Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Online Steampunk Fiction, webnovels and Steampunk Tales

Continuing the aim to bring new and interesting, but little known, areas of steampunk fiction and art into the light, two 'new-to-me' tales emerged through the cloud as I flittered through the aethernet this morning.

The first is The Tales of the Inventor's War, the story of individuals involved in a world changing war, triggered by the sciences discovered decades earlier. Written by aspiring novellist Thomas Austin of San Jose, California, the webnovel is a part of his work on "creating maps and languages for use in the stories". Currently on Chapter Five, the story is

A techno-fantasy following the lives and adventures of individuals caught up in the events of a world changing war. A hundred years ago, a similar war, one that introduced new technologies and sciences, nearly tore the world apart. Now, secrets and superstitions threaten to start the war all over again. The story is currently focusing on one engineer’s apprentice, a young man named Samo, as he tries to solve his master’s murder and keep from losing his mind.
and can be followed at wordpress.com. The novel starts here .

The second is also a webnovel, Gloria Fidelis: Sic Transit Vera Mundi, a steampunk fantasy set in an alternate Earth. Written by JoyChaser, and currently on Chapter 29,


It is an age of steam and sorcery; magical study is faltering in the face of a limited supply of arcanum, a rare mineral that makes magic possible, and steam technology is on the rise. The world is faced with environmental problems posed by the Ink, a quasi-sentient, and very evil, byproduct of arcanum consumption. When Milagros Disraeli, a corrupt politician, tries to use the Ink to resurrect a long-dead entity, Charlemagne d'Etiene, the daughter of a rival politician, is dragged into Disraeli's plot. Can Charlemagne and her allies stop Disraeli before it's too late? Only time will tell.
Hosted on lunaticpress.com, the novel should be accessible here . However, despite it's entriguing premise, attempts to access the site have proven less than fruitful. Those interested may find more details here , although it may be that this story has run out of steam...

And, hot off the press, in a new move, demonstrating the vitality of Steampunk in the mainstream, Steampunk Publishing LLC has released on 8 June Steampunk Tales,


the world's first electronic pulp fiction magazine created exclusively for iPhone and iPod Touch! Emulating the style of the pulp adventure magazines of the 1920s and '30s, Steampunk Tales contains first-run, original fiction written by an A+ list of award-winning authors. Issue #1 contains 10 stories, each running between 4,300 to 11,000 words. Authors contributing to issue #1 include Jay Lake, Catherynne M. Valente, SatyrPhil Brucato and G.D. Falksen. The cover art (pictured above) was painted by popular artist Melita "missmonster" Curphy.
Advertised as the Penny Dreadful for your phone, the stories even come in "unique retro-futuristic Victorian styling never before seen in an eBook reader". As yet, I have no experience of this interesting development, nor, incidentally, of the iPhone, but prices and access is available via the website.