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A storm is coming…

Rob  Bartlett
Rob Bartlett Author Interview

The Calla’cara Gambit follows Milo who finds himself being blackmailed into helping the Sentient Ships emancipate from the Empire. What were some sources that informed this novels development?

Milo’s story is about everyone who’s ever had to navigate the thicket of laws and regulations in a “civilized” society. Especially when something is legally allowed but the people in power don’t want it to actually occur (like the Sentient Ship Emancipation). Once he’s blackmailed by the Sentient Ships and the Khan he has no choice; either he succeeds or his closest companion, Isaac, will end up confiscated by the Empire.

The structure of the Mercantile Empire is loosely based on the Hudson Bay Company and the East India Trading Company. They were commercial entities incorporated for political purposes by England. They existed to generate a profit for their shareholders but also had to provide governmental services. It allowed me to explore the concepts of a true “government by the customer”. And how someone might use the “system” against the people in power for their own goals.

Milo continues to be an engaging character throughout this book. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce with his character in this book?

Does absolute power actually corrupt absolutely? How pragmatic is Milo willing to become in the furtherance of his goals? Can Milo develop relationships with the people he sends into harm’s way instead of just seeing them as pawns? And what is the impact on him when very negative things happen to them? Can he experience personal growth as a vampire? Can he learn to be an empathetic leader who’s still willing to make the very hard choices and what does that cost him?

What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

I wanted to tell a very complicated story with intricate plotting and multiple characters that captured the labyrinth of navigating the halls of power at the highest levels. I wanted to tell enough of their individual stories that the reader becomes emotionally invested but not so much that it slowed the story down. I wanted to tell it from all the individual viewpoints while maintaining Milo’s first person POV. My goal was twofold; what is the minimum amount of exposition necessary to advance the story in an engaging fashion and could I engage the secondary characters enough to make them meaningful to the reader? If a reader tells me one of the secondary characters is their favorite over Milo, I will feel I have succeeded.

What can readers expect in book three of the ​The War Against Infinity series?

A storm is coming…

1,000 years ago the Vampire Tribes left Earth, following Milo to the stars to escape the governments and technology of Earth that were getting close enough to positively confirm their existence. 500 years ago, Milo left the Wandering Tribes (as they named themselves) to their own devices, effectively abdicating his position. But since the First of the Vampires can only change hands following the death of the previous First, he’s still their titular head. Now he’s discovered he needs them to effect his plan to manage the various civilizations that make up the Mercantile Empire and the surrounds because he’s still the Chosen of the Most High and he still has to prevent the Adversary from winning the Bet with the Serene Supreme Deity and cause the Universe to get reset.

So he has to re-assume control of the Families that make up the Wandering Tribes. Then he has to persuade them to abandon their traditional secrecy and integrate into the various societies of the most powerful, influential Members of the Mercantile Empire and assume control; without actually taking over. It’s an interstellar mafia with Milo as the Godfather against the Mercantile Empire.

Because when the storm hits… all Hell is gonna break loose!

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Outwit the Empire. Rescue the girl. Don’t die!
I used to be an itinerant Star Ship Captain. Then the Sentient Ships blackmailed me into helping them Emancipate from the Mercantile Empire in return for keeping my personal AI a secret. I’m taking on bankers, lawyers and accountants, oh my! And a couple of serial killers have kidnapped my girl.
I’ve got a plan, a crew and a deadline. I’m gonna need precise execution, a little luck and a whole lot of moxy to pull this off!
Note: this book contains adult content and situations.

The Calla’cara Gambit

The Calla'cara Gambit: The War Against Infinity: Book 2 by [Rob Bartlett]

The Calla’cara Gambit is a high- fantasy science fiction novel by author Robb Bartlett. It is the sequel to the award-winning novel The Turing Revolt: The War Against Infinity. Starting with the prologue, Lilith Morningstar´s plan goes awry when she is shockingly defeated and sent to an unknown planet by a powerful and mysterious man, identified as the “Chosen of the Adversary”. As she is discovered and forcibly escorted away by two individuals, she silently plots revenge against everyone who ever wronged her. Milo Sapphire finds himself in a difficult position, after being blackmailed into helping the Sentient Ships emancipate from the Empire and killing Lilith Morningstar (or so he thought), he’s aware of being targeted by three groups: the Lotus Eaters Society, the Khan of Calla´cara, and the Emperor himself. When one of his lovers is captured by the Empires ambassador, who threatens her should Milo do anything against the Emperor’s agenda; he must find a way of getting the job done before the deadline without risking the lives of his crewmembers while navigating a harsh political climate.

The Calla’cara Gambit is a space opera that combines the best elements of science fiction with elements of epic fantasy to create a consistently riveting novel. I enjoyed the detailed political and financial climate that the story exists in. I felt like these types of details made the world feel real. The story is mostly narrated in first-person through Milo Morningstar, a witty and sarcastic yet charming man who feels elevated because of his past actions, which have proven him to be the one chosen by the creator of the universe. The way the story is narrated through his point of view helps the reader form a deeper understanding of his character, his decisions, and his way of seeing the universe. Milo is cunning and therefore overconfident, which at times can be annoying but ultimately makes for a complex character and an interesting read.

The universe the story takes place in feels vast and is formed by many different worlds and planets, particularly Calla´cara, an exotic planet ruled by intelligent reptiles who seem to have their own agenda. The writing is unique, alternating between Milos first-person narration with third-person POV´S from different characters, this makes for a refreshing break from the main character’s monologue. Sometimes the mixture of genres can make the tone feel inconsistent, but that’s just a very minor concern.

The Calla’cara Gambit has a unique plot that is helped along by an engaging protagonist. Fans of Star Wars or space opera’s will have plenty to enjoy in Rob Bartlett’s dramatic novel.

Pages: 454 | ASIN: B08FWV5TBQ

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