Meteora by Shell Presto

Works in Progress in the Ascension Epoch

It’s the middle of the year, and we thought you, our readers, would enjoy some insight into our works in progress as of today.

And I do mean works in progress — Mike and I have a couple different burners going, with all the best fiction we can offer simmering.

So here’s what we have in the works:

Challenger Confidential

  • The direct sequel to Copper Knights and Granite Men – Shell likes to call this, in a nod to Bob Dylan, Everybody Must Get Stoned, but I’m sure the actual title will change before publication. This will be a collection of (not too) short stories wrapping up the loose ends left dangling after the museum incident. Shell is nearing completion of her Bulwark-centric story, Mike has finished another addressing the fate of the petrified victims and has a lot of progress in a story that sheds some light on Chemistra and the Promethean’s mysterious home: Weisseria. And you all surely want more details about West Side Siren, right? Well, we’re hoping to add a story featuring her exploits into the mix as well.
  • From Magonia, With Love – While Copper Knights and Granite Men only featured the males of the Challenger Foundation, Magonia will introduce readers to the team’s leading ladies. There will be Tillinghast resonators, weather wizards, airships, and heaps of super-powered action awaiting you. This one’s taking a while as we hash out some plot specifics (we’ll never offer our readers a half-assed book or a forced plot point — we like you all too much), but Mike does have a couple chapters penned, and I’ve started on some artwork for this one as well.
  • Have you ever heard of Hydroman? – If you haven’t noticed from our War of the Worlds or King In Yellow references, we like mining the public domain here at Ascension Epoch. With that in mind, we’re penning some stories to be included in a short story anthology featuring heroes that have fallen into the public domain. Bill Everett’s Hydroman is one of our favorites, so you’ll all get to learn where he falls into place in the Ascension Epoch. In addition to his origin story, we’ll have another adventure where he teams up with junior Challenger Foundation members Amp and Ephemera. (We’re also keenly interested in re-creating Louis Cazeneuve’s Dart, but that’s another story. Or stories.)

Martian War Chronicles

  • More Signalman! – If reviewers have told us anything, it’s that folks not only loved Population of Loss, but they want more Jamison Doyle. Well, we’re happy to provide. Mike’s chronicling more of the Signalman’s standoffs with the Martians — and a few with fellow humans — for a Doyle-centric installment of our steampunk alternate history series. So far he’s got one story down and another well in the works. But how many will there be total? Only Mike knows…
  • Speaking of the public domain… – When there’s a hero like The Fighting Yank available for use, how can we not incorporate him into our universe? The Carters will be taking up arms against the Martians in a story that Mike has about halfway finished.

East End Irregulars

  • The Crucible – This is the big one, literally. Torrent may have solved the murder of Mitchell Pendleton in The Dismal Tide, but now he has to do something about it. The Crucible is not only our most carefully constructed book so far, with both moral and physical dilemmas for the Irregulars to face, but there’s a lot of differentiating friend from foe as well. It’s taking us a while to write this one — it’s not even half-finished — but we promise it’ll be worth the wait. This one’ll be chock full of not only the irregulars, but more Cascade, more SLAM, a new face, and of course, some familiar villains. Oh, and you said you want to actually meet Crazy Uncle Paul? OK, then!
  • First this happened, and then this happened… – Believe it or not, After Dark was not the first East End Irregulars that Mike and I wrote. We actually wrote an adventure that occurred later, and the Irregulars are quickly approaching the point where it’s going to happen. While The Crucible is taking up our time right now, future Irregulars releases after that will occur more regularly. I won’t reveal the inner workings of the fourth book right now, but it’s well in the works, in no small part because it’s been partially built for years now.
  • Parallel goings-on – Hey, did you know Shell is also a writer? Seriously, she’s the one with the Bachelor’s Degree in English and everything! (And she really hates that title, because it sounds like she’s just good at speaking English. She studied literature, creative writing, and editing.) So while Mike’s been pounding the keys as the primary writer on the Irregulars books so far, Shell’s been typing away at the origin story of another future East End Irregular, and what he was up to while Torrent was fighting werecats and kissing girls with fiber-optic tattoos. This new hero lacks the wisdom of the staircase, but makes up for it in an over-flowing education of all things comic books. Oh, and sticking to walls. It’s not entirely a solo act, however, as you’ll get to see the encounter that made the GPRA hate SLAM in the first place (as mentioned in The Dismal Tide), among other things.
    And speaking of familiar faces, there’s a short story we’ve completed (which the few of you who have gotten your mitts on in our convention-exclusive book Salamander Six and Other Stories are undoubtedly acquainted with) that details just what’s up with that runaway Torrent met in After Dark. Shell’s been expanding it into what will hopefully be a novella.

And that’s what we’re working on. You may be wondering Why do you have so many going at once? Why can’t you just pick one to work on and finish it? Well, that’s a very good question, and one I’ll be happy to answer… in another post. Join us next time for Failed Experiments in Writing or How How-to-Write Books Ruined My Summer Vacation.

And, finally, while you’re waiting for our next release, please consider letting us know what you thought of our books that you already have read by leaving a review on

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