What happens when the supernatural and steampunk collide? When ghosts get into the gears and cowled figures haunt the cogwheels? When blood drips with the fog from the streets of cities that rattle with industry?
In just over a week’s time you can find out, with the release of Ghosts, Gears and Grimoires, an anthology of steampunk horror stories edited by Rie Sheridan Rose of Mocha Memoirs Press. It includes my story “Steel and Steam”, in which colonial industry faces native spirits, and over a dozen other tales. There’s a very nifty book trailer here, and if that doesn’t whet your appetite enough, here’s a small taster of my story…
Hywel snorted. “This is the nineteenth century, Mr. Kagunda. The world is powered by science and steam, not ancient superstitions and mystification.”
“Mr. Jones is right,” Filbery said. “There are far more plausible explanations. Human error, machine fault, even sabotage. If this superstition is causing us problems, then we should nip it in the bud.”
“You have a Bible in your room, Mr. Filbery?” Kagunda’s voice was rising, his guarded, respectful tone giving way to something more primal. “And you, Mr. Jones? I have heard you singing songs of God as you work.” He made a wide, sweeping gesture with his arm, taking in the whole of the surrounding plains. “This land is my Bible. My songs are of this earth, and those who came before.”
“I say!” Filbery protested, as Kagunda grabbed each of them by an arm and dragged them to the back rail. Hywel knew the foreman was strong, but this was the first time he had felt the intensity of that strength, pulling him about like a rag doll.
“The white.” Kagunda pointed at pale flecks in the broken dirt thirty feet below them. “What is it?”
“Chalk?” Filbery asked.
“Flint?” Hywel murmured, knowing as he said it that the geology was wrong.
“Bone.” Kagunda’s voice tolled like a bell.