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CONTEST! CONTEST! CONTEST! CONTEST!

Win a free copy of A Flight of Thieves! To enter, just leave a comment below. (Ask questions for David, tell us about your first car, or just say hello.) Winner will be chosen at random on Sunday at midnight.

 

REVIEW: A Flight of Thieves by David Bridger

If you’re looking for an action-adventure post-apocalyptic steampunk thriller with thoughtful contemporary messages, A Flight of Thieves will certainly deliver.

Admit it... Isn't this one of the most gorgeous covers you've ever seen?

Admit it… Isn’t this one of the most gorgeous covers you’ve ever seen?

Like any sixteen-year-old, Victoria (Vix to family and friends) is a volatile mix of emotions, childish fantasies, maturing romantic and sexual attractions, daredevil risk-taking, and yearning for the adult world she’s poised to enter. But unlike most teenage girls, she is also a royal princess, unexpectedly responsible for the safety of her family, friends, and kingdom.

Add that to a steampunk mix of robots, steam-powered airships, and post-apocalyptic future, and you would have a terrific page-turner. But A Flight of Thieves is more than the sum of those parts. Author David Bridger casually tosses in mixed-race and same-sex relationships as unremarkable norms, but addresses very contemporary issues of prejudice and class through the characters’ relationships and reactions to the robots in the story. I was particularly interested in the subtle thread about what makes a person – whether a human who has accepted a robotic prosthesis is less human, or a robot who has integrated decades of memories is “murdered” by wiping them.

If you’re looking for an action-adventure post-apocalyptic steampunk thriller with thoughtful contemporary messages, A Flight of Thieves will certainly deliver.

Author David Bridger joins me today to answer questions about his writing in general and A Flight of Thieves in particular. To quote David’s bio, “he settled with his family and their two monstrous dogs in England’s West Country after twenty years of ocean-based mischief, during which he worked as a lifeguard, a sailor, an intelligence gatherer and an investigator in the Royal Navy.” That experience brings the ring of authenticity to the description of naval life aboard the airships. He writes science fiction and fantasy for teens.

David Bridger, Author of A Flight of Thieves

Welcome, David and thank you so much for joining me today. I’m rusty on the whole interview thing, so let’s get to know you with a few warm-up questions.

What was your first car?

My grandad’s old building van. He bought a new one and I cleaned out the old one to make a teenage passion wagon.

Ah. I hope that isn’t a segue to this next question! What was your last brush with the law?

Two men drove down our avenue in the middle of the night, smashing car windows and ripping out CD players, including our daughter’s. Next day a bunch of uniformed policemen flooded the avenue taking witness statements. My wife offered cups of tea and our front terrace became their temporary base. One of their phones went off with its The A-Team ringtone, and I couldn’t help chuckling. Its owner glared daggers at me, all young policeman menacing-like, which made me laugh harder. Bless him.

Star Wars or Star Trek?

Has to be Star Wars, but I love TNG and Voyager too.

Who would you most like to have a conversation with at a cocktail party?

My wife. These days our house is so full of kids and grandkids, we don’t get much chance to talk.

Who would play you in the movie?

George Clooney, so I could be handsome just once in my life.

Um… I’ve seen your picture, so I think you could give Gorgeous George a run for his money. Moving on…What is something people don’t know about you?

Sometimes I dream I’m a lion. My wife says that’s odd because I’m actually a silverback gorilla.

What is the one thing you can’t live without?

Love.

As a child (or now!), what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to go to sea, be a novelist, and be a family man. I’m living my dream.

Are the names of the characters in your novel important? 

Always. I can’t start writing a story until I know the characters, and naming them is one of the first parts of that process. Also, in this futuristic story the names of people in my royal family are a nod back to British queens and kings of earlier times. Although I don’t state it in the story, I was thinking of the way new monarchies sometimes appropriate ancient royal lines for their official family trees in order to bolster their own authority.

What is the single biggest challenge of setting A Flight of Thieves in a steampunk world?

I suppose that would be maintaining the suspension of reality regarding the efficient operation of great steam-driven iron airships. But actually it was a delight rather than a challenge.

I’m interested in the way you address issues of prejudice and class through the characters’ relationships with and reactions to the robots in the story, and to the concept of humans with robotic prostheses. What were your goals there?

That’s important to me. I hate prejudice related to colour, disability, gender, sexual identity, class, and any other ways that people discriminate against people. I didn’t want to stand on a soapbox, but the issue grew with my characters as I wrote them.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever heard?

Follow your joy. Which is exactly what I was doing with A Flight of Thieves

DON’T FORGET TO ENTER THE CONTEST!

Win a free copy of A Flight of Thieves! To enter, just leave a comment below. (Ask questions for David, tell us about your first car, or just say hello.) Winner will be chosen at random on Sunday at midnight.

You can buy A Flight of Thieves at any of the following links:

Blurb:

In a world of isolated island communities, a thousand years after Earth’s apocalyptic flood, Princess Victoria and her robot mentor, King Henry, recruit a ragtag band of airship adventurers to help her fight the military traitors who intend to murder her family and enslave the kingdom.

Victoria has spent all of her sixteen years in a secluded palace on Ben Nevis Island under the protection of King Henry, one of the three original robots programmed by the ancestors to rule the flooded planet Earth. She’s safe there, but her family and their intelligent clockwork servants treat her like the tomboy child she used to be—and sometimes still is. She yearns to fly away in one of the great iron airships to see the world.

It seems too good to be true when Henry asks Victoria to board the Royal Airship Elizabeth, with him disguised as her robot footman, and fly over the sea to meet the Lord of Ireland. Victoria jumps at the chance for an adventure and they take to the skies together. But the world is a dangerous place. Air pirates prowl trade routes, and slaver fleets cross the oceans to raid unprotected islands. The Royal Navy is building up to a war, and Henry’s old friend, the Lord of Ireland, is accused of giving safe harbor to pirates. Victoria and Henry must overcome them all in order to make their way home to a kingdom that might not still be standing.

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