In a world lit only by fire
Long train of flares under piercing stars.
I stand watching the steamliners roll by.
That’s the first stanza of “Caravan,” the opening track of Clockwork Angels, the new album from rock supergroup Rush – introducing listeners to the steampunk land of Albion. The concept album tells a fantasy adventure of a young man’s journey across a landscape filled with mechanical contraptions, alchemical coldfire, steamliners, lost cities, a strange carnival, pirates, a rigid Watchmaker and a “freedom extremist” who called himself the Anarchist.
In a groundbreaking crossover project, I wrote the novel of Clockwork Angels in close collaboration with Neil Peart, the lyricist and drummer for Rush. The twelve songs give snapshots of the story, like scenes in a movie trailer; but music is different from prose, and there was so much more to tell, and the characters and settings needed room to grow.