Mechanized Masterpieces II
Ride into the Wild West with ten steampunked expansions of classic American tales from Xchyler Publishing. http://www.xchylerpublishing.com/our-books/mechanized-masterpieces-2/
with Neve Talbot, author of “West End”
Today, I am walking with a close friend. I only met her a few weeks ago, but when I did, I loved her instantly. She is one of those people that “fits” wherever she goes. I do not mean she is a social butterfly; she is really very quiet. What I mean is that walking next to her is like walking next to a cool ocean breeze. See, Beth has the gift of healing. She volunteers in a hospital in Jamaica, sitting with people in their rooms and attending to their needs while they are there. I have seen her in action, and seen the radiant smiles of the patients she attends in the hospital. I would venture so far as to say that Beth has saved some lives, lifting broken spirits from the depths of despair.
She is also a resident patient, and I wish her prognosis was a happy one.
with Scott E. Tarbet, author of “Nautilus Redux”
Today, I walked for miles, treasure hunting. I was rewarded when I reached the house of a Mr. Ned Land, whose riches are in his own life story: for his life intersects with the with the lives of both Captain Nemo and Professor Arronax. I have waited long weeks to talk to Mr. Land, but every journalist wants to talk to him. They want to talk about the Nautilus and Nemo. I thought about that but . . . . No, that would have been too obvious.
I came to see Ned Land, to ask him about Captain Ahab.
Mr. Land does not like reporters, so I was careful to approach him as a friend, not as a cutthroat who would kill for a story. I prepared my questions carefully, but it was a daunting task. Sitting across from me in his own tea room, serving me crackers and cheese, was the closest living connection to the Nautilus. This was one of the men who traveled the world under the seas, in the first known submarine. I could spend weeks just completing a single interview, but for today, I focused on only two of the giant characters in his past.
It happened that Mr. Land saw the last days of a one-legged sea captain that stalked a great white giant. Yes, Ned Land met Captain Ahab himself, years after the sinking of the Pequod, and yes he was still haunted by the monstrous Moby Dick! Not many people know the story of their final days – I mean, the real story, not the one that is so often retold. Mr. Land knows. He met both the man and the monster, just as they locked together in the titanic clash that changed him forever.
Here is the transcript of my interview with him. Continue reading
Walking aboard a spaceship with J. Aurel Guay, author of “The Princess of Jasoom”
Today, I am in a shipyard. Once again, it is the Victorian era, and once again, I am surrounded by brilliant, impossible machinery. However, unlike my walk with the con artists of The Silver Scams, I am pleased to note that I can be a female on this walk. Small favors.
I wander down the boardwalk, merely curious. It looks as if a war was waged here. There are planks of broken timber, shards of wood, and then . . . oh, hang on, there is a young woman there, lying unconscious! Though her clothing is damaged, she is still well-dressed and attractive. I check her pulse, and she is living. She seems to be sleeping peacefully, but she has many cuts and bruises. Normally, I would help, but my tight Victorian gown with its full bustle isn’t going to give me much maneuvering room. I need to find someone to assist.
There, at the end of the dock, I see a ship under construction. At least, I think it’s a ship. It isn’t going anywhere on the ocean, that’s for sure. I stand, gazing at it, looking for a human face somewhere in the automaton construction crew. To my surprise, a ramp lowers down to my feet, inviting me to enter.
with M. K. Wiseman, author of “The Silver Scams”
Steampunk author M. K. Wiseman, creator of the story “The Silver Scams,” arranges a walk for me with two rather shady characters.
I have, upon this occasion, traveled all the way to Holland to speak with a most impressive gentleman who has promised to raise the country above sea level. Dr. Thomas Silvertongue, has extended to me an express invitation to tour his facilities, promising to answer any questions I might pose.
Or, that’s what I want him to think.
It bears mentioning here that I must rely on my limited knowledge of costuming in order to meet this man. Already, I am sure that I am dealing with a con artist, and I want to know for sure. I must appear as someone who would perk his interest, and not in a male-female way. He must believe me to be in a position of political power. I think I can pass for a guy, but not easily. The era of Victorian Steampunk clothing helps — there is more for me to put on, and less chance of discovery. I am hoping that Dr. Silvertongue does not care enough to notice my heavy makeup and thick overcoat. Well, anything for an adventure!
Approaching the site, I already find myself impressed. Though the building is not much to look at from the outside, there is much commotion within. Sheets of metal lie about the floor while the man himself, Dr. Silvertongue, oversees production from a makeshift office. I see he has secured a chair for me. Continue reading