Posts Tagged ‘Steampunk’

Please welcome author Robert Dahlen and his character, Alice Peavley, from the Steampunk fantasy series, Peavley Manor.

As I stood in front of Queen Titania’s palace, fidgeting with my sleeveless, high-collared, ruffled scarlet gown, I was already regretting the tight yet stylish black heels I’d chosen to wear. I’ve never been a fan of fancy dress balls. It seems like a great deal of effort to make oneself as elegant as possible to spend an evening with people who, under normal circumstances, would lie to you when asked for the time of day. When I had mentioned this to Macalley as he drove me to the palace he had, again, reminded me that I was there to present my town of Darbyfield in a positive light. Therefore, mocking or avoiding the other attendees was frowned upon; no matter how menacing, snobbish, or rich they were, they would all be star-struck by me, Alice Peavley. They would hear the tales of my misadventures, laugh in the proper places, and look into conducting business deals down the road. Thus, I was obligated to mingle. I squared up my shoulders and walked towards the entrance, sliding the invitation from my purse, hoping that at some point I could find a quiet corner to sit in and remove these blasted shoes for a bit, or at least several glasses of wine to take my mind off my soon to be aching feet.

Character Questions

Who is your closest friend? I could never limit this to just one! There’s Priscilla, my old college chum. There’s Vyne, who makes those delicious preserves and has me over for a weekly chat. Clarinda, the town librarian, has become quite dear to me. And though Macalley is in my employ, he has been a true source of guidance and support for me.

Are there intelligent races other than yours, and do they get along? There are quite a few non-human peoples in the lands around the Crescent Sea. They mostly get along. Mostly. Dwarves and gnomes do have their old grudges, though they almost never erupt into tavern brawls. Elves, or at least those in the upper classes, look down on everyone who isn’t an elf. Pixies deride all non-pixies, goblins get mocked by everyone else, trolls get furious at anyone who does them wrong, and no one’s quite sure what to make of sprites.

Author Questions

Fantasy has many genres. How did you choose yours? It actually chose me, for the Peavley Manor series. The inspiration struck when I had the idea of combining Wodehouse-style comedy of manners with steampunk; when I came up with the main characters, Alice and Macalley, I realized that fantasy also needed to be
part of the mix.

Why do you write? I love crafting stories and sharing them with the world.

Peavley Manor

Alice Peavley was a sales clerk in a book shop, until her rich uncle left her his estate in his will. She moves to the manor, meets her new tenants and neighbors, and adjusts to life in the eccentric town of Darbyfield with the help of her valet, a sardonic gnome named Macalley. Alice gets mixed up in misadventures involving a concert gone askew, a chaotic baking competition, and a mischievous squatter, but there is a more sinister plot afoot to steal her land and her fortune. Can Alice get to the bottom of the conspiracy and save Peavley Manor? Find out in this comedy of manners, mayhem and magic!

Purchase from Amazon or Books2Read.

The Author

Robert Dahlen hails from Northern California. He is an author who specializes in tales with a dollop of fantasy, a splash of steampunk, a swirl of humor, and a sprinkle of heart, resulting in delightful concoctions. His most recent creation is the Peavley Manor series, featuring heiress Alice Peavley, her gnome valet Macalley, and their friends, foes, and misadventures. There are two books available — the novel Peavley Manor and Tales Of Peavley Manor, a collection of four novelettes — and more are (slowly) in the works. His other stories include Copper Cove, featuring crafter Tabitha Miles, and the airship pirate novella Skyblade’s Gambit. You can sample his writing at peavleymanor.com and follow him on Twitter at @monkeyqueenbks.

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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Sanan Kolva is getting in on the fun with her character Alistar, from her Steampunk fantasy series, The Silverline Chronicles.

Envoy to Queen Titania’s court was not usually an assignment for an engineer. However, given recent events in the capital, Alistar knew why Prince Cero chose him for the task. The prince had to send someone he could trust, and at the moment, his options were limited — especially someone with the proper noble bloodline. All of which led to the elven prince sending a human engineer to the court of the fairy queen. He wore his finest court suit, styled after a traditional naval dress uniform — an acknowledgement of his family lineage. Prince Cero’s insignia, a blooming flower wreathed in fire, was pinned to his chest in place of other medals he might bear. Despite the oddness of the situation, or perhaps because of it, Alistar smiled as he entered the ball, ready to greet the queen, her court, and his fellow guests.

Character Questions

If you could have any career, what would you choose? My career of choice is the one I am currently in: a magical power engineer. Following this path went firmly against the wishes of my family, especially my mother, who wished to see me become a sea captain and follow the family tradition as a privateer.

In your homeland, is magic feared or respected? Magic is respected, as any powerful force should be. Some people do fear the work that Prince Cero and Silverline Power Cooperative do, just as they fear the advances in technology that inevitably develop when magic is accessible to everyone, not just a select, elite few. However, the majority embrace the changes and the improvements to their quality of life.

Author Questions

Where is your favorite place for writing? At home, in my study. I have my reference materials and my cats close at hand, and find it easy to get into the zone for writing there.

Do you have a regular critique group, and how do you connect with them? I have a critique group that meets twice a month. Prior to 2020, we met in person at a local restaurant. During the pandemic, we’ve been meeting electronically via Discord and emailing our comments after the discussions.


Privateer turned engineer Alistar left his family’s fleets to serve as an engineer for Silverline Power in the capital city of Lewarden, working with the magical network that feeds the city’s industry and growth. As both a human and an outsider, he successfully avoids being drawn into the tangled chaos of elven-dominated court politics. However, when theft and sabotage in the depths of winter threaten to destroy Silverline and the web of magic that powers the city, risking not only his chosen work but also the lives of thousands, Alistar’s neutrality earns him the politically delicate investigation into the source of the problem. His only ally is the elven thief Onyxflame, imprisoned for his own crimes against Silverline and conscripted with the promise of a pardon. They must form an uneasy partnership and navigate treacherous political waters to resolve the situation before unrest, rivalry, and distrust plunges the city into civil war.

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About Sanan Kolva

Sanan Kolva is a technical editor by day, and writer of epic and steampunk fantasy the rest of the time. She is the author of The Chosen of the Spears series and The Silverline Chronicles. Her short fiction appears in a number of anthologies. When not writing, she enjoys baking and decorating cakes, as well as appeasing her feline overlords. She can be found at https://sanankolva.com.

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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David Lee Summers presents his novel, Owl Dance. This Weird Western Steampunk novel is first in his Clockwork Legion series.

As the dance ended, a small owl swooped into the room and landed on the back of Queen Titania’s throne. A moment later, a woman wearing a black skirt and vest with a white shirt entered the ballroom and looked around. “Where have you led me now,” she said. “We were just taking a walk by the Rio Grande.” Her eyes widened as she took in all those in attendance. The woman looked one of the fae up and down, then another. The queen stood and cleared her throat. Behind her, the little owl danced from one foot to the other and chirped. Seeing the Queen in her royal regalia, the woman straightened, then curtsied. “You’re highness, I’m sorry to intrude. My name is Fatemeh Karimi.” She indicated the owl. “It seems my friend led me here… wherever here is.”

Character Questions

Are you an insider or an outsider in your homeland? I’m originally from a country called Persia and I left because a dear friend who practiced my same religion had been executed by an angry mob. I now live in the southwest of a country called America, but even here, I feel like an outsider. I’m a healer, but there are those who call me a witch because I’m from a far off land and because I like owls.

Who is your closest friend? My closest friend now is a man named Ramon Morales. Until recently, he was sheriff of a small town called Socorro in New Mexico Territory, but he left his job after an angry mob tried to kill me, believing I was a witch. He believes in justice, a value I share. He also has a sense of wonder and enjoys meeting new people and seeing new places, which I adore. However, when he saved me, he made some powerful enemies. I fear they may be looking for him even now.

Author Questions

Fantasy has many genres. How did you choose yours? I grew up watching The Wild Wild West on television and loving it’s blend of the mythic wild west and strange inventions and magic. As an adult, my friend David B. Riley introduced me to weird westerns through his magazine, Trails: Intriguing Stories of the Wild West. He asked me to submit a story and I thought this was a wonderful opportunity to create something as magical for me as The Wild Wild West had been.

Is there somewhere you go to search for inspiration? Much of he Clockwork Legion series takes its inspiration from where I work and live in Southern New Mexico and Arizona and those people I see on a daily basis. My first inspiration for the series came from walking around my neighborhood. Pat Garrett, the man who shot Billy the Kid, is buried in a cemetery in my neighborhood as are other notable people from the wild west. When I started the series, burrowing owls lived near the cemetery and I realized they were very social creatures, but I also knew local lore associated them with witchcraft. It was easy to start putting pieces together. I live in Billy the Kid country. I regularly drive through land where Geronimo and Wyatt Earp rode. Inspiration for wild west fantasy is all around me.

Owl Dance

The year is 1876. Sheriff Ramon Morales of Socorro, New Mexico, meets a beguiling woman named Fatemeh Karimi, who is looking to make a new start after escaping the oppression of her homeland. When an ancient life form called Legion comes to Earth, they are pulled into a series of events that will change the history of the world as we know it. In their journeys, Ramon and Fatemeh encounter mad inventors, dangerous outlaws and pirates. Their resources are Ramon’s fast draw and Fatemeh’s uncanny ability to communicate with owls. The question is, will that be enough to save them when airships from Czarist Russia invade the United States?

To Purchase

About the Author

David Lee Summers lives in Southern New Mexico at the cusp of the western and final frontiers. He’s written novels about space pirates, vampire mercenaries, mad scientists in the old west, and astronomer ghosts. He’s edited thrilling anthologies of space adventure that imagine what worlds discovered by NASA’s Kepler mission might be like. When he’s not writing or editing, David explores the universe for real at Kitt Peak National Observatory. To learn more about David or his books visit his website at http://www.davidleesummers.com

Have you read one of my books? Then it would be great for you to leave a review! Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about me and my work, check out my websiteFacebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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This anthology caught my eye with its juxtaposition of modern (Steampunk) with ancient (folk tales). Traditional stories have a way of drawing new authors and artists to re-create and re-examine, so it’s no surprise an editor would give them a Steampunk twist. The combination could have been almost too cute, but these stories worked for me.

Of particular interest is David Lee Summers’ “The Steam-Powered Dragon,” which adapts one of the less known Grim Brothers stories, “The Devil and His Grandmother.” Summers brings the deserting soldiers to life with gently pointed humor, and succeeds in convincing us that even a steam-powered monstrosity can still love its Grandma.

I also enjoyed “From the Horse’s Mouth,” by Bernie Mojzes, which is based on “The Goose Girl,” and “The Clockwork Nightingale” by Jean-Marie Ward, inspired by Andersen’s “The Nightingale.”

If you like a good fairy tale and a swashbuckling Steampunk good time, you’ll enjoy Gaslight & Grimm.

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