Tag Archives: Steampunk

Steampunk Sunday: Flash of Copper

Flash of Copper cover

My latest collection of short stories came out just in time for a Steampunk Sunday post! Awesome!

This collection has 4 stories that have previously appeared on this blog and 4 more that have never been seen before.

The stories are:

God of the Waves
Copper Explorations 
Adam the Automaton
The Luckiest Man in the Jungle
Harnessing Lightning
The Mad Professor 
Children of Obsession
Before the End

Of course, all of these are part of the Copper Visions universe, which will be continued in 2014.

Flash of Copper is available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble right now and I’m working on making a print version available in 2014, as well.

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Music Monday: Diamonds (Cover by Steam Powered Giraffe)

Sometimes, you just have to get back to your roots when you need to get back into the swing of things. Life has been crazy and hard recently and it’s taken everything I had to get through the last couple weeks, much less put words on paper. Steam Powered Giraffe was the group that sparked my creative imagination to write Steampunk stories. This week, I decided to catch up on some of the videos I had missed and I’m so glad I did. This one reminded me why I started writing in the first place and where I wanted Copper Visions to go. And, really, why it made so much sense to name my robot David.

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Steampunk Sunday: Chronoscope

According to google translate, this video is “Stop-Motion directed by Mario Daoust, Vincent Laurin Étienne Marcoux and Dominic Remiro in a course of visual design at UQAM.”

According to me, this video is a really neat idea and very well done. I had to watch it a few times to get it and a few more because it was just so cool.

Hope everybody else enjoys it and be sure to send me links to cool Steampunk stuff I can feature here.

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August 4, 2013 · 12:05 am

Flash Fiction Friday: Copper Explorations

They’d been trying to tame the continent since they knew there was something there to harvest. For years, there had been little point in trying to cut through the dense jungle to get to the other shore; once airship technology had gotten them above the trees, they could simply fly across, away from the dangers that were hidden inside. The routes were well established and the cargo wasn’t terribly heavy. The lighter airships could make the trip in 3 days if all the conditions were right. Occasionally, an airship would be attacked by raiders from the desert with their lightning ships, but only if they strayed off course.

It wasn’t until a scout ship had crashed in the jungle that anybody actually considered exploring it. Very few people knew much of anything about what was in there or the people who lived near it. Only one lone professor had made an incursion of any note. He’d returned with strange animals and stranger tales then promptly changed his field of study. The expedition to find the downed airship started at his laboratory and followed the path he’d cut, and had maintained, years ago when he’d gone in searching for answers. Answers to what, he wouldn’t say.

The path was worn and the native guides refused to stray from it when the explorers wanted to try a shorter route to the downed airship. Based on the maps they had, it shouldn’t have been more than a couple days journey to the craft, a week if they were forced to cut their way through the vegetation. The path was safe, the guides told them, the path would take them there eventually, if they were patient.

Unused to being denied by the less civilized people they encountered, the explorers began to make plans to set out on their own once they got the chance. The first explorer went missing shortly after the lunch break, announcing he was going to step off the path for a quick moment. When he didn’t return, one of his compatriots offered to go look for him. As the explorers slipped off one by one, the guides offered to take all of the rest of them to search for the lost expedition members.

They were found, not very far off the path, staring in awe at a grimacing face that had been carved into a brick wall and overgrown with tree roots, vines and moss. The wall extended as far as the eye could see and the face was the height of three men.

“This is a very bad place,” the guides told the explorers. “We must go from here quickly.”

“What do you mean?” The lead explorer asked. “You knew this place was here and you were taking us away from it deliberately?”

“We are taking you to your ship that crashed. This place is not for you. We must leave.”

“Now, wait just a moment! Yes, we need to find the ship but this is a momentous discovery! We must take the time to explore it, document what we find and take back samples with us.”

“No, no, you leave everything here. They do not like people here.”

“Who don’t like people here? Some kind of spirit?” The explorers laughed and the guides became increasingly nervous.

“Yes, spirits, very angry spirits. That’s why they carve faces like this into their walls, to scare people away.”

The lead explorer chuckled. “You primitive people are so superstitious. Obviously this wall is a relic from a long ago age, probably from your ancestors, who knew things you couldn’t even possibly hope to understand with such primitive ways of thinking. We must explore for the sake of science.”

As he was talking, a mist began to flow around the men, making the guides nervous. Once the mist reached waist height, the guides dropped to their knees and began babbling prayers in a language they didn’t understand. Tiny bolts of lightning leapt from the mist and shocked all the men who were still standing, who promptly fell to the ground in spasms. Small shapes solidified in the mist and began dragging the men off, leaving the guides alone.

When the men woke, they were in a large stone temple, decorated in more grimacing masks and polished until the stone looked like bone. Lining the walls were tiny creatures that were more mist than solid and they flashed with the occasional tiny bolt of lightning. Other animals entered the temple, some looking more human than the explorers had thought possible, and all of them speaking in a language that shouldn’t have been able to come out of their grotesquely formed mouths. Finally, the most human looking figure walked in; he was nearly twelve feet tall with six arms, horns and tusks and white fur covering his entire body, which was only barely covered by a loincloth made of red silk and cloth of gold.

“Humans,” he rumbled, in deeply accented tones. “You were found trespassing. We have a long-standing agreement with your people that our lands are to be left alone. What do you plea?”

The leader of the explorers looked around him and at his people. “It’s my fault, I am their leader, but we didn’t know! How could we know?”

“Some among you knew and you chose to ignore their warnings. I appreciate you taking responsibility for your men. For that, you will be allowed to choose one to return and tell your loved ones about your demise.

The leader looked at his men, not wanting to be the one to make this decision, and finally chose the youngest of them to go home.

“He will witness and return to tell his story, and he may take what knowledge he gains from his time here. You must be brave, gentlemen, for the sacrifice you are about to make is for science.”

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Steampunk Sunday: Playing Cards

These are new from Bicycle and I totally want a set.
BrassPunk_1

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Flash Fiction Friday Redux: Adam the Automaton

Just a quick reminder that I’m running a best of series on my Flash Fiction while I finish up a really large project. Today is the story that started me on the road to Copper Visions. 

The door to the dressing room opened slowly. The woman standing in the doorway was reflected perfectly by the mirror over the dressing table.

“Hello, Adam,” she said quietly to the robot packing up the detritus on the dressing table.

“Hello, Evie,” he replied, not turning around. “I see you got the tickets. Did you enjoy the show?”

“I did, thank you,” she shifted her folded parasol to her other hand and shifted nervously on her feet. “I recognized some of the songs we used to sing together.”

And your fiancé? What did he think?”

He’s fascinated by you.” She didn’t smile when she said this. “He’s always been interested in my father’s work but didn’t realize you were so well developed. I think he wants to learn more about you.”

I’m publishing an autobiography this summer,” Adam snapped one of the many small cases closed and began packing the next one. “I’ll even sign it for him if he wants.”

I’m not certain that will satisfy him.”

He’ll have to get in line with the rest of the scientists who want to take me apart and see how I work. Even your father didn’t really understand, in the end. No matter how many times he tried to duplicate what happened with me.”

He got the animals working, at least.”

Adam turned to her, the last jar of paint in his hand. “The animals were lovely to behold, all copper, brass and steel, but there was something that wasn’t quite right and he knew it. They moved and roared but they didn’t act like animals,” he turned back to his work. “Or maybe they did. Elephants are known to go on rampages when they’re separated from other elephants, maybe he finally got it right with the brass elephant but it was lonely.”

You think my father’s creations felt something?” Evie shook her head. “They were just robots, Adam, nothing more. My father died in a lab accident, he was not killed by a marauding elephant, brass or otherwise.”

He loved that elephant, your father did,” Adam told her. “He had a theory about why nothing worked as well as I did. When you left, he became obsessed by it.”

Yes, he wrote me about his theory. I forgave him long ago for pouring all of his love into his automatons but don’t drag me into his delusions. You are a well-made machine, Adam, made by a brilliant man but you did not work because I loved you. You were a favorite toy for me, nothing more.”

I’m glad you enjoyed the show, Evie.” Adam turned to her and his mobile metal lips turned up into a smile. “I imagine your fiancé is looking for you. You may tell him I’ll be happy to send him a copy of the autobiography when it’s printed.”

She took the dismissal for what it was and left. The yellow and brown stripes of her dress reminded him of a honeybee in flight, the parasol swinging behind her acting as a stinger. He wondered why he regretted watching her go, wondering again if the professor had programmed him with emotions or just a set of standard responses to stimuli.

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