Preview! A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk

Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting little hints and tastes of A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk, which is being released by Xchyler Publishing on November 30th.

Free preview of the first three chapters here.

A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk

Prologue

From one end of the sprawling London metropolis to the other, over palaces and hovels, elegant townhouses and pitched timber docks and warehouses, the micromechs fluttered.

They rode the summer breeze through every open window, swooped down chimneys, crept in at every crack and crevice. Their multi-faceted eyes searched and their ears recorded, their tiny feet carried them silently across the ceilings of peopled rooms. Mingling with the insects of high summer, they went unnoticed and unremarked, even in the infrequent street corner pools of gas light through which they flashed on whirring, iridescent wings.

​In her private dirigible Ganesh, moored with other private and public airships in the Air Terminus above Victoria Station, their Queen waited patiently for their reports, her portal open to admit the summer breeze and her fluttering charges returning from the city below. They flitted around her brilliant crimson and gold sari like the dragonflies and hummingbirds and other flying beings they had once been, surrounding her like a dazzling bloom in the Indian jungle.

One by one their leaders—Cobweb, Peaseblossom, Mote, and Mustardseed—flitted past and whispered their negative reports into her ear: no sign of the half-man, the huge dazzlingly black mech who had stolen the automaton, Jubal, and fled India for England. But she was calmly confident.

The night was young, the breezes were light, the micromechs were spreading rapidly and methodically from the airship across the city from south to north, from west to east, and he would inevitably be found. Jubal was immeasurably more valuable than the king’s ransom price of the massive blue diamonds at his heart and in his eyes. He must be found before the black mech or his master stumbled over his true worth.

The storm clouds of aggression and war were gathering. The Queens were gathering in response. Jubal must be retrieved.

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