A Revolution in Printing: How A Steam-Powered Press Changed the World

When discussing steam-powered machines and the Victorian Era, many focus on the revolutionary additions made to travel. Steam-powered locomotives or ships are considered groundbreaking innovations that helped to shape the course of our world. Yet another steam-powered ingenious device created during the reign of Queen Victoria had what some would consider an even larger impact on the world: A steam-powered printing press revolutionized the print industry and improved the literacy rate throughout the western hemisphere.

Review: Redshirts & Metafiction

  Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, by John Scalzi*, focuses on new crew members aboard the Universal Union flagship Intrepid who begin to notice alarming patterns that determine how long they will survive. The story follows Ensign Andrew Dahl, newly assigned junior scientist, and his friends. They […]

Quick Suppers with Sloane Taylor

Calling the final meal of the day “supper” has been a standard in my family. Only later in my life did I ever hear of it being called “dinner.” For my family, “dinner” was actually the middle meal of the day. I think it must be regional. It is nice to see that Sloane, who is also from the Midwest, enjoys “supper” as well! Chris

Sunset Now Available

My short story “Sunset” is the featured work in the inaugural issue of The Magical Past, a magazine that features historical fantasy and offerings on the craft of writing.

The first issue is being offered for free here. Future issues will be available via subscription.
I hope that you all enjoy!

American Gods & Neil Gaiman: A Wonderful Example on How to Handle False Media Attacks

This is not exactly an article about American Gods, although you may learn some interesting facts along the way. Unfortunately this article is a story of poor reporting and a media attack on Neil Gaiman and The American Gods television series. A failed attempt, I might add, because the controversy simply does not exist. Still, Gaiman provides a wonderful example for anyone who is falsely accused in the media on how to handle controversy in a dignified way.

French Steampunk: April & the Extraordinary World

April and the Extraordinary World is a steampunk animated film from the producers of the 2007 Academy Award nominated Persepolis. Its directors, Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci, have worked on classic animated movies like Persepolis and The Adventures of Tintin. It features the work of graphic novelist Jacques Tardi, who created one of the most famous French comic heroines, Adele Blanc-Sec, and stars Marion Cotillard, who won the 2008 Best Actress Academy Award. In a review for i09, Germain Lussier describes the movie as introspective and influenced by the works of Jules Verne, Douglas Adams, George Lucas, and Jayao Miyazaki (2015). The trailer looks fantastic and features Tardi’s signature graphic style, humor, social criticism as well as an intrepid young female protagonist.

New Sloane Taylor Box Set!

Fellow author Sloane Taylor has a wonderful new box set available for her Naughty Ladies of Nice series. All of the stories are set in France with wonderful details about the cuisine, countryside, wine, fashion, and so forth. For those of us who have yet to visit the country and experience these things firsthand, it is almost like a virtual vacation in a box–with a dash of romance thrown in for good measure!

Take it away Sloane!—

Book Review: The Victorian Steam Locomotive: It’s Design & Development 1804-1879

In the forward to G. D. Dempsey and D. K. Clarke’s (2015) The Victorian Steam Locomotive: It’s Design & Development 1804-1879, Dr. Pete Waterman begins by stating that even people who are enthusiastic about the age of steam power can sometimes be blasé about its history. It is hard in this day and age of technological wonders to comprehend the magnitude of the innovative process behind the development of the steam engine. In just over 90 years we moved from the simple idea of boiling water, to making steam to generate power, to the steam engine we know to this day. As Waterman explains, the engine design has not significantly changed since the Victorian era; it has been tweaked here and there, but essentially remains the same. For those of us who are steam train enthusiasts, we might say that it is hard to improve on perfection!