I am really stoked to announce that on June 28, Fireside will be publishing a new novel by Lucas J.W. Johnson: The Clockwork Empire. Publishers Weekly is calling it “a thrilling steampunk adventure.” I’m calling it a labor of love — love for people on the margins, love for the LGBTQIA+ community, love for those who would stand in the way of fascism. And love for this story, set in a steampunk Roman Empire that never fell.
The Clockwork Empire grew out of several stories by Lucas that Fireside has published over the years. When he came to me with a few more in 2018, we quickly realized that this was a world that deserved to have its threads woven into a tapestry. And damn did Lucas deliver. This book soars like an airship across a Europe in thrall to a despotic, corrupt empire with Rome at its rotting core.
But while its scope is grand, The Clockwork Empire’s lens is intensely personal, told in the stories of a motley crew of exiles: an excommunicated Praetorian Guard, her remade muscle, a spy, a pilot, an ex-slave, and a disgraced noble boy remade with a clockwork heart.
Also, there’s a train heist!
I’m really proud of what Lucas has created here. And I am intensely thankful to the team of folks who helped put it out into the world. To Ace Tilton Ratcliff, who made sure the book was kind. To Shaun Duke, Lillian Boyd, and Julian Stuart for keeping the words in line. To Guy-Pascal Vallez, for blowing us away with the amazing art on the cover. To Rekka of CreativeJay, who crafted the spiffy paperback and ebook. To Frank Cvetkovic, for making the cover shine. And to the team at Fireside: Chelle Parker, for all the advice and guidance on getting this book produced, and L.D. Lewis, for helping keep the whole enterprise going.
Excited? Good! You can find links to preorder the paperback and ebook editions of The Clockwork Empire from various retailers here. We know you’re going to enjoy this ride.