First. Don’t worry! This is just a placeholder image I knocked up while my artist mate works on the real covers which should be a bit more Frazetta.
Now, let me tell you about Swords versus Tanks. Ahem. I mean (drum roll)…
SWORDS VERSUS TANKS!
It’s a bit nuts… hence the Charles Stross quote. In hindsight I would might call it Robert E Howard does Edgar Rice Burroughs does Storm of Steel but with more sex.
While fleeing alien invasion, time travelling 1930s-style communists ‘accidentally’ invade their past, only to discover that the magic works. Specifically, magic swords and armour work. This rather levels the playing field between knights and tanks… hence the title.
I started writing it as a Baen-style military yarn, but it ended up as an old-school heroic fantasy trilogy with Tank Commander Jasmine Klimt battling it out with her hero and long-term crush (time travel does this kind of thing) Sir Ranulph Dacre, the Last Knight.
However, it’s not just about tanks and magically-enhanced knights locked in combat (or hot sex on a zeppelin). It’s also about the clash of old and new.
The “Medievals” are at the end of their era. Warfare is changing, pike formations are ascendent and there’s a new anti-magic workaround so that guns can work in battle. Meanwhile the Church schemes to obliterate the last vestiges of arcane knowledge so it can wield temporal power. Poor Sir Ranulph is already feeling like a bit of a dinosaur. Meanwhile, proto-feminist Princess Maud, the love interest, wants to take things a different way by reviving the dangerous old magic, so making herself and her sisters equal players with the men.
The moderns — The Egality — used to be the good guys. Socially liberal, brave to a fault, they’re the people that don’t burn homosexuals and do have an equal opportunity military. However, they’ve just won a nasty war with the (Quasi-Nazi) Elitists and in the aftermath they’re going the way of most revolutions. The hacks and the populist pedants are taking over. Jasmine has always ignored politics, but now the schemers and toadies on her own side are getting her people killed.
When Jasmine and Ranulph are not competing for Princess Maud’s attentions — yes, the story has a true love triangle in it — both must deal with the inconvenient truth that each society is as deeply flawed as it is virtuous. Are either really worth defending?
I guess you can decide for yourself when book one comes out later this month…