In a world where the Roman Empire never fell, a legion under the command of Praetor Gaius Marcellinus invades North America in the 12th Century. But Marcellinus and his troops have woefully underestimated the fighting prowess of the Native American inhabitants of Nova Hesperia, who have developed their own flying technology known as Thunderbirds. When Gaius is caught behind enemy lines and spared, he must reevaluate his allegiences and find a new place in this strange land. Alan Smale grew up in Yorkshire, England, but now lives in the Washington D.C. area. By day he works at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center as a professional astronomer, studying black holes, neutron stars and other bizarre celestial objects. He has sold numerous short stories to magazines including Asimov's and Realms of Fantasy, and won the 2010 Sidewise Award for Alternate History.