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The Eagle's Heir

I am delighted to announce a new project! Amy Griswold and I have been working on an exciting thing -- The Eagle's Heir. The Eagle's Heir is a fully interactive novel set in an alternate history.

It's 1835. Twenty years have passed since France won the Battle of Waterloo and the powers of Europe gave up on removing Napoleon from his throne. In that time, France has concentrated on technological achievement, notably with giving the inventor Robert Fulton carte blanche to develop his new steam engines. Not only do steam ships ply the rivers, but he has also invented the aeropilé, a steam powered airship. However, nations other than France have been quick to adopt these technological advances as well, especially Britain and Austria. After all, they stand to gain the most from the Emperor's eventual death.

That time is coming. Napoleon is getting old, and his only legitimate child was taken to Austria by his mother twenty years ago. Now known as Franz instead of Napoleon Francis, he will be an Austrian puppet on the French throne, bringing France back into the fold of Hapsburg monarchies and undoing the Revolution completely -- unless he's not Napoleon's heir, or once again France becomes a Republic. However, it is likely that either of those things will trigger the general European war that ceased in the wake of Waterloo.

You, the main character of the interactive novel, are the bodyguard and childhood friend of Alexandre Walewski, Napoleon's illegitimate son by Maria Walewska -- the only other possible heir besides Franz. You are also the grandchild of Napoleon's spymaster, Madame St. Elme. Raised from childhood to be equally competent in the ballroom or the battlefield, accustomed to moving in circles both high and low, the fate of Europe may well rest in your hands! You may play as male, female or nonbinary, or as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or asexual. You may present strictly as one gender, or choose (like your grandmother) to have both a male and female persona. With more than a hundred combinations of endings, you can read/play through with many different choices.

The Eagle's Heir will be published early in 2017 by A Choice of Games, an innovator in interactive novels, who have worked with such notable authors as Max Gladstone. Amy and I hope you enjoy it!

Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
jo_graham
Aug. 17th, 2016 12:08 pm (UTC)
It's so much fun to write. I'm having a blast.

Silver Bullet: oh yes. So much like today that it's actually difficult to work on the Order of the Air right now. There are a lot of ways we are back in the 30s again.
(Deleted comment)
jo_graham
Aug. 17th, 2016 12:09 pm (UTC)
I am terribly excited too! It's tremendous fun to write, and being able to be completely flexible about who the main character is -- well that's a challenge! Imagine writing when the thing you can't know is who the main character is!
settiai
Aug. 16th, 2016 02:48 am (UTC)
Oh, wow. That sounds amazing.
jo_graham
Aug. 17th, 2016 12:31 pm (UTC)
I am very excited! I think you will enjoy it too!
lilacsigil
Aug. 16th, 2016 08:59 am (UTC)
This sounds awesome!
jo_graham
Aug. 17th, 2016 12:54 pm (UTC)
I'm very excited! It's so much fun to write.
eiriene
Aug. 17th, 2016 05:14 am (UTC)
This sounds lovely!
jo_graham
Aug. 17th, 2016 12:55 pm (UTC)
It's just amazing fun. I hope you enjoy it!
squishydish
Aug. 22nd, 2016 10:58 pm (UTC)
I have read/played one of Max Gladstone's interactive books/games (The City's Thirst) and enjoyed it quite a lot. I really look forward to your project becoming a reality! Keep us posted on progress, please.
jo_graham
Sep. 21st, 2016 07:35 pm (UTC)
I will! And I'm so glad you're looking forward to it. I love the Choice of Games games myself.
selki
Oct. 24th, 2016 08:41 am (UTC)
Cool! I've played Choice of Game's "Choice of Broadsides" back on my Palm Pre (sigh), through multiple variations and enjoyed that very much. I also tried "Choice of Romance" (although I remember it differently from the current write-up, maybe they expanded with a later version).
queen_bellatrix
Aug. 30th, 2016 08:23 pm (UTC)
As someone who's primarily a fanfic author: you have no idea how happy it makes me to see a pro author just be like nope, canon sucks too much, time to break out the AU. ;) Especially cause I remember you saying that Martial's Lover is the beginning of the end, as it were; did you need happy before you could write the sad things?

On a more serious note: this just looks so, so good. Especially since these books made me begin to re-study Napoleon, and his story is just so tragic: there was so much progress he could've brought to the world if people hadn't been so afraid of that progress so fundamentally altering the shape of things. So yeah, seeing Napoleon's revolution come to fruition will be lovely. Especially with the state of the world right now, we need to see a progressive revolution win. (The Elza books came to have so much meaning for me this year especially: I got swept up in politics, really swept up for the first time, and then my side of things lost. And it just really brought home what beautiful and utterly fragile things political/social changes are; I'll be really interested to read the rest of the series, especially whatever way she continues fighting when the main goal seems lost: because that's such a nebulous concept. To fight when there's a clearly articulated goal is easy. To find a new one is much, much harder.)

But: back to the original topic. It means so much that you're having NB options, and different sexualities. And as a blind person, thank you so, so much for going with an entirely text-based gaming application: I'm a huge Gladstone fan, so I knew it'd be accessible through accessing much of his work through them; I may have given a little shriek when I saw the name of the company you were using. :)

P.S.: Michel question, if I may. There's a bit in General's Mistress where they're gravedigging, right after the Austrian army comes upon them, and you have a line about Elza having seen him there before, a prince of a people that were no more. Did you just tie Michel to my darling Vercingetorix? Because most awesome reincarnation parallel, imho.
jo_graham
Sep. 22nd, 2016 05:07 pm (UTC)
Just found your comment, so I'm sorry I'm replying so late!

I'm delighted that my books have made you re-study Napoleon. I have really, really wanted to write The Eagle's Heir for a long time, and explore some of the possible futures that could have been if things had gone just a little differently. Waterloo was, as Wellington said, "a damn close-run thing." In the world of The Eagle's Heir, d'Erlon didn't countermarch and his reinforcements prevented Wellington from holding his position. Forced back, Wellington had to withdraw, ceding the battle and Brussels to the French. A negotiated peace followed, as the Tories could not hold Parliament after one more defeat in arms. When Castlereigh's government collapsed, the new coalition sought terms.

So that's where we are in 1835 -- this tenuous peace has held for twenty years. The old players are old, and new ones have grown up in the shadow of the wars of revolution. You, the main character, are one of them.

The Michel question -- I was actually referring to the scene in Black Ships, but it's entirely possible that Michel was there for Vercingetorix!
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )