Saturday, 24 August 2019

Short Story Saturday: Scarlet Traces

When I returned from MantiCon, last weekend, I was delighted to find the hardback of the Scarlet Traces anthology waiting for me. Edited by Ian Edginton, contributing authors were simply given the brief of writing a story set somewhere within the timeline of the Scarlet Traces comics written by Ian, and illustrated by D'Israeli (a.k.a. Matt Brooker).

I first discovered Scarlet Traces when it appeared in the Judge Dredd Megazine, the series having originally been conceived as a partially animated serial, intended for the now-defunct website Cool Beans World.

The premise, for anyone who doesn't know, is that after the Martians' failed invasion of Earth, in H G Wells' The War of the Worlds, the British Empire retro-engineers the aliens' technology and uses it to expand even further. But the Martin menace is not done, and something is draining young women of blood whose bodies are being washed up on the banks of the Thames near Whitechapel...

There are now numerous graphic novels continuing the saga, and I had the original one signed years ago by D'Israeli. I took as the launching off point of my story something that is mentioned in passing in one panel in Book 2, The Great Game. Fans of the Pax Britannia series may find the writing style feels a little familiar and it features two of my ongoing interests, Ancient Egypt and Mars.

Scarlet Traces: A War of the Worlds Anthology is published by Abaddon Books on 5th September, and is the third anthology I have been published in this year.

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