Blimprider Times, No. 6

Featured Site of the Week

The Rail Baron’s Blog is the online home of author William J. Jackson.  William is best-known for writing the Rail Legacy series of fantastic steampunk adventures, thrilling blood-and-thunder adventures that I describe as “H.G. Wells meets the X-Men.”  I know that that sounds derivative, but before you dismiss him as some kind of plagiarist, allow me to point out that my own books were once described as “Jules Verne meets Firefly.”  I found that a bit insulting when I first heard it, but I very quickly realized that there are many worse things to have your work compared to than a Joss Whedon masterpiece.


It is in the same spirit that I make the Wells comparison.  In the books, negatrite, a strange alien element, gives certain humans unique and superior abilities, after which they are persecuted out of fear by the “normal” people.  Yes, it has a familiar ring about it, but so does every detective novel seem to resemble every other, and yet aficionados hang on every word of every new offering.  The same principle is at work here.  If you like mutant stories, and enjoy your history projected through a warped lens, then it could just be that The Rail Legacy is a series for you.  This is the first one.  Look for it by title on

I should point out that William writes in several other genres as well, but I don’t want to ruin it for you.  Visit his site and poke around.  It’s quite the adventure!

This Week’s News


Karen J. Carlisle, whose Aunt Enid series has recently been featured on these pages, has announced a few scheduling changes to upcoming works, and also an appearance at Supanova, a Melbourne convention, with three other authors.  She has posted an article outlining all of these activities on her current blog post, and also links to those three other authors, so here’s a chance to catch up on her upcoming activities, plus meet her and three of her friends.  She’s very much worth knowing, and I have no doubt that her friends are of the same caliber.

Next weekend, April 13 – 15, our old friend David Lee Summers will be unveiling the second edition of his sci-fi novel Solar Sea, the story of a ship and her crew that sails on the solar wind.  An epic writeup is available at David Lee Summers’ Web Journal, and it is very much worth your time, so drop in and take a ride!


View From the Blimp

It is with a great deal of pleasure and excitement that I can finally pull back the curtain on what I’ve been up to for the past several weeks, and one of the things that has taken up a good deal of my writing time.


Long before I found my modest success in the field of steampunk, I wrote a good deal of fantasy.  The only route available back in those dark ages was traditional publishing, and the sad fact was that if you weren’t ready to knock Stephen King off the top of the best-seller lists, then you weren’t going to play.  Well, back in the spring of 2003, I put the finishing touches on my last fantasy opus, a “cozy” sword-and-sorcery epic of some 80,000 words called The Wellstone Chronicles, and began to shop it around.  The term “cozy” as I used it meant that it was an epic, life-or-death quest as in so many works of fantasy, but unlike most of them, the small party was cut off from any form of help, and had to succeed or fail on their own.  I don’t have a cover yet, but this picture captures the feel of the isolation.  I’d like to use it as my cover, but I’m sure it belongs to someone, and I have no contact information where I can even offer to buy it.  Not to worry, I’ll think of something; I always do.

Like the four novels that preceded it, it generated a whole lot of “no thank you” buzz, and it was after that disappointment that I gave up on writing for a while.  The Great Houses and their gatekeepers had beaten any interest out of me.  Now, to commemorate the 15th anniversary of its completion, I have been polishing the manuscript, tightening the format, and getting it ready for its public debut.  It will be appearing under the title The Stone Seekers on within two weeks at the most, depending on how long it takes me to get it formatted for CreateSpace, but right now, today, and as a permanent sample, you can read the first three chapters by clicking the appropriate tab above.  Surprise!

And that’s Blimprider Times for this week.  I’ll be back Thursday with a thrilling tale of something or other, so until then, play nice, take care of one another, and above all else, get out there and live life like you mean it!

4 thoughts on “Blimprider Times, No. 6

  1. Thanks for the shout-out, Jack. Yes, I’m pretty excited about the new edition of The Solar Sea. Also, it sounds like I’ll get to unveil another book during El Paso Comic Con weekend. Watch my blog on April 14!

    Speaking of unveiling books, I’m pretty excited about The Stone Seekers. Congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning, sir! I’m guessing you’re at work? I’m not. It’s always an honor for me to tell the world about my talented friends. Excellent news about another new book, as well.

      The Stone Seekers is a book I’ve always been happy with, and I hope the fans are, too. There’s so much pure fantasy out there that your voice gets lost in the crowd, and of course, there are so many efforts that can outdo yours that it’s a little intimidating. Still, I’m sure it will find its niche.

      And speaking of finding things, I’ve just hooked up with a small but active Facebook group called The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Writing Collective. Somewhat reminiscent of Scribblers’ Den, there’s a lot going on there all the time. Check it out when you get a chance:

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed, I’m at work. We’re taking spectra of a cluster wending it’s way around the pole star on a clear, but blustery night. The wind means I have to keep a close eye on the telescope’s guiding. Every now and then a gust knocks the telescope off target and I have to adjust.

        While it’s true there’s a lot of fantasy out here, I think the important thing is what unique elements the writer brings to the table. You have a strong voice and some great perspective, so I know your fantasy won’t be a cheap knockoff of the stories we’ve all read many times before.

        Thanks for the head’s up about the Facebook group! I’ll definitely have to check it out.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. David, me boyo, be it known ye can bring the Blarney to these digs any time it suits ye! Seriously, thanks for the words of support. No one but a writer, with our gossamer, intangible, and oh-so-subjective product knows how important that is.

    I love astronomy, of course from the layman’s view. I cut my teeth reading Asimov’s science books back in the day when no one knew what a quasar was, and I still view Carl Sagan’s Cosmos as the seminal work in bringing science into the American living room. Good to see someone approachable and understandable carrying on the work.

    The group’s good; you won’t be sorry!


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