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David D. Levine

Fiction and Excerpts [6]
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Fiction and Excerpts [6]

Arabella of Mars: Chapter 3

, || A plantation in a flourishing 18th century British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady.

Arabella and the Battle of Venus

The swashbuckling Arabella Ashby is back for a brand new adventure in the ongoing story of her life among the stars. Arabella and the Battle of Venus is available July 18th from Tor Books.

Arabella’s wedding plans to marry Captain Singh of the Honorable Mars Trading Company are interrupted when her fiancé is captured by the French and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp on swampy Venus. Now, Arabella must find passage to an enemy-controlled planet in the middle of a war, bribe or fight her way past vicious guards, and rescue her Captain. To do this she must enlist the help of the dashing privateer, Daniel Fox of the Touchstone and build her own clockwork navigational automaton in order to get to Venus before the dread French general, Joseph Fouché, the Executioner of Lyon.

Once on Venus, Arabella, Singh, and Fox soon discover that Napoleon has designed a secret weapon, one that could subjugate the entire galaxy if they can’t discover a way to stop Fouché, and the entire French army, from completing their emperor’s mandate.

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Five Views of the English Regency

Technically, the English Regency—when George IV acted as regent for his father George III—lasted only from 1811 to 1820, yet the period’s popularity in popular culture, especially in genre literature, is much bigger than its brief duration in time would suggest. What makes this period so significant and well-loved?

The Regency period was is a critical hinge point in English history and especially in English culture. It was a time of great social, political, economic, artistic, and technological change, largely driven by the Napoleonic Wars. In addition to the political changes arising from the aftereffects of the American and French Revolutions and the domination of Europe by Napoleon, the Regency saw significant new developments in art, architecture, and fashion, largely driven by the Regent himself; a population boom and corresponding economic expansion; and a vibrant and highly stratified social scene populated by larger-than-life characters like Beau Brummell, Horatio Nelson, Ada Lovelace, and Mary Shelley. All of these things make it a significant and emotionally resonant era and a great time period for historical fiction.

[Here are five books about the Regency]

Series: Five Books About…

A Passion for Mars

In this ongoing series, we ask SF/F authors to describe a specialty in their lives that has nothing (or very little) to do with writing. Join us as we discover what draws authors to their various hobbies, how they fit into their daily lives, and how and they inform the author’s literary identity!

My forthcoming first novel, Arabella of Mars, is—as you might guess—largely set on the planet Mars, or an alternate-historical version of it anyway. Several of my short stories, including “The Wreck of the Mars Adventure,” “Citizen-Astronaut,” “Ukaliq and the Great Hunt,” and “The True Story of Merghanther’s Run,” take place on that planet in whole or in part. So what’s the big deal? Why Mars, anyway?

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Arabella of Mars: Chapter 3

A plantation in a flourishing 18th century British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected. She disguises herself as a boy and joins the crew of the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company, where she meets a mysterious captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations. Now Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learn how to sail, and deal with a mutinous crew…if she hopes to save her family remaining on Mars.

Arabella of Mars, the debut novel by Hugo-winning author David D. Levine offers adventure, romance, political intrigue, and Napoleon in space—available July 12th from Tor Books. Read chapter two below, or head back to the beginning with chapter one.

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Arabella of Mars: Chapter 2

A plantation in a flourishing 18th century British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected. She disguises herself as a boy and joins the crew of the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company, where she meets a mysterious captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations. Now Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learn how to sail, and deal with a mutinous crew…if she hopes to save her family remaining on Mars.

Arabella of Mars, the debut novel by Hugo-winning author David D. Levine offers adventure, romance, political intrigue, and Napoleon in space—available July 12th from Tor Books. Read chapter two below, or head back to the beginning with chapter one.

[Read more]

Arabella of Mars: Chapter 1

A plantation in a flourishing 18th century British colony on Mars is home to Arabella Ashby, a young woman who is perfectly content growing up in the untamed frontier. But days spent working on complex automata with her father or stalking her brother Michael with her Martian nanny is not the proper behavior of an English lady. That is something her mother plans to remedy with a move to an exotic world Arabella has never seen: London, England.

However, when events transpire that threaten her home on Mars, Arabella decides that sometimes doing the right thing is far more important than behaving as expected. She disguises herself as a boy and joins the crew of the Diana, a ship serving the Mars Trading Company, where she meets a mysterious captain who is intrigued by her knack with clockwork creations. Now Arabella just has to weather the naval war currently raging between Britain and France, learn how to sail, and deal with a mutinous crew…if she hopes to save her family remaining on Mars.

Arabella of Mars, the debut novel by Hugo-winning author David D. Levine offers adventure, romance, political intrigue, and Napoleon in space—available July 12th from Tor Books. Read chapter one below, and come back all this week for additional excerpts!

[Read more]

Meet the Stars: Launch Pad 2008

[We asked Hugo-winning SF author David D. Levine to tell us about an interesting event he and several other notable SF writers participated in just before this year’s Worldcon. –pnh]

The week before Denvention 3, I attended Launch Pad, a workshop in modern astronomy for science fiction writers held in Laramie, Wyoming. It felt like a science fiction convention with thirteen writer guests of honor, eight science guests of honor, and no fans. It was an intense, thrilling, highly educational experience, exhausting and mind-expanding at the same time.

The idea behind Launch Pad is Gernsbackian: getting good science into popular fiction as a form of public education and outreach for NASA. SF writer and University of Wyoming astronomy professor Mike Brotherton managed to get a NASA grant to fund this workshop for five years, of which this was the second. All the attendees’ expenses were paid, including transportation to and from Laramie, housing in college dorms, and most meals—though we had to pay for our own drinks (no alcohol on the taxpayer’s nickel!). Attendees were chosen from the pool of applicants based on the size of their existing audience, their demonstrated interest in science and astronomy, and the diversity of the group.

I was truly honored to be selected for this year’s workshop, which also included Nancy Kress, Steven Gould, Laura Mixon, Jay Lake, David Marusek, Mary Robinette Kowal (who went on to win the John W. Campbell Award the following week), and copy editor Deanna Hoak. We formed a cohesive and supportive community of writers, chatting about craft and business over meals and working together to comprehend the challenging subject matter.

And it was a tremendous challenge. It was as though each of us had one of those little turkey timers in our foreheads. One by one, depending on our science backgrounds and current intellectual capacity, heads filled up and the timer went pop!, indicating that particular head was unable to absorb any more information in that particular lecture. Some people’s timers went off right at the beginnings of some lectures, others lasted until late in the week. But all of us eventually reached saturation. Even a hard science fiction writer’s brain has its limits.

[Read more below the fold…]