Atlas and the Winds: Book One
Some secrets are too big to keep.
How far will one man go to make sure the truth gets out?
Colton Taylor, a wealthy and eccentric industrialist, finds himself locked in a collision course with the President of the United States as he tries to save humanity from destruction.
Forcing himself into the arena of international politics, Taylor struggles to maneuver the immense corporate empire of Stormhaven into position to give civilization a fighting chance against an almost inevitable global catastrophe.
Staring down the relentless certainty of the Universe, he will risk everything to give the world one final option.
If he cannot succeed, the price of his failure will be no less than the end of life on Earth.
Smart money never bets against Colton Taylor!
Read Stormhaven Rising, and sink your teeth into an asteroid impact story backed up by real science.
“The story is grand in scale, including multiple levels of plot and sub-plots that span politics, geography, space, relationships, and of course science. The author’s style and interweaving of sub-plots reminded me of Tom Clancy – if he wrote science fiction. – Brian Rella, Author
“Reminiscent of the better writings of Greg Bear and Greg Benford. The science is plausible but the reader is not expected to understand it completely for the story to be clear. The characters are complex and interesting people, not one sided caricatures. Expect to laugh or mourn at times along with the characters in the story, as they seem real.”- Carol R Harris.
“This novel delivers the real goods. It has a great plot, realistic characters, gripping action, and believable science … Make sure you clear the day and night and possibly the next day when you open the cover to this book. It will keep you reading into the wee hours of the night!” – S.E. Sasaki, Author: Welcome to the Madhouse
“If you want a book with all the feeling of a blockbuster, then this hits the spot. This is Big science-fiction, with a capital B … in the style of Niven and Pournelle hits such as Lucifer’s Hammer or Footfall, where the life and death of the world hangs in the balance, and wrong decisions made along the way put everyone in peril … by the time you get to the last page, you’ll be bursting to read more.” – Leo McBride, Author
“Stormhaven Rising, an epic on its own terms, sets the stage for an epic series in its wake. If this sort of sci fi is your cup of tea, it’s a ride well worth taking as Craig breathes considerable fresh air into a well-established tradition.” – Wesley Britton, Author/Columnist
The original version of this book appeared in 2012 as Atlas and the Winds. It was a single novel with Prometheus and the Dragon being part of a massive single work that totaled out as slightly on the high side of 300,000 words. Unfortunately, I discovered that while that scale might work for an Epic Fantasy, for a hard science fiction it was waaaaay too long. So, I sliced it into two books in order to make it marketable. Fortunately, with some serious editing, and a few minor rewrites, it tightened up into a page turning political thriller, with a hard sci-fi overtone (or so I am told).
From the beginning I worked to keep the science realistic, and the politics more so. I guess you could call this a “hard-political-science-fiction novel” (but other than Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy there aren’t a lot of writers in that Genre).
Stormhaven Rising is a complex, multi-threaded epic, so it does have a lot of characters to keep track of. There is a Dramatis Personae in front of the book to help, but when I wrote it, I generally kept the characters in “groups” in my thinking. It helps to think about the Stormhaven characters as a block, and how they interact with the US government characters as a block, and so on. Exactly who is who, becomes obvious within each group, and then you just have to worry about how each collective unit reacts against another. There are actually only five or so of these blocks, and that is far less daunting for the reader (I think).
One of the other things I did in writing this book, was to not set someone up as a classic “bad guy.” There are some characters that a person might not agree with philosophically, but they all are justified in what they do. To me it doesn’t matter whether their motivation is altruistic, nationalistic, personal, or even religious … what matters is that they believe in what they are doing. So, some people don’t like Colton Taylor because they see him as self-serving, or Sylvia Hutton because she is political, or Jiang Xintian, because he’s driven by nationalistic pride. But that’s how the world really is, and I tried to capture that in the way I presented the story.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an antagonist. In this case it is the elephant in the room. The one unstoppable adversary is the approaching cataclysm: The asteroid Antu, and the relentless wheelwork of the universe that drives it forward.
Stormhaven Rising is a story about how frantic desperation, drives good people to do bad things, for all the right reasons.
One of the other comments I frequently get as feedback is the deliberate pacing of the story. That was done with intent. It isn’t a product of huge exposition as much as a contrast against the urgency of the situation. Twenty-three months is a long time, except when it is all you have to save the world. The pacing was a deliberate effort to play the sense that it is a long time … while the reader can also feel the fact that it simply isn’t enough time to do what has to be done. This gives the entire story a feeling that these people are trying to act like nothing is wrong, when it is indeed terribly wrong and coming apart around them.
Ultimately it was my plan when I wrote Atlas and the Winds to keep the reality of our world firmly woven into the narrative, and to really explore the question: “If the end of the world was coming, would they even tell us?”
When I go to Sci-Fi Conventions I explain Stormhaven Rising (and the sequel Prometheus and the Dragon) like this:
Stormhaven Rising is a story about the government discovering that a civilization-ending asteroid is coming, and we’ve only got twenty-three months to stop it.
That isn’t enough time to get it done, especially when they are also trying to keep the whole thing a secret. But obviously, they have to try.
Prometheus and the Dragon on the other hand is the story of what happens when the secret gets out. And they STILL HAVE TO STOP IT.