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An introduction to the Misfit Squadron series

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

Simon Brading, author of the Misfit Squadron series

I describe the Misfit Squadron series as "an open-ended Steampunk series set in an alternate World War 2, chronicling the adventures of a squadron of elite British pilots flying purpose-built machines against the Prussian Empire". It has a protagonist in Gwen Stone, one of the Misfit Squadron pilots who is a brilliant aircraft designer, but, unlike similar series (I hesitate to mention such greats as Hornblower or Sharpe) the Misfit Squadron books will not exclusively follow her adventures. The major volumes in the series such as “The Battle over Britain”, “The Russian Resistance” and the upcoming “The Maltese Defence”, will advance the progress of the war, but there will also be shorter stories like “A Misfit Midwinter” and “The Lion and the Baron”, which will either be more fun or will recount events centred around other characters that are introduced along the way. Those vignettes, along with the pictures I create and share on my Instagram and Facebook accounts (@sibrading and "Simon Brading Author" respectively) serve to flesh out the world of the Misfits.

As I said before, I classify the series as "Steampunk", however it is Steampunk with my own twist. I like to think that the technology I describe and use isn’t unfeasible, but is instead a logical evolution of what was prevalent before the combustion engine became so dominant. For example, steam engines have gone from being cumbersome and bulky, to compact and powerful, hydrogen-fuelled things, while at the same time a higher-performance “engine” has become available due to the evolution of the kinds of springs that are found in watches or wind-up toys.

Having said all that, if you are still concerned about the books being Steampunk, let me lay your mind at ease a little - while you may find steam engines, top hats and the occasional cogwheel (not many, promise!), there are no improbable steam-driven prosthetics, no mad science or scientists, and goggles are only worn by the people who need them. Oh, Tesla does get a bit of a mention, though. Sorry!

I’m not going to go into details about how exactly things are different in the world of the Misfits, suffice it to say that it is, not just technologically, but also politically and sociologically. However, there are of course many similarities with our own because good ideas will always occur to someone and, because the laws of physics remain constant, then you might find that objects and vehicles, like the aircraft, might seem quite familiar.

I hope you will enjoy reading these books as much as I love writing them and thank you to Sea Lion Press for taking them on board.



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