COPPERHEART takes place in the ubiquitous "not too distant future," and while the Heart of Bronze universe is perpetually a Steampunk fantasy where history and reality are incredibly distorted, this particular story takes place outside of that realm ...looking in.
It is a companion piece to the other riggstories projects, The Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast, and the Heart of Bronze novels Clockwork Looking Glass and Clockwork Pandora, but unlike those works, COPPERHEART will almost, but not quite, serve as a Deadpoolian fourth wall break into my Steampunk world.
Simple Nerdspeak Translation: Yes, it's canon.
What is it about?
COPPERHEART is the story of a group of survivalists, scientists, and soldiers, left to maintain a top secret government facility in Nevada several years following a global nuclear mishap. Nuclear Winter is about to give way to Radiation Summer, and earth's surface is virtually unlivable. Satellite communication is impossible, and only HAM and short-wave radios connect the Groom Lake facility with NORAD and other posts of survivors across the Americas.
If you heard "Groom Lake" and thought "Area 51," yes, you're my kind of nerd. COPPERHEART takes place in the legendary site of alien cover-ups and mysterious government military tests. In our reality, however, the only thing strange at Groom Lake is an enormous mirror-like cube (Yes! Like the gateway in Clockwork Looking Glass, and the cube at the end of SRAP Season 1). The scientists and soldiers who inherited the facility simply watch it to see what it does. And, as far as anyone knows, it's never done anything. The true day-to-day work of those on site is simply to rebuild, learn from past mistakes, and find ways to make our planet's surface livable again.
One day, while a bored technician sits monitoring the cube, an alarm sounds. A ripple forms in one surface of the thing, and a mechanical brass arm with four fingers reaches through. As the awestruck technician watches, the robotic creature emerges. It introduces itself with three letters and four numbers, and identifies itself as a "Copperheart."
(Yes, exactly like the automatons in the Heart of Bronze projects!)
Not familiar with modern podcast audio dramas?
I started playing around with the idea for COPPERHEART shortly after starting The Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast in 2014. My goal has always been to span every media I can with interconnected Heart of Bronze stories! We have novels, we have a podcast, and now we'll have a serious audio drama. Future projects may even include an animated YouTube series, and as far as "transmedia" is concerned... There's a Copperheart named RBY2187 with a Twitter account (@Robbie_RBY2187). Say Hi.
So, what's an audio drama? Unlike The Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast, which is an actual-play comedy adventure based around a role-playing game, true audio dramas blend voice acting, sound effects, music, narration, and the same kind of dramatic (or, in some cases, comedic, horrific, mysterious, or fantastic) experience you'd find in a movie!
If you've been listening to The Steam Rollers Adventure Podcast, you've already heard mini examples of audio dramas in the Lorepisodes "Roose" (Episode 49), "The O'Reilly Incident" (Episode 62), and "The Monroe Doctrine" (Episode 100).
If you want REALLY COOL/AWESOME/SPECTACULAR/NAIL-BITING examples of true audio drama podcasts, check out the links below. These are some of my favorites, and even if you don't audition for COPPERHEART, I strongly suggest you binge your way through these!
So when is COPPERHEART going to happen? When will it be recorded, released, etc.?
We are currently in the CASTING phase of the production, and I will be writing shortly. You can stay up-to-date with COPPERHEART by checking in with this page periodically, or following us on Twitter: @CopperheartPod
You can also write to Michael Rigg directly through CopperheartAudioDrama@gmail.com