Saturday, June 30, 2018

Blog Tour: Day of Wrath by Anna Butler (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Blog Tour: Day of Wrath by Anna Butler (Guest Post + Giveaway)

Designing the Gyrfalcon

One of the greatest joys of playing in a science fiction universe is that you can look at the limitations and constraints of this one, shrug, and toss them aside.

Well, to an extent. If you strive for plausibility in your writing—I don’t say realism, because it isn’t realistic to have ships going faster than the speed of light—then you toss aside those constraints only after due thought and consideration. You plan out how to get around them.

Some of the greatest fun I had came from thinking about the spacecraft in the series, everything from fast and mean personal fighter craft to the behemoth military dreadnought that is the Gyrfalcon. So, let’s take a look at her, because while she maybe doesn’t have a speaking part, she has far more than a walk-on, third-spear-carrier-from-the-left sort of r0le. She’s been in every book so far, so certainly counts as a major recurring character.

This is the ship that is home for Bennet and Flynn, my two MCs. This is where they live and work, and where they learned to love each other and where they had to give each other up. She’s their safe place, and their haven. And she’s also a place of torment, where they live in close proximity to each other but can’t be together.

Gyrfalcon is one of (originally) nine massive dreadnoughts, one for each of Albion’s provinces, and heads up the First Flotilla (one destroyer, six frigates, nine corvettes). A dreadnought is, as Bennet notes in Makepeace … a triumph of functional design. There were more graceful ships. There were more beautiful ships. But there weren't more brutally powerful ships anywhere in the Fleet. What you saw with a dreadnought was what you got: sheer strength and overwhelming might, and more clout to the cubic yard than seemed technologically feasible.

Here are some ‘facts’ about her:

  • She has faster-than-light capability that utilises dropping out of normal space, and into ‘hyperspace’. This is grandly described in the dictionaries as “(in science fiction) a notional space–time continuum in which it is possible to travel faster than light.” In Shield, scanning and communications can be beamed through hyperspace with you (which is mightily convenient!) but it isn’t without its drawbacks. Ships can’t drop into hyperspace in an atmosphere or while they’re in the middle of a space battle (too much energy in flux)—that makes sure they just can’t jump away out of trouble. I mean, where would the drama be if they could all just scarper the minute the enemy shows up?

  • Gyrfalcon’s a warship. She fights through a combination of directed energy beams(lasers), laser guided cannon that shoot missiles at her target and she’s really rather like an aircraft carrier, with 180 fighter craft—Hornets—she sends out in battle to harry the enemy. A Hornet is capable of faster-than-light, with the same restrictions on making the jump in atmospheres or where there’s lots of stray energy about. Bennet’s the boss of all the Hornets, with Flynn flying as his wingman.

  • She’s a military ship, not a pleasure cruiser. She might have artificial gravity (don’t ask me how it works, please! I didn’t geek out to that level of detail.) but there are no recreational holodecks or palatial quarters that look like rooms in a boutique hotel. Everything is rather austere. That said, she does have an officer’s club where alcohol’s on sale, and a commissary where the crew can eat real food rather than suck gloop through a tube the way they have to on the current space-station. One thing to note is that Bennet, being command staff, gets a better set of quarters than Flynn, who gets a cubby hole down on the troop deck somewhere. A better set of quarters with a bigger bed… Just sayin’.

  • And just as an aside, even ten thousand years hence, all ships are ‘she’. Some conventions never die.

There are a lot more bits and bobs about her tucked away in my head. I even have scrappy little drawings—I’m no artist!—of the bridge set up and of the troopdecks. One of these days I’ll sort it all out into a background page on my website. I may even put up the drawings, if you promise not to laugh too hard at my lack of artistry.

In the meantime, why not check out the Gyrfalcon for yourself? Hold onto your hat though. She’s giving everyone a bumpy ride.

June 28 - Gay Book Reviews, June 30 - Bayou Book Junkie, July 2 - MM Good Book Reviews, July 9 - Love Bytes, July 11 - Queer SciFi, July 13 - Two Chicks Obsessed, July 16 - The Novel Approach, July 18 - Making It Happen

Length: 106,470 words

Taking Shield Series

Gyrfalcon (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Heart Scarab (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Makepeace (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK
The Chains of Their Sins (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK


In less than a week, Bennet will finally return to the Shield Regiment, leaving behind the Gyrfalcon, his father, his friends… and Flynn. Promotion to Shield Major and being given command of a battle group despite the political fallout from Makepeace the year before is everything he thought he wanted. Everything he’s worked towards for the last three years. Except for leaving Flynn. He really doesn’t want to leave Flynn.

There’s time for one last flight together. A routine mission. Nothing too taxing, just savouring every moment with the best wingman, the best friend, he’s ever had. That’s the plan.

Bennet should know better than to trust to routine because what waits for them out there will change their lives forever.

Anna Butler was a communications specialist for many years, working in various UK government departments on everything from marketing employment schemes to organizing conferences for 10,000 civil servants to running an internal TV service. These days, though, she is writing full time. She recently moved out of the ethnic and cultural melting pot of East London to the rather slower environs of a quiet village tucked deep in the Nottinghamshire countryside, where she lives with her husband and the Deputy Editor, aka Molly the cockerpoo.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for hosting me here today. It's much appreciated!