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Steve Turnbull
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Steve Turnbull

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Table of Contents

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

Part 1:
Part 2:
Part 3:
Part 4:
Part 5:
Part 6:
Part 7:
Part 8:
Part 9:
Part 10:
Part 11:
Part 12:
Part 13:
Part 14:
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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This is where I am...
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At the Advance Guard event at Asylum Steampunk. This is me posing with the programme which just happens to have an advert for the SteamBooks stand...

#steampunk   #asylumsteampunk  
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+Eduardo Suastegui What you can't see is the little rubber duck (painted gold) on top of my hat - and the duck is wearing a stovepipe hat.

You're never alone with a rubber duck.
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(There's even a proper cover now.)

Maliha found a woman's body on the beach, rather than report it to the authorities she is investigating it herself. In the midst of this she is also dealing with the funeral rites of her mother, now reaching their conclusion...


The sun was behind her, and her shadow stretched across the boulders and into the glass-like water. The tide was coming in. The distorted shapes of weed, sand and fish twisted beneath the rippling surface.

There was now no sign of her mother’s twice-burned ashes that had been scattered to drift on the waves. Burned once in the fire that had consumed the house, then the second time in the death rituals because you can’t miss out a step just because it’s already been done.

And now she was gone, her spirit set free to be born once more. Maliha sighed. If only it were that easy.

A few clouds floated dreamily across the porcelain blue of the sky. Seagulls hung and then dived. Others bobbed on the surface. If she closed her eyes she could imagine herself in England, but while she loved the green of it she had no reason to return.

Her father had been Glaswegian and an engineer but he had made his life out here where he met her mother. They had married against the wishes of both families. So Maliha was born of rebels with their contrary blood flowing through her veins. Perhaps she would visit one day but, in truth, she would rather find somewhere to hide. She did not owe the world any favours.

But there was the poor murdered girl, she deserved better. The truth should be found out.

What if a French Chasseur met a young Indian girl and they fell in love? And somehow she was killed by his sword?

Or, more likely, he seduced her, did what men do, then killed her and tossed her body into the sea in the hope she would never be found. Sadly that was far more likely.


Maliha sighed and turned to her cousin, the girl was barely two years younger but somehow Maliha felt a hundred years older. She had already seen so much more than a woman of her age should, and read every book she could find—including many that no woman would ever be expected to read. Her Grandmother would declare her spirit irrevocably tainted if she had even the slightest inkling of that truth. But knowledge was not tainted, only its uses.

Grandmother had not even asked how Maliha had come to be so scarred and damaged in her thigh that she could not walk without a stick. She probably thought Maliha’s spirit was so unclean it was a natural result. Perhaps she was not that far wrong.


Renuka was suddenly beside her.

“Have you heard? Arnithi Devanaya is dead—murdered!”

“Who is Arnithi Devanaya?”

“She married Srikanth Devanaya last year,” said Renuka in a rush. “We were not invited but the Devanaya’s wedding was five days long.”

Maliha stared back out to sea. The girl had a name. A bride.

“Is Srikanth a handsome fellow?” she asked.

She could almost feel Renuka’s shrug. “What does that matter? His family is very rich.”

“What do they do?”

“They import silks and sell them.”

Maliha considered, since trading vehicles had taken to the air things had changed. Once India had been a major stopping point in the trade routes between Europe and China. Land routes brought the materials from China into Northern India while sea routes brought them through the island chains.

But once the Faraday device had become common and airborne vessels could carry huge quantities of cargo—the RMS Macedonia SkyLiner that had brought her back to India was 35,000 tons and carried over 300 passengers on its six rotors—the sea and land trading routes were abandoned. Everything flew direct.

It was unlikely the Devanayas were as rich as they claimed or, if they were, it was based on past wealth. And that was quite interesting.

“Perhaps we should visit to pass on our condolences,” said Maliha.


Maliha sat with a dozen women she did not know in the zenana, the women’s rooms, of the Devanaya house. She did not miss the subtle glances in her direction from the other women. Renuka had slight acquaintance with the family so it was not completely odd they should be there.

But Maliha was effectively a foreigner, a stranger in her own land. Too British for the Indians, too Indian for the British. And too British for the French no doubt, as well.

Mrs Devanaya was holding forth about such a terrible loss and the crime done to her son’s wife. And her poor son whose wife had been torn from him by some terrible criminal. She proceeded to attack the gods, and then plead with them.

It was tiresome and unrevealing but the performance expected of her in the circumstances. But Maliha was not fooled, she had seen the wounds on the poor girl’s hands. Those were not caused by her murderer, those had probably been done by this woman.

Maliha turned away, she stood and went to the window. The mother-in-law hesitated for a moment in her diatribe but managed to pick up again as if she had not been interrupted. There was an ornate screen designed to prevent anyone from looking in but it did not stop Maliha from seeing out.

The street was almost deserted. Death in a house would have that effect, the place was avoided if possible. In India, shame drove everything.

Could Arnithi have killed herself? Who commits suicide by running themselves through with a sword? Apart from the Japanese.

Maliha shook her head. There was so little to go on. There was a flash of green against the whitewashed houses. There he was again, looking at the house.

Maliha put down her cup of cold chai, she would have preferred a British tea with milk, and headed for the door.

This time the hostess did go silent and Maliha realised that all eyes were on her. She turned and pressed her palms together.

“Please forgive me,” she said. “I am overcome with sorrow for the loss of such a fine daughter-in-law. Namaste.”

Renuka jumped up to follow as Maliha swept from the room. She hurried in an unladylike way down the stairs. The servant at the door barely had time to open it as she hurried out.

“Maliha!” called Renuka. “What are you doing?”

“I could not stand the hypocrisy, cousin.”


“Do not pretend you do not know what happens to daughters-in-law that do not match the standards of their husband’s mother.”


Maliha caught sight of the soldier on the corner. He looked nervous. He was less the chasseur and more like a rabbit faced with a farmer’s shotgun. He was staring directly at Maliha. She returned the look and strode towards him, walking stick clicking on the cobbles.

She had managed to close the gap to no more than ten yards when his confidence gave out. He turned.

“Wait, monsieur.” Her voice brought him to a standstill, and he turned back with obvious reluctance.

“Maliha,” hissed Renuka, “you cannot speak to him, people will see.”

Maliha stopped. “Tell me, cousin, what is said about me behind my back?”

Renuka looked embarrassed and did not meet Maliha’s gaze.

“So how much worse will my reputation be if I choose to speak to a man in the street?”

“A little worse,” said Renuka.

Maliha smiled. “Yes, perhaps a little worse but it is a burden I am prepared to carry. You can always say that you warned me and tried to act as a chaperone.”

“But I’m younger than you.”

“But you tried.” She turned back to the soldier and realised he would not have understood a word since they had not been speaking French. She changed gears.


#saturdayscenes #steampunk #murder #thriller
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Love the cover - particularly the gradual fade into the night sky. 
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Personally I think, as writers, we're supposed to be in the business of hope...
+Mike Reeves-McMillan wrote this excellent post for the new website. Please read it, share it, and contact me if you're interested in writing a guest post!

Noblebright isn’t about the world being nice and free from conflict. In fact, the grimness and darkness of the world is almost necessary for the sake of contrast. It reminds me of Shakespeare’s wonderful phrase about a candle in the darkness shining “like a good deed in a naughty world” (“naughty” being a much stronger word in Shakespeare’s day than it has since become). Because what noblebright fantasy does is show us one or more people of good will and noble heart, taking on the evil of the world in the hope that they can make a difference.
C.J. Brightley gives me a certain amount of credit for noticing, and drawing attention to, the phenomenon we’re now calling “noblebright fantasy” – the deliberate opposite of grimdark. Accordingly, I thought I’d write a few words about one of the earliest places I encountered it: the works of the late Sir Terry Pratchett. PratchettContinue reading
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+Dave Higgins dystopian fiction like 1984 is, of course, written in the hope that we can avoid the same fate. But that's not the same as offering hope to the reader.
Commercial fiction nearly always offers some kind of hope - and it's offered explicitly. You finish the book or the film and you know that the good guys can win. But Orwell wasn't saying that. If there's hope to be had from 1984, you have to go looking for it yourself.
Then there's horror. Writers like H.P. Lovecraft and Clive Barker have given us tales, which offer no hope at all, only a world of darkness and terror.
The world is full of hope, but it's also full of dark places where hope goes to die. Of course we want stories where hope triumphs, even in small ways, but sometimes we want to read about the dark places, too.
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If you haven't seen Dragonslayer - you should.
As I probably already mentioned I am currently on a sword & sorcery roll, so last night I took some time off to watch again Dragonslayer, a Disney movie (no, really!) released in 1981. The film was written and directed by Matthew Robins, whose writing…
As I probably already mentioned I am currently on a sword & sorcery roll, so last night I took some time off to watch again Dragonslayer, a Disney movie (no, really!) released in 1981. The film…
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I bumped into someone over on Twitter who'd never seen it. I was floored!
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Selling books at Asylum Steampunk in Lincoln - did excellent business, two more days to come.

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Alright everybody! The guidelines for the survey for the psychological study is that you must be 18 and identify as female. It's not terribly long, and you'd be doing us a great service.
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Books packed and ready for Asylum Steampunk Festival. Just waiting for pie. 
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+Michael Coorlim Steak pie.

We're now arrived, been to the first event with an excellent comedian.
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What is the bravest thing you've ever done?

I'm collecting brave stories (of all kinds) for a podcast at
What is the Bravest Thing You've Ever Done?As we research and prepare for an upcoming podcast project we're interested in hearing stories of bravery and courage. Stories can be of brave moments from any aspect of your life (eg. work, relationships, adventure, service, personal growth, overcoming challenges etc). Part of this project is to explore facing fear and showing courage in many aspects of life). We'd love to hear your story whatever it is. Please note: Your responses will be ke...
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As another non-sporty type. Yes they are inspiring...
I don't know about you, but I find the Olympics very inspiring (and not because I'm remotely sporty :)) - these are my thoughts about it. #ThinkyThursdays  22
Well our screens and feeds have been dominated by one thing over the past two weeks: the Olympics, and I have been amazed by some of the performances. Hence I thought it a good topic for Thinky Thursdays. Welcome to my blog. ...
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#AmazonGiveaway. Love reading British mysteries? Enter for a chance to win!
Beyond Belief by Helen Smith When famous psychic Perspicacious Peg predicts that someone will drown at the Belief and Beyond conference in the seaside town of Torquay, twenty-six-year-old amateur sleuth Emily Castles is recruited to investigate. The potenti...
Beyond Belief by Helen Smith When famous psychic Perspicacious Peg predicts that someone will drown at the Belief and Beyond conference in the seaside town of Torquay, twenty-six-year-old amateur sleuth Emily Castles is recru...
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Basic Information
Other names
Web Dev | Writer | Creator of Universes
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.


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+)

And the pure fantasy Patterner's Path series:
Follow me!

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:
  • Screenwriting (TV & Film)
  • Writing (novels & poetry)
  • Steampunk
  • Drupal, PHP & coding in general

Bragging rights
Two brilliant kids - and a best friend I've been married to for 30 years.
Writer (and develops webs for food)
Steve Turnbull's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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