The Emperor of Mars is on his way. He’s been planning this for a long time, plotting, scheming. And now he is one step closer.
Yes, he has made it to Advance Reader Copy (ARC) status and First Pass Pages.
Here are *my* ARCs looking excessively handsome.
And here is our new cat, Pebbles, tolerating (just) being put in charge of a copy.
So what does it look like inside? Well, I’m glad you asked! Here it is. This is the first page, along with a new character, George Rackham.
If you can’t read that first page, this is what it says:
Chapter 1: The Trouble with Vine-Mining
I was twenty feet underground, surrounded by glowing blue sandfish crystals, with my head jammed in a beetle-vine warren, when I realized that vine-mining wasn’t for me.
I had seen the notice pinned up outside the local office of the Imperial Martian Airship Company:
ROOT OUT BEETLE-VINES!
SAVE LUNAE CITY!
SIGN UP TODAY!
BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!
Perfect, I’d thought. What a great idea.
I had never been so wrong.
You might have thought that living in the middle of Mars’s biggest desert would mean that you never got wet…
* * *
I’ll post the rest of the first chapter closer to publication day (which is on July 18, 2017, since you asked).
I’ve been working on the First Pass Pages (basically, a printout of the ARC), fixing up any last errors, tweaking the odd bit, smoothing things a little, but the ARC is pretty close to what the published book will be. There are typos and a few other minor errors, but the story is the same.
While we’re all waiting for the final, finished book, if you want a chance to win a signed ARC, keep an eye open. I’ll be posting a giveaway in a few weeks time.
(Note: cover and the internal illustration above are by Jeremy Holmes.)