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The Flying Cloud, R-505 by Paul Gazis

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Rated 7.06 out of 10 Statistics

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Genre: Adventure / Sci-Fi

Audience: Everyone

Updated: Weekly

Content Advisory

Occasional Violence

Statistics

Overall Rating: 7.061

Average Rating: 1 (Guests), 7.67 (Members)

Ranking: #135

Rating Count: 2 (0 Guests, 3 members)

1 indicates a weighted rating.

"A Gem of a Story"

Rating: 8 / 10

I was drawn to this listing because of the title . . . and because, let’s face it, airships are awesome. I kept reading (currently up to ch.18) because, while the airships continued to be awesome, the writing is equally excellent.

In yet another example of a great hook, the story opens with an airship crew (our protagonists), struggling to stay alive as their decimated airship begins to lose altitude over the ocean. The action rarely stops from there, moving on to exotic islands and onward to other adventures.

Framed as as an alternate reality story in which the Great War ended in 1916, airships developed and aeroplanes are toys for show, the world is well-thought out and fascinating, with fine details ranging from the not-quite-modern views of many of the crewmen to the precise technological innards of an airship. The crew are well-defined, the dialogue well-done, and Captain Everett is a more than suitable hero.

My main negative point is the lack of strong female characters. True, the setting is a military one, and in the early 1900s a lady would hardly be expected to go about cavorting, but the lack of more than one female character is sorely felt. Sarah, the only female character so far, is a bit of an untrusted oddball and so far doesn’t have much depth.

The site is easy to navigate, with a table of contents and buttons to proceeding and preceding chapters, and illustrations for each chapter. I recommend more people give this neglected gem of a story a chance.

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"Fun times, straight ahead!"

Rating: 8 / 10

This is an engaging, quick paced action-adventure tale set in an alt-history just post WWI. The major difference in this alt-history is that dirigibles and other forms of flying (one character keeps a hang glider handy) were never replaced by the airplane. Airship fans, eat your hearts out.

The story follows the crew of a British military airship after their original dirigible is wrecked over the South Pacific. Light, humorous adventure follows non-stop as they navigate the hazards of the Polynesian seas, Australian outback, conspiracy theories, pirates, ultra nationalists cells, female crew members, dirigible-wrecking storms, and more.

There are plenty of details that lend believability to this tale, including regional accents, detailed airship technology, various cultural influences on the characters, etc. The characters don’t change very much (at least, not so far), making this a very plot-driven story, but they’re a very well fleshed-out sort of unchanging, and the humor, banter, and low-level suspense keep the story flowing quickly.

I devoured the first 50 chapters in one sitting. Airship, British (Horatio Hornblower fans, I’m looking at you), military, and adventure fans will get the biggest kick out of this, but I definitely recommend that everyone give it a try.

(cross-posted from WebFictionGuide)

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