Here follow the few, extremely rough notes which I did for this novel. They really are fragmentary, but they were enough for me to sketch out the chapters, and create a skeleton of a plot. They appear in the chronological order in which I made them:
An industrialist in Steampunk / Victorian times becomes incredibly wealthy with his steam inventions and weaponry. Becomes one of the wealthiest men in England. But his wife dies of consumption (or something similar). Despite all his wealth nobody can save her.
It is a stressor which send him into madness and despair. He decides that the world is broken; and that it is up to him to fix it. He decides to overthrow the parliament, and have all decisions made by Difference Engines. At least they will not make mistakes.
He recruits the poorest of the East End to help him.
His son tries to dissuade him from doing something that will get him arrested. But the son does not tell the police. He does not believe that his father will do something so stupid.
But his father no longer cares about the consequences. He releases his war machines, but not until he is safely out of London, having developed a way of sending messages through the ether.
Steam-powered cannons. Land ironclads. From secret factories set up… as the authorities raid all of the ones they know about.
From his secret location he hears about what is going on. He hears that Downing Street has been destroyed. But he dies not see any of the real damage.
Hero is a police officer? He gets PM to safety as a land ironclad goes into number 10.
The poor people give up when the army comes in, for the most part. But around a third refuse to give up, led by a charismatic Marxist who believes that he can overthrow the system and make it more egalitarian. He creates a ring of steel protecting the old man, who isn’t really in charge any more.
In the end it sinks into the mind of the old man just how much damage he has caused, after he hears that his son is dead. He gives the command to give up. But he is ignored.
In the end the hero must get to the old man, after killing the Marxist.
He had been told that he was wealthier than any1 else in the Br. Emp., w/ the possible exception of the Q.
The novel starts with the funeral of the wife.
2nd chapter of Empire of Steam.
The funeral has just taken place. The old man has not yet decided to declare war on the rest of the world. But he has a sense of futility overtake him. He feels that there is little point in anything.
He spends some time going around the many factories which he earns [sic – should be owns], as though searching for some idea, or for some reason in an uncaring world. But he doesn’t find anything.
None of his workers particularly look happy. He thinks that happiness is like some fragile butterfly – easily crushed. It never lasts.
When his wife died he was in the midst of building an underground chamber / complex, many miles from London. he had intended to conduct his most dangerous experiments there; & he had wanted it out of the way so that people would not be harmed if anything went wrong.
But, now, he sees no point in finishing it. Why should he try to make more money when money cannot bring back the dead.
He decides to leave these secret chambers empty, as a monument to the vanity & foolishness of mankind.
Chapter 4. Strange Dream
Other stuff, moping about, checking up on all the things he owns, although he does not know why.
Then he has a strange dream, one of war, death, destruction. It could have been something inspired by the many war machines which he has made for the British government (guilt). But he thinks that the city in the dream being destroyed by the war machines is London. He sees a land ironclad trundling down Harley street…
Many other strange scenes of destruction in the dream. The images are all tumbled together.
Chapter 5: A Plan.
The old man wakes up the next morning & he takes the dream as a sign; an omen.
He decides to have his revenge of all of the people who could not save his wife – he will have his factories turn out only war machines, & he will use them to destroy London.
Harley Street will go; all the pathetic priests must go; everything must go.
Chapter 6: Visit by the Son
The son visits the father, wanting to know what is going on. He has noticed that he [sic – should be the] factories are only producing war machines.
Chapter Seven: The Preparations Continue
The factories are all converted to weapons of war. Monk begins to consider who might use such weapons in his crusade. He does not think that his normal managers could be trusted – not even Hardy. He realises that he might have to employ criminals, those who would work for money and be prepared to kill for it – but there was a lot of scum on the streets of London.
Chapter Eight: Walker
The Minister for War visits Monk. He has come because he is worried about Monk, having heard that all of the factories are being converted to producing the machinery of war. Walker is concerned that Monk might be considering supplying armaments to nations which are not friendly.
More Empire Of Steam Notes
The communist would-be revolutionary is called Kirby. He has a few followers, although nowhere near as many as he claims that he has.
Kirby has his own agenda. He wants to inspire a revolution.
Once the war starts Kirby disobeys orders to launch an attack with the land ironclads on the Bank of England on Threadneedle Street. He wants to attack what he considers to be the icons of capitalism. He hopes that more people will then rise up to join the cause. (Chapter in itself)
Next chapters: (2) A policeman hero who leads the fight against these rebels. He captures one of the land ironclads by climbing through the hatch, and knocking out those inside, using his truncheon.
(3) Hardy, who realises that he has been had. He goes to the police and tells them everything that he knows. But he says that Monk has not been in his right mind since the death of his wife. He makes the case for bringing Monk in alive.
The police are not impressed.
(4) The raid on Monk’s mansion to arrest him.
(5) Back to Monk in the facility, trying to find out what is going on. Johnson is not happy. But he is not going to betray his boss. He does not yet know what is really going on.
(6) The second battle. The army has brought in its own land ironclads. A great battle around Trafalgar square.
Most of the rebels give up or are captured or killed.
A small group, led by Kirby, manage to break through. Kirby decides to go out in a big way by going towards Buckingham palace?
George Monk, after having heard about the land ironclads, knows that his father must be behind it. He goes to try to get the rebels to give up. But he is killed, his body left on the ground. His father never realises that, though.
(7) Again with Monk in the facility. He is trying to find Johnson, but he can’t find him. Johnson must have overheard Kirby broadcasting to Monk. Monk realises that if Johnson tells anybody he will be discovered.
(8) Kirby’s last stand. He and his forces are wiped out. Police hero there again?
(9) The end. The government forces close in on the facility. Monk hears them trying to break through the door.
He has a revolver, and considers going out fighting. But, in the end, he writes a brief letter, absolving his son of anything to do with his attack, not knowing that his son is already dead, Then, despite it being a sin, Sir George Monk takes his own life.
Possible other chapters (or use notes) if word count below 50,000
At The Mansion (Police)
Hardy goes along to mansion & watches the police & army go in. He does not now why he is there. Perhaps he simply wants one last word with the man who he had used to look up to. But he does not see Monk brought out. The servants are taken away for questioning when the police leave. But no sign of Monk.
Hardy goes into the mansion when the police all go away. The place has been turned upside down by them, looking for clues as to where Monk might be. Hardy knows that Monk has a journal, M has mentioned it in the past. Hardy looks in the study. But there is no sign of it. Monk must have it with him.
The servants? They don’t know what is going on. Do their reactions to the fact that Monk has been acting oddly, going off in the car with Johnson all the time. They know that something is up, but not what. It is not their place to question such things.