Happy Monday! Today I’m letting Simon Kewin take over my blog. His novel, Engn, is out! I’m a little over halfway and it’s a wonderful read. I look forward to delving into Engn every evening. It’s exciting and mysterious and strikes a chord with life on many levels. You don’t need to understand the machine to understand Engn. Enough from me. Simon…
Most of the action in Engn is set – not too surprisingly – in the steam-powered, city-sized machine from which the book takes its name. The mechanisms of Engn are vast, confusing and monstrous. When Finn – the hero of the book – is first taken to the machine by the Ironclads of the story, he finds it hard to take everything in:
He could recall only an endless maze of clanging metal walkways, around and between and through the machinery. They’d walked beneath shining steel pistons the size of tree-trunks, pumping in and out; over vast tanks of seething, molten metal; through booming, echoing pipes that Finn expected to flood with roaring water at any moment. They’d walked in silence through immense halls of racketing, clapping machines moving at impossible speeds, snapping so fast Finn couldn’t even blink quickly enough at each clack. Past vast wheels that drove metal axles revolving at alarming speeds, or else clattering metal chains, the links of which were as big as his whole body.
This is a machine that generations of people have lived and worked within: maintaining it, extending it. In part, I created it because it seemed like a great setting for Finn’s trials and tribulations: a labyrinth of weird, wonderful and dangerous mechanisms he has to find his way through (or over, or under).
I also liked the idea of Engn on a more metaphorical level. Engn is so old and vast that most people who live there have stopped wondering what it is all for. Not everyone, of course, but most. It’s just there. That seemed to me an amusing idea, but also an interesting one. I think we all do that to some extent – accept the really big things as unquestionable, as given, and fret over the small things. Perhaps because we have more control over them.
In part, the book is about people who do question the big things, who refuse to accept the wisdom and truth of what “everyone knows”. That’s how I see it anyway. But, sure, others may not. My hope is that it’s perfectly possible to read the book as a simple adventure story, although one set in a slightly strange, other-worldly and – hopefully – interesting setting.
Finn’s childhood in the valley is idyllic, but across the plains lies a threat.
Engn is an ever-growing steam-powered fortress, that needs a never ending supply of workers. Generation after generation have been taken away, escorted into its depths by the mysterious and terrifying Ironclads, never to return.
The Masters of Engn first take Finn’s sister, then his best friend, Connor. He thinks he, at least, is safe – until the day the ironclads come to haul him away too.
Yet all is not lost, Finn has a plan. In the peace of the valley he and Connor made a pact. A promise to join the mythical Wreckers and end Engn’s tyranny from within.
But now on his own, lost and thwarted in the vastness of Engn, Finn begins to have doubts. Is Connor really working to destroy Engn?
Or has he become part of the machine?
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Simon Kewin – Biography
Simon was born and raised on the misty Isle of Man, but now lives and works deep in rural England. He divides his time between writing SF/fantasy fiction and computer software. He has had around fifty short stories published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, along with a similar number of poems. He has a degree in English Literature from the Open University.
He is currently learning to play the electric guitar. It’s not going that well, frankly.
He lives with Alison, their two daughters Eleanor and Rose, and a black cat called Morgan to which he is allergic.
Simon’s Blog: http://www.simonkewin.co.uk/
Simon’s Twitter: @SimonKewin
About December House
At December House we’re a different kind of publisher. We don’t publish print books, we only publish to e-book distribution platforms (Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, Nook, Smashwords, Tomely and Google Play), but we’re not self publishing and we’re definitely not a vanity press. We only publish great writing from great authors.
If we think a writer’s work has promise then we’ll work with them to deliver on that promise, just like a traditional publisher. Then we take over everything, from writing a blurb to designing a cover and deciding on a price, through to marketing the book pre and post publication. We believe it’s our job to sell a book, and a writer’s job to write it.
For more details see www.DecemberHouse.net
June Writers4Writers is Today!
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