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Publisher's Summary

Interstellar war!

Their resentment of Sintar’s success fanned by the Democracy of Planets, the Alliance has voted to wage war on Sintar. They are mustering their fleets and gathering their strength to take on the Imperial Navy. Over three million warships are gathering to deliver the blow that will bring the Empire to its knees, with seven million additional warships in reserve.

But Emperor Trajan, aware of their war vote, can see them mustering their ships in the Empire’s top-secret hyperspace map. And he has no intention of waiting for their declaration of war. The Empire brings up its new navy, seven million new design warships, plus eight million of the deadly little picket ships.

Can the Empire prevail in this clash of titans?

Interview with Rich Weyand

Empire: Warlord is an ominous title.

Yes, in this volume, the Emperor Trajan is forced to fight a war he doesn't want. The Democracy of Planets has been manipulating the situation, and everybody knows it. But the monarchs of the Alliance who don't want the war are being pushed by their own militaries into fighting Sintar. The Emperor, for his part, is sworn to protect the citizens of Sintar, and will fight the war because he has to.

The war itself is on a huge scale, with millions of warships and billions of crew members in each fleet.

Yes. My rule of thumb in Empire is to take anything that applies to the USA and multiple by a million. So there are 300 trillion citizens in Sintar, for example. For the navies, though, I actually held back a bit. With the USN having a couple hundred warships, the Imperial Navy should have a couple hundred million warships. Instead, it’s only about ten million warships. Still a lot, but not in scale to the size of the Empire.

It’s all on a huge scale, and yet the war itself is only the first half of the book or so.

Of course. Wars don't end with the end of major combat. You have all of what comes after. In this case, there's some of the Alliance monarchs who still want a piece of Sintar, there are others worried about the power vacuum resulting from Sintar's victory. When it’s all over, Emperor Trajan and the other rulers involved in the war have to pick up the pieces.

There are some new minor characters as well.

Yes, I have to give human scale to a story this big. What's it like to be caught up in something like this for individuals? People who are just trying to stay alive in the chaos brought on by the actions of the major players on the scene. It's not enough to describe huge battles. What's it like to be a cog in that machine?

Were there any special difficulties in writing Empire: Warlord?

No. It took about six weeks for 80,000 words, like all the Empire books. Like all the Empire books, for the first half I worried that it was going to be over too soon, and for the second half I worried it was going to stretch out too long. It's sort of a perennial worry, but in the end I simply wrote the story as it occurred to me and it worked out.

Your cover this time continues with the action scenes. Which scene in the book is this?

One of Sintar's first-wave attacks on the Alliance, with the little picket ships attacking the Alliance's battleships. James Lewis-Vines had cover duties again, and he did a marvelous job. He got the ships exactly right from the descriptions in the books.

There's one more volume in Empire? What's next?

There's one more volume in the story of the rise of Trajan. After that, I don't know. There's certainly plenty of room in the Empire universe for more stories. The central idea for the next series just hasn't occurred to me yet.

©2019 Richard F. Weyand (P)2020 Richard F. Weyand

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