Red Wheels Turning
is set in the same timeline as Beneath Gray Skies
, a few years before the events described there. This story introduces Brian Finch-Malloy, described by one reviewer of Beneath Gray Skies
as "a 1920s James Bond".
actually existed much as described here. An amazing piece of Russian engineering, it never became a practical weapon put into production, for many of the reasons that Brian and Harry point out. However, it remains one of the most amazing objects in the history of warfare, seemingly more a product of the Middle Ages than the twentieth century. The Zaamurets
armoured train also existed in real life. There seem to be remarkably few detailed descriptions of these vehicles, though, so I have been forced to invent some details, which I hope retain consistency with the sparse known facts. Of course, there may be more in Russian, which is a language I do not read with any fluency.
Since no Americans (or Confederates) appear on-stage in this novel, I have used British English throughout (my native version of the language). I hope this doesn't upset my American readers too much. A note on units
In real life, pre-Revolutionary Russia used its own units; poods, versts, and so on, at the time that Red Wheels Turning
is set, and only adopted the metric system in 1924. Since most readers will be unfamiliar with these units of measurement, I have given metric (or in some cases, Imperial) equivalents. Thanks
As always, thanks are due to my wife, Yoshiko, for her patience while I churn out my books. To all my friends, the physical friends whom I know personally, as well as my e-friends on Twitter and Facebook, thanks for your comments and encouragement. Simon Varnam in particular has once again lent me his eyes and ears to discover my errors of style and fact. Any still remaining are my responsibility, not his.