Like waking up to the best job ever, every day

This book series is so near and dear to me for fulfilling a desire I’ve always had. I’ve wanted to connect to Korean culture specifically for a long time, but never devoted a lot of time to it on my own. When the idea for Bastion Academy (a eastern cultivation style story) came to mind, I reviewed the genre to find that there weren’t many stories from a Korean culture. Most come from Chinese lore, some Japanese, but hardly any Korean! So, it was my chance to make researching Korean heritage my job.

That’s one of the greatest benefits of being an author. I get to look up interesting things I’ve always wanted to know, though that knowledge may not directly improve my life. Too often we find ourselves stuck in this rut of only looking up what we need to to survive.

<tangent> Hopping on my soapbox for a moment to say, take a moment to research something that interests you. We get caught up only taking care of work matter and unplugging the rest of the time. Plug in to what life has to offer! </tangent>

Bastion Inspiration

So, as mentioned in the Steampunk Inspiration post, Silkpunk is a thing I became aware of through my research and O. M. G. It’s so cool, unique, and beautiful. I highly recommend checking out Silkpunk on Pinterest, or Google, or Instagram, wherever you image search.

Silkpunk inspired the world I’ve built for Bastion Academy. “Magic” aka “Munje” runs everything in the world, so being a munje mute is a death sentence. The five magics are; Zo, of the body; Li, of the earth; En, of the elements; Ma, of Machina; and Ry, of communication. Each school of magic creates wildly varying spells, and they can be combined—by expert level users—to create even more unique and powerful spells.

More about the story

Jiyong is an intuitive ma user, and excels ate operating his battle bot, Tuko. Through bot battles—some less legal than others—Jiyong secures all the funds needed to provide for his family and attend Bastion Academy, the school of his dreams. It doesn’t take long for him to realize the best school in the kingdom is competitive in ways he couldn’t predict.

Book two, Malware, dives even deeper into the magic aspect, and what it is (spoiler alert, it’s Nanotechnology!). Book three, Subterfuge, is still in progress, but brings Jiyong and his friends face to face with the primary antagonist of the series—a powerful man named Dokun from the kingdom across the sea, Kokyu (historically Japan).

There’s fun twists and turns, robots, dirigibles (yes… I do love that word), romance, magic, slice of life school goodness, and evil plots! I’ve been having a blast writing this series, which is projected for five books total. There might be a sneaky, secret sixth book hiding in the shadows—a plot line I would love to explore but not certain there’s time for it—so we’ll see.

A “Funko” style art of Jiyong, the main character!

Anyway, Happy Birthday to Malware!

Get Foundations, the first book in the series, here:

Malware here:

And if you devour those and want some more, you can check out my Patreon for early chapters of Subterfuge here:

What do you think about Silkpunk? Is it for you?

~J.D. Astra