Tag Archives: Science fiction


Animatae’s Shadow

Animatae's Shadow

Available for purchase on Christmas Day 2012 from Amazon!
First book in the Rogues of the Empyrean series.


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Posted by on 24 December 2012 in publishing, steampunk, Victorian


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Steampunk: Animatae’s Shadow

I am excited to share my Steampunk short story Animatae’s Shadow



The peaceful Port Animatae is terrorized by monsters in the night.  Mattie discovers her friend murdered and wants to get to the bottom of it.  When her life is on the line, will her fiancé William be able to save her and their town from the dark specter hanging over them?

To read the story in PDF form please click here: Animatae’s Shadow.

This is the unedited version.  The edited version will be available on Amazon Kindle early next year.

Thank you Klem for the use of your amazing photo.


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Steampunk: What lurks in the dark?

This past week photos were released of the abandoned subway in New York.  I

New York Subway

found the pictures on Huffington Post rather inspiring as a writer, so I wanted to share.

There was something reminiscent of Steampunk. The whole affair got my grey matter’s cogs turning.  Wouldn’t it be neat to see what other subterranean areas there are lurking beneath our heels?

If you are a fan of Steampunk fiction you are already aware that there is usually a tone of slight creepy abandonment that lies somewhere within most novels.  Thus abandoned subterranean exploration is making its début on The Top Hat Exchange.

New York Subway Tunnel

Apparently the world is riddled with underground abandonment, living tunnels, roads and workstations that look like they have jumped right out of the pages of epic Science Fiction.

I narrowed my results to the following:

Budapest, Hungary

Caves and tunnels run the gamut under Castle Hill.  Word is the

Budapest Tunnels

labyrinth dates back several centuries and it was created for military use.

Civilians used them for shelter during WWII.  Now tourists and visitors can visit the breath-taking tunnels.

If you are a glutton for the creepy you can take a flashlight tour  (I shudder to think how frightening that would be).

OR you can take a fully lit tour.  I would personally opt for this.  Hey, if I’m going to visit century old caverns I want to see what it is I’m paying for.

Now the next stop on the subterranean tour is for all you Gothic kids out there.

London, England

West Norwood Cemetery has tunnels full of coffins stuffed into crevices, man-made shelves, and simply laying out on the ground.  Exploring the deteriorating pine coffins and sturdy mahogany resting places of the dead might appeal to many out there, I think I will pass.

The spectre of ghosts and goblins still scare the wits out of this writer.

Moving on to the Magic Kingdom

Orlando, FL, USA

That is correct, the Magic Kingdom has a whole system of underground tunnels that their employees use.  Not only do Disney employees walk through the passages connecting kitchens, dining areas, and offices but the tunnels are large enough for motorized vehicles.

So as your little girl poses next to Cinderella for a Kodak moment, somewhere beneath your Birkenstocks lurks a truck creeping through the underground tunnels delivering  chicken the Disney cooks will prepare for your lunch or dinner.

Pembrokeshire, Wales

Real life Hobbit House anyone? Yes please.  This fantastical home has fresh

Welsh Hobbit Home

water running into it (by gravity only) from a nearby spring and all the materials are local.  The exception is the plumbing.  Recycled materials were saved from the bin for that…seriously.  I love this house and the minds that put it together from renewable and recyclable materials.

Tokyo, Japan

Japanese researcher Shun Akiba found an old map of the Tokyo tunnel system.

Japanese Spaces

The old map did not match the current maps.  As he researched further more and more inconsistencies were found.  It all points to hidden spaces underground.  Sounds like the beginning of a novel doesn’t it?  Well the Japanese government denies any hidden underground spaces.  But check out these pictures of acknowledged Japanese subterranean spaces.

Subterranean Japan

There are many, many more subterranean wonders around the world.  I could easily ramble on but I will refrain.

I mention these because I found these particular  wonders awe inspiring as an on-looker and as a writer.

Anything that sparks my imagination is (of course) interesting to me and deserves more research.

As much as I find all these wonders awe inspiring there is something almost suffocating about them.  C’mon it’s all underground! I could be buried alive!

If you would like to explore under the earth further please follow the links below for more eerie underground wonder.

All photos used are from the above websites.


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It is with great pleasure that I announce my intention to actively pursue publication of my Steampunk novel “Mechmans Malice”.

I have created a new page with a short summary and excerpt of the first chapter.

Let me know what you think.  Feedback is invaluable.

~ Elaine


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Steampunk: ÆtherFest 2011

This year is proving to be a year of firsts in the Steampunk community and I am pleased and excited about the upcoming ÆtherFest on April 29 – May 1st in San Antonio, TX. ÆtherFest is the first Steampunk Convention in the state of Texas.

I have had the honor to meet the two time traveling con-men who are the


organizers of this new convention at previous events. On top of their Steamy swagger, and panache, they have a far-reaching perspective. This is probably due to their time traveling ways… they are moving towards making ÆtherFest a non-profit.


Turning an organization into non-profit is tedious and traumatic to pure hearted folk who want their profits to go to the needy deserving. The the co-founds of ÆtherFest and the San Antonio Neo-Victorian Association are on track to non-profit.  A few of the guests and attendees who are taking part of this wonderful endeavor are mentioned below.

Cracked Monocle

Cracked Monocle the game master, for better or worse, will have control of the game room! Attendees will be able to play the prized tabletop RPG, Tephra. Much excitement surrounds Cracked Monocle as their gifts extend past Tephra…you may learn more about them at their website

Emperor Justinian Stanislaus of the Red Fork Empire will be in attendance! In their own words “The Red Fork Empire (RFE) is a collective of people who want to express themselves creatively, not necessarily as professionals but because using your imagination and being creative is fundamental to truly enjoying life.” The RFE most definitely seem to truly enjoy life, please visit them at

Ay-leen the Peacemaker, will also be there! She is most known for her award-winning Steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana – Multicultural Steampunk.

“Her upcoming published work will be included in the fashion anthology Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style from SUNY Press in 2012. She has also been interviewed about steampunk and its evolving subculture for many steampunk and sci-fi sites and for the books The Steampunk Bible (Abrams Image, May 2011) and Steampunk: Reloaded (Tachyon Publications, 2010).”

The musical entertainment will be a  crowd pleaser. Marquis of Vaudeville , Bones Jangle and Hipnautica. Marquis and Bones are quickly becoming the golden children of the Texas Steampunk music scene. Hipnautica will be an experience all on their own. Their sound morphs and melds. They are chameleons of the music scene, easily turning from one style to something completely different.

Multiple Airships will be in attendance, as well as the new organization SCARS.  The South Central Armada of Renegade Steampunk is a group of Airships with a common goal of growing the idea of Steampunk to uncharted territories.


The guests and workshops are not the only draw to AetherFest. The sponsoring hotel alone is a reason to come .

The locale is the historical St. Anthony Hotel, on the Riverwalk. It opened its

Peacock Alley Lobby

doors in 1909, an endeavour of wealthy cattlemen. They wanted to create the most posh hotel in San Antonio. What they didn’t expect is that their financial expert and project guide F.M Swearingen would go beyond their expectations.

Steampunk is lauded as the ‘future-past’. The St. Anthony’s Hotel mimics that in its own right.

When most citizens still rode in a horse and buggy hotel visitors wondered at


illuminated closets, and their own private bath. What was most impressive of all, bedroom lights that turned off when the guest locked their door from the outside. The St. Anthony Hotel set the standard for hotel innovations across the globe. In the hotels golden history, Royalty and Hollywood stars such as the Prince of Monaco, Judy Garland, Fred Astaire and Rock Hudson have been guests.

If you have any interest in going please check out the links below for more information.


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Steampunk: All-Con Aftermath!

A Mallory Lorene Photo

This years All-Con event was a smashing success!

SF, Fantasy, Renaissance, Anime, Comic and of course Steampunk came together in a meeting of fabulous inner nerd and freak this past weekend.

A Mallory Lorene Photo

Many Steampunks came down from the aether this weekend.  It was a  wonderful parade of parasols, top hats, ray guns and bustles.

Airship Nocturne, and The Steampunk Illumination Society were out in force.

3 Airship Nocturne Crew Members

The crew was in full Steampunk regalia.  Talking canes (true story), fluttery feathers, jet packs and bandoliers replete with tea cups were to be found at the Nocturne booth.

Another group that spearheads many local events, the Circus Freaks, were also there.  They offered several workshops on learning Poi, and Flagging.  They are the rock stars of the Freak, showing moves that you only thought could be CGI generated.

A Mallory Lorene Photo: Poi 101

(The Circus Freaks were also at this years earlier event Clockwork Wonderland.)

Monkey of the Circus Freaks & Trantius of the Nocturne

Vendors set up selling wares of all kinds.  Buttons, pins, t-shirts, bustles, corsets, top hats, canes, and Renaissance Faire tickets to name some.  Intricate Steampunk gadgets, goggles and other random gizmo’s were also ready for purchase.

The Steampunk Ball was the highlight for many.  For those many, they all  needed a good dose of caffeine, because this ball did not end at the stroke of mid-night.  Oh no!  It started at mid-night.

One of the opening acts for the ball included Bones Jangle.  Bones, never fails

'Bones' Jangle

to satisfy his listeners.  For all those who love a good toe tapping, dancing shanty tune, this is the performer for you.  His raspy voice crows above the crowds taking them from the dance floor and to the aether of their favorite airship.

Before All-Con was barely underway there were rumors that the lauded main act of the Steampunk Ball, The Marquis of Vaudeville would not be in attendance.

Due to an unbecoming lack of communication on the part of All-Con planners, many fans and friends of All-Con and The Marquis were upset that the ball would perhaps not go on.

The Marquis did in fact perform.  This was only because they were able to overcome the terrible lack of communication on the part of the convention.  To their credit The Marquis went above and beyond what is generally thought of as the responsibility for performers.  The Marquis of Vaudeville went on to play and satisfy their fans who were still awake to hear them at 2am.

Marquis of Vaudeville

The Marquis is superbly adept at creating otherworldly music.  It takes the listener into another realm, like Lewis Carrol took his readers to Wonderland, the Marquis take their fans beyond the here and now.

After the ball ended, at nearly 3 am, the attendees moved to various after parties that were being thrown around the hotel.  That being said, nerds and freaks know how to throw great parties.

If you would like more information about any of the events or groups please see the following links.

Thank you Mallory Lorene for your wonderful photographs.


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Steampunk: All-Con 2011

Steampunk is the theme for this years All-Con.  All-Con, like its name suggests, is a convention for everyone.  Anime, SF, Fantasy, and of course Steampunk.

Like all good conventions there will be many opportunities for performance art, costume contests, and cosplay.

This year we get to discover more about the aether and mysterium of the culture and fun of steam.  A growth spurt in the genre has a record number of people venturing into the realm of the ‘future past’.  All-Con presents a fabulous opportunity to rub elbows with fellow Steampunks and vendors to help this wonderful genre grow even more.

Here’s the nitty-gritty on who’s who and what to do:

Steampunk Events:
Steampunk Paranormal Romance author O. M. Grey

What Lays Beyond the Aether  Basic Steam Punk

Altering the Aether

Steampunk Alchemy: Turning Unwanted Clothing Into Steampunk Gold

Cracked Monocle Games

Suck It In  Corset Basics

Making The Best Leather Masks

Burlesque Performance

Steampunk Ball

Steampunk Music and Dance: Current and Future Trends

Gurps Steampunk

Cosplay Tea Party

Multicultural Steampunk Ensembles

Not necessarily Steampunk related, but really darn funny:

Geeks: How To Get Some Action At A Convention

Zombie Dice

Hitting yourself stylishly in the head with poi!  Poi Spinning

Don’t Lose Your Geek Card

Geeky Girls



Several Airships will be attending with their crew, as well as Steampunk societies such as the superb Steampunk Illumination Society.

Yours truly will be there with her own airship and event table: The Airship Nocturne.  Look for the bright crimson corset and bandoleer with a tea-cup and saucer.  It’s me.

This will be a wonderful opportunity to meet some of the best, brightest and friendliest Steampunks that the region has.  Please come tip your hat and exchange pleasantries at this years All-Con!

All-Con takes place:

March  18th-20th

Crowne Plaza Hotel

Midway Road

Addison TX

Ticket and Reservation information can be found here:

Steampunk Illumination Society:

Airship Nocturne:


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