To Rule the Skies–Anteprologue

In anticipation of my upcoming novel To Rule the Skies, I present its Anteprologue, a little teaser which takes place immediately prior to the beginning of the novel, and introduces a few important characters and a bit of the world in which the novel takes place.  Enjoy!

Professor Boffin turned from his conversation as Lord Clarendon entered the room. He had expected Clarendon to attend the retirement dinner for the Captain, but he had not expected the person who followed him.

“Elizabeth!” he exclaimed, ignoring his benefactor and father-in-law altogether as he rushed to his wife. “What are you doing here?”

“I wanted to see you before you flew off. Father says that Flamel is to depart in the next couple of days.”

Boffin looked quizzically at Clarendon. “Is this true, sir? I’ve heard nothing of new orders.”

“I apologize, Nicodemus. I heard of it just before leaving Newton Hall this afternoon. I’m afraid all the details have not coalesced as yet. I am still waiting to receive the details from the Admiralty. Anyway, when I mentioned it to Elizabeth, she insisted upon accompanying me here to Croydon.”

Although Professor Nicodemus Boffin was the Expedition Commander of Her Majesty’s Research Airship Flamel, it seemed to him sometimes that he was the last to hear when Flamel was ordered on what was termed “extraordinary assignments” for the Government. And Boffin did not like the feeling of his position being ignored and disrespected. His wife saw the irritated look on his face and took him aside.

“Nicodemus, do not worry about what orders you may be receiving.”

“Why? Why am I the last to know? Do they not respect me at all?”

“Let tonight be an enjoyable time. For the captain.”

Boffin’s troubled visage softened. He could not resist his wife’s combination of logic and honest sentiment. He looked at her face, turned up to his with one eyebrow raised hopefully.

“Yes, of course, dear. Tonight is in celebration of the captain. I shall not let what may come tomorrow interfere with the festivities. But I do have some matters that I must discuss with your father before dinner.” Continue reading

Nigh comes the Anteprologue!

I am putting the finishing touches on a stand-alone Airship Flamel piece.  Chronologically, it comes immediately prior to the beginning of my upcoming novel To Rule the Skies.  Think of it in the same vein as the Doctor Who webisodes between seasons or the Marvel One-Shots that give more background to various characters in the Marvel Universe.  The problem is:  What to call it?

Even though it’s a prologue to the novel, I can’t title it “Prologue”, because the novel already has a Prologue.  There doesn’t seem to be a word that means “the chapter before the Prologue”.

So, I’m inventing one–Anteprologue.

It’s analogous to the ultimate, penultimate,antepenultimate, preantepenultimate series (I just discovered that last one).  And I like chewing through stacked prefixes (so long as they make sense like “hemidemisemiquaver”–a 64th note).

Which reminds me of two favorite and, I believe, useful words in German:  vorgestern and übermorgen which mean, respectively, “the day before yesterday” and “the day after tomorrow.”  I don’t know if any other languages have these useful words.  English apparently did at one point–ereyesterday and overmorrow–which are direct parallels of the German words.  They’re cited as being first used in the 1500s, and seem to have immediately not caught on.

So, watch for my Anteprologue on the overmorrow or so!

Encyclopaedia Caledonica–The Air War

Note:  From time to time, I will be posting selections from my upcoming books, or entries from various fictional sources on background information on the world of my book series. (Are these blogs canon?  Sure.  For now, at least.)  I’ll denote them by using the Fiction tag and coloring the text blue.

The entry in the Encyclopædia Caledonica (1876 Abridged Edition for the British Public) for the “Air War” is as follows:

At the outset of the year 1863, the circumstances of the various German States and Principalities were such that the Kingdom of Prussia was the most powerful, but not of sufficient influence to induce a union of the states. Wilhelm, the King of Prussia, however, sought a way to unite the Germanic states into a single empire with himself as Emperor. While a decisive military victory over a convenient foe might bring the other states under their leadership, the Prussian military, while powerful, did not possess sufficient men and materiel to provide a quick military triumph. Continue reading