Finally at least the e-book is available Cloud-Castles (the highlighted text is a link, via my affiliates account, so I do get a few extra cents on this if you go via it). I am working on the paperback cover, and that will hopefully soon be available. It has been a long hard couple of years – the physical side has been tough (but I am up for that) – the mental/psychological side – with a bunch of petty bureaucrats making my life a misery, while I was severely stressed about Barbs’s health (no, they have no real justification and their legal ground is IMO more than quite shaky. They just have the weight of the system entirely in their favor. We will get through it. But it’s a battle – one that is costing a huge amount both in stress (and lost productivity) and money. The full story will eventually be told in another book.
Anyway: Cloud-castles is designed to make you laugh, maybe even make you cry. It’s a lot of pure escapism and entertainment, with what I believe are very real characters, because they talked to me and did pretty much what they thought was the right thing to do.
It’s all set on a world which is enormously alien (based in science) – a gas-dwarf, a puff-planet, onto which a convict ship of ‘undesireables’ -Australian convicts from a future Australia, made crash-landing — on to the only solid thing with a breathable atmosphere – an alien trading point, a few square miles of floating platform where two ancient and inimical alien empires on the only place that neither wanted – the stratosphere of world where land was unreachable and far below. Generations later, our hero, Augustus, is an idealistic young volunteer from a wealthy neighboring system, comes to help the poor of the trading plate on Sybil III – or as they call it, ‘The Big Syd’. It’s a crowded, corrupt hell-hole, that really needs help. The only problem is that the locals want to help themselves too. Mostly they want to help themselves to his money, his possessions, his liberty and even his life.
All that stands between them and this goal is the ragged urchin he picked up as a guide -Briz. If anyone is going to rob or take advantage of the Drongo she’s picked up… it’ Briz. Even if she has to keep him alive to do so.