Queen of Clouds is set in the world of The Moon King before it was flooded, and tells a story of frustration in the face of man-made environmental catastrophe in a plot which features ambition, treachery, jeopardy, tragedy, love and magic…
Billy Braid, raised in an idyllic mountain backwater, lives a quiet life aiding Master Kim to craft strangely sentient sylvans from painstakingly cultivated trees. Then the outside world intrudes, and Billy is tasked with delivering a sylvan to Karpentine, the Sunshine City. Upon his arrival, Billy falls in with a young Weathermaker, Paraphernalia, who proves to be fascinating and infuriating in equal measure. But all is not well in the Sunshine City, and Billy is soon embroiled in Machiavellian intrigues he is ill-equipped to understand, as the city’s ruling Guilds – the Constructors, Artisans, Inksmiths, Weathermakers and more – jostle for status and power, seeing him as the key.
Wooden automata, sentient weather, talking cats, compellant inks, and a host of vividly realised characters provide the backdrop as the drama rushes to its stunning climax.
Queen of Clouds is published by NewCon Press in ebook, paperback, and a numbered limited edition hardback signed by the author.
“Superb characterization and fascinating worldbuilding. There’s plenty to enjoy.” Publishers Weekly
“A truly unique and powerful work, intricate and ingenious.” Adrian Tchaikovsky, winner of the Arthur C Clarke award
“A book with a lot of charm. Queen of Clouds brings together a resourceful protagonist, a pacey narrative, and a lovingly imagined setting. Moving between a mountainous forest and a teeming and fantastical city, the book’s feel is part adult fairy tale, part steampunk, with a dash of satire thrown in.” Chris Beckett, winner of the Arthur C Clarke award
“The best fantasy I’ve read in a long time, written with a deep love of language and a quirky inventiveness that charms and fascinates in equal measure. Highly recommended.” Keith Brooke
“The whole book can be seen as an allegory of the power of the printed word… Think Soylent Green, but with ink instead of food.” ParSec Magazine
“A fascinating allegorical read. It has beneath the initial fairy tale quite a sharp bite which makes it well worth your attention. Worth a look indeed!” Runalong The Shelves
“Fantasy for the 21st century, Williamson offers readers something both unique and classic.” Jesse Hudson, Speculiction
“[Together with The Moon King] A combined pillar of high class speculative fiction.” DF Lewis, Real Time Review
“Queen of Clouds is a beautiful piece of steampunk fantasy. Its quirky style and detailed worldbuilding make a great fit for readers looking for something sharp and meaningful.” Aurealis Magazine