Beyond the Cogs

Beyond the Cogs

Finished: 12/13/2021

Full disclosure: I was provided a complimentary copy by one of the authors. All opinions are my own.

This collection features three novellas, so I’ll be discussing them individually.

The Soulless Ones by C. Vonzale Lewis

I had the opportunity to be a beta reader for this incredible adventure, and I was absolutely in awe of the changes Lewis was able to incorporate from the rougher draft I read before. She has an incredible knack for creating unique characters and spectacular worlds, and I absolutely love her creativity in this story. It has an Old West feel with a distinct steampunk style and deals with monsters reminiscent of vampires. Her unique style really shines in this story. It’s an absolutely fun read and I truly hope we’ll get more stories about Parasol because I could read a whole collection about her adventures!

The Rogue of Vangard by Nicholas J. Evans

This tale was more abstract and more visually focused so it took a bit for me to warm up to the story and characters. Once we get into a steampunk taxi ride with a law-straddling driver, a stuffy top politician, and our thieving protagonist, the entire story shifts with growing tension. We learn how corrupt the city is that our protagonist is stealing from, we learn how brainwashed the politician is, and how controlled the magic is in this world. The ending is the topping on the cake so I can’t spoil it here, however I was sad to see this unique world end. I grew to love so many characters in such a short few pages. I would love to read more in this world!

Gossamer and Thorns by Elle Beaumont

Now this story was reminiscent of the Vincent Price classics such as Fall of the House of Usher. Wealthy young Kris has fallen in love with Emilie who has a chronic disease. He lives in an abusive home with his father who is obsessed with transferring human souls into automatons. Kris’ father is an even more unbalanced Victor Frankenstein. Admittedly, I don’t usually read romance stories so since Kris and Emilie’s relationship filled the majority of the story, that was a struggle for me. Readers who love a budding romance will probably adore this story. It had some wonderful twists that I didn’t see coming and I was pleasantly surprised by the ending.

Overall this is a strong anthology with only a few authors but with a wide variety of steampunk. As a fan of steampunk (and a dabbler in it myself), I had an absolute blast reading these. Definitely recommended for readers looking to dive into another world for a while. And I’ve found new authors to obsess over.

My rating: 5/5 stars

Hanging from the Rafters

Just posted a new steampunk story over at Wattpad, “Remember to Breathe”. It’s a new take on Spring-Heeled Jack, complete with piston boots and an unerring nose for trouble.  Here’s a short bit to give you a taste of what’s ahead.

The first step would be to test out his little toys. He lifted a leg cautiously, then landed it directly onto the heel to activate the trigger. Up, up he flew into the rafters, with just a single step. The laughter was bubbling out of him now, even as he started plummeting down to the floor again.  This time he was prepared. A second step, more firm than the first, and he had to catch himself on the ceiling to prevent from going straight through. His arms weren’t quite fast enough though as he bumped his head, cutting off his joy rather quickly as the world went out of focus.

“Damn…” he croaked, hanging still from the rafters like a chimpanzee.  “Jonathan! It looks like I need some help here.”

“Christ, Jack! You didn’t go ahead and test it already did you?”

“Quite possibly.”

I kind of imagine Jack and Jonathan’s interaction as being a flavor of Holmes and Watson to be honest with you, but Jack is just not as kind. He has a sizable cruel streak, though he probably wouldn’t necessarily see himself as malicious.

You can read the rest over here, and depending on the responses I get back for it, I may be adding to it.

First Draft of a Steampunk Piece

Thanks to my friends over at the Of the Pistol LJ community, I finally got the gumption to finish up a steampunk short story that has been gathering dust on my hard drive for a little while. Nothing special, but the dialogue makes me laugh, and the world is pretty interesting. It’s a steampunk imagining (re-imagining perhaps?) of Spring-Heeled Jack. I think I’ll be putting it aside for a bit and then come back to it to read over it again and edit it some.

By the way, in the process of doing research on this story, I came across this — isn’t it cool? Way too expensive for my measly pocketbook, but still it’s gorgeous!

Summary: Jack is trying out his new springed heels, and ends up getting caught in an awkward predicament. In the process of trying to get free he and his friend Jonathan discuss Jack’s plans and why he wants people he encounters to see the world with different eyes.

Project: Spring-Heeled Jack Steampunk
Pending titles: Baby Steps, Learning How to Breathe Again, or The Buzz of Living
New words written: 1,813

Total Words for 2012: 7,918
Considering I’ve been writing for a month, it’s pretty sad that this is all the progress I’ve gotten done. 😛

Steampunk Fashion & Lupin’s Off to Battle

This page… is made of so much win! <3

A whole smorgasbord of awesome DIY Steampunk styles from create your own goggles, to duct tape corsets. Something tells me this is gonna be a useful resource as Dragon*Con gets closer and closer…

My favorites are the two Goggles tutorials, the steampunk bobby pin ideas, and the clockwork rings.

By the way, if you haven't seen it yet, MTV is doing a "competition" between Harry Potter characters. Right now Remus has already beaten out Argus Filtch, Hedwig, and *Dumbledore*. I know, I was amazed too.

Right now though he's against Hermoine. And although you'd think that be a far easier match for him, she's actually in the lead at the moment. Come now, we can't have that! Sure, she's a bright witch, but beating out a professor? I can't really see it. Especially since he's a werewolf that is keen at using light magic as well!

VOTE FOR REMUS! You know you want to. 😉
MTV Harry Potter World Cup