Shovel the coal and stoke the boilers as nine steam punk authors
explore islands of mystery and adventure across the seven seas.
The Clockwork Seer by Katherine Cowley: On an island of oddities, a young clairvoyant
struggles for normalcy, but deadly automatons have other plans.
Sindisiwe by Scott E. Tarbet: A slave girl in Zanzibar escapes a beating when
a stranger in the marketplace proves her past is more than just a fairy tale.
Stand and Deliver by TC Phillips: Neither shackles, slave labor, nor the island’s
deadliest inhabitants will prevent these brothers from meting out justice to
their father’s murderers.
Island Walker by C. R. Simper: Kit digs her treasures out of trash heaps, but the
theft of her invention leads to discoveries money can’t buy.
A Mind Prone to Wander by Danielle E. Shipley: Beyond a locked door lies Rowan Charles’ death or his sanity, and the survival or extinction of his people.
Curio Cay by Sarah E. Seeley: The future of humanity rests in the hands of three time-traveling scientists battling biomechanical creatures in the Jurassic past.
The Mysterious Island of Chester Morrison by Kin Law: Dodging her chaperone, a debutante stumbles into adventure and romance at the World’s Fair.
Revolutionary by John M. Olsen: A dirigible captain goes down with his ship, and wakes to find himself a captive of a sky-dwelling civilization.
The Steel Inside by Gail B. Williams: Darkness lurks in Sarah’s forgotten past, kept hidden by those who claim to be her devoted husband and loyal servants.
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Katherine Cowley wrote her first story at the age of five, a retelling of the Icarus myth titled “The Turtle That Got Too Close to the Sun.” She has worked as a documentary film producer, a radio producer, and a college professor. She now devotes herself to writing steampunk, fantasy, and science fiction. Cowley’s short stories and essays have been published and won awards in the Locutorium, the BYU Studies Personal Essay Contest, the Meeting of the Myths, Four Centuries of Mormon Stories, and the Mormon Lit Blitz. You can also read her stories online at katherinecowley.com.
Katherine loves European chocolate, the history of science, and steampunk fashion. She has lived in the United States, Brazil, and Finland, and currently resides in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.
Scott E. Tarbet
Scott E. Tarbet writes what fires his imagination: the broad umbrella of speculative fiction. He is especially intrigued by how human beings react to and interact with science, technology, and other magics.
Educator, chef, professional opera singer, and Steampunk craftsman, with a long list of short stories and other works to his credit, he makes his home in the splendor of the Utah mountains with his wife and best friend, Jewels.
TC Phillips hails from tropical central Queensland in Australia, where he currently lives with his loving wife, three young children, a spoilt cat, and an overactive imagination. An avid reader from a young age, he has held a long-standing attraction for the written word and is excited to make his own contributions to the vibrant and ever shifting world of storytelling. Holding degrees in both Theatre Studies and Education, he is also currently completing his Master of Arts (writing) through Swinburne University of Technology.
C. R. Simper
C. R. Simper is an Arizona native who graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Purchasing and Logistics Management. She married another Arizona native in 1991 and is now the stay-at-home mom of three
daughters and one son.
Simper has written in multiple genres over the past three decades. She has found that writing maintains a sense of order in her life. Her first published story, “The Journey of Inspector Roux” appeared in Terra Mechanica: a Steampunk Anthology (2014), another Xchyler publication.
Danielle E. Shipley’s first novelettes told the everyday misadventures of wacky kids like herself. Or so she thought. Unbeknownst to them all, half of her characters were actually closeted elves, dwarves, fairies, or some combination thereof. When it all came to light, Danielle did the sensible thing: packed up and moved to Fantasy Land, where daily rent is the low, low price of her heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears, firstborn child, sanity, and words; lots of them.
Shipley has also been known to spend short bursts of time in the real-life Chicago area with the parents who home-schooled her and the two little sisters who keep her humble. When she’s not living the highs and lows of writing, publishing, and all that authorial jazz, she’s probably blogging about it at EverOnWord.wordpress.com.
This is her third appearance in a Xchyler anthology, following the paranormal “Two Spoons” in Legends and Lore, and “Reality As We Know It” in fantasy collection The Toll of Another Bell. Other publications include Inspired (a
novel), and a series of fairy-tale retelling mash-ups, The Wilderhark Tales.
Sarah E. Seeley
Through two wonderful mentored research experiences, Sarah E. Seeley had the opportunity to work with dead sauropods and ancient odonates while acquiring her undergraduate degree in geology from Brigham Young University. She hopes to study more dead things in the future and contribute to scientific discussions about what makes life on Earth so amazing. In the meantime, she explores the bright side of being human by writing dark fiction.
Seeley’s independently published works include Maladaptive Bind and Blood Oath: An Orc Love Story. Sarah’s short story “Peradventure” appears in Xchyler Publishing’s Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions. Another short story, “Driveless,” appears in Leading Edge Magazine Issue #66. You can learn more about Sarah on her writing blog at www.SlithersOfThought.com
Living in the bustle of NYC, Kin is constantly reminded he is a child of two worlds. Originally from Hong Kong, he’s traveled both geographically and socially, working in many professions including movie projection and line cooking. He has degrees in Media and Culinary Arts, and a great love of Philosophy. As for fiction, his favorite authors are Douglas Adams, Hemmingway, and Chuck Pahlaniuk.
Today, Kin is a culinary copywriter, intent on furthering his novelist career. He loves his fiancée, his cat Zoe, Scotch, bacon and coffee. Addressing himself in the third person makes him chuckle.
John M. Olsen
John M. Olsen has been creating things his whole life through a mixture of technical and creative processes, whether building family, stories, art, software, woodworking or anything else. He has dreams of becoming a Renaissance man and loves to learn new things to add to his store of randomly accessible information (otherwise known as irrelevant trivia). Writing is one of his loves, inspired by having read most of his father’s extensive fantasy and science fiction collection in his teen years.
He builds high-end simulation software, and has contributed chapters to several books on computer graphics and game design, as well as publishing fiction in multiple genres. He lives in Utah with his wife and five children, some of whom are old enough to have moved out and back in. Together they have also raised three nieces and a nephew, and are minions of their benevolent cat overlord.
Gail B. Williams
Gail Williams lives in her own private dungeon populated with all the weird and the wonderful she can imagine. Some of it’s very weird, and the odd bits and pieces are a bit wonderful. With a vivid imagination fuelled by a near death experience at the age of three, there was really no other choice for Gail than to write, something she’s been doing for as long as she can remember. She’s tried not doing it, but it never works for long, her brain gets itchy if
she hasn’t written anything for a couple of days. Gail is English by birth, but lives in Swansea, Wales, married a Welshman and they have two fantastic children. They live with the world’s most imperious and demanding cat. An asset management specialist by day, a freelance editor and keen writer of an evening and weekend, she really needs to learn to sleep. To find out more see www.gailbwilliams.com
James NgJames Ng (pronounced Ing) was born in Hong Kong, where he spent most of his childhood drawing monsters and robots, making his own elaborate cardboard toys, and playing soccer. Ever since, he has been on the move between Hong Kong, Vancouver, Chicago and New York. His travels have greatly influenced him, allowing him to combine Eastern and Western cultures in his artwork.
Currently James is enjoying the freedom of being a freelance concept artist and illustrator. After a sunny summer in Vancouver, and traveling to London, and then to New York for an award show and exhibition, he is back in his home of Hong Kong to continue his career.
Damien had never seen the man before, but he knew the name well enough. Bertram MacKenzie was the wealthiest land-owner and stock trader in the colony of New Harfolk, a man with considerable resources and even greater influence. Yet, what he already possessed in abundance never seemed to temper his appetite for more, whether it be land, money or power. It was said he even had his eyes firmly set on the governorship, a posting he already seemed to hold in all else but title. The current governor, a doddering old fool more concerned with chasing his maidservants around than governing in the queen’s name, often left the more serious decision making to MacKenzie anyway.
“I’m here about my offer, O’Keele.” MacKenzie unbuttoned his coat and revealed the revolver strapped to his hip. Meanwhile, MacKenzie’s driver, a young man with a shock of red hair and a port-wine birthmark covering the left side of his face, stepped down from the mechanised carriage with a shotgun slung over his shoulder.
Damien’s pa barely reacted to the visitors’ none-too-subtle attempts at intimidation, but the growling of his faithful dog intensified even further. “Thought I made myself clear. I’m not interested in your money.”
“I think you misunderstand the purpose of my visit, O’Keele. My offer is no longer on the table. The governor himself has taken an interest in this . . . dirt pile you call a farm. I have been tasked by him to inform you that, by the authority of Her Majesty the Queen, this land has now been forcibly reclaimed in the interests of the Crown.”
“Like hell,” Damien’s father spat.
“I’m perfectly serious, O’Keele. I’m here at the governor’s behest to see that you, as the land’s former occupant, are duly informed and appropriately compensated.” Reaching into his coat, MacKenzie retrieved a small leather coin purse and tossed it to the ground before him. “That should more than cover it.”
Not bothering to retrieve the pouch, Damien’s old man merely kicked it over with his toe. A small handful of silver and copper coins spilled out onto the dirt. “Seems a little light. What if I’m not interested?”
“You seem to think you actually have a choice in the matter.” MacKenzie nodded to his redheaded companion, who in turn trained his weapon on Damien’s father.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” Pa warned. Sensing the danger the red-haired man presented to his master, Bailey broke from his place and launched for his throat. Knocked to the ground, MacKenzie’s driver struggled to keep the dog’s snarling teeth from tearing the nose clean off his face.