Daedalus and the Deep

Matthew Willis’ first novel, Daedalus and the Deep, was published in June 2013.

For Midshipman Colyer of the corvette HMS Daedalus, life is a constant struggle. The cadet officer is faced with savage pirates in the South China Sea, a frustrated and erratic Captain and a perfectionist First Lieutenant. As if that wasn’t enough, Colyer has to guard a personal secret at all costs.

The voyage of the Daedalus takes a stranger turn when the ship encounters a bizarre creature in the South Atlantic – a giant sea-serpent, previously thought to exist only in myth. The Daedalus is plunged into a headlong pursuit of the creature in the name of science and personal glory, and to turn around the fortunes of a previously unlucky crew. But as the quest plunges further into the cold wastes of the Southern Ocean and becomes ever more dangerous, Colyer begins to wonder just who is hunting who. The sea-serpent’s purpose could turn out to be more sinister than anyone on board the Daedalus imagined.

The novel is based on a real, historical encounter. In 1848, officers from Daedalus, including the Captain and First Lieutenant, reported sighting a large sea serpent off St Helena. Reports appeared in the illustrated press. Such sightings were not especially rare – the following year, the sloop HMS Plumper recorded a remarkably similar encounter in the North Atlantic. Nevertheless, the giant sea serpent has remained elusive to science.

Daedalus and the Deep is an exploration of what might have happened had one of the ships involved not been content with merely recording the strange creature. An historical novel with a dash of fantasy, readers are presented with the consequences of a clash of worlds on both men and creature.

Daedalus and the Deep on Facebook

Author interview about Daedalus and the Deep on HistoricNavalFiction.com

Daedalus and the Deep glossary – Part 1

How much explanation to give for technical terms? The sea fiction author’s dilemma

See Daedalus and the Deep on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com

Fireship Press, publishers of Daedalus and the Deep

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