Steampunk & Synthesizers

The books and music of Ren Cummins

The official site of author Ren Cummins, information about his books and music, a place to find questions, answers, and more questions for those. Links and other internety things, in a sort of one-stop shop.  

Where Should I Start?

Okay, I lied. THIS is the question I get the most: "If I wanted to start picking up your books, which one should I start with?"

For any of you who've been reading since the beginning, I am sorry. I am sorry for OH SO MANY THINGS, but not the least of which is putting out so many books that it has become complicated to sort out where to start.

So. Let me help.

If you've read NONE of my books so far, I recommend starting with "Steel & Sky: Tales of the Dead Man, book one." It's a fine intro to the world, to the characters, and to the drama and adventures found in all the books I've done so far. It's a tale of airship pirates, zombies and giant robots, and it deals with the social struggles found within prejudice and fear of the unknown or different. It's about two women trying to sort out what they want to be, and a man who's never been very good at accepting conventions of any kind, and all the chaos which ensues around them as they go. It's a little bit science fiction, a little bit fantasy, a sprinkle of speculative fictions and a dash of steampunk. And there's a bit about a red panda named Trill who's absolutely adorable. There's a gentle cliff hanger, but I hope you won't hold it against me.

Book 2 is on its way, so you won't have a long wait, and there aren't really any spoilers to be found. Oh, sure, you may have a few questions here and there, but that's kind of the point, so it's all delightful. Now, THAT BEING SAID, the Tales of the Dead Man books do take place chronologically AFTER my first series, but please allow me to elaborate in the next paragraph.

The Chronicles of Aesirium is a six book (plus collection) series which tells a smaller scale story of Rom and her friends, who happen upon a thing called a Morrow Stone whose nature reveals the history of their town and the powers which want to destroy it (the town, not the stone). It is a coming of age series about three young people - Rom, who, yes, dies in chapter one, but this is whole series is about her so I don't think that should dissuade you; Kari, a genius with a monkey wrench with an ear for magic; and Cousins, the young man who knows just about everyone who can get anything for any occasion. This series is as much about discovering the truth about yourself as it is the truth about the world you live in; about learning that some of the things we get told aren't actually how they happened, and how learning these truths can be hard but necessary. It's got monsters, dancing robots, and an angel of death with a lovely black dress.

You can start with the Chronicles, but rest assured whichever place you start won't spoil you in either direction. They take place in different lands at different times, and even though there is some crossover, I was very careful to keep the stories effectively independent of one another.

So, bottom line, if you want my suggestion - start with Steel & Sky - - if, for no other reason than that it makes my publisher happy. And if they're happy, I'm happy. And if I'm happy, I get to put more books out. And more books makes you happy too! So, see? It's all terribly self-indulgent and better for all of us.

And while we're all waiting for that.... I have MORE books to write!

So thank you, and thank you, and thank you for your support! Have a wonderful journey!