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John Hederman

In the eighties the remains of a WWI Zeppelin is found at the bottom of Long Island Sound. The wreak must be salvaged for the new U.S. helium airship project – ‘Firedrake’ – and Major Bob Weston is given the task.

His fascination with airships stems from vivid childhood dreams of a WW! Zeppelin commander, Manfred Burk, whose ships are torched in terrifying raids over London. Bob discovers that Firedrake was made from materials and technology impossible at the time, amd was apparently built by Lockheed, who have no record of it.

Finding that Manfield is real, still alive and sought by the Russians, Bob had his girlfriend, Susan set out to find him. He is the only man who can fly Firedrake.

Towards the end of WWI, Manfield spends his leave in Prussia with the aristocratic family of one of his officers. This family, many of them experts in disciplines then barely known, demand from him a commitment which will affect his destiny and the world’s. Manfred is bound to them by his love for their daughter, Halgred, his ‘Death Maiden’ who, like Bob is present at the last when the Russians are closing in and Firedrake is ready to fly.

John Daniel Hederman was born in Dublin in 1942 and educated at Glenstal Abbey, County Limerick and Trinity College, Dublin. He spent his career in RTÉ (Irish Television) and was a passionate sci-fi aficionado with a significant library. His other great love was music, particularly Wagner.

This unique book was first published in 1982 by Frederick Muller Ltd., London. John wrote other sci-fi novels but did not submit them for publication. He died in 2007 from lung cancer.

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