Real life locations behind The Clearsky Chronicles

Earth is flooded in The Clearsky Chronicles.

What takes place in The Clearsky Chronicles doesn’t do so in some fantasy version of Earth. It’s the real world. Only flooded. And frozen. The City is laid out near where Bogota Colombia is today. The path that the Procession takes from the coast is a real road, and the tunnel Odessa and her podmates get stopped in is a real tunnel people use to enter the outskirts of Bogota from the south. In our story, the entrances to the tunnel have been swept away by the cataclysm of water dropped on Earth from space.

When investigating Bogota, I discovered not only the flat pampas to the northeast of the city that were converted into the growing areas, but the tunnel shown here and a few key mountain peaks. Monserrate and Guadaloupe. Monserrate is the mountain peak that Ivan most likely can see looking out his tower cell. If he stands on his tip-toes. If you would like to see it, there’s a cable car that goes to the top most days. And if you’re wondering, yes. The cable car inspired me to create the tramway in the story.


Maps to come

The islands of Cerebus — Rhone, Angel, and Kanima

To flood the earth is easy. Just get a program with topological information, set the sea level to 4000 feet (1219 meters) and copy the outline. Then, it’s just an easy conversion to a KMZ file you can open up in Google Earth.

If you have Google Earth installed on your computer you can download this file and see for yourself. Clicking this will attempt to open up Google Earth on your computer.  Clearsky Chronicles Coastline in Google Earth (1 Meg)
(WARNING:your mobile may not like this file)

If you do look at the file, you’ll see there are many dozens of islands — all in the middle of the Amazon jungle. Okay, not islands. Mountains with peaks higher than 4000 feet. Same thing in my world.

Now to my problem that you can help with

I’m going to post this on our Facebook page

And then next week we’ll start asking for names for islands. We have the names for six so far, but I would like to name about a dozen or so more. These names will go on the map and in the next book. There’s no guarantee that any of the names will go in the book series — mainly because this all has to make it through editing. There’s a list of existing names below. The three primary islands of Cerebus are adapted from their real world locations. You’ll recognize Angel from Angel Falls. You can work out where the other two islands are once you see the map.

Don’t post names yet! But I want you to start thinking of them.

We’ll put up the .JPG image soon as part of a contest, and there’ll be a prize selected at random from entrants.

The names for islands we have so far



Jackal republic

Redback (Whaler)


So, watch this space!

ICEFALL Newsletter

I’d like to thank everyone

for making the last two days of ICEFALL exciting for us!
With your help, we made the top of the charts at Amazon!

That out of the way, let’s talk about newsletters.

We sent out Newsletter Number One this week, and in it was a link to the special we ran on ICEFALL.

We also included this handy “What’s this ICEFALL stuff about?” guide and if you’re new to the Clearsky Chronicles, this should help you catch on.


The Clearsky Chronicles – The story of how Reynal Królik fits into the plan kept secret for over 200 years. The plan that involves controlling Alice. The twenty something episodes will be lovingly shoehorned inside a fat trilogy of novels.

Alice – The asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Alice can only be controlled from a room inside Rhone.

Rhone – The hollow mountain, inside which the ark where the biomes of Earth remain presevered. Rhone is controlled by Cerebus.

Cerebus – The fomer consortium of mining and technology corporations who were tipped off to the end of the world and had the means to create a refuge for their people who would care for the ark. The Ruling Council is now controlled by Aldus Turing.

Aldus Turing – Insanely afraid that Alice will crash down on Rhone, destroying not only the best and the brightest of humanity, but the ark preserved biota of Earth as well.

Earth – Currently wrapped in a perpetual Ice Age brought on by the shroud of ice cloaking the planet and reflecting warmth giving sunlight.

Earthland – The only flat land not covered by thick glacial ice. The remnants of humanity clustered here after the Fall. Populated by starving farmers, kept starving by their Cerebus rulers. Visited twice a year by The Procession.

The Procession – The visit some 400 Cerebus technicians and scientists make across the Eastern Sea. The meager aid the Procession gives the Earthlanders is in exchange for the food taken from them.

Reynal, Darjeeling, and Navid – Delivery drivers, one of whom is destined to one day drive Alice.

Odessa, Winnipeg, Lisbon and Seville – Medical students in the Procession, all of whom are marked for death.

We hope to give away more stuff in the newsletter. All I have right now is a bunch of imagery of the flooded Earth and a few maps you haven’t seen — Oh, right…

Have I told you all the places in The Clearsky Chronicles are real places you could go to today??
The tunnel? Real.
Which mountains in the middle of the Amazon jungle that will become islands making up the Cerebus nation? They’re all real, right there, today.
Details to come.


The missing ICEFALL excerpt

The Kindle Nation Daily ad today is our second, but they included the excerpt from the first ad.

Here’s the excerpt for ICEFALL you want to read:

“He’s opening his eyes.” He being the boy who rescued us. The boy who risked life and limb to save us. The boy who has never seen any of us before today, yet put himself on the line to make sure we didn’t die at the bottom of a ravine.

I don’t even know his name.

“Good.” Seville is kneeling on his opposite side. She has a cut at her temple, and blood drips down her cheek, but she doesn’t seem to notice. Or if she does, she doesn’t seem to care. “Check his pupils.”

“Hello, you. Welcome back.” Winnie, who has the best bedside manner of any of us, almost coos as she cradles the boy’s head in a fur wrap she must’ve found in the coach. “Please don’t move your head just yet.”

Following Seville’s orders, Winnie shines the small beam light out of her sleeve cuff into his eyes. His pupils react as they should, and he blinks.

I blow out a breath of relief, and my chest relaxes. The thought of him suffering serious injury when he had no reason at all to do what he did, no investment in our health or well-being…

Who is this boy, and why had I expected less compassion, less benevolence, less… humanity from Earthlanders? Is he different from the others? Have we been taught wrong all this time?

“Ask him to wiggle his feet,” Lisbon says as she checks his pulse in his ankles. “Now hands, please.”

Before I say anything, he lifts both and waves his fingers. I reach for his wrist, wanting to feel the strength of his pulse for myself, though Lisbon is perfectly capable.

“What’s your name?” It’s suddenly vital that I know everything about him that I can.

“What?” he asks and blinks again, giving a small shake of his head against Winnie’s orders. When he looks at me, directly this time, I see how green his irises are. The green, perhaps, of conifers, though I need better light.

“What is your name?” I repeat the question before I start writing mental poetry. I’m strangely rattled. Or maybe it’s not so strange.

I banged my shoulder on a cabinet edge when the coach rolled. The camp stove clipped my elbow as it, too, tumbled. And when we finally came to a stop, the scream of the metal being sheared by the road echoing in my ears, my palms found dozens of bits of window glass when I pushed to stand.

“Oh, Rey,” the boy says, snapping me back to the present.

“Orey? Or, Rey?” asks Seville.

“Reynal. Rey.” He winces, but his mouth pulls into a bit of a smile at Seville’s wit. Then he levers up onto his elbows. His dark brows draw into a deep vee. “What happened? Where’s—”

“I said don’t move your head.” Winnie brushes back some of his hair, but he ducks away from her hand and ignores her chiding, hanging his wrists over his updrawn knees as he sits. Continue reading The missing ICEFALL excerpt

ICEFALL cover change

Back in the heady days of Summer 2016, when we were wrapping up some final edits to ICEFALL, we ran across a really cool artist who had done some fantastic work for other Sci-Fi projects and were given a chance to grab his work for the cover of ICEFALL.

When we got a copy of the artwork, we were simply floored. It was beautiful. Packed with detail, the cover image had all the things within the novel, all packed onto the cover. But, we learned, having a crowded cover is not always a great thing. Slowly, we learned that for e-books, having a cover with a simple style fit in more with the market.
ICEFALL stood out, but not in a good way. THE CLEARSKY CHRONICLES is a distinct departure from either young adult or science fiction in that it’s not pushing a tried and true narrative. We wanted the cover to reflect that departure. Those of you who’ve read the first six episodes know this.

Our response to feedback has caused us to make a change to the cover of ICEFALL.
Since the changeover in cover images takes longer to propagate than the e-book version, the print copy with the original cover is soon to be a collector’s item.

Get your copy today!

Do you like the change? Do you hate it?
I’d love to know. Drop me a line here and tell me what you think.

Why didn’t the Russians land a man on the moon – answered

In doing research for THE CLEARSKY CHRONICLES trilogy, I keep running across space facts and history that I think are just neat. Most of the details of what happened to Russia’s quest to land a man on the moon came out after Glasnost, but by then not a whole lot of Americans cared.

The video below has a nice summary, but I’ll summarize that. The Russians had some personnel problems, but it was the rocket design that really did them in. Having multiple rockets can simply ruin your launch when one of the engines or fuel pumps shuts down.

The upshot given at the end about what happened to the Russian engines made my jaw drop a little, but it’s a geeky thing. I’m just weird that way about space.

Place names in The Clearsky Chronicles

A catastrophic event has taken place on Earth. In the mid-21st century, an immense water cloud passes through our solar system, leaving behind oceans of water, part of which still hangs in low Earth orbit as an impenetrable cloak.

The Clearsky Chronicles begins in the 23rd century, on a flooded Earth gripped by an Ice Age that stretches around the globe. It tells the story of the people who are part of the secret plan to eliminate this sunlight blocking cloak and Cerebus: The powerful company that rules Earth and resides in the fortress ark called Rhone.

Many of the characters in The Clearsky Chronicles are given city names. Early on, we meet MEDcadets Odessa, Winnipeg, Lisbon, and Seville. They are taught by their professor Shiraz and his assistant Tralee. For the parents of the freeborn of Rhone, along with the managers of the Human Embryo Development System (HEDS), giving the names of Earth’s drowned cities to infants serves to honor the dead, but also to help focus the learning processes when that child first enters a Gakshu unit.

Anyone experiencing the Gakshu must have a firm grip on who they are. A person who is uncentered is liable to have the information provided to them scattered. Thus, a pre-supplied background, such as details of the given Name City helps the student concentrate on retaining the information provided by the automated instructional unit.

ICEFALL is now part of #KindleUnlimited! Get the first six installments of THE CLEARSKY CHRONICLES at Amazon today!