Seymour Hamilton interviews Matthew Willis

Seymour Hamilton, author of the ‘Astreya’ series of nautical fantasy novels, interviews Matthew Willis about Daedalus and the Deep, writing in general, and naval history. Access the interview on the Sound Cloud here

Daedalus and the Deep – the real sea serpent mystery

Daedalus and the Deep has its roots in real events. HMS Daedalus was a real ship, a Leda-class frigate built in 1820 and later re-rated to corvette. HMS Daedalus was best known in Victorian Britain, for the sighting of a sea-serpent between the Cape of Good Hope and St Helena in 1848 – 165 years…

Daedalus and the Deep pictorial Guide 1 – Sailing

Frigates and corvettes – HMS Daedalus was originally a frigate, and under sail in the 1840s would have looked very much like HMS Raleigh as pictured here. A frigate has a single gun deck (shown here by the single row of gunports along the white band running the length of the hull). In 1844 she…

Daedalus and the Deep pictorial Guide 2 – Fighting

Weaponry of one form or another is quite important in Daedalus and the Deep, as with much historic naval fiction. HMS Daedalus had a broadside battery of twenty heavy 32-pounder cannon, as well as carronades (a short-range, lightweight cannon) and smaller weapons. The following images of the gundecks on HMS Warrior (5), built 1860 and…

Daedalus and the Deep pictorial Guide 3 – Living

Even on a small vessel such as HMS Daedalus, the living space occupied by officers and men was strictly divided. Officers (and senior warrant officers) had small, hutch-like cabins in the wardroom, which was the general space where they lived and dined. Wardroom – the wardroom was for commissioned officers and senior non-commissioned officers such…

Sea Serpent Day

Tomorrow, 6 August, will be the 165th anniversary of the enigmatic HMS Daedalus sea serpent sighting that inspired the novel Daedalus and the Deep. Check back to AirAndSeaStories.com for more information about the historical reality, and a visual guide to the world inhabited by Midshipman Colyer and the crew of the Daedalus

To glossary or not to glossary?

One of the potential difficulties with writing sea fiction of any kind is how much to explain the technical business of working and fighting a ship to an audience who might not have a great deal of existing knowledge to help them through. This is also true of historical fiction, where an audience might not…

Daedalus and the Deep glossary – part 1

The following is a glossary of some of the main technical terms used in Daedalus and the Deep, roughly in the order in which they appear. I would recommend trying to get by without it – most of the meaning should be apparent from the context, and in some cases terms might be explained later…