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Picture a world where mighty iron juggernauts roam over land and sea—juggernauts as big as mountains, there kilometers long. On land, they move on rollers or tracks, crushing everything in their path.

Each juggernaut is ruled over a government from one of the old powers of Europe: British Queen, Russian Tsar, Austrian Emperor, Prussian King and Turkish Sultan. They've abandoned Europe because it has become a polluted, uninhabitable wasteland. Now they exploit the other continents in a new Age of Imperialism.

They exploit their own workers too. The 'Filthies' who slave away in the engine rooms are treated as sub-human, lower than animals.

How did it happen? This is steampunk alternative history, where events took a different route to our own real history. The turning point came in the Napoleonic wars. In real history, a French engineer really did approach Napoleon with a carefully worked out plan for hand-digging a tunnel under the English Channel. Napoleon decided against the idea, and ended up losing his navies at the Battle of Trafalgar. But in juggernaut history …

In juggernaut history, he did dig the tunnel and invaded England. Which lead to a much much longer war, to the spread of industrialization and mechanized warfare … and after the war, to the construction of the great juggernauts.

Worldshaker tells the story of the first crack in the Age of Imperialism. On board the British juggernaut, called WORLDSHAKER, the Filthies rise up against their tyrannical masters. The leaders of the revolution are the girl Filthy, Riff, and Colbert Porpentine, a boy from a elite family.

Col was being trained to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, Sir Mormus Porpentine, and become Supreme Commander in his turn. But Riff opens his eyes to what's really happening on board the juggernaut. The supposedly proper, moral, respectable Upper Decks people are committing acts of appalling cruelty and exploitation.

Liberator picks up the story three months after the revolution. The Filthies have given Worldshaker a new name—it's now Liberator. But the revolution is under threat on all sides: from a secret saboteur on board the juggernaut, from other Imperialistjuggernauts that want to crush this liberated society, and from fanatical extremists who want to push the revolution into a new form of tyranny.

Col and Riff could stand against the extremists if they could stand together at all. As a member of the old elite, Col is persecuted by Riff's friends and fellow Council members, until she's embarrassed to be seen talking to him. A reign of terror, an ultimate battle —and the story of the juggernaut that was WORLDSHAKER and is now LIBERATOR drives on to its shattering conclusion.



Worldshaker has been published in the US, UK, France, Germany and Brazil, as well as Australia. Liberator comes out from all the same publishers in all the same countries during 2011-12.



WHAT'S NEW ON THE WORLDSHAKER & LIBERATOR PAGES:

All the new pages on Liberator.

The UK and German video clips for Worldshaker (the Australian clip for Liberator will go up mid-April)

All the pages on the Great Juggernauts (the reactionary Imperialist ones--plus a cutaway diagram of Liberator which was Worldshaker.

More on the steampunk pages, especially a new page on writing tips for steampunk.

A new history page, on how the old 18th century colonies turned into coaling stations like Botany Bay (as visited by Liberator)

A new Writing page on the writing of Liberator, a new Artwork page on the art of Ian Miller, who created the UK covers for Liberator and Worldshaker.

2 posters for Liberator (1MB and 2MB size)

 

 

I'm starting the Australian promo and touring for Liberator, so I'm keeping an up-to-the-minute blog on Wordpress at http://richardharland.wordpress.com/

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Copyright note: all written material on this website is copyright
1997 - 2013

Richard Harland.