In the last “Best of the Blog” post, I collected posts about military history stories that have inspired aspects of my books. This time around, I’d like to reminisce about some special ships in the books and in some cases the artists whose work helped bring them to life. Artist names below link to their gallery pages on DeviantArt, a great community that I often browse for inspiration.
My very first book and very first ship, the Brevic corvette Anelace, mostly gave me fits about her name. Naming Anelace was hard because she truly seemed like a character. Those are names I agonize over, and good old Ana took a long time.
When Captain Heskan moved on to BRS Kite, he gained a much bigger ship and I took another step in laying out ship systems. BRS Kite’s inspiration came from the great work of Joachim Sverd. I assigned technologies to the various details in his design as shown below.
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Heskan had a big reason to switch ships again (no spoilers!), and this time he found himself in AV Elathra, inspired by the artwork of Orpheus7. It was fun to invent technology around some of this ship’s most prominent features, like the long forward wings and what essentially looks like a keel at the bottom.
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By far my most detailed imagining of the interior of a ship came with Confidence Game’s Zanshin. The artwork of Mike Doscher helped a lot. Zanshin’s external cargo points and internal decks took some time to lay out, as you can see in the blog post Details of Zanshin. As a bonus, you can read about where Zanshin’s shuttle got its name as well!
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It’s been a lot of fun to bring each of these ships into my stories. I’ve thanked these artists before for letting me use their work, but I’m happy to highlight them once more and hopefully send a few folks their way.
Today has me thinking about Easter eggs of a different kind, as in little hidden gems in TV shows, movies or books meant as homages or little jokes. I occasionally toss them into my books… have you ever found one?
There’s one in the prologue of No Way to Start a War. The prologue was my hopefully clever way to recap Book 1, This Corner of the Universe, using an official report by the Board of Inquiry of the Brevic Navy. The report details the losses sustained in Captain Heskan’s engagement at the end of Book 1 in official military fashion, passes judgment on the conduct of the crew of BRS Anelace, and proposes medals be awarded to certain Navy personnel involved.
It’s in that section I added the following:
57. The Board concludes that the following personnel are eligible to wear the Badge of Military Merit for wounds suffered in action against the enemy:
a. All personnel noted in subsections 32 (posthumously) and 34 for reasons stated.
b. Lieutenant Commander Shane Durmont – Laceration – Wounded during subsequent repairs to and inspection of ANELACE.
Wait, what? Lt. Commander Shane Durmont was not a member of Anelace’s crew, he was Heskan’s planetside supervisor back on Hulda. He came for Heskan after the battle for other reasons, so how could he have been wounded?
Leave it to Durmont to use any opportunity to plump up his naval record. He knew how to manipulate the system for his benefit. He was “wounded” when he cut his finger while walking the corridors of what was left of Anelace, inspecting the damage done to the navy’s asset long after the danger had passed.
Where did March go? Confidence Game has quietly been on sale this month, and it’s almost over. It’s a great time to discover this origin story of the crew of the Zanshin, as smugglers forge a new future on a stolen ship with a haunting past.
You can read sample chapters here on my website, and find out more about the book on its landing page as well as links to the various ebook sites. And if you are into ship details and art, take a look at one of my favorite blog posts about Confidence Game, giving a shout-out to the artist who inspired the Zanshin’s design and detailing how the ship came to be.