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Time To Count

The CountI hate being late. I’m one of those guys who always prefers to turn up early, scope out the place, then decide on the best way to go in. Being early has many advantages… but sometimes circumstances demand you be late.

For instance: we were supposed to release The Count last fall, but instead, we’ve released it today.

Truthfully, I think there’s something appropriate about this being the first Iceberg release to say (on its copyright page, that no one ever reads): “Published by Iceberg Publishing, Edmonton.” As Jacqui explained yesterday, Iceberg is back on the new world… and so are Sergeant Edwin Barnes, his wife Evangeline, and his outfit of ex-soldiers. For everyone it’s a new beginning.

Now just to be clear, The Count is a prequel, joining the story of His Majesty’s New World all the way back in 1896 (a year that readers of The Grasslands might recall as being significant). I’ll discuss the challenge associated with good prequels at some later date; for now, I’ll just suggest that HMNW readers take this trip back, because things we’ve always assumed we know about the new world’s past might look slightly different than we expected.

And going back won’t be difficult, because we’ve made an important — and unprecedented — decision: charging loyal readers for a new introduction to this completed series doesn’t feel right… so we’re releasing The Count for free.

Yes, that text is in bold.

Now and forever, the ebook edition of The Count will be available at no cost. When we get to print (plans call for two more stories about Barnes and his crew, all of which will be amalgamated into a print edition) we’ll have to charge for the paper… but the ebook is available to all readers interested in the beginnings of His Majesty’s New World, with no strings attached. For the moment, our friends over at Kobo are on board with this plan; Apple is coming shortly and Amazon is listing The Count for $0.99 (but we’re hoping they’ll be on side soon as well).

It’s exciting to be back on the new world, both in real life and in fiction. This story is one I’ve always wondered about: what could motivate a person to leave behind everything familiar, and take the risk of roaming out to an untamed land, with all the dangers and uncertainties it affords?

Sergeant Barnes, his family, and his men are searching for a new beginning; we here at Iceberg are just happy to be opening the next chapter. For all of us, this change begins with the arrival of one unexpected Count, who seems — and I choose my words carefully — too good to be true.

Check out The Count here, and see what a German aristocrat (and former Major) named Petersen has in store for His Majesty’s… or strictly speaking, in 1896, Her Majesty’s… New World.

Happy New Year…

Sergeants Barnes and Kelly seem to have found something shocking...
Sergeants Barnes and Kelly seem to have found something shocking…