COMING SOON — SWORDS VERSUS TANKS

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A place holder image while my artist mate works on the real covers!

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…


 

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Posted in Swords Versus Tanks, Work In Progress
5 comments on “COMING SOON — SWORDS VERSUS TANKS
  1. Geoff Hart says:

    One thing to keep in mind: there’s always an arms race between weapons and armor. You know this from your medieval stories, but it’s even more true for modern weaponry, like tanks. And it’s a major issue for large expensive targets like modern warships. It’s gotten to the point that I learned recently about sniper weapons designed specifically to take out tanks: the logic is that a $5 to $10 million main battle tank is much harder to replace than a human soldier, who can be spawned at no cost to your government budget. The training cost, on the other hand…

    (In the laudable weaponry category, I just saw an advert selling shotgun shells specifically sized to take out those annoying personal camera drones that are proliferating. I’d expect bird shot to work just fine, but what do I know? I’ve never actually fired a shotgun. Still, I applaud the notion.)

    Back to your book: I imagine that as soon as someone developed tank-armor-penetrating medieval weaponry, there’s be an immediate skunkworks project on the engineer side to block that weaponry. I’m thinking something like the stickum stuff they use to snare birds as an obvious version 1.0 solution, with more sophisticated solutions lying ahead. For example, pressurized armor that slams shut on the sides of a blade the way martial arts masters can catch swords between their palms.

    Probably wouldn’t occur in the first book, since such things take time to evolve in a non-scientific/pre-technological society, but probably something that would merit dramatic foreshadowing leading into the 2nd and 3rd books?

    • mharoldpage says:

      Oddly that’s what’s in it. 🙂

      Neither the moderns nor he medievals are stupid. Both use what they have…

      • Geoff Hart says:

        Eric Flint, a very wise man, taught me many years ago that if it seemed like the people of a given place or period seemed to be doing something stupid, we should take a long, hard look at it to see *why* they were doing it.

        Yes, sometimes it really was as stupid as it looked. (“Of course I’m going to keep buying dragon insurance. Haven’t seen any dragons, have you? There! Proves it’s working.) Many times, there was a very good reason indeed.

        Anyway, my point about the arms race was not that the medievals were stupid — they weren’t — but rather that they lacked the modern scientific/engineering social structure that would make such an arms-race process part of the cultural consciousness. It would therefore tend to be more the kind of thing done by exceptional individuals, not part of the standard operating practice. In the absence of such a social structure, the response would be more ad hoc than ingrained in the way people think. That’s why it took centures for alchemy to evolve into chemistry, but only decades for chemistry to evolve in biochemistry, nanotechnology, etc. etc. It’s one reason why the French knights lost at Agincourt: they hadn’t realized that the paradigm had changed.

  2. Love the title so David vs Goliath lol!

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