Blamed for burning down the San Francisco wharf, clockwork inventor, Sensibility Grey has spent the last three months in hiding. Now all she wants is to depart the gold-crazy boomtown for a new life in the East.
Published: May 1st, 2016
Cover Artist: Kirsten Weiss
A Midsummer Murder
The California Territory, 1849
Blamed for burning down the San Francisco wharf, clockwork inventor, Sensibility Grey has spent the last three months in hiding. Now all she wants is to depart the gold-crazy boomtown for a new life in the East. So when the owner of a traveling theater offers her work embellishing his mechanical stage, she turns him down. Then he turns up dead on her doorstep along with his enigmatic stage.
An explorer of the mysteries of aether, Sensibility has her own secrets to keep, and adversaries who’ll stop at nothing to learn them. Is the mechanical stage a part of a bigger game? Or the key to unlocking her true, magical potential?
A Midsummer Night’s Mechanical is book three in the Sensibility Grey series of steampunk suspense.
5 Things that Fascinate about Steampunk
What is steampunk, you ask? The easy definition is science fiction set in the Victorian era. And if that sounds a little too niche to be a genre, well, maybe. But steampunk is so popular, that big-time authors like Jim Butcher of Harry Dresden fame are breaking into it. Here are five things that fascinate about steampunk:
One: the sense of wonder. In a time when technology can jade us, we the readers, get to see mechanical marvels through the eyes of characters who still think tech is cool. And steampunk tech is cool. The machines are elegant, of brass and gears and steam, bringing us to a sense of romance and excitement.
Two: the clothes. Steampunk is more than a genre. It’s an aesthetic. It’s easy to extend the steampunk wonder into our daily lives. If you wear a pair of cufflinks shaped like gears, or a pocket watch dangles from your vest, odds are only you will know you’ve gone steampunk. You can keep steampunk accessories subtle, a nod and a wink to the magic of steam.
Three: the cons. That’s “con” as in convention. If you want to eat, talk, and breathe steampunk -- even dressing in full steampunk regalia – there are places all over the country where you submerse yourself in the steampunk experience. (I’ll be attending the Clockwork Alchemy convention this May in San Jose, so stop by and say “hi” if you’re in the area).
Four: the punk. Steampunk is alternative history, where the women kick butt and outrageous is a perfectly acceptable character trait. Writers get to remove the brakes, stop worrying about whether a scenario is realistic or not as long as it’s fun. Though steam and clockwork technology are a critical part of steampunk, many authors have added supernatural creatures from the Victorian era, or used the magic of aether to power devices. Bottom line: if it isn’t fun, then it isn’t steampunk.
Five: it’s not just for Brits. While steampunk stories typically take place in Victorian England, the genre is breaking out all over – heading to the wild west, to 19th century China, and beyond. For example, I write steampunk stories set in the California gold rush, a time and place wild enough for a classic steampunk adventure.
So if you love to read a rollicking adventure and are open to alternative histories, give streampunk a try. And if you already have, then what fascinates you about steampunk?
About the author:
Kirsten Weiss worked overseas for nearly fourteen years, in the fringes of the former USSR and in South-east Asia. Her experiences abroad sparked an interest in the effects of mysticism and mythology, and how both are woven into our daily lives.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes steampunk suspense and paranormal mysteries, blending her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem. Kirsten has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine.
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Grandprize: ebook copies of The Sensibility Grey Three-Book set, and the entire Riga Hayworth series of seven urban fantasy novels.
Second prize: ebook copies of The Sensibility Grey Three-Book Set