Hi, I’m Ankaret Wells. Well, actually, I’m not, but this is the pseudonym I’m self-publishing my books under. I like cats, I’m happily married to a unicycling Perl programmer, and it’s really hard to take a photo of me in which I’m not making a tense ‘PLEASE STOP PHOTOGRAPHING ME’ face.


Though it does happen sometimes.

Looking for a reading order for the books? It’s here.

Heavy Ice


Heavy Ice is a first contact novel about the wider universe finding Requite and the mutual incomprehension, wheeling and dealing over mineral rights, explosions, revolutions, religious upheavals, exploration of dead Spires, romance, duelling, intrigue and getting drunk that happens next. It features a heroine who doesn’t like people telling her she’s stupid, a hero on the run for reasons of his own and a xenoraptor who is basically a smart, semi-aquatic tyrannosaur.

Heavy Ice is set two hundred years or so after the first two Requite novels, and makes the occasional reference to them but can be read as a stand-alone.

Heavy Ice in .epub from Lulu
Heavy Ice in paperback from Lulu
Heavy Ice in .mobi from Amazon.co.uk
Heavy Ice in paperback from Amazon.co.uk (not yet live)
Heavy Ice in .mobi from Amazon.com
Heavy Ice in paperback from Amazon.com (not yet live)



Firebrand is a steampunk romance comedy of manners inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s Angria novelettes, which includes war by means of teapot, kidnapping by means of airship, and the invention of the bustle. It made the 2012 Tiptree Award Honor List, and this is what the jury said about it:

‘Set in the steampunk era, this fun read shows women dealing with the restrictions of society on their way to gaining political and economic power and considers how definitions of “proper” behavior worked across cultural, class, and species’ boundaries.’

This picture is a fair summary of my reaction to the news.

Firebrand .epub from Lulu
Firebrand in .mobi Kindle format from Amazon.co.uk
Firebrand in .mobi Kindle format from Amazon.com
Firebrand paperback from Lulu
Firebrand paperback from amazon.co.uk
Firebrand paperback from amazon.com

Also available at the Book Depository, the Apple iBookstore and many other good booksellers.

The Requite Duology


These aren’t so much my first books as the first books I was willing to let loose on the world after the digital publishing revolution made that possible. They’re lost-colony SF adventure novels featuring courtesans, programmers, revolutionaries, genderqueer bodyguards, technological tinkerers, swordfights, explosions, arguments, assassins and eels.

Quotes from reviews:

‘…a fabulous heroine, geeky, anxious, focused on her job (engineering) and not at all comfortable with swashbuckling adventures, but someone has to do something, so she does. Her intelligence and humour is mirrored in the narrative voice, which is full of a dry wit that makes me want to categorise the book as a SF novel of manners, only a lot more happens than in your typical novel of manners. So, if you’re looking for a SF adventure novel of manners or a vividly realised science-fictional secondary world, Requite is heartily recommended.Review by The Antichris

Vivid setting, involving remnants of an older technology some characters can use but few people understand; fascinating well-drawn characters including female characters who demonstrate agency rather than being decorative objects or prizes; moral ambiguity; complexities of gender and sexuality; political intrigue; tense family dynamics; secret orders influencing events; swashbuckling; witty exchanges; plus vigorous onward narrative drive and cliffhanging suspense and general unputdownability.Lesley A. Hall, Recent Reading Recommendations

‘Stylistically in the fine tradition of pulp fantasy, but much thought has clearly gone into the cultural and environmental setting. The world is novel and fascinating from early on, with its differences from our own slowly revealed as they become relevant to the story.’ GoodReads review by Lera

If you like your SF full of adventure and social drama – think Georgette Heyer meets Louis McMaster Bujold with a hefty dose of wit and slightly reminiscent of the early Dune books – then this is the book for you. – Amazon review by Helen

The characters and society […] are all sharply drawn in their fascinating, infuriating, attractive and annoying ways. I’m fascinated by the world of the Spires, and looking forward to the second book. – Lulu review by Virginia

The plot twists and turns with plenty of action and excitement, but for me the real joy was in the characters. Wells’ heroine, Tzenni Boccamera, is an engaging and loveable geek; a brilliant engineer, happier working with machines than dealing with people, but loyal and determined enough to face the many challenges she encounters bravely, ably assisted by her bodyguard, the cynical, witty and hard-as-nails Innes Liang. – Amazon review by Sadie


The Maker’s Mask .epub from Lulu
The Maker’s Mask in .mobi Kindle format from amazon.co.uk
The Maker’s Mask in .mobi Kindle format from amazon.com
The Maker’s Mask in paperback from Lulu
The Maker’s Mask in paperback from Amazon.co.uk
The Maker’s Mask in paperback from amazon.com

The Hawkwood War in .epub from Lulu
The Hawkwood War in .mobi Kindle format from amazon.co.uk
The Hawkwood War in .mobi Kindle format from amazon.com
The Hawkwood War in paperback from Lulu
The Hawkwood War in paperback from amazon.co.uk
The Hawkwood War in paperback from Amazon.com

I’m on Twitter at @ankaretwells and Google + as Ankaret Wells. I’m not writing under a nom de plume because of any big secret: it’s just that both my given name and my surname get mispronounced a lot and don’t use the most common spelling, and also I don’t want to embarrass elderly relatives with my weird books.

Welcome to Requite and to the Empire! I hope to see you there.

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