Friday, July 28, 2017

The Clock Work Dynasty with #Rum & #Sugar

To celebrate the release of The Clock Work Dynasty, author Daniel Wilson has been researching beverages that Sir Francis Drake may have sampled during his lifetime. (Doesn't the book have a fabulous cover?) Take it away Daniel...

At the heart of my new novel is a simple idea that I have always loved—the notion that maybe the greatest triumphs of humanity aren’t ahead of us, but behind.

The Clockwork Dynasty acknowledges that our ancestors had incredible technological triumphs—and imagines that some of them are still walking among us, machines disguised as people, older than cities. These avtomat (a Russian word for robot) are fighting their own ancient wars in the shadows, even as they quietly go about shaping our civilization in the image of a world they lost millennia ago.


The novel roams from blood-soaked battlefields of prehistoric China to the Russian imperial courts of the 1600s to the filthy cobblestoned streets of baroque period London. 

In other words, cocktails weren’t invented yet. 

Just a bit of scrambling around online, however, produces evidence of a cocktail that predates all others, the first—and therefore the most appropriate beverage to be pretend-consumed by an ancient automat casually blending in with human beings.

According to legend*, El Draque—the world’s oldest cocktail—was invented out of necessity by the British naval officer (slash privateer), Sir Francis Drake. In the late 1500s, stranded somewhere near Havana, Drake was in trouble. His ships were heavy with plunder commandeered from Spanish galleons—but his men too sick to sail away.

Just like Sir Drake, the characters in The Clockwork Dynasty are on an epic, sprawling exploration of a mysterious world where the maps are unfinished and where monsters still roam. In the novel, however, our familiar history is haunted by nearly immortal robots who revere and fear humanity while being superior to it. 

As the storyline alternates between the past and present, we witness these humanlike robots secretly serving the great empires of antiquity and, centuries later, struggling to survive as they finally begin to run out of power. And as the modern-day survivors cannibalize each other for energy, a human scientist will risk her life to help find the origin of the machine race, and the key to saving it.

Luckily, Sir Drake found a solution to save the day from the local Taino and Ciboney Indians—a drink, of course. They recommended a wondrous rum-based elixir, replete with mint to soothe the stomach, lime to beat back the scurvy, and chuhuhuasi tree bark soaked in rum for an array of stimulating effects. Drake threw in a little sugar, and his men were streaking back to England with their loot in no time.

Ingredients: 1 lime; 2oz white rum; 6 mint leaves; 2 tsp sugar.

You might recognize this as a precursor to the mojito, but it will keep you plundering all the same. First, slice up a lime and muddle it with mint and sugar. Next, add a healthy amount of rum. Finally, mount a heavily-armed naval expedition to the Caribbean and lead a group of rough types on a foray through the jungles of Cuba on the hunt for chuhuhuasi bark. Alternately, just tip the glass up and call it a day.

Your sailors will thank you if you do.

* * *

Daniel H. Wilson is a Cherokee citizen and author of the New York Times bestselling Robopocalypse and its sequel Robogenesis, as well as seven other books, including How to Survive a Robot Uprising, A Boy and His Bot, and Amped. He earned a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Masters degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. His next novel, The Clockwork Dynasty, will be released on August 1st, 2017. Wilson lives in Portland, Oregon.

On Twitter @danielwilsonPDX
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“The Legend of El Draque” was sourced from:

1 comment:

  1. This cover is amazing! The storyline is interesting and intriguing. Any drink with rum is good for me.