Friday, December 11, 2015

Star War Fans were a force of thousands

Star War Fans were a force of thousands 


in Manchester, England, at the Star Wars Convention. 



On the December 4, 5 and 6 For the Love of the Force took place in Manchester. The event featured  a full-scale animatronic Jabba the Hutt, a Jedi Training School,  and Ewok Village and more. 



More at Buzzfeed

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Star War Fans are a Force Awakening

linked to the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3351637/Star-Wars-fans-begin-lining-Hollywood-Chinese-theater-12-DAYS-advance.html

Star War Fans are a force. 


Lining up two weeks in advance of the premiere. Star War Fans have been waiting in line since December 5th, twelves days before the premiere. 
It’s first come first serve for the best seats in the house. But it’s based on loging in time on  liningup.net. 
Star War fans using liningup.net are raising money for Starlight Children’s Foundation. Once a fan logs 24 hours in the line they can buy one of 576 tickets for the screening of The Force Awakens.  

Follow it on twitter at @LineUP4StarWars and @ChineseTheatres

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dickens On The Strand 2015

It's that time of the year for my favorite Christmas event in the Houston area, Dickens on the Strand. A place where the ghost of Christmas present  and the ghost of Christmas past get together. And the Strand on Galveston Texas transforms into the sights and sounds of a Victorian Christmas. Steampunk plays a big part and Steampunk square is always bustling with shoppers as it was this year.


H. G. Wells Time Machine in Steampunk Square.









Performers and Carolers are everywhere at Dickens on the Strand.

A favorite stop is each year is the confederate Army Camp
Public Service workers in health and law enforcement - Victorian Style 
There was a special event at Dickens this year, a couple renewed their vows. 
St. Nick always makes an appearance. 

And the Beefeaters

And you can't have Dickens on the Strand without the Bed Races


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Jim Butcher's New Steampunk Book

Jim Butcher did a Q & A and a book signing at Murder By the Book in Houston Texas for his new release, The Aeronauts Windlass, the first in his Steampunk series, Cinder Spires.

Jim Butcher, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Dresden Files and the Codex Alera novels, conjures up a new series set in a fantastic world of noble families, steam-powered technology, and magic-wielding warriors…

Since time immemorial, the Spires have sheltered humanity, towering for miles over the mist-shrouded surface of the world. Within their halls, aristocratic houses have ruled for generations, developing scientific marvels, fostering trade alliances, and building fleets of airships to keep the peace.

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

And even as Grimm undertakes this dangerous task, he will learn that the conflict between the Spires is merely a premonition of things to come. Humanity’s ancient enemy, silent for more than ten thousand years, has begun to stir once more. And death will follow in its wake…


I remember at Space City Con when I asked him  what got him into Steampunk, he said, he wanted to create a character with a cool steampunk cos  play outfit people could dress up in. He saw a captain’s coat at Comic-con that fit him. So he has to change the character because he really wants to wear that coat. The steampunk fantasy series also includes lots of airships, crystals, and goggles. It’s been said the Cinder Spires series is a kind of league of extraordinary gentlemen meets Sherlock meets Hornblower. He said, "It's Steampunk Opera." And he also mentioned how much he enjoyed writing the airship battles. So it sounds like a fun read.

I've only read the first chapter of The Aeronauts Windlass, I read that while in line at the book signing. But as soon as I finish it I'll post a review here. Jim Butcher is always great at book signings and con panels and if you get a chance to see him you'll want to take that opportunity.

For more Steampunk Fiction visit my website MaeveAlpin.com

Friday, September 18, 2015

Teeny-Weeny Star Wars Bikini


Jabba the Hutt wasn't the only one drooling when princess Leia stretched out before him in nothing but chains, a mermaid braid, and a skimpy metal bikini. Jabba kept her on a tight leash…until she choked him with that chain. Jabba probably liked that.


Remember what Princess Leia wore in that scene? You know…the iconic gold metallic outfit, which barely clad the toned, fit body of the kick-ass heroine. Well, the favorite slave attire for fashionable futuristic princesses complete with high-heel jerbas hide boots, and  flowing veils of rare Lashaa silk, draped at the front and back of the brass thong was auctioned off.

The slave girl bikini  was one of over 50 Star Wars items sold at an auction hosted by Profiles in History. The winning bid for the iconic get up was $96,000.

I guess this means Carrie fisher won't be wearing it for the new movie.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

GSN TV's Steampunk Show

Have you seen this Game Show. It's cool. It's Steampunk. Makers on two teams compete against each
to see who builds the best Steampunk room. Last week, the theme was an Asian Steampunk bedroom.
Three episodes have aired so far and if you haven't seen them and have Comcast's on demand you can catch up. I do have Comcast...not that I like Comcast...but that's a whole other story. I have good reasons to not like Comcast.

But I do like Steampunk. And I like the Game show. I was sad at the guy, James, who was voted out on the last episode, I thought he was really good. But that's how it goes. He was the team captain and his team lost. There was drama between to lady costumers on his team. It was kind of funny actually.  The contestants are talented and I honestly enjoy the show.

It comes on GSTN on Wednesdays. Check it out at http://steampunkd.gsntv.com/#/

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Fire Fly

2013-08-31 17.54.16
World Con San Antonio
Firelfy lasted one short season, yet no power in the verse can stop us from enthusiastically hoping for more. One thing that has been brought up is the question, iti it becsasue it was bcut thort that endears us to it, is it so good  because ii never had a chance to get bad.That really is something to think about if it had run a few seasons would it have the same popularity to fans, to brown coats, that it does.
2013-08-31 17.53.42 (2)
Some other reasons we find the TV show Firefly so special:
It was understated
It stretched out imagination
You can relate to the characters
We all wanted to be someone on that ship
Technology mixed with an old west feel – gives it a tie in to Steampunk
Of the 14 episodes many fans agree some of their favorites are:
“Out of Gas”
“War stories”
And “Jane’s town”

Space City Comic Con 2015
As far as life after Firefly or ways to get your Firefly fix:
Dark Horse put out comic adaptations: Serenity Volume 2: Better Days and Other Stories, 2nd Edition which includes Down Time. It’s a “slice-of-life, day-on-the-ship story depicting the crew of Serenity stranded on an icy planet.  Also from Dark Horse are Serenity: Those Left Behind and Serenity: The Shepherd’s Tale, which covers Shepherd and his past.
 
Steven Burst, who is best known for his Vlad Taltos novels, wrote – My Own Kind Of Freedom. This fan fiction novel is free to download in a format of your choice at his website.
 
Also I wanted to add that back in 2011 at Comicaplooza, I saw a screening of the film Brown Coats Redemption. That labor of love with all proceeds going to charity was written and directed by Michael C. Doughtery. From a gal’s perspective Firefly is always fitting of the coolest of cool label for many reasons one of the highest on my list is due to the strong female characters, who in all their roles even that of a companion showed the best of the female gender and a woman’s ability to do anything a man could do and often do it better. Well Brown Coat Redemption not only offered strong female characters, both the captain and the pilot were women and they filled those roles well, but also the twist to the plot was feminine based, Also
Houston Con 2014
all proceeds went to five great charities Equality Now, Kids Need to Read, Dyslexia Foundation, The All Wooten Jr. Heritage Center, and The Marine Corps – Law Enforcement Foundation.
 
The movie Serenity came out in 2005, but was not greatly loved by most fans, mainly due to what happened to Wash in it.
The Firefly episodes are available on Net Flix and you might also catch them on the Science Channel.
 
I leave you with, “Burn the land and boil the sea, you can’t take the sky from me.”

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Rlease: Code of Misconduct


 
Humans meets Her meets a 1960's Screwball Romance
For a headless, bodiless, everything but mindless, woman, Betty gets around. She’s just an artificial intelligence system looking for a little fun by dating a hundred hot-blooded men online. The most eligible bachelor is Chet, a real live cowboy. He doesn’t know Betty is an artificial intelligence system. However, Chet has a secret of his own. Will his deep, dark secret save their relationship or doom it?
 

Steampunk at the Carriage House Cafe

Steampunk is all about friends and fun. Every time a local steampunk community gets together everyone has a blast. Houston area steampunk enthusiasts met for good times and good food at a western themed restaurant in Houston, TX.  The Carriage House Cafe has the perfect the ambiance for a Steamapunk supper and meet up.

Western memorable and antiques are everywhere, crammed in to each nook and cranny.




Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Atlantis, Lemuria, and the Call of Cthulhu

Lovecraft's sketch of Cthulhu

Maeve Alpin and Cthulu - Comicpalooa 2015





















In "The Call of Cthulhu" by H. P. Lovecraft he mentions the Victorian and Edwardian manuscripts by W. Scott-Elliot: "Atlantis and The Lost Lemuria. The other manuscript papers were all brief notes, some of them accounts of the queer dreams of different persons, some of them citations from
 theosophical books and magazines (notably W. Scott-Elliot’s Atlantis and the Lost Lemuria).”

Lovecraft actually read these before writing "The Call of Cthulhu." They inspired this
classic horror story. Both papers are available to read online from the Guternburg project.

W. Scott-Elliott claimed these works were dictated to him by the spirits of people who had lived on Atlantis and Lemuria. Atlantis begins with a lot of historical data that in this modern era we know is incorrect. It also mentions that there were several migrations out of Atlantis to other continents. These Atlantis emigrants brought knowledge with them. The Egyptians are specifically mentioned:

 "It is probable that the earliest form of alphabet was hieroglyphic, "the writing of the Gods," as the Egyptians called it, and that it developed later in Atlantis into the phonetic. It would be natural to assume that the Egyptians were an early colony from Atlantis (as they actually were) and that they carried away with them the primitive type of writing which has thus left its traces on both hemispheres.”

Also Scott-Elliot’s list of ancient sources that acknowledge the tale of Atlantis is interesting:

Aelian in his Varia Historia states that Theopompus (400 b.c.) recorded an interview between the King of Phrygia and Silenus, in which the latter referred to the existence of a great continent beyond the Atlantic, larger than Asia, Europe and Libya together.[

Proclus quotes an extract from an ancient writer who refers to the islands in the sea beyond the Pillars of Hercules (Straits of Gibraltar), and says that the inhabitants of one of these islands had a tradition from their ancestors of an extremely large island called Atlantis, which for a long time ruled over all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean.

Marcellus speaks of seven islands in the Atlantic, and states that their inhabitants preserve the memory of a much greater island, Atlantis, "which had for a long time exercised dominion over the smaller ones."

Diodorus Siculus relates that the Phoenicians discovered "a large island in the Atlantic Ocean beyond the Pillars of Hercules several days' sail from the coast of Africa."

But the greatest authority on this subject is Plato. He refers to the island continent, while the Critias or Atlanticus is nothing less than a detailed account of the history, arts, manners and customs of the people. He refers to "a mighty warlike power, rushing from the Atlantic sea and spreading itself with hostile fury over all Europe and Asia. For at that time the Atlantic sea was navigable and had an island before that mouth which is called by you the Pillars of Hercules. But this island was greater than both Libya and all Asia together, and afforded an easy passage to other neighboring islands, as it was likewise easy to pass from those islands to all the continents which border on this Atlantic sea."

The Lost Lemuria manuscript is similar to the Atlantis one. Lemuria is a lost continent just like Atlantis. Lemuria was believed to have been in the Pacific ocean and Atlantis in the Atlantic ocean. Lemuria is a more modern theory and deals with not just our history but our evolution. In his manuscript, Lemuria, W. Scott-Elliott  mentions what we would call ancient aliens. He theorizes that beings from Venus were of a far higher level than ordinary mankind has yet attained. “They were "divine" while we are only "human." These divine Beings came to give a helping hand.

"The positions occupied by the divine beings from the Venus chain were naturally those of rulers, instructors in religion, and teachers of the arts, and it is in this latter capacity that a reference to the arts taught by them comes to our aid in the consideration of the history of this early race.”

Lovecraft eludes to these old ones, aliens who lived on earth before humans.

"They worshipped, so they said, the Great Old Ones who lived ages before there were any men, and who came to the young world out of the sky. Those Old Ones were gone now, inside the earth and under the sea; but their dead bodies had told their secrets in dreams to the first men, who formed a cult which had never died.”

In fact in the story, The Call of Cthulhu, Cthulhu is the King of these people who came from the stars. He has a face of tentacles, a scale dragon body, and small black wings.  

The Call of Cthulhu is free to read online. 

Here is my brief review of The Call of Cthulhu:

“In his house at R’lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.”

As a nephew looks thorough his grand uncle's things upon his death, a story begins to unfold. In a box, he discovers an odd clay bas-relief, cut out articles, and a manuscript titled CTHULHU CULT.This is how this classic tale of horror begins. The nephew follows the trail of his uncle's notes and interviews a few other people who have had some contact with Cthulhu, a skid faced monster, with the scaly body of a dragon, that lived before humans inhabited the earth.

This is one of those classic tales everyone should read. Everyone should know who Cthulhu, he's part of pop culture, his image is everywhere. I finally got around to reading this and loved it. Lovecraft is a powerful writer. I highly recommend The Call of Cthulhu. It's a must read.
~     ~     ~

Maeve Alpin, who also writes as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 26 books. She creates stories with kilts, corsets, fantasy and happy endings. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Lit-Con at Write Space

I went to a Lit-Con here in Houston at Write Space last weekend. What a great idea to mix cosplay with readings from local steampunk, sci-fi, and fantasy authors and a book signing. 


from zelda
Writespace (2)
Entertaining and enlightening readings were presented by local authorsDL Young who writes edgy, dystopian sci-fiction read from his newest release, Juarez Square and Other Stories. Cassandra Rose Clarke, an author of YA and Adult fantasy and science fiction read from her adult novel, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. Rachael Acks, a Steampunk, sci-fi, and fantasy writer read a humorous horror short story she just sold. Dorothy Tinker writes high fantasy and she read from the latest in her Peace of Evon series, Lost King, which was released this week.
The award winning cosplayer Dugfinn of Dugfinn Cosplay gave a wonderful presentation on cosplay. She went over the four parts of cosplay: the wig, the costume, the shoes, and the prop.
Steampunk compasBedrock City Comics here in Houston donated the prizes which were prop swords and action figurines for the awesome cosplay contest they had at the Lit-Con. The categories were for best over roll play, best  Literary Costume,  Best Fantasy Costume
Best Steampunk Costume, and Best TV/Movie Costume.
This Lit-Con was great fun and I hope other people and organizations will do Lit -Cons. Write Space itself is such a neat place for writers, just like an art gallery but for authors. I want to say an auth-gallery.
man about towntribble salesmanWhile there, I gained great information and inspiration form one of the cosplayer/readers. She asked  about my costume and in the explanation my Egyptian steampunk books came up. So due to the emphasis the Egyptians put on the sun in their religion and their buildings she asked if I knew about Sunpunk. I didn’t and needless to say I was so intrigued. It’s a perfect tie in  to Egyptian Steampunk books or as I say SteamGyptianPunk. Have you ever thought of how much cogs look like the sun? 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Brass Octopus

brass octopusThe ugly duckling is a favorite fairy tale of mine. I’ve seen the ugly duckling plot in a lot of books and films. I use it in The Brass Octopus.
The so called duckling was always beautiful,l she was just with the wrong family. If she’d been with a family of swans no one would have ever used the word ugly. That’s what happened to my heroine Piety. Her verbally and emotionally abusive mother called her ugly. As she grew up, Piety protected herself by trying not to bring attention to herself – dressing drably and throwing herself in to her work. She’s the head librarian at London’s library. The story is set in the Victorian era. So a  prim and proper Victorian librarian transforms to an enticing beauty. What makes my version different?
I’m going to get to that. First, let me tell you about the hero. Blake Blackmore is a bad boy, a rich rogue who spends his nights gambling and womanizing. I’m sure you’ve already guessed, once he meets Piety he’s willing to give all that up for her.
Now, back to the earlier question. What makes The Brass Octopus different is – in The Bras Octopus, Piety lives in an alternate dimension in which inventions depicted in Jane Loudon’s book the Mummy have been created. So even though it’s Victorian London, there is some advanced technology for the era, woman wear pants, and tinkering or inventing gadgets is a favorite pastime for proper Victorian ladies along with decoupage, scrapbooking, and hand painting china. Piety’s sister, Polly, has  created a beauty machine called The Brass Octopus.
Blurb: Spinster Librarian Piety Plunkett is happy alone with her books, until her sister Polly transforms her with a bras octopus beautifying machine. With her new look, the librarian catches the lusty attentions of London’s most notorious rogue. Blake Blackmore enjoys the favors of beautiful women from the brothels of London to high society’s most fashionable debutantes but only the spinster librarian consumes his mind night and day. Piety insists she will not wed but devote her life to her position as head librarian, but Blake will stop at nothing to win her. He takes matters into his own hands and tutors her in carnal pleasure in three passion filled lessons. Now that she is sharing her body, instead of just her books, Piety is shocked yet pleased at how naughty she can be under Blake’s personal tutelage. But if anyone finds out about what goes on in the library after closing time, her reputation would be ruined. Is that Blake’ ultimate plan?
Excerpt:
“That is why we cannot waste a moment more.” Polly dropped her arm from Piety’s shoulders and grabbed her sister’s hand, pulling her into the dressing room. “Wait until you see my latest invention.” She pointed to a large brass octopus standing in the corner.
Held on a brass stand, its bottom was fashioned in the shape of an x, with a thin straight pole to the back of the head jointed to another rod so it could be adjusted. Two molded eyes on the side of its head stared at her. Eight long arms reached out from the tiny body beneath its gleaming head, and directly underneath stood a brass stool.
“This will make you even more beautiful than you are.” Polly walked over to the brass sea creature and reaching up, she patted its large head.
“Is it the pregnancy? Is that what has caused you to lose your mind?”
“This machine is fabulous.” Polly gestured to her to sit on the stool. “Try it.”
Piety scratched her head. “It’s good the Queen encourages all housewives to develop their creativity by crafting gadgets like the ones in Loudon’s book, to make life easier for them and their families, but I fear you’ve taken it too far.”
Each of the eight burnished arms held something in the suction cups attached on the end, where hands would be on a human. An open tin of rouge in one arm, the second, grasped a cosmetic brush and powder puff, in the third lay a tin of powder, an unwrapped silk paper container of red lipstick in the fourth, the fifth arm clutched a small bottle of hair oil, the sixth held a hairbrush, while the seventh grasped a fancy glass container of French perfume and the eighth arm lay empty.
Polly took Piety’s spectacles off.
“I need those.”
“For reading. You don’t need them right now or at the ball. You’ll be dancing, not reading books.”
She sat on the stool with the octopus behind her. “What is this?” Her upper back rested against its small, brass body.
“You will see. Just sit still so the machine can work its magic.” Polly pressed the ruby button on top of the octopus’s head.
The clanking, churning sound caused an on-edge sensation in Piety. As the hand holding the oil moved toward her, she grew shaky. She braced her toes on the floor, ready to lunge off the stool and make a run for it. The hand holding the oil reached her head, tilted slightly, then straightened after pouring some of its contents on her hair. Her scalp tingled from the warm liquid.
“It tickles, but feels quite nice. What does it do?”
The hand clutching the brush in its suction cup moved toward her. Piety grimaced, fearing it might hit her. She let out a pent up breath, relaxing her neck and shoulder muscles as the brass octopus brushed her hair, spread the oil to her roots and through the strands, and then swept her hair into a pile on top of her head.
“It helps it curl.” Polly grinned as she shoved a wayward blonde strand of her hair out of her face.
The octopus’s hollow head, which ran along the brass pole in back, rose, separating from its body, then swung forward, hovering over Piety. It lowered, inch by inch, until it dropped over her head, covering her hair and forehead.
“This is daft. It has swallowed me.” She cringed as tiny things, she didn’t know what, gripped sections of her hair and twirled it. “What is happening?”
“It curls hair better than any lady’s maid.”
“I do not want my hair curled by a brass octopus.“
“It’s guaranteed to bring out the beauty in everyone. Isn’t it marvelous?”
Before Piety could answer, the arm clutching the powder puff dipped it in the large round tin held in another arm. She had to shut her mouth as the octopus powdered her face.
From inside the octopus’s head, it squirted liquid on her scalp. “It sprayed me.”
“I have always liked your hair, but you say it’s drab. Now it will be a different color. That should make you happy.”
The octopus seemed to be baking her scalp. “Why is it hot?”
“It’s battery-powered rather than clockwork. I needed it to heat to curl hair fast and tight.”
“A battery. Like the galvanic one in The Mummy that resurrected Pharaoh Cheops?”
“Smaller and not as strong. It’s just a lead-acid battery. Remember when Father took us to the seashore for holiday and we flew in the balloon-coach? It’s the same type of battery that powered the lights on in the carriage at night.” Polly flashed a toothy grin at her sister. “It doesn’t bring anything alive except your hair.”
“How fabulous,” she said with full sarcasm. “My head itches.” She wished this would all be over soon. “What color will it be?”
“We won’t know until it’s finished, but whatever it is will be the best color for you.”
“Of course, everyone knows if you need beauty advice, just ask a brass octopus. Polly, my only sister or not, I shall kill you when I escape the clutches of this confounded contraption.”
Contest: Win a trade size copy of my Steampunk Novel, To Love A London Ghost. Sexton Dukenfield, premiere phantom hunter, stumbles into Ceridwen, a phantom warrior woman of an ancient Celtic tribe. Not only does he find her intriguing as a piece of the puzzle of the missing spirits, but he’s also haunted by her sultry sensuality. On a mission through the bustling narrow streets of London, to a dreary match factory, and even to the Otherworld and back, to stop a genius scientist and his phantasm debilitater machine, the ghost and the ghost hunter also seek the secret to freeing the boundaries of life and death.
 

Monday, March 23, 2015

A Real LIfe AI Dating Situation

I recently saw this Tinder Users are falling in love with an AI and I think it's so neat because it's the premise of my AI comedy romance - A Woman Of Intellectual Means.
A guy meets a woman on a dating site but he doesn't know she's an AI system.

Em found the perfect man on the internet, but he doesn't know she’s an artificial intelligence system — no body, just code.
As a virtual writing assistant, the AI, Em, answers an email flirt from a dating site her owner joined. Under the guise of her owner, Em starts a romantic relationship with Jason through emails, instant messages, and Sim dating games. She realizes too late that nothing can come of it. She can never meet Jason in person as she's not a person and has no body. Still Jason makes her feel so real...so human.

Is Em, with her superior intelligence, smart enough to find a way a way to overcome the differences between flesh and code?

See http://MaeveAlpin.com

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Afro-Celtic Post-Roman, Icepunk, Regency Novel - A Review of Kate Elliot’s COLD MAGIC

 You may be familiar with Kate Elliot’s previous books, the Crossroads Trilogy, The Crown of Stars septology, the Novels of the Jaran, and The Golden Key, her collaboration with Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson. Cold Magic, an adventurous multicultural steampunk novel is just as marvelous.

 
In the beginning of the book, words like Iberian, clan, Beltane, poets, Romans, and Celtic bards, leap off the pages, flirting with my mind of what in our own history would mark the Celtic Iron Age. The first pages also disclose the titillating information that the main character, Cat, and her family are Phoenicians. There are few if any ancient cultures as mysterious as those daring sea-faring folks. The author stresses they are a people who can keep a secret and history has borne out the truth of that. The descriptions of her family home, the furnishings, her clothing, and the school she attends with her cousin Bee, along with their use of gaslight and the mention of airships alerts us to a time similar to the Victorian era in an alternative history. So I am intrigued from the start.

One fateful night a Cold Mage barges into Cat’s home in Expedition to reclaim ownership of what her aunt and uncle had generously been allowed to keep possession of: Cat. If her Phoenician family had not been so secretive she may have been better prepared for what happened next. Not wanting to spoil the plot, I won’t give away too much to those who have not read it, and if you haven’t then you should. As anyone can guess, the suspense heightens as Cat is bond to this stranger. When the Cold Mage takes her away, it changes everything. As Cat embarks on a quest to warn her cousin Bee of impending danger, she sets off on a path of self discovery, searching for her true family and her true self.

In the fascinating history of this alternative world, a battle between the Romans and the Phoenicians resulted in them keeping the sea ports while the empire of the Caesars kept the land. As the Empire grew weak, the Celts rebelled against their Roman rulers. The next major historical impact occurred when the Persians attacked North Africa and the Celtic princes in Europa welcomed the Phoenician refuges. About a hundred years later, a salt plague broke out near theSaharadesert and the North African tribes were attacked by ghouls, who rose from the salt mines. Those tribes fled and found friendship among the Celts due to similar magic and beliefs. The great mage houses grew out of this cultural blending.

Some refuges from the Mali Empire guided by Phoenician navigators sailed to a western continent full of human nations and in the north, trolls. Some of these people and trolls founded the city of Expedition on the sea of Antilles. There they embraced science and new technologies, which the mage houses deplored. In this dystopian society the princes of the newly industrialized cities and mages of the countryside control the people and the workers live in inhuman conditions. Radical new ideas of choosing your own council members, what we would call – making a living wage, and having choices about your own life spread among the people, fueled by the invention of a portable printing press. Mobs form and a rebellion begins.

Characters with white, brown, and black complexions and curly tight hair, coarse braided hair, and thin hair swept up in lime-washed spikes bring racial diversity to the story. There are vivid descriptions of cultural diversity as well with villages of Celtic round houses, horsemen wearing knee-length jackets with splendid turbans, and women in embroidered damask robes and elaborate coiffures of braids complemented by gold hoop earrings.

Kate Elliott refers to Cold Magic as “a mash-up of an Afro-Celtic post-Roman, icepunk Regency novel with airships, Phoenician spies, and the intelligent descendents of troodons (a small intelligent and agile species of dinosaurs)” referred to in the book as trolls. I call it a riveting adventure bursting with mystic fantasy. The writing is exquisite and I found the plot worked with ingenuous creativity. I loved it. I highly recommend Cold Magic.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Quest for the Lost City of Z

Percy Fawcett with Raleigh Rimell and one of their guides 
Percy Harrison Fawcett, born in 1867, disappeared into the Amazon jungle in 1925. He was one of the foremost and one of the last of the Victorian/Edwardian explorers.He graduated from a course at the esteemed Royal Geographic Society where he was a member. His studies included surveying, how to record and classify what was around him, and the fundamentals of mounting and executing an expedition. The society bred him as an explorer.

Fawcett's first mission was a two year expedition to map regions of south america between Bolivia and Brazil. He successfully completed the mission, redefining the borders of South America and did it almost a year early. In 1916, the royal geographic society awarded him with the blessing of George V gold medal for his contributions to the mapping of South America.But most importantly, it was on that expedition that he fell in love with the wilds of the Amazon.
Fawcett returned to the dangerous Amazon jungle seven times. Some things he claimed to have seen on these expeditions were a 62 foot long anaconda, a double-nosed Andean tiger-hound (a rare breed of hound with a double nose), and a giant Apazauca spider (a black tarantula so big a plate can barely cover it). His accomplishments also include tracing the source of the Rio Verde, and travelling along the Heath River on the border of Peru, to try to trace its source. Fawcett found evidence on these expeditions that indicated there had once been a large, organized  and advanced civilization with what must have been a huge city deep in the Amazon. One example of his findings was that in several high areas of the Amazon just a bit of scratching into the dirt would reveal shards of beautiful quality pottery to rival ancient Greek relics. He grew more and more interested in discovering this city lost in the jungle. He even gave it a name...Z.
Fawcett and other explores of his day didn't have the fancy gadgets and communication devices we have now. These adventures braved the unknown with a compass, a machete, and an uncompromising belief in themselves to succeed. This was before specialist so they had to have the skill set of an explorer, a geographer, an anthropologist, and archaeologist, an emergency medical technician, and a leader all in one, in addition to being exceptionally physically ft. Percy Harrison Fawcett was all these things. Even at age 57 when he embarked on what was to become his last expedition, his body was resistant to illness and ailments, and he could walk for days with little or no nourishment. What he and other explores faced in the Amazon jungle were jaguars, snakes including anacondas, wild pigs, even some frogs there are poisonous to the touch, mosquitoes which carried diseases from malaria to yellow fever and settled on the explorers in swarms biting every inch of their bodies, ticks that descended on them like clouds of black rain...and they were also subject to attack by hostile native tribes.
Percy Fawcett
It’s said Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used Fawcett as his inspiration for Lord John Roxton in his 1912 book The Lost World. Also Fawcett’s older brother Edward was an adventure novelist and drew on his younger brothers private fantasies in his book, The Secret of the Desert, where an explorer finds an ancient abandoned temple laden with treasure.
Fawcett's theories of the ancient abandoned city of Z were considered nonsense by his peers. In the Edwardian era it was a widely held belief not only that El Dorado was a false myth but that all the documentation of the conquistadors discoveries were fantasies. Fawcett's colleagues believed the Amazon natives were incapable of having developed a complex civilization.There was a theory at that time as well that the Amazon itself was too inhospitable for anyone to have created a sophisticated society there.
Fawcett didn't believe in El Dorado but he thought many of the journals of these early Spanish expeditions contained accurate descriptions of the Amazon before the natives were almost entirely wiped out by small pox and other European diseases. For  instance the 16th century Spanish explorer Francisco de Orellana reported seeing many fine roads leading into the interior. A conquistador on another expedition wrote of seeing towns so large they he was astounded by them.
After studying the conquistador's records and native myths Fawcett figured out the location of Z. He formed an expedition to uncover the lost civilization despite being considered a fool by his colleagues. It took him a long time to get funding, but at last he was ready to set out. In 1925, Fawcett formed a small team of only three - himself, his son Jack, and Jack’s friend Raleigh, because that was a small enough party that they could live off the land and three men wouldn't pose much of a threat to hostile Indians.Their explorer outfits  included lightweight tear-proof pants, stetsons, 30 caliber riffles and machetes.The three men entered the Amazon in search of the lost city of Z, but they disappeared in the jungle never to be heard of again.
It's know that Fawcett's party crossed the Upper Xingu, a south-eastern tributary of the Amazon and got as far as the Suyas and Kayapos tribes and then planned to turn eastward and confront the Xavante, an inhospitable tribe said to usually kill anyone they could catch. Some members of the Kayapos remember warning Fawcett not to go east as the tribes there were so hostile. The Kayapos saw the smoke from Fawcett's campfire for five days after they left them then it went out. It is still unknown happened to Fawcett and his son and Raleigh after that. Over the years the mystery of his disappearance grew. Many rescue missions followed as well as many ideas about what happened to Fawcett, including one theory that he found Z and stayed there to live in the ancient city in the jungle he so loved. .
Though Fawcett's theories of Z were dismissed by most of his peers, it's now known he actually saw things clearer than them. His theory of an advance civilization in the depth of the Amazon jungle, a city he named Z, had proven to be true. Anthropologist Michael Heckenberger, working alongside the local Kuikuro people,uncovered huge man made moats that once had palisade walls, as well as large circular plazas and a huge area where many dwellings once stood.These ancient people had also build roads up to a hundred and fifty feet wide as well as causeways canals, and there is even evidence of bridges built over rivers. The roads connected large settlements about two to three miles apart. Each settlement contained about two to five thousand people and they lived here between 800 to AD to 1600 AD before European diseases basically wiped most of the out.. All of the cities and roads an other construction were built with a sense of engineering and mathematics which rivaled anything happening in most of Europe at the time. Heckenberger calls it Kuhikugu and it was most likely created by the ancestors of the Kuikuro. As there wasn't much stone in the jungle Kuhikugu was built with wood, palm, and earth mounds which decompose.And this ancient advanced civilization lay right where Fawcett determined Z was.
If your interested in writing a Steampunk adventure story, Fawcett and his expeditions offer great inspiration. One of the best nonfiction books and also a great, page turner read, about Fawcett and his expeditions is The Lost City of Z by David Grann.


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The Great Airship Scare of 1896 - 1897

Across the U. S.from 1896 – 1897, many newspapers reported unidentified flying objects, often described as silver cigar shaped airships with space alien crewmen and pilots thought to be from Mars. If you are looking for inspiration for a 19th century Steampunk UFO tale these reports from the great airship scare should help.
The Sacramento Bee and the San Francisco Call reported the first sighting on November 18, 1896. A witness named R. L. Lowery described an alien craft powered by two men exerting themselves on bicycle pedals. Above the pedaling men, under the main body of the dirigible lay a passenger compartment, Some witnesses reported the sound of singing as the airship passed overhead.
The November 19, 1896 edition of the Stockton, California Daily Mail reported Colonel H. G. Shaw claimed that when driving his buggy through the countryside near Stockton he came across what appeared to be a landed spacecraft with a metallic surface, with no features other than  a rudder, and pointed ends. He estimated the space craft was a diameter of 25 feet by about 150 feet in length. Three slender, 7-foot-tall space aliens emitting a strange warbling noise came out of the craft. The beings examined Shaw's buggy then tried to physically force Shaw into their airship. The aliens were said to give up after realizing they lacked the physical strength to force Shaw onto the ship. They climbed back into their airship, which lifted off the ground and sped out of sight.
The Albion Weekly News reported two witnesses saw an airship crash inches from where they were standing. The ship suddenly disappeared, with a man standing where the vessel had been. The airship pilot showed the men a small device which had enabled him to shrink the airship small enough to put it in his pocket.
On April 10, 1897 the St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an article reporting a witness, W. H. Hopkins, encountered a grounded airship about 20 feet in length and 8 feet in diameter near the outskirts of Springfield, Missouri.The spaceship was propelled by 3 large propellers and crewed by a beautiful nude woman and a bearded man, also nude.Hopkins attempted to communicate with the crew to ascertain their origins. Eventually they understood what Hopkins was asking and they both pointed to the sky and uttered something that sounded like the word Mars.
April 16, 1897 the Table Rock Argus reported a group of reliable witnesses saw an airship sailing overhead. It had a lot of passengers, including a woman tied to a chair and a man with a pistol guarding her.
The Center Farmer's Advocate published the April 19, 1897 account of Alexander Hamilton of Leroy, Kansas, who along with his son and a tenant, sighted an airship hovering over his cattle pen. A red cable from the space ship lassoed a heifer, but got entangled in the pen's fence. Hamilton’s attempts to free the cow were unsuccessful. He then cut a portion of the fence loose and the ship and cow rose off the ground and sailed away.
In 1897 the Washington Times speculated the airships were a reconnoitering party from Mars. The same year, the Saint Louis Post-Dispatch suggested these may be visitors from Mars, now fearful of invading the planet they have been seeking.
Here’s four sample of articles which appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1897:
Mount Vernon, Illinois, April 15 — What appeared to have been the mysterious airship was seen here by more than 100 persons last night.
Carlyle, Ill., April 15 — The airship was spotted this evening travelling fast in a northwestern course.
Quincy, Ill., April 15. — The Wabash passenger train which arrived here at 10 o'clock tonight raced for 15 minutes with the alleged airship. They first sighted it near Perry Springs, 52 miles east of Quincy. All of the passengers saw it, but all they could see was two lights, one white, the other red.
Hillsboro, Ill., April 15 —the airship was seen in the western heavens by a number of reputable citizens last evening.
My favorite report is the UFO crash in Aurora Texas in 1897. A cigar-shaped airship plowed through a windmill, destroying it. The good folk of Aurora discovered a space alien inside, who died upon impact. They gave him a Christian burial. Someone stole the space alien’s tombstone but the state of Texas erected a historical marker at the cemetery, which reads, “This site is also well known because of the legend that a spaceship crashed nearby in 1897 and the pilot, killed in the crash was buried here.” The Dallas Morning News printed the story, stating an airship hit the tower of Judge Proter’s windmill, blew into pieces in a terrific explosion scattering parts of the UFO over several acres, wrecking the windmill and water tank, and destroying the Judge’s flower garden. The newspaper reported that the pilot, the only one in the spaceship, died upon impact and though his body was badly disfigured it was evident he was not an inhabitant of this world.
An interesting aspect of the Great Airship Scare was a rumor that the space ships were the invention of some genius who wasn't ready to announce his creation to the public. Thomas Edison was widely speculated to be the mind behind the airships and in 1897, to quiet the rumors, he issued a statement denying all responsibility.
So start researching and writing some Victorian era UFO stories. I can't wait to read them when they're published.
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Going Ape

If you‘re looking for a fun character for a Steampunk novel, why not throw in an ape? Gorillas and Apes were popular in Victorian literature. With the British colonies in Africa, the Victorians had a strong interest in the unique continent. Another reason for the popularity of these human-like creatures was the topic of evolution spurred by Charles Darwin’s book, On the Origin of Species, published in 1859.
The most famous gorilla was Edgar Allan Poe’s mass murderer from his tale, The Murders In The Rue Morgue, published in 1841. It stands as the first detective story ever written.
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs came out in 1912 and Apes are strong secondary characters and are an intricate part of the storyline. The story begins in the year 1888 when John, Lord Greystoke with his new, young wife, Lady Alice sail to Africa. There is a mutiny on their ship and they are abandoned on the coast of Africa near a jungle. Alice has a baby there but shortly after the child is born, Alice dies and Lord Greystoke is killed by a gorilla. A female gorilla, Kala, who had recently lost her baby, takes Alice’s baby and raises him as her own. She names him Tarzan. She was the only mother he ever knew.
This is a short excerpt from The Return of Tarzan: "And I, on my part, loved her, Paul. I did not realize how much until after the cruel spear and the poisoned arrow of Mbonga's black warrior had stolen her away from me. I was still a child when that occurred, and I threw myself upon her dead body and wept out my anguish as a child might for his own mother. To you, my friend, she would have appeared a hideous and ugly creature, but to me she was beautiful—so gloriously does love transfigure its object. And so I am perfectly content to remain forever the son of Kala, the she-ape."
In the return of Tarzan he finds a lost city of gold and the people, though human, speak his native language, that of the gorillas.  When Tarzan escapes the City of Gold and sees Jane in the Jungle with the man she chose over him, he returns to his tribe of apes, broken hearted and wanting nothing more to do with humans. Later in the story when Jane is captured by the men from the City of Gold, it’s a gorilla that tells Tarzan she’s been taken.
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yy73r3WjaDk[/embed]
Six-Gun Gorilla is another r interesting story, published as a fifteen-part serial in the British Pulp, Wizard in 1939. Set in the 19th century American wild west, a kidnapped baby gorilla ends up in Colorado with a kind prospector, Bart Masters. The gorilla, O’Neil, loves the prospector like a father. Unfortunately, Tutt Stawhan, head of the Strawhan outlaw gang, murders Bart Masters. O’Neil vows to revenge Bart’s death. He straps a bandoleer across his broad, hairy chest and holsters two Colts. Then he sets out on a quest to track down, shoot and kill every member of the Strawhan gang.
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSPJN6IPwJI[/embed]
Rupert Cornelius is a popular Steampunk gorilla.  I had the pleasure of meeting, this educated Ape, at Aetherfest in San Antonio, Texas a few years back. This brilliant gorilla answers such mind boggling questions as pirates vs ninjas, The borg vs the daleks, and what he would he do for a Klondike bar?
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv-F2IQEFOY[/embed]
And of course there’s DC comics’ Gorilla Grodd, arch nemesis of the  Flash. Created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino, the  premise is that in the 19th century, a spacecraft crashed deep in the heart of Africa in the Congo Basin. Grodd and his troupe gain super intelligence and Grodd and another gorilla, Solovar, are also empowered with telepathic and telekinetic abilities as well as mind control. Uner the leadership of the alien pilot, the genius apes build Gorilla City where they live in a society far advanced from our own. The apes dwell in peace in this secret city hidden in the mountains, until they are discovered by explorers.
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pq1TIGMnhpQ[/embed]
Grodd forces an explorer to kill the alien, so he can rule Gorilla City. But Solovar and the Flash thwart Grodd’s evil plan. Many times through the years the Flash and his allies including Solovar save the world from Grodd.
If you’ve read or written a book featuring a gorilla, tell us about it or comment on anything else regarding the post. I love to hear from readers and other authors.
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Mary and Jane - Sci-fi Pioneers

Diana Vick - Steamcon
Diana Vick - Steamcon
I thought I'd mention two of my favorite writers, Mary and Jane, again -- the two teenage girls in the regency era that gave so much to the sci-fi genre.
Jane Loudon
Jane Loudon
I love reading sci-fi and steampunk and I hear statements sometimes about women being new to sci-fi. Of course women were among the pioneers of the genre. Frankenstein was the first mad-scientist subgenre book and many consider it the first work which can logically be labeled sci-fi. Mary Shelley wrote it when she was 19. Shelley also wrote, The Last Man, the first written work  of the sci-fi subgenre of a sole survivor of earth. A still popular plot, often used in books and movies two hundred years later. Jane Loudon’s novel, The Mummy, A Tale of the 22nd Century was the first book about a mummy brought back to life, a popular plot to this day. She wrote it when she was 17. However, there’s a lot more to Loudon’s contribution to sci-fi. In the regency era, a time when the word sci-fi wasn’t even used, she understood what futuristic sci-fi was meant to be.
The Last Man is set in the 21st century and written in first person. The writing is elegant with marvelous description. Verney tells the story of his life. Through mistakes of his father, he and his sister, Perdita,  are cast out of a happy life into one of poor lonely orphans.  He forms a plan of vengeance against the people who brought this ruin. The main culprit was the king, who is dead. When the king’s son, Adrian, comes to Verney’s town he sets his plan in motion. However, Adrian turns out to be a great supporter of Verney’s  late father. Verney rises from his life of despair and longing with the help of Adrian, who becomes his lifelong best friend.  This circle of six friends: Verney, Perdita, Adrian a poet and intellectual , Raymond a hero nobleman (who marries Perdita) , Adrian’s sister, Idris  (who marries Verney) and Evadne, a Greek princess, have many ups and downs in their lives. Eventually, most end up married with children and quite happy and settled. But Perdita’s husband, Raymond, cheats on her with Evadne.  So Perdita leaves Raymond. A war between the Greeks and the Turks break out and Raymond fights in it as does Evadne. She dies on the battlefield and Verney finds her body and buries her. As Raymond is on his death bed from mortal war wounds, Perdita goes to him and forgives him. When he dies, she kills herself. Soon after this an epidemic begins. It’s unknown what causes it or how it spreads. It goes from country to country. For a long time England is untouched by it. Due to the plague and several natural disasters in different parts of the world, England is filled with immigrants. Then the symptoms reach a patient in a hospital in London. In the year 2096 the few survivors of the plague in England decide to leave and find some untouched part of the world. Verney, Adrian, and their families are at the forefront of this group.
They sail from England, leaving it depopulated. The group decides to pass the hot months in the icy valley of Switzerland. As they journey there Idris, Verney’s wife. dies from the plague. By the time they arrive in Switzerland it, like every other place, is empty of people. After seven years the plague ends. Thinking danger has passed they leave the alps to go into Italy and pass the winter in Milan. Then they  spend the summer in a villa by a lake. There one of the children is struck with a sudden fever and dies. They burry the child and sail their skiff toward Athens. But a storm overtakes the ship . Everyone is drowned in the shipwreck except Verney.
Verney enters the town of Ravenna near where the wreck occurred. He sees oxen, dogs, horses, birds, and other animals but no men among them. After staying a while in Ravennna, he heads to Rome, the capital of the world, the crown of man’s achievement. He finds pens and paper and writes a book about his life, which is the book – The Last Man.  He leaves it in the ancient city of this world as a sole monument of Verney the LAST MAN. He then leaves Rome to sail around the shores of deserted Earth.
The Mummy! 1828 2nd edition - title page
The Mummy! 1828 2nd edition - title page
Jane Loudon’s novel, The Mummy, A Tale of the 22nd Century was published anonymously as a trilogy in 1827, and again in 1828.  In the regency era, a time when the word sci-fi wasn’t even used, she wrote of the future in a way no one had before. Instead of just taking her own time period and moving it into the future, making few changes except for utopian or dystopian ones, she built an actual futuristic world with advanced technology, futuristic clothing, and a different type of government. Jane Loudon was the first sci-fi author to actually world build.
The gadgets in her future world all spring from the regency era when the high-end technology of the day was steam and balloons. Two of Loudon’s characters, Edwin and Dr. Entwerfen embark on an expedition to the tomb of Pharaoh Cheops (Khufu), to shock him back to life with a galvanized battery. Their dialogue when leaving for Egypt and realizing they have too much baggage for the balloon touches on some of Loudon’s interesting futuristic inventions. She even envisioned a certain type of space flight as a fashionable mode of travel. Here’s a short excerpt:
“The cloaks are of asbestos and will be necessary to protect us from ignition, if we should encounter any electric matter in the clouds; and the hampers are filled with elastic plugs for our ears and noses, and tubes and barrels of common air, for us to breathe when we get beyond the common atmosphere of the earth. “
“But what occasion shall we have to go beyond it?”
“How can we do otherwise? Surely you don’t meant to travel the whole distance in the balloon? I thought of course, you would adopt the present fashionable mode of traveling, and after mounting the seventeen miles or thereabouts, which is necessary to get clear of the mundane attraction, to wait there till the turning of the globe should bring Egypt directly under our feet.”
“But it is not in the same latitude.”
Then the doctor explains the box he wants to bring on the balloon contains his portable galvanic battery and his apparatus for making and collecting the inflammable air. It also holds a machine for producing and concentrating quicksilver vapor – the power to propel them onward in place of steam. It even has laughing gas for the sole purpose of keeping up their spirits.
Another change in everyday life in the future is fast mail delivery. Letters are placed inside balls and fired from steam cannons. Every town and district have a woven wire suspended in the air as a net to catch the ball and a cannon to send it off again when the letters for that neighborhood are extracted. A smaller wooden ball with a hole in its side to making whizzing noise as it sails through the air is sent before each mail ball to alert people to keep out of the way.
Also Stage balloons are used to make fast deliveries. One of the characters receives a collection of ballads, at least three hundred years old, sent from London by stage balloon that morning. They are on rag paper since asbestos paper used in the 22nd century had only been invented for two hundred years.
Movable houses are another change in the future. One of the characters, Edric, sees a house slide out of place and glide along the road. A lady at the window blows a kiss to someone in another house as she passes by. When someone wants to go into the country for a few weeks they take their house with them, which saves the trouble of packing and allows everyone to have all their little conveniences about. There are grooves in the bottom of the houses that fit on the iron railways. Propelled by steam, they slide on without much trouble but it only works for small houses as large ones aren’t compact enough.
More futuristic marvels are feather-fans hung from the ceiling, circulating aeriform fluid. Also they use tubes in the houses to suck out stale air and bring the fresh air in. And the most stylish coats are made in a machine. At one end it strips the wool off a sheep, then weaves it so a ready to wear coat comes out at the other end of the machine. Also Bridges are movable and steam-powered to rotate in all directions and to adjust to whatever height is needed for the different waterways. Even streets are modernized, they are warmed by pipes of hot air so no one perishes of cold.
She envisions a lot of technological advancements in agriculture including a steam-powered lawnmower and a mechanical milking machine. Also when the sun doesn’t shine enough to make hay they use a burning glass to make it. When it doesn’t rain enough for the crops they use an electrical machine to draw down clouds to cause rain on the fields that need it.
She also shares a glimpse of futuristic fashion: “The ladies were all arrayed in loose trousers, over which hung drapery in graceful folds; and most of them carried on their heads streams of lighted gas forced by capillary tubes into plumes, fleurs-de-lis, or in short any form the wearer pleased; which jets de feu had an uncommonly chase and elegant effect.”
There are also political changes from the Regency era to the 22nd century. After undergoing a revolution, and even a period of democracy, England returns to an absolute monarchy but as a matriarchy. All rulers are queens and the candidates are single women of the royal family between the ages of 20 and 25. There is  a law that the queen cannot get married. In the towns, the men in the country 21 years on up, in groups of 10,000, choose a deputy to represent them in London. The queen is elected through the majority vote of these deputies.
The main characters in The Mummy, A Tale of the 22nd Century come from two families with their eyes on the crown: the Montagues and the house of the Duke of Cornwall. The Montagues have two sons, Edmund, a national hero and Edric, an intellectual. The Duke of Cornwall’s family has two daughters Elvira and Rosabella, who are the next in line to the throne if anything happens to Queen Claudia. Edric’s father has arranged for him to marry Rosabella but he reuses. Edric is fascinated by the idea of reanimating the dead. His friend, Dr. Entwerfen tells him that since the ancient Egyptians believed the souls of their mummies were chained to them in a torpid state till the final day of judgment, there is every reason to believe that by employing so powerful an agent as a galvanic battery of fifty surgeon power re-animation may be produced. Edric is too squeamish to touch a dead corpse’s flesh but he’s willing to touch a mummy as it swathed in wrappings. He and Dr. Entwerfen go to Egypt and resurrect the mummy, Cheops. But the mummy runs out of the pyramid, hijacks their balloon, and flies back to England. When he flies over Queen Claudia’s coronation pageant, his balloon gets tangled up with all the other balloons crowding he sky. His balloon gets torn and falls to the earth landing on and killing Queen Claudia. The story continues with political intrigue, a secret birth father, and love triangles, all with a little help from the wise Pharaoh, Cheops, who has the most common sense and perception of anyone in the book.
The similarity between awakening the mummy and awakening Frankenstein back to life and the similarity of the two main male characters, hero and intellectual as in in Mary Shelley’s The Last Man, is no coincidence. Jane Loudon uses them as a parody to show her own view point. Her political, social and religious beliefs differ greatly form Mary Shelley’s.
The next time you are writing, reading, or watching a movie or TV show with a mad scientist or sole survivor on earth plot or a mummy brought back to life plot or awesome world building for the future take a silent moment to thank Mary Shelley and Jane Loudon. And if you’re at a con or other event and someone says something like women are new to Sci-Fi or girls don't know anything about sci-fi, you might just want to remind them that women have been reading and wiring Sci-Fi for over two hundred years.
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