• Tag Archives Steamfantasy
  • Pre-Release Book Feature: A Vanishing Glow by Alexis Radcliff

    Today’s book feature is a bit different from the others, because this time I asked the author, if she would like to be featured on my blog. I contacted Alexis Radcliff after reading a short description of her upcoming novel A Vanishing Glow on her personal website. A Vanishing Glow will be released on October 1st, but now on to the author and the novel:

    Alexis Radcliff is an author, gamer, unashamed geek, and history junkie who spent the better part of a decade working in tech before dedicating herself to her first love, literature.

    Alexis lives and works in the Portland area with her adorable (if surly) cat and her equally adorable fiancé. When not writing, she spends her time reading, running, playing way too many video games, and thinking too much about everything.

    Lexirad.com | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

     

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    Here is a blurb:

    A Vanishing Glow is the opening to The Mystech Arcanum series, a blend of steampunk and flintlock fantasy with mature themes. 

    It is an Age of Revolution, an Age of Industrialism. Constructs, living men who are as much brass and steel as they are flesh, man the factories and wage the wars of a ruling elite who gorge themselves on the fruits of the common man’s labor. Mystech, a brilliant fusion of magic and machine, gives rise to a new class of privileged inventors and merchants even as the country festers with wounds from decades of internal strife.

    Only one man holds the promise of a brighter future: Nole Ryon, the crown prince. When his childhood friend Jason Tern answers his call for aid, the two of them set out to fight for the change their country needs in order to survive, even as shadowy foes frustrate their efforts. But soon, Jason and Nole’s idealistic mission of hope becomes a furious manhunt for a political murderer as the nation balances on the precipice of a country-wide civil war. Can they cut through the threads of intrigue to discover their true enemy before everything is lost?

    And here is an excerpt of the first chapter:

     

    Jason Tern slid his rapier free of its sheath as he crouched in the brush with two other blue-coated soldiers, yards away from the lynching.

    One construct already hung from the solitary oak tree in the clearing before them, dead, still twitching like a marionette on the branch, while his companion screamed, fighting for his life. Two burly men in leather work vests held the remaining construct fast, one to each side, while the ringleader tightened a noose under his chin. Sunlight glinted off the brass-and-steel arm restrained behind the construct’s back as he struggled against his captors. The ringleader stooped to gather the end of the rough hempen rope and tossed it into the air. It arced over a thick branch of the tree, beside the first rope, and sailed back down into his calloused hands. He yanked hard, and their captive jerked with a strangled gasp.

    “I count five of them,” Jason whispered. He and his Windriders would have the element of surprise if they stepped in now. The workmen looked more like common thugs than real fighters—bullies who’d talk big while they had the upper hand, but would back down quickly from the business end of a sword.

    “Five is two more than we have, and they all have clubs,” Albas grumbled. He spit his tobacco into the dirt and pulled his cap low over his eyes. “I don’t like those odds if it comes to a fight. We should wait for our outriders.”

    “It won’t come to a fight.” Their grizzled sergeant, Lugan, loosened his sword in his scabbard and drew his flintlock pistol. “Trust an old veteran. Those men are cowards.”

    The construct screamed again as the two remaining men joined the ringleader and prepared to hoist him into the air. He kicked and scrabbled at the dirt, jerking from side to side. His captors gritted their teeth and held on. The construct wasn’t a large man—scrawny and pale with a mop of dark hair; Istkherian, judging by the style of his factory-made clothes. He would have been no threat at all to the burly men surrounding him, except for the long, skeletal arm with the joins and pistons visible which protruded from the stump of his shoulder. His construct arm lacked the plated armoring or reinforced leverage of a war model. It was stronger than an average man’s arm, but not strong enough to break free of their grip, and little help against a hanging once they had him strung up.

    “I won’t stand by while they kill him,” Jason said. Not unless the council approves it, and this doesn’t look sanctioned.

    “Your call, Captain.” Albas drew his own pistol. “Let’s just hope they don’t have friends hanging back. Numbers have a way of curing cowardice.”

    Jason plunged through the foliage into the open air of the clearing, sword at the ready, with Lugan and Albas close behind him.

    “Stop what you’re doing, in the name of the Council of Ghavarim,” he called out.

    Everyone froze, eyes popping wide, and stared at the long iron barrels his men had trained on them. The end of the hemp rope slid out of the ringleader’s fingers and dropped onto the ground with a tiny puff of dust.

    Jason gestured toward the construct. “What’s going on here?”

    “Who are you?” The ringleader squinted at them suspiciously over the tip of his pinched nose. His workman’s outfit had seen better days, and a thick wooden cudgel swung from a loop attached to his belt. “Those aren’t Crimson Fist uniforms you’re wearing.”

    Another of the men with a face like sanded leather and a touch of gray at his temples coughed. “Those jackets—They’re Windriders. Militia-men, from Fen. Windriders haven’t been this far south of the border since the Ordist rebellion. What are you doing here?”

    “I believe the Captain asked you the same question… And we have the guns.” Albas cocked his pistol and flashed them a crooked, yellow grin that was anything but warm.

    Jason waved him down. They needed to defuse the stand-off; not trade banter. “I’m Captain Jason Tern, Lord of Fen, traveling to Adaron on council business. We heard shouts from the road and came to investigate.”

    “These men are from Lagrish,” Lugan said. Jason nodded his agreement. Their southern accents had marked them clearly. Lagrish had never been friendly to constructs, but when had murdering them in broad daylight become acceptable?

    “Yes, we are. Honest Lagrishmen.” The pinched-face man stuck his chest out and jerked a thumb at the constructs. “And these men are thieves, my lord. We’re having our justice.”

    “I’m not a thief, I’m not!” The construct began to struggle again. “And neither was Peter! These men jumped—” He cut off with a muffled grunt as one of the men holding him cuffed him.

    “You must have mislaid your magistrate’s robes.” Lugan turned his pistol toward the man who’d struck the blow. “Touch him again before you’ve explained yourselves and my finger might get itchy.”

    “What did he steal?” Jason would eat his belt if the construct had actually taken anything from these thugs, but protocol required hearing both sides. He’d have to make a decision here. They didn’t have the manpower to drag all six of these men into Adaron for a judge to sort out. The ringleader opened his mouth but stopped as Jason held up his hand. “Not you.” He pointed to the youngest of the five men, standing a little back from the others in the clearing. “You.”

    The sandy-haired youth’s eyes grew even wider. He licked his lips, throwing a worried glance at his comrades. “Er… well. That is… our jobs, I suppose.”

    “He stole your jobs?” Jason wasn’t sure he’d heard him right.

    “Our livelihoods!” The pinched-face man broke in again, shooting the boy a dirty look. He shifted nervously. “Pity, lord. You’re an Easterner. You must know how it is back East. We came from the Giltland to find work in Adaron, but it’s just as bad up here as it is down there. The capital is crawling with Western junkers like this claptrap, and they’re soaking up all the jobs because their freakish bits let them work faster. These two Istkherian constructs took our jobs and laughed at us as we were turned out.”

    Are you excited about A Vanishing Glow? You can get it here.

     


  • Steamfantasy – The Dwarves of Demrel

    Check this out:
    A very dark, gritty, and slightly steampunk looking fantasy movie about three dwarves trapped in a mine. The trailer alone got me hanging to the edge of my seat. Something sinister is going on in the depth of this mountain and the dwarves have more to face than claustrophobia and possible starvation:

    The Dwarves of Demrel is a crowdfunded independent production. The fundraiser still runs for a few hours on kickstarter, check it out. If you do not have the money to spare, do not worry, the funding goal has already been achieved, so we can all look forward to that one.
    According to the director, he got his inspiration after watching The Hobbit in 2012. The dwarves in his movie are quite removed from the ones of Middle-earth. They seem far less jolly, more sullen and fatalistic, even when you take the dire situation they are in into account. They are more real, down to earth and far less epic and heroic in the classical sense.
    All this gives an edge of realism to The Dwarves of Demrel already. I am looking forward to downloading the movie once it is ready.

     

    DwarvesOfDemerel


  • Book Feature: Hand of Miriam

    As you might have noticed, the update frequency of this blog has declined in recent weeks. This is due to the fact that my studies have reached the exam phase and I want to be through with this ASAP.

    Which brings me to why today I publish a book feature and not a full review.

    Another piece of literature that came in through the ætherbox and I do not have the time to read at all at the moment, thus, the feature,

    Hand of Miriam is more on the steamfantasy side of things, but so are the novels of my friend Anja. There is nothing wrong with steamfantasy at all.

    So, without further ado, I present Hand of Miriam:

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    Book Tagline: A Victorian world of supernatural creatures, magnificent airships, a secret society, and one bluestocking adventuress who, threatened by evil seeks protection by awakening the golem.

     

    Book Blurb:

    On an archaeological expedition, Bayla Gideon, is widowed by a supernatural force and branded with the Hand of Miriam or Knowing Eye. Threatened by evil, she awakens the golem; a mythical man of clay, who protected the Jewish community over three centuries ago.

    The golem, Gesher, is surprised. Freedom –by a beautiful, enchanting woman. His desire is to return to the celestial spheres and regain his status as an avenging angel. Yet, Bayla challenges his mind, body and soul. Would he risk his return to the heavens for her? 

    Besides, dealing with the otherkind, mad inventors and an unrelenting matchmaking aunt, Bayla is equally determined to resist her steamy attraction to the striking fallen angel. 

    Thrust into a malevolent war, which includes facing Jack the Ripper, they must resist the magnetic pull toward each other, while protecting the world from encroaching evil.

    Note: Hand of Miriam is Book 1 of a duology in Bayla and the Golem novels, which will continue after Book 2, Her Majesty’s Witch, with the steampunk adventures of other corseted but brainy members of the exclusive Bluestocking Adventuress Club.

     

    Excerpt:

     

    Bayla unlocked the Gemmatridon and held it as instructed. The talismans on the cover shifted into gears that twisted in rapid circles, and buzzed like irate bees while emitting light. Startled, she fumbled withit. The box opened. Inside was a small parchment. The instructions dictated that it be placed in the golem’s mouth. She carefully removed the ancient scroll and with trembling hands set it in the slit that had to be its mouth. Immediately, the parchment sunk in as if swallowed by quicksand and vanished. The chamber shook as if an earthquake had struck. She fell back still holding the box. Sitting sprawled on the floor, she froze in terror.Thankfully, the tremor stopped.

    A blinding bright light erupted from the crate and the golem roared a deep menacing bellow from within.

    Bayla dropped the box. What have I done? She closed her eyes from the blazing brightness and wrapped her arms and head over her knees. Like a candle snuffed out, the light vanished. The golem’s holler subsided into a grumbling moan, as if awakened from its slumber.

    She dared look. The golem sat in the crate. She suppressed a scream on seeing his rigid red-stone face. He looked like a misshapen man made of hard red rock. An aleph was added in front of met. The Hebrew word for truth, emet, now inscribed on his forehead, permitting it life. It slowly rose and stepped out. Tall, its square head almost touched the ceiling. It wasn’t too monstrous in stature, perhaps six-foot-seven, and within the range of human height. It blinked open gray eyes and stared at her. His eyes were the only part that looked remotely human and revealed his soul, by holding her gaze as if he knew her.

    Bayla scooted back on her bottom but kept her eyes on him. There was a connection, a warm bond that eased her fear. She couldn’t read its thoughts. Was it because it had none?

    The golem turned his head to the side and spoke in a deep baritone voice, “You are a woman.”

    Where to get it:

     

    Author Bio

    Eva Gordon writes genre bending paranormal/fantasy/steampunk and historical novels with a strong romantic element. She loves to create stories that combine her passion for mythology, steamy romance, and action/suspense. Her imagination takes her from one universe to the next. Thus far, she has several series lined up as well as single titles waiting in line for production.

    Eva has a BS in Zoology and graduate studies in Biology. She once taught high school Biology, Environmental Science and Anatomy/Physiology. When not in her den writing, she can be found at steampunk conventions, at work at the raptor rehabilitation center, wolf sanctuaries, or to satisfy her inner Hemingway on some global eco adventure.

    Learn more about Eva Gordon below:


    Website
     |
     Blog | Amazon Author Page | Like Page on Face Book | Goodreads  |Twitter

     


  • The Beast of Verant City – Kickstarter Campaign

    From the Steamfantasy side of things comes the following project for a webseries that I would like to bring to your attention today:

    The Beast of Verant City

    The Beast of Verant City is set in a fantastic world where the royal families of the Seven Great Nations possess magical abilities derived from the stars. With this the rulers of these nations have held powers for hundreds of years.

    In the Kingdom of Egremont, this persistent ruling class has held onto its old traditions while the intellectual elites of the lower classes strive to advance the society as much as they can through a prestigious group called the Future Creators Society. Though these ideologies may be at odds with each other, they’ve managed to form a new modernized medieval society.

    Support the project here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1753458408/the-beast-of-verant-city

    And find out more about the world on the official website: http://www.thebeastofverantcity.com


  • Cloud Raiders – Featured Game and Raffle

    May I point your esteemed attention to a little Android game by the name of Cloud Raiders? It is a strategy game on the steamfantasy side of things, dragons, airships, skypirates, and from the looks of it, cute graphics and a lot of action, it could be tremendous fun to play. The ratings on the Google Play page also point in the fun-direction (4,3 out of 5 stars).

    I have to say „could“ because I am unable to play the game on my smartphone, the thing is rather ancient…

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    Anyway, this is the press release which tells you more about the game:

    Game Insight Sends Strategy Games Skyward

    With Cloud Raiders

    Strategy Games Get Competitive With Building, Raising Armies, and Raids in Cloud Raiders for Mobile and Social Platforms

    MOSCOW, RUSSIA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Feb 4, 2014) –  Game Insight, a world leader in mobile/social games, has announced a swashbuckling new chapter in strategy games: Cloud Raiders. This exciting new game pits players and their armies of sky pirates against fabulous monsters and the most deadly adversaries of all: other players.Cloud Raiders will be released first for Android devices, and will be launching in the near future for other mobile and social platforms, including Facebook, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. The game is being developed by innoWate, the creator of the popularMy Country games.

    Cloud Raiders takes action-packed strategy games to dizzying new heights by entrusting players with a massive island stronghold floating in the sky. Players assemble armies of ruthless raiders while also fortifying their bases with defensive emplacements to fend off enemy invasions. Over time, players can also form in-game clans with their friends to blast their foes right out of the skies by launching daring player-versus-player (PvP) raids.

    In Cloud Raiders, players can fortify their bases with anything from cannons to traps to magical artifacts, while leading their own troops into battle. Players must be ready for anything, including encroachments from massive monsters and legendary buccaneers that wander the skies in search of easy prey — as well as raiding parties sent by enemy players in search of loot! In order to keep their own holdings safe and conquer this brave new world, players can research and unlock new troop types, brew powerful potions to strengthen their forces, launch mighty cannon salvos to even the odds, and build ever-larger armies of axe-wielding marauders, grenade-lobbing bombardiers, and fire-breathing dragons to win the day!

    Cloud Raiders will be available for Android in the nearest future. Stay tuned for more updates on this dynamic new chapter in strategy games!

    Assets for media are available at:
    http://www.game-insight.com/files/EN/Games/GI_Cloud_Raiders/Android/

    Visit the official Cloud Raiders website:  www.cloudraiders.com
    Watch the official Cloud Raiders trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sIhq3D2OYk
    Visit the official Facebook community: http://facebook.com/cloudraidersgame

    About Game Insight
    Founded in 2010, Game Insight is a global-facing developer and publisher of varied, user-focused, and free-to-play games for all major mobile and social platforms, including iOS, Android, Facebook, and Web. We are a team of more than 800 passionate game developers who actually play games ourselves. Our internal network consists of 17 different studios that constantly create and update high-quality games, many of which have already become #1 top-grossing hits in mobile application stores and on social networks around the world, which has led Game Insight to build a global audience of more than 150 million users. Visit 
    http://www.game-insight.com/ for more info.

     

    This is the official trailer:

    And now for the raffle:

    For those of you who want to give the game a shot, I have a code ready which gives you 700 gems, all you have to do is comment or send me an æthermail.

    The raffle ends Monday after Easter. Good luck one and all!