The final volume in the New York Times–bestselling, award-winning steampunk trilogy by Kevin J. Anderson and legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart
In Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, readers met the optimistic young hero Owen Hardy, as well as the more reluctant adventurer Marinda Peake, in an amazing world of airships and alchemy, fantastic carnivals and lost cities. Now Owen Hardy, retired and content in his quiet, perfect life with the beautiful Francesca, is pulled into one last adventure with his eager grandson Alain. This final mission for the Watchmaker will take them up to the frozen lands of Ultima Thule and the ends of the Earth. Marinda Peake must undertake a mission of her own, not only to compile the true life story of the mysterious Watchmaker, but also to stop a deadly new group of anarchists.
The Clockwork trilogy is based on the story and lyrics from the last album of musical titans Rush, with Anderson and Peart expanding the world, stories, and characters. The two developed the final novel in the trilogy in the last years of Peart’s life, and more than a year after his passing, Anderson returned to that unfinished project, with the full support of Peart’s wife, bringing Owen and Marinda’s stories to a satisfying and stirring conclusion.
About the authors
Neil Ellwood Peart, OC is a Canadian author and retired musician, best known as the drummer and primary lyricist for the rock band Rush. Peart has received numerous awards for his musical performances, including an induction into the Modern Drummer Hall of Fame in 1983, making him the youngest person ever so honoured.
Excerpt: Clockwork Destiny (by (author) Kevin J. Anderson & Neil Peart)
One of the stories in Clockwork Lives is “The Percussor’s Tale,” about a music professor in declining health who creates a steam-driven mechanical drummer with perfect rhythm. At the end of the story, the Percussor performs an incredibly complex symphony for the Watchmaker. This grand symphony was a tour of the wonders of the world, including “the legendary lands of the far north, Ultima Thule — a mirage of tremendous glaciers under dark skies that danced with shifting veils of colored light.”
After writing that passage, Neil remarked that it would be fun to visit the far-flung icy landscape of the great white north under the auroras … and we realized that the Northern Lights must be the source of the quintessence. I suggested that we could take old Owen Hardy out for one last adventure, this time with his bright-eyed young grandson Alain. It quickly became apparent that they must be on a mission for the Watchmaker, who was running down after centuries of his Stability, and he needed Owen and the boy to find him a new source of quintessence.
And if we were going to set the adventure up in the vast frozen wastelands, then another famous Rush reference would have to make an appearance: “By-Tor and the Snow Dog.”
Instantly, the backbone of Clockwork Destiny was formed.
For a couple of years, we dabbled with the idea off and on, and I kept notes of our conversations and other plot possibilities. I would talk with Neil about the story whenever we got together, but I had other book projects and deadlines. Neil embarked on the all-consuming R40 Tour, Rush’s last tour, which required extensive practice and rehearsals, and then months on the road before their final show in Inglewood CA on August 1, 2015.
Previously, Neil and I had taken a three-year break between the publication of Clockwork Angels and Clockwork Lives, and we had no contract for Clockwork Destiny, no deadline. We decided to let it develop organically, since these novels were extremely special to both of us.
There was no hurry. We had all the time in the world.
Until we didn’t.
Not long after he retired, Neil was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a form of terminal brain cancer. From that point, whenever we did meet or talk, we would dabble a little with Clockwork Destiny, but there were other things to occupy our conversations.
The import of this novel, with its underlying theme of death and legacy and paying it forward, did not escape us, and writing it took on an entirely different perspective for me. An impossible task. We both knew that it wouldn’t be finished until after he was gone.
Time is the true anarchist.
“Readers will enjoy the saga’s surprising end as well as its championing of the freedom of choice.” — Booklist
Other titles by Kevin J. Anderson
Other titles by Neil Peart
The Art of Rush: Serving A Life Sentence
Far and Wide
Bring That Horizon to Me!
Far and Near
On Days Like These
Far and Away
A Prize Every Time
Landscape with Drums: A Concert Tour by Motorcycle
Republic of Nothing
Reader's Guide Edition
The Masked Rider
Cycling in West Africa