to cover other bits of the wider Steampunk universe that might interest or inspire. I thought I would start of with Michael Moorcocks 'The Warlord of the Air'.
The book is the first in a trilogy ('The Nomad of the Time Steams') that follows the time travelling adventures of Oswald Bastable who is flung out of his own time in the first book to an alternative 1973 where the first world war never took place and the Great Powers have maintained and expanded their imperial power and colonial rule. The book contains many of the classic steampunk elements and is considered one of the genres founding books. The sequels follow a similar vein, first with The Land Leviathan which explores an alternative 20th century where Europe and America have collapsed and are facing a rising new power from Africa, the Ashanti Empire. Amongst its arsenal is the titled Land Leviathan, a gigantic landship ' a vast, moving ziggurat of destruction'. The last book, The Steel Tsar' is set in an alternative where the Confederate states won the American Civil war and the October Revolution never took place.
All three books are very easy to read with the lead character Oswald playing the gentleman adventurer and the explorer of each time stream. The series holds many elements that would tie in with the Dystopian Wars world.

The Nomad of the Time Streams

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