Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Front Cover Art!

Here's another draft of the front cover for War Plan Crimson, A Novel of Alternate History, courtesy of the magnificent Tristan Tinder. I'm very excited by this (can't you tell?) I can see it on shelves of better bookstores already....

Front cover art for War Plan Crimson: A Novel of Alternate History, by Michael Cnudde © 2010, Michael Cnudde

More Defense Scheme One Documents!

Like our own little Wikileaks, here's another Defense Scheme One document.  This one, actually written by then-Colonel James Sutherland "Buster" Brown, whose alternate-universe counterpart plays a major role in War Plan Crimson, is a think piece on the possibility of war between Canada and the United States.  A fascinating bit of reading, that with the hand-written annotation and signature on page two, lets you know that these were real people who wrote these things.

Initial Cover Layout!

Here we are, courtesy of the amazing Tristan Tinder, the first layout for War Plan Crimson:

... so as you can see we really are getting there.  Meanwhile, final adjustments continue to be made with the electronic book format.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Another Preview!

Here's another preview of War Plan Crimson: A Novel of Alternate History, by Michael Cnudde © 2010, Michael Cnudde, inspired by the DS1 document I posted yesterday:

     Sergeant Harry Orsini shouldered his Springfield as he carefully walked along the wall of Fort Ontario in the predawn darkness. The crumbling fort that overlooked the small harbor of the town of Oswego, New York hasn't seen so much action since the War of 1812. The Army had hastily moved a company of National Guardsmen and a battery of 155s to cover the harbor...from what?
      Orsini looked out to Lake Ontario as the searchlight beam swept across the harbour and over to the locks of the Oswego Canal, part of the larger Erie Canal system. Nothing. The harbor was quiet and the night was dark. A couple of small craft bobbed lazily, while a new arrival, a large lake ore carrier that had just managed to get away from the Canadian side in time, tugged gently at its anchor chains. Quiet.
      Quiet. That's the way it should be. He tugged at the shoulder strap of his rifle and walked along the battlements. Suddenly, the rattling of chains echoed from the darkened harbor. He turned and shouted,“Get a searchlight out there, now!” Orsini brought down his Springfield. What the devil...? In the searchlight beams, he could see the anchors being raised on the big lake freighter, even as men in black scurried back and forth along her length and smoke streamed out of her funnel. He stood there numbed, even as the scene played out in front of him. There shouldn't be anyone on her. And then slowly, but then with gathering speed, the ship began to move.
      As alarms began to howl and men ran to their stations, the ship sailed serenely across the harbor, as if she was unaware of the commotion she was causing. Clutching his rifle, but able to do little else, Orsini watched as the freighter ignored the orders that were shouted over bull-horns for her stop and kept sailing towards the canal locks.
      Now what ? Suddenly, there was a rendering sound of metal on metal that echoed across the still waters as Orsini watched as the ship's bow knifed through the canal locks. As the lakewater rushed in around it, he saw the freighter begin to settle into the harbor until she sat on the bottom, with her decks awash. Orsini fumed. Bastards. It'll take months to get the canal open again. Must've filled that ship with cement by the way she went down.
     A little later, when the ship's black-clad crew were brought past him under guard, he thought they looked very satisfied. But for the life of him, he didn't know why.

Actual Defence Scheme One Documents!

This is part of the actual historical Defense Scheme One documents I used in my research on War Plan Crimson. The bulk of the documents I found seem to be operational orders for the 3rd Canadian Division, assigned to the defense of central Canada. It would seem to be a largely "paper" unit. The 3rd Canadian Division was formed in 1915, saw heavy service on the Western Front and then disbanded 1918; its successor, the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division, wouldn't be formed until 1940, and like its predecessor, was heavily engaged in Western Europe, and disbanded in 1945.

 Now I wonder if the publication of these 80-odd year old documents will result in any Knocks on the Door from the Authorities. I'll keep you posted, as well as put up a few more in the coming weeks.  

Meanwhile, we're doing the final edits of the electronic and paperback versions.