Interview – Karl Gallagher, Author of Torchship

[originally posted here at Castalia House]

I recently tore myself away from the pulps and my own Appendix N reading to check out Torchship by Karl Gallagher. The book has come out to rave reviews, including Winchell Chung’s Atomic Rockets Seal of Approval with “a platinum star with diamond clusters”. Personally, I was blown away and could barely put it down. This book had everything from space battles with rogue AI to crazed big game hunters to buried space treasure!

Torchship is an impressive book by an incredible author. I was absolutely thrilled to have Karl Gallagher give me some of his time over the last weeks to answer some of the burning questions I’ve had ever since finishing.

Thank you, Karl!

Alex: To an unscientific fellow like myself, I’d say “Karl Gallagher is a guy who makes spaceships for a living”. A gross oversimplification, I know, so why not tell us a little about your background in aeronautics engineering?

Karl: That ought to be “used to make spaceships for a living.” These days I’m working on fighter planes.

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The Lost War, by Karl K. Gallagher (Some Spoilers)

The Lost War is one heck of a read from Karl K. Gallagher!

While he’s best known for his hard SF interplanetary adventure-turned Mil-SF Torchship series, Karl has dipped his toes in fantasy before with his story for us, Squire Errant, so I was very curious to see what he was going to be doing with a “portal fantasy” (that’s isekai, for your weebs out there).

The Lost War is the story of a historical re-enactment event/fair that gets sucked into another world. Using their skills, the hobbyist craftsmen, fighters, and other olde tymes enthusiasts must band together to survive. A few members begin developing magical abilities that help them in their day to day struggles.

The Lost War begins as something of a critique of anarcho-feudalism–it falls upon the “ruling couple” of the event to take charge de jure and the administrator to take charge de facto, which leads to some issues early on–but things smooth out a lot when the “queen”, who’d developed magic powers of mind-control, gets a pair of scissors through her neck.

It moves more towards action survival adventure once “orcs” show up and the feudal band has to go to war with the local parasitic bipeds. It builds predictably but rewardingly towards a climactic battle and semi-happy ending for one of the main couples. There’s a bit of mystery box stuff that’s not really resolved (nevermind that they’re all still stuck in the fantasy world) but will likely be addressed in subsequent installments (the first of which is already out).

Also, don’t forget that both Enchantress of Venus and the new Cirsova Summer Special will be out in the next couple of weeks!

Lineup for Cirsova Issue 2

First, I think it is important to point out that Submissions are still open and we will be reviewing stories to be purchased for inclusion in issues 3 & 4 through May 1st.  Why May 1st?  Because I plan on relaxing over the weekend and won’t check my inbox for last minute submissions until Monday May 2nd.

Here is the current lineup of Cirsova Issue 2 –

Short Stories

The Sealed City by Adrian Cole
Hoskins’ War by Brian K. Lowe
Squire Errant by Karl Gallagher
The Water Walks Tonight by S.H. Mansouri
Shark Fighter by Michael Tierney

Novella

Images of the Goddess by Schuyler Hernstrom

Essay

TBA

Issue 2 will be out sometime in June or July.
Issue 3 will be out in September
Issue 4 will be out in time for Christmas

We’re looking at 2017 submissions window being open from November through December, buying 4 issues of content that will take us through the year.

In the meantime, if you haven’t bought a copy of issue 1 yet, check it out!  Help us get into the black so that we’re not a flash in the pan.

2015 Planetary Awards Nominations: Torchship, by Karl Gallagher

Forget the Hugos, Nominations for the 2015 Planetary Awards are due February 14th!

In the Small Press / Self-published category, I’d like to nominate Karl Gallagher’s Torchship.

Torchship is a hard sci-fi adventure story in the vein of Firefly* about an interstellar freelance cargo-freighter and its crew.  Torchship is set in something of a post-empire future in which both Earth a sizable portion of the colonized worlds have fallen to a devastating AI rebellion, leaving a few highly advanced but paranoid cyber-isolationist worlds and a tough-as-nails frontier beyond.  As a fully analog spaceship, the Fives Full is one of the few interstellar craft permitted to travel between the “Disconnect” and “Fusion” worlds.  In the course of taking odd jobs to make ends meet, the Fives Full’s crew stumbles upon the opportunity to hunt for buried space treasure.  The catch?  It’s deep in the heart of the AI ravaged ruins of humanity’s former dominion!

Torchship is Karl Gallagher’s and Kelt Haven Press’s first book; Gallagher’s amazing and Kelt Haven Press has a real winner on their hands.  You should keep both of them on your radar.

My interview with Karl Gallagher can be found here.

I’d also like to plug Matthew D Ryan and his book Sceptre of Morgulan as something of a runner up.  Everything I’ve read by Ryan has been great, and I’ve also had the opportunity to interview him and have him do a guest post, and if the award were broken down into SF and Fantasy instead of story length and small press/indie vs. trad published, I’d be able to nominate them both.  Torchship breaks the tie by being the first book in a series; rather than nominate the third book in a series, I’ll just say “Go and buy Drasmyr; you can download it for free, but you should really buy it, too.”

* If Firefly were written by someone who actually knows a thing or two about spaceships and engineering.

Interview with Karl Gallagher, Author of Torchship

I recently tore myself away from the pulps and my own Appendix N reading to check out Torchship by Karl Gallagher. The book has come out to rave reviews, including Winchell Chung’s Atomic Rockets Seal of Approval with “a platinum star with diamond clusters”. Personally, I was blown away and could barely put it down. This book had everything from space battles with rogue AI to crazed big game hunters to buried space treasure!

Torchship is an impressive book by an incredible author. I was absolutely thrilled to have Karl Gallagher give me some of his time over the last weeks to answer some of the burning questions I’ve had ever since finishing.

Thank you, Karl!

Alex: To an unscientific fellow like myself, I’d say “Karl Gallagher is a guy who makes spaceships for a living”. A gross oversimplification, I know, so why not tell us a little about your background in aeronautics engineering?

Karl: That ought to be “used to make spaceships for a living.” These days I’m working on fighter planes.

Read More at Castalia House