Astrodene's HNF Blog

My HNF blog includes author interviews, subsequent edition releases, any other nautical literature news, etc.

(You can find my full blog which covers other subjects as well at

An Interview with Robert N. Macomber

Robert N MacomberHistoric Naval Fiction is pleased to have obtained an Interview with Robert N. Macomber whose new novel, The Assassin's Honor, will be released on 1 October 2015.

What can you tell us about your new book The Assassin's Honor, without spoiling the plot for readers?

In December 1892, a foreign assassination team in the Caribbean targeted one of the most famous men in the world. What happened with those assassins is little-known, but ended up changing how a significant part of history evolved into the world we know today. The storyline in The Assassin’s Honor is woven around those amazing events. A spy thriller, right out of history!

In The Assassin’s Honor, U.S. Navy Captain Peter Wake is finally out of the naval espionage work he excelled at but despised. Now, after 29 years in the Navy, he has the dream assignment of every naval officer ~ command of a newly commissioned ship, U.S.S. Bennington, on independent patrol duty. After being a lonely widower for 11 years, his personal life has also changed, for he has found true love again, this time with a beautiful lady of foreign descent.

But everything changes when he is summoned to his squadron commander at Key West. Wake’s old skills are needed to decipher a cryptic chart fragment and a coded message. It doesn’t take him long to uncover that in eight days an important man will be killed. But who? And where? Plunged back in the sordid life he thought he left behind, Wake takes his ship and crew on a journey involving the Imperial German Navy in Mexico, Cuban revolutionaries in Key West, and Spanish secret operatives in Tampa.

Nothing is as it seems, war hangs in the balance, and time is running out.

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Fletcher Trilogy Complete at Last

Fletcher and the MutineersBack in 1992 the first book of an intended series by J. C. Edwards, Fletcher's Fortune, was published. A rather unique character in the HNF genre Jacob Fletcher is sometimes described as a cross between Flashman and Hornblower. To quote from a review "Fletcher is larger than life - bigger, tougher and smarter than anyone else, he is a natural sailor, businessman, mathematician, gunner and leader of men. He can make maidens melt into a swoon at a single smoky glance. He is also a bit of a rogue. He cares nothing for high-falootin' notions like honor and patriotism. Still, he is (mostly) loyal to his friends and winds up doing the right thing, even if for the wrong reasons."

The second book in the series, Fletcher's Glorious First of June, was published in 1993. Unfortunately at this point, to quote the author, "I did write a third book, but unfortunately got dumped by my publisher when they were taken over by another company". So the series was incomplete and, out of print, became hard to come by. Edwards returned to publication in 2008, writing under the pseudonym John Drake, with the first of his pirate fiction series based on Treasure Island, Flint & Silver.

Now over 20 years later the Jacob Fletcher series has been completed, at least for those with an ebook reader, with the publication by Endeavour Press of that third novel. Fletcher and the Mutineers. It was released worldwide on 14 July 2015 but this time under the authors pseudonym "by John Drake". The other two in the series have also been re-released as ebooks by John Drake.

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Fenwick & Meacham back in print

The Far off ShipsThis site features regular articles on newly published books but some of my favaourites were published many years ago and have been out of print for some time. They are therefore usually hard to come by and expensive when you do find a copy. I am pleased to note therefore that Thunderchild Publishing has brought two of my favourite authors back in to print with eBook versions, making them accessible to fans of the genre once again.

A particular favourite of mine, and of one of our current leading author's Alaric Bond, is The Far off Ships by Kenneth Fenwick. This was the only novel by the historian and is a very well written and graphic account of Nelson's chase accross the Atlantic and the culminating Battle of Trafalgar.

The other favourite is the three book series by Ellis K. Meacham about Percival Merewether of the Bombay Marine during the Napoleonic Wars. The series starts in 1806 and is based on the little known private naval service of the Honourable East India Company which defended the interests of the Company in the Indian Ocean and the Far East. This is a service not usually featured in Naval Fiction.

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New Trilogy by Richard Woodman

Sword of State: The ForgingRichard Woodman is the well known author of the naval fiction series about Nathaniel Drinkwater and more recently of a series set during the English Civil War about Kit Faulkner. Now he has just released the first book in a new trilogy, Sword of State: The Forging.

The Sword of State Trilogy recreates the true story of George Monck, a giant of the 17th Century who is all but forgotten today and who has not been the focus of a series as far as I am aware.

Whilst from the cover description the first book in the series does not appear to be nautical, Monck became one of the famous Generals of the Sea under Cromwell's Commonwealth during the First Anglo/Dutch War. He was also instrumental in the restoration of Charles II and was created 1st Duke of Albemarle.

Fans of the genre may therefore wish to purchase this book as an integral part of a naval series.

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