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Steve Turnbull
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HARRY IN THE WILD
Table of Contents

A girl's-own steampunk adventure series serialised in weekly parts. The second Harriet & Khuwelsa Edgbaston story.

Part 1: https://goo.gl/xUBmN8
Part 2: https://goo.gl/VkiSDf
Part 3: https://goo.gl/uwGyed
Part 4: https://goo.gl/jWpt0r
Part 5: https://goo.gl/B55lhQ
Part 6: https://goo.gl/mxoCQ9
Part 7: https://goo.gl/4Wi0Du
Part 8: https://goo.gl/gjtuEa
Part 9: https://goo.gl/cP9NKJ
Part 10: https://goo.gl/mlt5Co
Part 11: https://goo.gl/TxWVAK
Part 12: https://goo.gl/dKehhg
Part 13: https://goo.gl/9J1ajJ
Part 14: https://goo.gl/vPonHr
Part 15: _to come_
Part 16: _to come_
Part 17: _to come_
Part 18: _to come_
Part 19: _to come_
Part 20: _to come_

#steampunk   #voidships   #sf   #scifi  
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Bought 1 & 2! Technically, got 1, bought 2! WIshing you good flying!
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Extract from KYMIERA

Read this week's chapter here https://goo.gl/Mrc2Ai
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I'll be epicly geeking out about my steampunk book Harry Takes Off and the rest of the setting, this Saturday (you can even get a free copy to read beforehand - it's  novella, you've got time).

8am PST 13FEB2016 at https://goo.gl/XhDw0D The Epic Geeking Out With Authors discussing Harry Takes Off by Steve Turnbull. Get free copy of the book at http://eepurl.com/bOKP61 or buy it on Amazon athttp://goo.gl/bHLc2d
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I'll be epicly geeking out about my steampunk book Harry Takes Off and the rest of the setting, this Saturday (you can even get a free copy to read beforehand - it's  novella, you've got time).

8am PST 13FEB2016 at https://goo.gl/XhDw0D The Epic Geeking Out With Authors discussing Harry Takes Off by Steve Turnbull. Get free copy of the book at http://eepurl.com/bOKP61 or buy it on Amazon athttp://goo.gl/bHLc2d
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FREE PRINT BOOK! #AmazonGiveaway. Join amateur sleuth Emily Castles as she investigates a murder in this charming mystery set in London. The series can be read in any order. Enter for a chance to win: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b9a66099633591be 
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These pictures are beautiful.
These stunning photographs of Hong Kong in the 1950s are captured beautifully by a teenager. Ho Fan who arrived from Shanghai in 1949. The streets, filled with vendors, coolies and rickshaw drivers, fascinated Ho. Taking pictures in a studio was the norm then, but the Ho was more interested in r
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+Steve Turnbull  - they are! So much atmosphere... love them and simple posts like this :-)
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Yay for fun!
 
The doubleclicks Fun board game song they wrote before going onto Will Wheatons Tabletop.
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Coffee liqueur with Jaffa cake on the side. 
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Aha. I've seen Pims
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KYMIERA: RISE OF THE MONSTER (ch. 6)

A Dystopian/Superhero coming-of-age tale of a girl who's turning into a monster, literally.

Back to school with Chloe - later that first afternoon ... things are starting to get weird.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Half the lights in the corridor leading to the school atrium were out. There was enough to see by and you got used to it. The passageway was straight and wide. The school had been built to accommodate perhaps two thousand kids before the plagues; there were only five hundred, give or take.

Chloe knew her history: The SID plague had taken a lot of people, no one really knew how many because records had been lost. When enough people died in a business that depended on computers, the passwords were gone and no one could get in. That was another reason the second plague could not be stopped.

The riots, panicking and social disorder that followed the worst of the SID plague had been bad but not killed many others. But in a society run on computers that no longer worked everything had shut down. That had brought society to a state of destitution within a few months. Ordinary diseases and malnutrition had killed off the weakest of the remainder.

It was only Purity that held off complete collapse.

But still things broke and could not be mended because the industry was not there. Most resources were engaged in ensuring the SID plague did not spread again. It had not been wiped out, just controlled.

The front of the school was all window which allowed daylight to illuminate the space.  She climbed the wooden stairs that curved round to the mezzanine floor. The steps were clean but stained with years of use. Her back still twinged every few moments at the stress of climbing. She was angry at herself. Normally she would have run up them two at a time, now she was like an old woman.

She paused and looked round as a rhythmic whooshing started up in her ears, accompanied by a low throb that sounded like a heartbeat. She turned her head trying to see where the noise was coming from, but the sound moved with her. She pressed a finger in the right ear. The sounds changed in quality but didn’t diminish. She shook her head trying to clear whatever had blocked up her ears. The sound faded.

She sighed, she could not be getting an ear infection as well. That would be too much. She continued to plod up the stairs.

The school lockers were ranged across the walls of the mezzanine floor. Here and there were clumps of other students, mostly older ones who had free periods, she headed for her locker where she could see Ashley and Kavi. A murmur of words floated her way. A boy from a nearer group looked her way with a frown on his face.

“…shouldn’t be allowed in the school.”

Chloe stopped and touched her ear. He had turned back to his friends but she heard his whispered words distinctly as if she had been standing beside him.

“My dad says all the families should be put in quarantine for years.”

“That would cost too much.”

“Just kill them then, like they used to. Easiest all round.”

Chloe shook her head. Must be a trick of the acoustics, she was a good fifteen metres from them. She strode on.

“I don’t get that one,” said the first voice. “Her dad’s in the watch, but she’s friends with them.”

Chloe allowed herself a smile and continued towards her locker. People like that couldn’t possibly understand. They were the sort that would riot given half the chance, follow the crowd and not think for themselves.

“I still don’t get that she likes Kepple.” That was Ashley.

“She wants to get into Purity.” She heard Kavi say. “Anyway, you used to like Kepple.”

“Well, she used to like me, until … you know.”

“Yeah.”

“But if she wants to get into Purity, why is Chloe friends with us?”

“Maybe because she’s a good person.”

They went quiet as Chloe approached.

“Hey,” said Chloe.

The others nodded. 

“Anything wrong?”

“Apart from the usual?” said Ashley. “Everything’s rainbows and teddy bears. Just waiting for the day they find out my teddy bear has three legs and scales instead of fur.”

The school intercom played a jolly tune. They all looked up even though there was no point. The sound of the school secretary’s voice pierced the overwhelming quiet that seemed to pervade the place.

“Ashley Crook report to classroom 3B. Chloe Dark to classroom 15A. Kavi Moorthy report to the School Office. Immediately.”

Chloe realised she had blocked out the thumping sound but now she heard two sets of racing heartbeats, her hands snaked out to grab both Kavi and Ashley by their wrists. Neither of them spoke but there was panic just beneath the surface.

“No,” breathed Kavi. “I can’t, not again.” She pulled ineffectively at Chloe’s grip.

Chloe could hear the voices of the students behind her. She knew they were looking and making judgements.

“It can’t be anything to do with your families,” said Chloe. “It would be one or the other of you, and not me.”

Kavi wasn’t listening but Ashley got the point. “Kepple must have talked. Must be about the fight this morning.”

“She wouldn’t,” said Chloe but suddenly unsure. “Look we have to go. I’ll take Kavi to 3B, it’s on my way—”

“Sort of,” said Ashley.

“—yeah well, I’ll be late.”

<<>>

She was about five minutes late but she had sneaked a peak into the school office, and seen Kavi’s parents. Whatever it was, it wasn’t about S.I.D infections. And when she arrived at 15A she was not surprised to see her parents sitting by the wall.

There was a man standing at the main window across the room, looking out. She recognised him immediately as DI Mitchell, he was famous, which meant the other man was DS Lacelle. She was very confused, what could she have to do with the best freak killers on the Manchester force?

“Mum?”

“It’s all right, dear—”

“Please, Mrs Dark,” said Lacelle. “We require your presence to interview your daughter. But she is sixteen and can answer for herself.”

Her mother sat back, her eyes filled with worry. Chloe gave her a smile.

“Miss Dark,” said Lacelle. “Please take a seat.”

He indicated a chair in the middle of the room, the rest of the classroom had been cleared with furniture stacked along the walls. If anything looked right for an inquisition, this was it. The room itself was used for Purity lessons and there were S.I.D information posters on the walls, like the ones in the infirmary.

Chloe sat. The chair was for younger students and a little small.

“We just want to ask you a few questions, Miss Dark—can I call you Chloe?”

She nodded and he smiled. It was the smile of a TV presenter.

“So, Chloe, you know Melinda Vogler?”

“Yes, I know her.”

“And when was the last time you saw her?”

Chloe frowned at the curious question. He knew exactly when she had last seen Melinda. The truth hit her like a brick and she gasped. “She’s disappeared, hasn’t she? Like the others.”

There was a movement from the man by the window but he didn’t turn. “What makes you say that?”

“You’re DI Mitchell.”

He turned. Chloe could see he was in his fifties at least, he had been a policeman before the plagues. Lacelle stood up. “No photographs, and no autographs.”

Chloe did not miss the look that flashed from Mitchell to Lacelle, but she got the strong impression Lacelle did not care.

“What makes you think she’s disappeared, Miss Dark?” repeated Mitchell.

“Because you know the last time I saw Melinda. It’s in the riffy records.”

“RFID archive,” said Lacelle.

“But if you’re asking then you don’t know where she is right now and the only way that can be true is if she’s no longer broadcasting.” Chloe’s breath caught in her throat. “She’s not dead is she?”

Her mother gasped and, in the corner of her eye, she saw her father put his arm round her.

Lacelle glanced at Mitchell, who paused for a moment as if deciding which version of the truth would be right in the circumstances. “Not as far as we know.”

Chloe breathed out and looked Mitchell in the eye. “You want to know if she was acting strange or different?”

“I take it she was.”

Chloe hesitated, gathering her thoughts. “She was sort of withdrawn, I suppose. She said she was going to the doctor. I knew there was something, I should’ve talked to her.”

“When you say ‘withdrawn’ can you be a little more precise?”

“She wasn’t talking so much. Didn’t take part at all, really. Like when you’ve done something really bad and you’re scared you’re going to get found out.”

“And what do you think she might have done?”

Chloe sighed and when she replied she was almost talking to herself. “I don’t know. I should have asked her. I should have talked to her, I might have stopped it.” She looked up and stared at Mitchell again. “You have to find her.”

He shrugged. “It’s not my case.”

“But you’re the best.”

The stern face of Mitchell cracked into a smile. “Tell that to my superior.” He turned back to look out the window at the school car park and a distant line of trees.

Lacelle got up from his chair. “That’s all for now, Mr and Mrs Dark, Chloe.”

He ushered them out into the corridor then turned to Chloe. “Ever thought of joining the police force, Miss Dark?”

“No, I’m joining Purity,” she said.

Lacelle’s face fell. “Seriously?”

Chloe frowned. “Yes, DS Lacelle, seriously. Someone has to protect the world.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#scifi #dystopia #superhero #saturdayscenes
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"When enough people died in a business that depended on computers, the passwords were gone and no one could get in. That was another reason the second plague could not be stopped."
A disturbing possibility
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Steve Turnbull

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I'll be epicly geeking out about my steampunk book Harry Takes Off and the rest of the setting, this Saturday (you can even get a free copy to read beforehand - it's  novella, you've got time).

8am PST 13FEB2016 at https://goo.gl/XhDw0D The Epic Geeking Out With Authors discussing Harry Takes Off by Steve Turnbull. Get free copy of the book at http://eepurl.com/bOKP61 or buy it on Amazon athttp://goo.gl/bHLc2d
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KYMIERA: RISE OF THE MONSTER (ch. 5A)

A Dystopian/Superhero coming-of-age tale of a girl who's turning into a monster, literally.

I'm not absolutely sure where I'm going to put this chapter yet, when you have multiple strands things can be shifted. But for now, it's here.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mercedes Smith straightened her dress. The movement was automatic and completely unnecessary. She could afford the very best but she always used the clothes designers on the rise. They struggled hardest to succeed. They worked to satisfy her, because they understood the benefit having the CEO of Utopia Genetics as a customer.

‘You look fine,’ said a disembodied voice in the room. She was in her private suite near the top of the UG skyscraper—what passed for a skyscraper here, anyway.

‘Spying on me?’

If she could hear a shrug it would have been there.

‘Just doing my job.’

‘Giving me moral support is part of your job?’

‘The smooth running of Utopia Genetics is my job, Mercedes.’

She did not pull him up the use of her first name. She allowed it when they were together in private. She laughed to herself, there she went again, imagining he was a real person, really here. The truth was different. Even when he was “here” she was still completely alone.

‘Is there something you want to tell me, Xec?’

‘You’re ten minutes late for the meeting.’

‘I know.’

‘That’s all right then,’ he said. ‘As long as you know.’

And he was the only one she allowed such familiarity and, potentially, rudeness. Everyone else was terrified of her, and so they should be.

She sighed and headed for the exit. It was just a couple of floors down to the conference room. There was an elevator but she took the stairs as usual. Her shoes were not quite flats but the heels were no problem. Exercise was important, not that she intended to lose weight, having generous curves was an important statement nowadays: only the poor were thin.

‘Anyone complaining about me being late?’ she asked as she came down the final flight.

‘You know I’m not supposed to do that,’ said the voice of Xec, he preferred to be the faceless entity rather than use a virtual image on a screen. She appreciated that, it made him scarier. She also knew he would do as he was told. She was not entirely sure what benefits wireheads gained from being paid, but he responded well to a generous income.

‘Well?’

‘Only McCormack, but then complaining is what he does best.’

Mercedes pushed through into the main corridor, the carpet was well-worn and would need replacing soon. Xec would deal with it as and when it became important.

She was no longer sure about McCormack. As Head of Research he probably thought his position was secure, especially as he knew a lot of secrets—the sort it would take a lot of money to suppress if they got out.

It was not that she wanted yes-men, but she preferred to have people with a more positive attitude. Still, his department was doing good work.

At what point does the balance shift?

The door of the conference room came into view as she turned a corner. She stopped. ‘Anyone in his department that could take over and do as good a job?’

‘Possibly.’

‘That’s not helpful.’

Again the silent and invisible shrug. ‘I’ll have to look into it, the job requirements are difficult to fill.’

‘And look into what can be done to remove any possibility of McCormack going to one of our rivals.’

‘Apart from the obvious?’

‘If it can be avoided.’

‘I’ll see what I can do.’

Mercedes nodded, knowing that he could see her perfectly clearly.

The upper echelon of executives stood as she entered the room. Almost every one of them was both taller and older: Alistair McCormack with his fake grin, fake hair and Scottish pretencions; Margaret Jenner, she was shorter than Mercedes and wider, in charge of Administration and Support Services—she also had a very short fuse; Paul Banner, Security and Purity Liaison, quiet but with a sonorous speaking voice, he was hard to read but she had never had a reason to question his loyalty; and Kingsley Upton, marketing, who always seemed to be selling something.

‘Sit down everyone,’ she said as the door closed with a gentle click behind her.

‘Room secure, Miss Smith,’ said Xec.

‘Off-the-record protocol, Xec.’

‘Yes, Miss Smith.’

The background buzz, so constant no one ever noticed it, went silent. It was a trick Xec had himself suggested. He broadcast the buzz at all times through every speaker. It was hard to hear even when you listened for it but you noticed when it vanished.

Anyone with sufficient authority could request the off-the-record protocol. Xec would switch off the buzz and give the impression he was no longer listening. It was a lie.

‘Hope we can get through this quick,’ said Upton. ‘I have seats at the Palace tonight.’

Jenner looked across at him. ‘Is that An Ideal Husband? We were thinking of getting tickets.’

‘Degenerate,’ said Banner, his voice rolled across the room. Other people might have muttered the word, Banner did not need to.

‘It’s just a play,’ said Upton quickly. ‘Historical.’

‘Wilde was a degenerate.’

Mercedes moved in her chair. Their attention focused on her immediately. ‘We are more likely to get out of here quickly if we stick to the subject.’

No one spoke. ‘Paul, you had something you wanted to communicate to the team?’

All eyes turned to him. ‘The sudden availability of new resources and their collection has attracted the attention of Purity.’ He paused for a breath. ‘They are sending an investigator to work with the police.’

‘Can they do that?’ said Upton. He looked at Mercedes as if for confirmation.

‘They can do whatever the hell they like,’ growled McCormack. ‘More important, can they trace it to us?’

‘I do not think so,’ said Banner.

‘You don’t think so?’ cried Upton. ‘You know what they would do to us?’

‘We all know,’ said Mercedes barely raising her voice but it calmed them. ‘They won’t find out. We have taken precautions. The more important question is what we should do if any more resources become available while this investigator is in the area.’

There was a long silence. It was Jenner who broke it. ‘We need to take each case as it comes. If we can ensure the nature of the resource is properly suppressed then it should be no problem acquiring it. Otherwise we should leave it.’

Jenner nodded. Upton continued to look worried.

‘I’m loathe to lose any resource,’ said McCormack.

‘What about your life?’ said Upton.

Mercedes stood up and leaned forward with her fists pressed against the table top. ‘It won’t come to that, Kingsley, you know we have protocols in place to deal with bad situations. Margaret is right, we’ll just take each one as it comes. Any that risk our exposure will be ignored.’

With that she turned and headed for the door. ‘Enjoy the play, Kingsley.’

She noticed the artificial hum as she came out of the room. ‘Kingsley may be more of an issue than McCormack,’ she said out loud.

‘And considerably easier to replace,’ said Xec.

‘I need to get out tonight,’ she said.

‘Usual place?’

‘Somewhere different.’

‘Sleazier?’

She said nothing, he knew her very well. Perhaps too well.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#scifi #dystopia #superhero #saturdayscenes
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+Rita de Heer Exactly.
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What catches a politician’s attention even more than drugs? Why, the chance to appear in public pontificating about drugs, that’s what. And that’s how a Member of Parliament got scammed into publicly condemning an imaginary drug. You can’t make this stuff…
What catches a politician’s attention even more than drugs? Why, the chance to appear in public pontificating about drugs, that’s what. And that’s how a Member of Parliament got scammed into public...
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+Leonard Burdek III
That one I hadn't heard before.
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Web Dev | Writer | Creator of Universes
Introduction
By working day I'm a contract web developer. This means I move around from company to company building websites. By night I'm a writer of Fantasy and Science Fiction, currently focussing on Steampunk - though unlike any you may (or may not) have read before. I am also a screenwriter and sometime poet.

MY BOOKS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM

All my steampunk stories are set in the same alternate world where, in 1843, Sir Michael Faraday demonstrated his Principle for the Partial Nullification of the Effects of Gravity. All the stories take place after that. The stories are mostly in three series:

The Maliha Anderson Series (15+)
The Iron Pegasus Series (11+)
The Frozen Beauty Series (13+)
  • Journey into Space, 1874
  • The Faraday Cage Anthology (due out Nov '15)
  • Morning Star Rising (due out Dec '15)
Fantasy

And the pure fantasy Patterner's Path series:
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If you just want to hear about new releases join this list.

Or you can sign-up to my newsletter and get the first two Frozen Beauty books free. The newsletter comes out every two weeks and contains interviews with other authors, little tidbits of possible interest plus news about my writing - and no hard sell.

Circle me:
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Two brilliant kids - and a best friend I've been married to for 30 years.
Work
Occupation
Writer (and develops webs for food)
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