I am retired and live with my wife, Shirley, and the shelter dog Emmie, in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, writing fiction and working with others on their fiction, as much as life allows. As a lad I lived, breathed, and dreamed aeroplanes; I won a place at RAE Farnborough learning to engineer them. But the reality didn’t fit my dream, so I took off into a stint in the army and then away to join the oil circus. Flying objects are tools when they now appear in my writing―I guess that’s the effect of maturity, but I hope, not a constricted, resigned, and unimaginative maturity. The mind still soars, even without wings, and the dream of carrying others to a better future is now on the page. Some readers comment that none of my stories take place next door to the lives most people live; the less charitable find similarity in characters who tend to be stubborn, independent, and out of step with the world’s expectations. Perhaps there’s a connection between the worlds I portray in fiction, and my working life in oil exploration in the Libyan Desert, the Canadian Arctic, and the mountains and forests of Western Canada. My stories have been set in Regency England, Anglo-Saxon Britain, in modern industrial projects, in the alternate world of Gaia, and the fantasy world of Rast. Sometimes I satirize jobs I’ve done. Many of my central characters are smart, beautiful, and dangerous women who lead unwilling males to fulfil the duties before them. Lt. Gisel Matah in “Deadly Enterprise” is perhaps the most Bond-like of these. I like writing novels about realities my readers can enjoy in the guise of dashing adventurers; loyal comrades; lovers; or pledged sovereigns. I hope they find there the spark that brings them to realize greater dreams of their own.
Masqueradeby Christopher Hoare
I planned this novel as the Iskander version of the 'Man in the Iron Mask' trope. To fit it into the Iskander story-line it had to be turned around...instead of the mystery man who is incarcerated for an unknown purpose, we have a missing person who's dungeon is unknown and the key to solving the riddle is to prove that the person taking his place is a fraud.… See more details below
I planned this novel as the Iskander version of the 'Man in the Iron Mask' trope. To fit it into the Iskander story-line it had to be turned around...instead of the mystery man who is incarcerated for an unknown purpose, we have a missing person who's dungeon is unknown and the key to solving the riddle is to prove that the person taking his place is a fraud.
Gisel has to penetrate the dangerous palace to take DNA samples from the impostor. She follows the man's young sister though secret passages that only they knew and has to win a silent swordfight to avoid waking the whole palace. But that is only the start of her problems...Commandante Zagdorf, the Emperor's top spymaster, is soon on the trail, and the more successful Gisel becomes, the closer Burgundene gets to a full-blown civil war.
The background of the novel's plot follows on from the Islander's plan to use their knowledge to change society that we saw in the first novel, Arrival. It seems that it is very dangerous to become Iskander's friend, because the Emperor's minions are in perpetual alert to prevent their world changing manufactures from being established before the Iskander plan can take off. However, without the use of the Iskander's hi-tech spaceplane, the communications network, and the nuclear powered Sirius they would not have the slightest hope of pulling off their covert attack on the Empire's hegemony.
Gisel's life...and her love life...are both on show in this story. The assassin/sword-master BelGassem shows up from where he was at the end of Arrival and the reader gets a hint of the plan she had entertained to elope with him and sail to the rich spice lands. He is more than twice her age, so every one of her companions tries to keep them apart. But Gisel is a little older and wiser now and knows her reckless plan would have failed even if her father had not spirited her away. She will accept the rapier and mane gauche of his that saves her in the palace, but returns them to him because she will not use them again to enter into the life of an assassin.
- Double Dragon Publishing
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