Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine Excerpt

Photo Content from David D.Levine

David D. Levine is the multi-award-winning author of the Regency interplanetary airship adventure novel Arabella of Mars (Tor 2016), sequel Arabella and the Battle of Venus (Tor 2017), and more than fifty science fiction and fantasy stories. Arabella of Mars won the 2017 Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, his story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the 2006 Hugo Award for Best Short Story, his story “Nucleon” won the James White Award, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, Sturgeon, and Locus. His stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, F&SF, Realms of Fantasy, Tor.com, numerous anthologies and websites, and multiple Year’s Best anthologies, as well as his collection Space Magic from Wheatland Press, which won the Endeavour Award for the best SF or Fantasy book by a Pacific Northwest writer.

David is a contributor to George R. R. Martin’s bestselling shared-world series Wild Cards. He is also a member of Book View Cafe, a writer-owned publishing cooperative, and Oregon Science Fiction Conventions Inc., a non-profit organization which produces OryCon and other SF conventions. He has narrated podcasts for Escape Pod, PodCastle, and StarShipSofa and the audiobook of Space Magic, and his video production “Dr. Talon’s Letter to the Editor” was a finalist for the Parsec Award. In 2010 he spent two weeks at the Mars Desert Research Station, a simulated Mars base in the Utah desert.

David lives in a hundred-year-old bungalow in Portland, Oregon. His web site can be found at www.daviddlevine.com.


Series: The Adventures of Arabella Ashby (Book 2)
Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (July 18, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765382822
ISBN-13: 978-0765382825


“Arabella, a human teenager born on Mars, is catapulted into adventure in a tale that cleverly combines some of the most intriguing elements of steampunk and classic science fiction. In an alternate 1812, Arabella’s mother moves her three daughters to Earth and away from the wild influences of the Martian colony. When the family gets news that Arabella’s father has died on Mars, the headstrong 17-year-old girl disguises herself as a boy and hires on with one of the great ships that sail the solar winds between the planets, planning to protect her brother, who’s still on Mars, from treachery. Along the way, she faces privateers and mutiny, but Arabella is resourceful and courageous, gamely enduring hardship to accomplish her mission. Arabella is a fully realized character, daring and willing to risk everything to protect the brother she loves and the legacy that her father has left them. Her wits and cleverness save the ship and crew more than once in this rousing swashbuckler.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Debut of the Month. Embedded in the chaos of clockwork and space adventure, Arabella is a delightful heroine with more than enough fortitude to traverse the solar system. … A fanciful romp through a cosmic 1812, Hugo Award–winning Levine’s first novel is a treat for steampunk fantasy fans.” — Library Journal, starred review

“Excellent, entertaining, humorous scenarios make up Levine’s latest. His storytelling will keep readers turning the pages with its slight edginess, light-hearted tone and clear, crisp dialogue. Arabella is strong, sassy and clever, and her journey, as she makes her way back to Mars on an airship, makes this story an engaging read. ★★★★” —Melanie Bates, RT Book Reviews

“David Levine has reached back past the Martian romances of Percival Lowell to an even earlier moment, creating a precursor to steampunk that I suppose we should call sailpunk. It’s a delightful addition to the Matter of Mars, bridging the long gap between Kepler and Burroughs with a Regency entry, filled with all the drama of the Napoleonic wars, now here complicated by a drastic Martian intervention, and animated most of all by Arabella, a young woman filled with curiosity and courage. It’s a very clever and entertaining start to a memorable saga.” —Kim Stanley Robinson, author of Red Mars

“Regency space opera in its best form! An intrepid, intelligent heroine, wonderful characters, and a breathtaking conflict. Who could ask for more?” —Patricia Rice, bestselling author of Regency romances

“If Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, and Patrick O’Brian had sat down together to compose a tale to amuse Jane Austen, the result might be Arabella. So. Much. Fun!” —Madeleine Robins, author of the Sarah Tolerance series

“Hugo award winning author David D. Levine’s first full length novel, Arabella of Mars, is the delicious love child of Jane Austen, Patrick O’Brian, and Jules Verne! Sent back to England from her family’s estate on Mars, Arabella despises the life of a staid young Regency lady. Then a shocking threat to her family on Mars forces her to undertake a desperate, impossible journey back to the colony–a journey that will change her forever. Arabella Ashby is a great character, and wonderful worldbuilding, tight plotting, and a breakneck pace make Arabella of Mars a real page turner! I look forward to the next book in the series.” —Mary Jo Putney, bestselling author of Not Always a Saint and Once a Soldier

“Levine has created a wonderful alternate 19th century, with interplanetary airships, space pirates, automatons, Martians, and a young woman determined to save her family. This book reminded me how much fun reading can be. This book makes me want to take an airship to Mars. Right now. Arabella of Mars is a perfect blend of pulp and steampunk and old-fashioned adventure, set in a fascinating alternate version of our solar system.” —Jim C. Hines, author of the Magic ex Libris series

“David Levine takes the ‘girl disguises herself for nautical adventures’ story into new dimensions with this delightful interplanetary romance. Murderous relatives, alien culture clashes, a dashing romance, and high seas adventure in the void between Earth and Mars — it’s all the good parts of the old pulp style, updated for the twenty-first century.” —Marie Brennan, author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent series

“David Levine’s entertaining debut is a delightfully detailed airship adventure, complete with romance, pirates, Martians, automata, and a charming Jules Vernian imagining of the alternate-world science involved in sailing a ship straight through our solar system.” —Tina Connolly, author of the Ironskin trilogy

“Interplanetary pirates! Imperiled inheritances! Disguises! Rebellion! Romance! Arabella of Mars is a blast — a smart, resourceful heroine, a non-stop adventure packed with thrills, charm and surprises, and a fascinating world I hope to see a lot more of. A thoroughly engaging debut.” —Kurt Busiek, writer of Astro City

“Fans of tall ships, steampunk SF, and swashbuckling adventure should love Arabella’s splendid race back to the Mars Colony in alternate 1813! This is a terrific novel!” —Sherwood Smith, writer of fantasy, historical romance, and science fiction

“Arabella of Mars is a perfect blend of Regency romance and imaginative, exciting space opera. Levine offers a story grounded in historical detail that soars to new heights of adventure and fun.” —Michael J. Martinez, author of The Daedalus Incident

“This rollicking interplanetary adventure captured my heart. Who could resist a world in which coal-powered ships sail to Mars, borne aloft by balloons of Venusian silk, doing battle en route with French privateers? To protect family and fortune, Arabella Ashby masquerades as a boy and takes a berth as a cabin boy on a fascinating voyage. There’s a mysterious captain, an intriguing automaton, pirates, Martians, a bit of romance, and so much more. I’m grateful Levine has promised a sequel. Arabella Ashby proves herself to be a clever and capable heroine, and I’m looking forward to her next adventure.” —Pat Murphy, author of Wild Angel

“Shades of Jules Verne! This rollicking adventure from David Levine thrills with Regency whizzbang!” —Ellen Klages, author of The Green Glass Sea

The thrilling adventures of Arabella Ashby continue in the second book in Hugo-winning author David D. Levine's swashbuckling sci-fi, alt-history series!

The swashbuckling Arabella Ashby is back for brand new adventure in the ongoing story of her life among the stars.

Arabella’s wedding plans to marry Captain Singh of the Honorable Mars Trading Company are interrupted when her fiancé is captured by the French and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp on swampy Venus. Now, Arabella must find passage to an enemy-controlled planet in the middle of a war, bribe or fight her way past vicious guards, and rescue her Captain.

To do this she must enlist the help of the dashing privateer, Daniel Fox of the Touchstone and build her own clockwork navigational automaton in order to get to Venus before the dread French general, Joseph Fouché, the Executioner of Lyon.

Once on Venus, Arabella, Singh, and Fox soon discover that Napoleon has designed a secret weapon, one that could subjugate the entire galaxy if they can’t discover a way to stop Fouché, and the entire French army, from completing their emperor’s mandate.

“I am terribly sorry, miss,” the purser said, “but there’s no passage to Venus to be had for love nor money. Not on this ship . . . nor on any other, I’d warrant.” 

They stood on the deck of Calliope, a fine four-masted packet ship recently arrived from Ceres, which rested on her sand- legs in Fort Augusta’s harbor. That wide stretch of flat, soft sand— perfect for the mooring of ships of the air and sheltered from the prevailing winds by the rocky hills north of town— was the principal reason for the fort’s presence in this location and for its prominence on Mars Company route maps. But at this moment the harbor was so crammed with ships that barely another could be squeezed in. Hundreds of masts stood barren of sail, and only two of the five massive furnace- houses sent smoke upward from their chimneys. With Earth so far away in her orbit, and Venus under embargo by the Coalition of nations united against Napoleon, the number of departing ships requiring the furnaces’ hot air for their initial ascent had been reduced by more than half.

The few ships which were departing were bound for Ceres or one of the other asteroid colonies, and as soon as Calliope had landed Arabella had made her way on board in hopes the new ship carried news of a change in the war’s fortunes, or perhaps that her crew had not yet heard of the embargo, or, failing that, that she might be able to entice them to risk violating the embargo for a sufficiently large fee. But none of these eventualities had come to pass. Now she stood disconsolate on Calliope’s deck, her constant sense of unhappy separation from her fiancé only strengthened by the familiar scents of tar and hemp rope. Her discomfort was further heightened by the presence of Martha, who held herself so rigidly that she seemed to be attempting to levitate from the filthy deck through sheer force of propriety. 

“I thank you for your time, sir,” Arabella said, and gave the purser a curtsey before making her miserable way back to the coach. 

“No luck?” Gowse said as she trudged into view. 

“Alas, no.”

Gowse grunted and shook his head, his eyes downcast. But after Martha had entered the coach, before Arabella could ascend he stayed her with a raised finger.

“What is the matter?” she asked. 

“I have a friend,” he murmured very low, “well, a colleague, who may be willing to take you to Venus. But you might find him . . . unsuitable.” 

Arabella studied Gowse’s unlovely face. “Unsuitable in what way?” she whispered. 

“He’s a privateer. Sailing under the flag of one of the Martian satraps.” 

Arabella drew in a hissing breath at the word privateer. It brought to her mind the smells of gunpowder and shattered khoresh- wood, the crash of cannon and the screams of injured airmen. It had been corsairs— French privateers— who had attacked and disabled Diana on her way to Mars, and Arabella bore no love for the species. But then she considered Gowse and what she knew of him. “Nonetheless, he must have some finer qualities, or you would never have thought to mention him.” 

“Aye,” Gowse said, and nodded. “He’s a fine airman, excellent navigator, sharp as a tack. Cheeky b— d, but I’d trust him with my life. But he . . . well, let us say that he made an enemy in the Admiralty on account of a gambling debt, and he lost his commission. Since then he’s had to turn privateer to keep body and soul together.” 

A throat- clearing sound came from within the coach, and Arabella assured Martha that she would ascend in a moment. “And what might be the name of this paragon of virtue?” she whispered to Gowse. 

“Fox. Daniel Fox, captain of the Touchstone.” 

“Fox.” She rolled the name around on her tongue, finding the flavor uncertain, but very keenly aware that no other vintage was on offer. “Very well. Pray ask your friend Mr. Fox to call on us at his earliest convenience.” 

“Aye aye, Miss Ashby,” he said, and touched a knuckle to his forehead.
Copyright 2017 by David D. Levine

You can purchase Arabella and the Battle of Venus at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you DAVID D. LEVINE for making this giveaway possible.
10 Winners will receive a copy of Arabella and the Battle of Venus by David D. Levine.
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1 comment:

  1. The first book has been on my wish list and now I have to add this new one. They both sound wonderful and I look forward to reading.