Just posting that headline I can almost hear the audible groans and resounding cheers. I am pleased to announce that the novel, Betrayal of Ideals, will be available in BOTH print and ebook form for GenCon this year. For many of you this is a new BattleTech novel which may or may not be exciting. It is for me so allow me to bask in it.
Over the years I get at least two emails a month asking if this saga, the true story of Clan Wolverine’s downfall, would ever be in book form. Originally e-published on BattleCorps, this book has never been in print before.
I proposed this idea to John Helfers, the BattleTech editor last year at GenCon. We both conspired to see this come to life along with some fans who kept prodding. John hit me out of the blue a few weeks ago with an editorial pass of the manuscript and I realized that there was more we could do. I wanted to provide some new material to the book so that the readers from BattleCorps would have an incentive to take another look at this important book. So I crafted two new chapters, at the beginning and end of the book – leveraging some of the newer source material from the Operation Klondike Sourcebook. The results is a very cool and robust book. The Klondike sourcebook is one of those things I wish I had available when the story was originally written. Great stuff! John told me it was okay to pop the news.
Sidebar: I had to take a break from working on my current all-new BattleTech novel to pull this off – time well spent I might add. Yes, that’s right, another BattleTech novel (all new) is in the works.
When I originally wrote the book it was the subject of Internet Trolls claiming I had retconned the history of the Wolverines. Not true! It has been said that history is written by the victors and what we know about the Not-Named Clan came from sources that were party to their destruction. They revered Nicholas Kerensky as infallible. The Wolverines were the boogeymen of Clan history, an evil that had to be eradicated. Mass murderers driven crazy with power.
I came at it from a different angle. What if everything printed thus far was only one side of the story? What if the reality was something else? What if Nicholas Kerensky was an egocentric madman who allowed the Wolverines to be set up to keep the rest of his people united? (I know, this is sacrilege to Clan fanboys). What if the early days of the Clans were more politics and petty jealousy than honor? That is what Betrayal digs into.
For the record, Nicholas had a bit of a screw loose, we pointed to that in the sourcebooks. I mean he used the Monguls as a model for his new society iconized with animal totems. It’s either visionary or the acts of a nut-job.
I’m not implying that the Clans are not great. As with any successful culture, they rarely live up to the image they like to project. Yes, there are stalwarts who live up to those high-and-mighty ideals, but often they are not the dominant voices that are echoed through history. I wanted to explore that with Betrayal of Ideals.
I make no apologies for this book. Personally, I think it is one of my better efforts. The internet trolls will wail in false agony at this canon, which only makes me smile.
This is an epic tale of a proud warrior culture painted unjustly as demons, who were brutally hunted down by their own people. It was a strange book to write since we all know essentially how this story ends (essentially). I wanted to include some elements that would be a treat for BattleTech readers/players. So, some new ‘Mechs were needed…and the SLS McKenna’s Pride (just because). There had to be a flight from Clan Space because we all know the Minnesota Tribe has some connection to the Wolverines – right? The Wolverines are fighting the ultimate lost cause and the readers know that from the very start of the book. That means this had to be a grand story.
Some of the scenes are chocked full of symbolism and that was all very deliberate. I really wanted to explore those early years of the Clans in a dangerous and formative period of their history. With all enemies defeated, it was only natural for them to turn on themselves.
The characters were an ensemble cast. The story could not easily be told from one character’s perspective. I wanted to make sure that the full ramifications of the Clans turning against the Wolverines were made clear to the reader. One of my favorite scenes (and there are many) is with the Ghost Bears near the end of the book. It was something that had impact all the way into the Jihad era. There had to be a cost to the Clans for cutting off one of their own limbs. I personally like the main characters and the turmoil I was forced to put them through.
The new epilogue – well, that is something that I think people will be buzzing about for a while. He he he.
One of the big advocates of this book was Brent Evens at Catalyst. Brent went out and got a new artist to do a cover for the book that I absolutely love. The Wolverine banner in the background in flames – perfect.
For those of you that read the story on BattleCorps, there’s some new stuff here – so check it out. For those of you that never read it, saddle-up. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride. WOLVERINES!!!! (think Patrick Swayze or Charlie Sheen)