City of the Sun: Book One, The Five Star Republic

The Five Star Republic - Book One
Author: Janeen Webb & Andrew Enstice
Publisher: IFWG
Published: 1 Sept 2021
Cover design by: Greg Chapman
Cover art by: Kerry Spokes

The date is 1854. The place is the Australian goldfields in the British colony of Victoria—the richest prize on earth. The story begins with a stockade. The flag of independence is unfurled. Men driven beyond endurance take arms against British redcoats. At their forefront are two hundred Colt-wielding Americans, the California Rangers, led by the charismatic and idealistic Captain James McGill.

The stockade falls. The Rangers are scattered. But from the ashes will rise a new revolution—a revolution powered by the sun. And this one will not fail.

In the 19th century, just how close did we come to a world run on solar power? The Five Star Republic is history with a twist, the story of a world that might easily have been—the future you’ll wish we’d had.

For more information visit the publisher’s page.

The Five Star Republic Live Virtual Launch (recorded)

Recording of the Virtual Live Launch of Janeen Webb and Andrew Enstice’s novel, The Five Star Republic. Great speakers and guests, and good insights into this alt-history book, the first in the City of Gold trilogy.


“Multigenerational, sweeping across three continents…Inventive and absorbing alternate history.” – Nancy Kress

“Original and enthralling…an alternate history imbued with hope and promise.” – Pamela Sargent

“Harry Turtledove fans are in for a treat…” – Publishers Weekly (US).

“Alternative history doesn’t come any better than this” – Richard Harland

“A visionary novel of a world that might have been…promises to be one of the major SF books of the year” – Lee Harding

“Enthralling…a page turner…it builds a credible picture of how solar might have trumped oil. Scientifically accurate and full of political intrigue, The Five Star Republic is the compelling account of a lost opportunity that might have been” – Rob Gerrand

“The authors have woven historical and fictional characters into the rich and glittering life of Nineteenth Century Melbourne, justifiably known at the time as the Paris of the South. The clothes, weapons, furniture, buildings, social conventions, manners and language have been researched meticulously. Imagine Anthony Trollope setting his Palliser novels in Victoria, and you have the idea…” – Sean McMullen

“The nineteenth century voice is pitch perfect. This alternate history is a triumph!” – Dena Bain Taylor

“An epic work in every possible way! This alternate history takes what we know, remember and imagine and sets us on a path toward the growth of what might have been: The Five Star Republic’s 19th century problems, opportunities, successes and reversals point to what could have been a very different technological future—powered by the sun—and one which could still be within our grasp. Literary historians Janeen Webb and Andrew Enstice have delivered a powerful fable that will resonate with readers all over the globe” – Venero Armanno