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The Worldshaker world: Worldshaker, Liberator, Song of the Slums

Picture a world where mighty iron juggernauts roam over land and sea—juggernauts as big as mountains, there kilometers long. On land, they move on rollers or tracks, crushing everything in their path.

Each juggernaut is ruled over by a government from one of the old powers of Europe: British Queen, Russian Tsar, Austrian Emperor, Prussian King and Turkish Sultan. They abandoned Europe 150 years ago when it became a polluted, uninhabitable wasteland. Now they exploit the other continents in a new Age of Imperialism.

The ruling upper classes also treat their workers as even less than slaves – as subhuman animals. They call them ‘Filthies’, and fear them as well as despise them. No one from ‘Below’ is ever allowed up onto the Upper decks – unless as servants or ‘Menials’, after they’ve first been reduced to a docile, mute and mindless condition.

Worldshaker tells the story of the first crack in this Imperialist system when Riff, a Filthy girl, manages to escape up onto the Upper Decks and meets Col, who’s been brought up with all the superior attitudes of his class. But Riff unsettles him, in many ways …

By the end of Worldshaker, there’s a climactic revolution, and this one juggernaut, at least, is no longer under tyrannical rule. But the system on board all the other juggernauts is as oppressive as ever – and they don’t like this first whiff of a liberated society! Liberator continues the story of Col and Riff, and a revolution struggling to survive …

Song of the Slums steps back to an earlier time in the history of this world, when pollution covered cities and towns in a permanent smog. The scene is ‘Brummingham’ and ‘London Town’, when the construction of the great juggernauts has only just begun. In the depths of the smog, the inhabitants of the slums live a very different existence to their lordly superiors. But they a vitality that the upper class lacks – and a vital, driving, rhythmical music that’s oddly contagious! Astor, a refined girl from the upper class, discovers her instinctual talent as a drummer when she escapes from her gilded cage into the world of the slum-dwellers!

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