Back in 2012 Diana Bastine approached me with an idea for an anthology. It was a fantastic idea for steampunk faerie tales. The moment the suggestion left her mouth the title Gaslight and Grimm popped out of mine. Little did Diana know what she was getting in to… I agreed to do the collection as long as she joined me as co-editor.
If we would have been able to produce the book back then we would have broken the trend. Sadly, health issues delayed the project, and then life issues. We did all the work and even had one of the stories outgrow the collection and become a novel, but the project sat the shelf for much longer than we would have liked.
Since the anthology’s inception loads of steampunk faerie tale novels and collections have come out. Does that matter to us? NO! It was a cool idea then and it is still a cool idea now. We can’t wait to bring you this wonderful, fully illustrated collection in the fine tradition of all those classic fairy tale books we all grew up on, not because of any trend, but because we believe in it and our authors believe in it. Because we enjoy taking cool ideas and making them a reality.
After all…books are the magic we make.
Once upon a time… ageless tales were told. And told again countlessly from one generation to the next. Tales of brave heroes and common men. Of beautiful princesses and good-hearted youths. Tales of danger and caution and magic…classics that still echo in our hearts and our fondest memories even to this day, told from worn, cherished books or from memory at Grandmother’s knee.
Oh yes, tales have been told…but never quite like these. Journey with us through the pages of Gaslight and Grimm to discover timeless truths through lenses polished in the age of steam.
In Wolf’s Clothing by James Chambers
based on Little Red Riding Hood
The Clockwork Nightingale by Jean Marie Ward
based on The Nightingale
When Pigs Fly by Christine Norris
based on The Three Little Pigs
From the Horse’s Mouth by Bernie Mojzes
based on The Goose Girl
A Cat Among the Gears by Elaine Corvidae
based on Puss n’ Boots
The (Steamy) Tale of Cinderella by Danny Birt
based on Cinderella
The Steampowered Dragon and His Grandmother by David Lee Summers based on The Dragon and His Grandmother
All for Beauty and Youth by Kelly A. Harmon
based on Hansel and Gretel
The Giant Killer by Jonah Knight
based on Jack the Giant Killer
The Walking House by Jeff Young
based on Baba Yaga
The Hair Ladder by Diana Bastine
based on Rapunzel
The project will be launching on Kickstarter on Tuesday, January 5 but you can get a sneak peek right now and you can even have Kickstarter alert you when the campaign goes live. Check it out here.
And now, here is a taste of what we have in store for you.
an excerpt from
A Cat Among the Gears
by Elaine Corvidae
“You put my brain into a cat.”
“Exactly!” Master said, gleeful as a kid with a new toy.
I stared down in horror at the silver-furred forelegs stretched out in front of me instead of arms. At least I could still stand on two feet. “You. Put my brain. Into a cat.”
“Yes, yes,” Master’s enthusiasm dimmed slightly, as he peered down at me. “You seem to be having trouble comprehending simple language, though. Perhaps this is a side-effect of the feline biochemistry?”
I tried to slap my palm over my face in exasperation, but instead bopped myself on my little pink nose with a paw. And those claws were sharp. Maybe I ought to use them on him. “Why in the nine hells did you put my brain in a cat?”
“I needed to test my size-adjustment ray.”
“We already tested it on that annoying minstrel last week, remember?” Master had shrunk the poor lad so small I suspected one of us had accidentally inhaled him.
Master leaned against the device in question, a rather large and bulky contraption of brass, gears, and lenses. I didn’t have a clue how the thing worked; I was just the gal who handed him the right wrenches, fetched the occasional corpse, and swapped out the punch cards in the automatons.
Except now I was apparently the cat who did that.
“We’d done a whole-body test, yes,” Master agreed, “but it occurred to me to try it on body parts instead,” he said
“And you couldn’t have waited for the next castle-to-castle salesman?”
He almost looked guilty. “Well, I happened to have some of my sleep syrup in my pocket, and your wine was right there…”
In this business, that almost qualified as an excuse. I came from a long line of minions, and trust me, the mad-genius types seldom have good impulse control. Mostly they just do whatever damn fool thing comes into their heads. With a nutter like my current master, well, you learned to watch your drink, count your limbs, and hope to come out the other side with a nice pension. Or at least a sack of gold you managed to loot after the local do-gooder reduced the castle to a smoking ruin.
But really, I had to draw the line somewhere. “So you took out my brain and shrank it.”
“Exactly! It was so cute and tiny, it seemed a shame to waste it. So I asked myself: ‘What else is cute and tiny? Kitties!’ The solution was obvious.”
Great. “So where is my old body? And how soon until I get it back?” I might be able to handle being a cat for a little while, but the novelty was bound to wear off.
The abashed look on his face didn’t bode well. “There was an accident…”
I extended my claws and lashed my tail, and if you don’t think that felt damn weird, you’ve never had your brain stuck in a cat’s body. “What. Happened. To my. Body?”
“I used the size-adjusting ray to make one of the automatons larger—just to see what would happen, of course—and well, the ’ton stepped on you. Um, what used to be you.”
That was it. I drew myself up, as best as I was able with only two-and-a-half feet of height to work with, and stalked to the door. Pausing at the entrance, I turned and pointed a paw dramatically at him. I intended to make some dramatic statement which would strike fear into his heart, but he’d already lost interest and had his head stuck underneath the ray gun, tinkering away.
Muttering under my breath, I dropped onto to all fours and left with whatever dignity I still possessed.