New interview

The lovely Gabrielle Ganz interviewed me recently, about The Great Game, steampunk, Osama and my favourite poets.

And the very nice (ok, lovely!) people of Pornokitsch have announced their new anthology, Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke – released in an e-book edition and a hardcover edition limited to just 100 copies (of which over half, I’m told, are already gone!)

The anthology will contain my “Brief History of the Great Pubs of London”, of which the entry below may serve as a sample.

The Crypt, St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields

Not a pub in the traditional sense but we like it, having spent at least one boozy occasion there. Also they serve a mean apple crumble with custard. An 18th century crypt below the church of St. Martin’s-in-the-Fields, it has high stone arcs and a hushed but convivial atmosphere. Rumours that this is where Count Dracula made his abode upon arrival in England on board the Demeter are probably false, though it is worth noting many of the staff are notoriously pale. Vampire aficionados do make pilgrimage to the otherwise quiet cafe, and the use of flash lights, like the carrying of wooden stakes, is discouraged.

short stories

New Story: “The Stoker Memorandum”, at Daily Science Fiction

My latest short story, The Stoker Memorandum, is now up at Daily Science Fiction – it is set in the world of The Great Game and, in fact, partly drawn from the novel – a taster, if you will!

Warning: may contain Steampunk!

Abraham Stoker’s Journal

— From the archives of the Bureau of Secret Intelligence, Pall Mall, London, Classified Ultra, for Head of Bureau Eyes Only —



I had finally arrived at this city, with darkness gathering, casting upon the city a most unfavourable appearance. Having checked into my hotel I drank a glass of strong Romanian wine, accompanied by bear steak, which I am told they bring from the mountains at great expense. I had not enquired as for the recipe.

I am sitting in my room, watching the dance of gas light over the city. tomorrow I set off for the mountains, and as I write this I am filled with trepidation. I have decided to maintain this record of my mission. In the event anything were to happen to me, this journal may yet make its way, somehow, back to London.

Let me, therefore, record how I came to be at this barbarous and remote country, and the sorry tortuous route by which I came to my current predicament.


My name is Abraham Stoker, called Abe by some, Bram by others. I am a theatrical manager, having worked for the great actor Henry Irving for many years as his personal assistant, and, on his behalf, as manager of the Lyceum Theatre in Covent Garden.

I am not a bad man, nor am I a traitor.

Nevertheless, it was in the summer of 18—that I became an unwitting assistant to a grand conspiracy against our lizardine masters, and one which I was helpless to prevent.

It had began as a great triumph for my theatrical career. Due to a fight between the great librettist W.S. Gilbert and his long-time manager, Richard D’Oyly Carte, over – of all things – a carpet, I had managed to lure Gilbert and his collaborator, the composer Arthur Sullivan, to my own theatre from D’Oyly Carte’s Savoy. We were to stage their latest work, titled The Pirates of the Carib Sea, a rousing tale of adventure and peril. The first part, and forgive me if I digress, describes our lizardine masters’ awakening on Caliban’s Island, their journey with that foul explorer Amerigo Vespucci back to the British isle, their overthrowing of our human rulers and their assumption of the throne – a historical tale set to song in the manner only G&S could possibly do it.

In the second part, we encounter the mythical pirate Wyvern, the one-eyed royal lizard who – if the stories in the London Illustrated News can be believed – had abandoned his responsibilities to his race, the royal Les Lezards, to assume the life of a blood-thirsty pirate operating in the Carib Sea, between Vespuccia and the lands of the Mexica and Aztecs, and preying on the very trade ships of his own Everlasting Empire, under her royal highness Queen Victoria, the lizard-queen.

Irving himself played – with great success, I might add! – the notorious pirate, assuming a lizard costume of some magnificence, while young Beerbohm Tree played his boatswain, Mr. Spoons, the bald, scarred, enormous human who is – so they say – Wyvern’s right-hand-man.

It was at that time that a man came to see me in my office. He was a foreigner, and did not look wealthy or, indeed, distinguished.

‘My name,’ he told me, ‘is Karl May.’ – continue reading!

short stories

The Immersion Book of Steampunk

Here’s the table of contents for the forthcoming anthology The Immersion Book of Steampunk, edited by Gareth D. Jones and Carmelo Rafala,  in which I have a story. Very cool cover and contributors!

Table of Contents:

  • “Follow That Cathedral!” by Gareth Owens
  • “The Machines of the Nehphilim” by James Targett
  • “The Siege of Dr. Vikare Blisset” by Jacques Barcia
  • “The Clockworks of Hanyang” by Gord Sellar
  • “Cinema U” by G.D. Falksen
  • “Kulterkampf” by Anatoly Belilovsky
  • “Rogue Mail” by Toby Frost
  • “Electrium” by Elizabeth Counihan
  • “Leaves of Glass” by Lavie Tidhar
  • “Memories in Bronze, Feathers, and Blood” by Aliette de Bodard
  • “Empire of Glass” by Tanith Lee
  • “Steam Horse” by Chris Butler
  • “Professor Fluvius’s Palace of Many Waters” by Paul Di Filippo


book news

Camera Obscura nominated for an Airship Award

Very glad to report that Camera Obscura has been nominated for the Airship Award in the written category! The Airship Awards are given for a variety of steampunk categories at Steamcon, an annual steampunk convention.

The nominees in the written category are:

Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Tee Morris & Pip Ballantine (Harper Voyager)
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, Mark Hodder (Pyr)
Camera Obscura, Lavie Tidhar (Angry Robot)
The Half-Made World, Felix Gilman (Tor)

Very nice company to be in! A full list of nominees can be found here.

short stories

TOC: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk

Sean Wallace has announced the table of contents for The Mammoth Book of Steampunk, coming out next year.

“Steampunk: Looking to the Future through the Lens of the Past” by Ekaterina Sedia (introduction)
“Fixing Hanover” by Jeff VanderMeer
“The Steam Dancer (1896)” by  Caitlin R. Kiernan
“Icebreaker” by  Elise Tobler (original)
“Tom Edison and His Amazing Telegraphic Harpoon” by Jay Lake
“The Zeppelin Conductors’ Society Annual Gentlemen’s Ball” by Genevieve Valentine
“Clockwork Fairies” by Cat Rambo
“The Mechanical Aviary of Emperor Jala-ud-din Muhammed Akbar” by Shweta Narayan
“Prayers of Forges and Furnaces” by Aliette de Bodard (original)
“The Effluent Engine” by N.K. Jemisin
“The Clockwork Goat and the Smokestack Magi” by Peter M Ball
“The Armature of Flight” by Sharon Mock
“The Anachronist’s Cookbook” by Catherynne M. Valente
“Numismatics in the Reigns of Naranh and Viu” by Alex Dally MacFarlane (original)
“Zeppelin City” by Michael Swanwick & Eileen Gunn
“The People’s Machine” by Tobias Buckell
“The Hands That Feed” by Matthew Kressel
“Machine Maid” by Margo Lanagan
“To Follow the Waves” by Amal El-Mohtar
“Clockmaker’s Requiem” by Barth Anderson
“Dr. Lash Remembers” by Jeffrey Ford
“Lady Witherspoon’s Solution” by James Morrow
“Reluctance” by Cherie Priest
“A Serpent in the Gears” by Margaret Ronald
“The Celebrated Carousel of the Margravine of Blois” by Megan Arkenberg
“Biographical Notes To ‘A Discourse On The Nature Of Causality’ by Benjamin Rosenbaum” by Benjamin Rosenbaum
“Clockwork Chickadee” by Mary Robinette Kowal
“Cinderella Suicide” by Samantha Henderson
“Arbeitskraft” by Nick Mamatas (original)
“To Seek Her Fortune” by Nicole Kornher-Stace
“The Ballad of the Last Human” by Lavie Tidhar (original)