A 4-star review for the nostradamus curiosity
in the daily express, March 2020
the nostradamus curiosity launch event
Gerrards Cross library, october 2019
Held at the Gerrards Cross Community Library the venue where we held ‘The Lazarus Curiosity’ launch – with grateful thanks for all support, generous co-operation and help from library managers Joanna Ward and Jacqui Bennett – it was Jac who, pressing into service her shop designer skills, also put together the decorations and the Lady Steampunk mannequin.
Acting as Event Host and Master of Ceremonies was my dear friend, the entertainer Joe Pasquale. The Saturday morning crowd were largely there to see Joe.
During my chat, the Event Host and Master of Ceremonies contemplates whether or not the joke I’ve just cracked is funny. Judging from the reaction, probably not.
Here with three very special people who are prepared to be photographed with me. Lucy, Mark and Joe.
Here’s one of Steam, Smoke and Mirrors most avid readers, my dear friend Dena, who drove a long way to be at the launch, along with Lucy.
Here’s folk rock musicians Ric Sanders and Vo Fletcher who kindly provided live music for the event.
Ric seems to be the only professional who knows where the camera is.
Asylum steampunk festival - lincoln 2019
It’s the biggest annual Steampunk event in Europe and the highlight of the Steampunk calendar, with more than 60,000 Steampunks and visitors entirely occupying the beautiful city of Lincoln.
And the Steam, Smoke & Mirrors stand was set up in the marquee within the Castle...
…just beside the 1820 purpose built ‘Lincoln Lunatic Asylum’
– they said it like it was in those days. And the stage was set.
Unfortunately, the SS&M stall wasn’t.
Here's what we started with…
…which progressed to this…
…until our publishers, Natalie and Darren Laws arrived to add the final flourish.
With a bit of pointing...
…and a bit of scheming…
…and the author, Colin Edmonds, stopping to pose for the camera (no change there) while his publisher busily gets on with it…
The final result was this! Exactly the look we were going for.
A Steampunk Library/Study.
Here’s a candid behind-the-scenes snack-break snap, before the castle gates were thrown open.
Here’s the latest addition to the SS&M display: may I present Mr Hatty.
A present from our lovely friend SteampunKimPerman.
On the first day, we revealed the front cover of the latest SS&M
- The Nostradamus Curiosity -
which will be published on 31st October.
Meanwhile, here’s a splendid Anime interpretation by my good friend, the brilliant Japanese film producer Abbey Masahiro!
Against their better judgement, a surprising number of Steampunks came over to say hello.
If I could grow a beard, I’d have it like this. And a fully functioning telescope!
And with five of the most magnificently dressed ladies at the Festival. Here are two of them. Please excuse the flagrant photobomber over to right.
Among them SS&M readers Becky and Richard aka
The Ring-Mistress and her trusty Henchmen.
With my good friends Myk and his Missus! Plus their tiny friend!
And here are the other three. Please excuse, what appears to be, my weird lighting rig hat.
Shooting a scene with model maker extraordinaire Pete Walton for Gary Nicholls’ The Imaginarium Trilogy - Vol. 2 “Robbie Pertwee” which will be out soon.
Onlookers were heard to be whispering:
“Why is the tall one wearing the mask when it’s the bald bloke who needs to?”
My personal highlight! With one of my genius Steampunk heroes. The greatly gifted and truly dapper Ian Crichton – aka the very famous Herr Doktor!
Finally, my thanks to the real brains of the outfit, the long-suffering and highly-supportive Kathryn Edmonds…
…and my publishers at Caffeine Nights, Natalie and Darren Laws – who all find drinking heroic quantities of strong coffee is the only thing that sustains them throughout the Asylum weekend when working with me. The SS&M Lincoln DreamSteamTeam.
Also, to everyone who agreed to allow their photos to appear - thank you, my friends. You helped make this year’s Lincoln Asylum Steampunk Festival
a tremendous success. I look forward to seeing you again.
Roll on Lincoln 2020!
In pursuit of bram stoker, dublin - June 2019
In “The Lazarus Curiosity”, while following a line of enquiry into the black magic “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn”, Michael and Phoebe go backstage at London’s Lyceum Theatre to consult the great Bram Stoker.
Okay, I will concede Mr Stoker is possibly better known as the author of 13 novels, the most familiar being his 1903 curse of the mummy story, “The Jewel of the Seven Stars” which inspired the 1971 Hammer Film Production of “Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb”; along with his 1911 chiller “The Lair of the White Worm”, filmed 77 years later by Ken Russell; and his famous-the-world-over 1897 Gothic horror classic, “Dracula”.
The first edition of
on display in the Dublin Writers Museum.
Bram was a Dubliner, born in Clontarf on the northern outskirts of the city, so it was across the Irish Sea we traipsed to walk in the revered footsteps of an internationally renowned writer whose elegant vampire Count begat an entire creative industry.
Our first stop was the magnificent Dublin Writers Museum on the north side of Parnell Square.
Here Bram’s memory is celebrated alongside other great Irish literary heroes including Nobel laureates: Samuel Beckett and W. B. Yeats, along with Oscar Wilde, Dean Jonathan Swift and James Joyce.
The museum displays a first edition of “Dracula” (above), which is exhibited alongside a splendid bronze bust of Bram Stoker, seen here without a photobombing attention seeker...
...and which was sponsored by an incredible list of luminaries.
In 1876, after Bram published a favourable Dublin Evening Mail review of Henry Irving’s performance as Hamlet, Britain’s leading actor invited the writer to dinner at the magnificent Shelbourne Hotel.
The meeting began a lifelong friendship, with Bram agreeing to move to London and the Lyceum Theatre where, it’s generally believed, Henry Irving became the inspiration for Count Dracula.
“Ah. Welcome, Mr Stoker. Mr Irving is expecting you…”
One of the Dublin addresses at which Bram lived has become a place of pilgrimage for Stoker admirers – 30 Kildare Street.
With Dublin host, James Firm.
“Wait. I think we should lose the coat and the bag…”
Finally. A very happy Bram Stoker fan.