All Made of Hinges Available end of April!
Updated: Jun 15, 2019
The short answer - Yes!
When I saw this title available for audition, I had the same reaction most everyone has when they read the title & subtitle. I snickered.
" I’m all made of hinges, ’cause ev’rything bends
From the top of my neck way down to my ends.
I’m hinges in front, and I’m hinges in back;
But I have to be hinges, or else I would crack!" - Aileen Fisher (click here to hear it if you don't know it)
If you grew up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, you undoubtedly sang this song as a kid. Its a perfect name for a Steampunk anthology. Hinges. Moving parts, bizarre undertones of "or else I would crack!" (I had a friend in high school who really thought as a kid that if someone touched his belly button, his arms & legs would fall off, but I digress).
You don't have to be Mormon or a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to appreciate the stories in this anthology, though. You'll get a few more of the jokes, but as with most steampunk, it's a very alternative view of history. As with all good sci-fi, you start with a "what if" and go from there. And some go a lot further than others.
This was the first compilation of short stories I auditioned for, and in doing so, I initially thought, "I'll try this once, but it's probably not for me."
I was wrong.
I loved producing this book, in large part because I got to change styles, moods, voicings so much from one story to another. I'd do another one in a heartbeat. Here's a brief rundown of the stories:
- Mere Pulp, No Less - by DJ Butler
Somebody has the disturbing idea of reanimating Brigham Young's corpse (2nd president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints - He's the guy who led them to Utah) via gears & automation.
-Marching on to Glory- by John M Olsen
The Mormon Battalion going to fight in the Spanish American war - With a battle Blimp.
-A Strike to the Heart of the Canon Lord- by Steven L Peck
Kind of a 1800's early 1900's Post apocalyptic feel. This one is kind of heavy, but incredibly well written. Zombies, mechanical wolves, evil overlords. Romantic interludes. Its got it all. This is one that in reading it, I'm sure the author has the entire culture & history worked out & we just get a snapshot of it. But it's a great snapshot. I'd love to do another one in his universe.
-Avenger's Angel- by Elizabeth Mueller
A sassy British female bounty hunter competes with Steampunk-enhanced Porter Rockwell. Fun story from her perspective. (The number of stories in the anthology told from the perspective of folks who are not Mormon makes this fairly delightful, and I think, more approachable by folks who are less familiar with our actual history.)
-Ganesh- by Scott E Tarbet
This is another one of my favorites from the anthology. Ganesh tells his story. He's a blimp. Kidnapped by the Great & Powerful Oz (Ozzie Osmond - Delightfully combining Ozzie Osborne with Donny Osmond with L. Frank Baum's Wizard) as a teenager, Ganesh eventually becomes a blimp. No more spoilers than that for this one. Well written, weird, and so on.
-The Pipes of Columbia - by Jay Barnson
This one is possibly a little more like Guy Noire. Maybe more of Guy Noire combined with Lefty, meets up with a member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir at the Worlds Fair & Hypnosis expert crime bosses.
- Napoleon's Tallest Teamster- by Joe Monson
Ok. Full disclosure here. I'VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO A FRENCH ACCENT ANY KIND OF JUSTICE BEFORE THIS STORY. I love Victor Hugo. I love Charles Dickens. I love Jane Eyre. They all have french stuff in them. When I've gotten to those parts and I've been reading aloud to my family, they know I kind of become the deer in the headlights. I don't speak french. I have never aspired to speak french. I love french history & culture, but the language always gets garbled somewhere on the back of my tongue. When I auditioned for this book, there was nothing saying there were any french passages. So when I was pre-reading it after I signed the contract & saw that the main character reads a passage of scripture written in french, my reaction was 'NOOOOOOOoooo....." Fortunately, my father in law served a mission in Paris & speaks french. I probably still butchered it, but I did my best to copy what he did syllable by syllable.
So - the story - I loved it. The main character is an automaton/steampunk android who like Vincenzo Di Francesca, finds a copy of the Book of Mormon, not knowing what it is & decides to live according to its principles. He also happens to be a guard for Napoleon's family in the middle of the French Revolution. I think I did pretty good on the accent, but you be the judge.
-Reversals of Fortune- by Amanda Hamblin
This is another good one told from the perspective of a black American girl who knows nothing about Mormonism who happens to get stuck in a life threatening position with a pair of early missionaries & a young british aristocrat who "dabbles in the mechanical arts." Well written, & some good humor thrown in.
-Machinations of Angels- by Christopher McAfee
So this one is possibly the one that might be the most helpful to know some church history for. That being said, I'm pretty sure the angels in this story aren't exactly doctrinally sound. But it's a fun story about technologically enhancing divine trinkets sent from God to help man on earth. Bit of a mad scientist kind of romp.
-The Best Among Us- by Jace Killan
Another Porter Rockwell Story, but a little less Doctor Who & a little more Oregon trail hunting with a blimp & divine compass.
-Strange Pilgrims- by John D. Payne
This is my favorite story of the bunch. In some ways its the simplest & definitely the most whimsical, but I loved doing it. John incorporates European Mytho-folklore with Steampunk. There are only 2 characters in this story & I love them both. Classic meeting in the cargo section of a moving train. It just made me smile the whole time I was narrating it. John's written a sequel that I hope to read sometime. (Think Volume 4 of a Mormon Steampunk anthology here, Immortal works).
-Tracting out Cthulhu- by Lee Allred
This story is the most epic in scope. In some ways it reminds me of Timothy Zahn's Quadrail Series (Shoutout - Mr. Zahn if you're looking for someone to narrate it or any of your other stuff, I'D LOVE TO!) This story has the Mormon CIA, meeting up with Shinto mystics & missionaries "tracting" are in fact agents on a mission to save the world from creepy evil ancient mind controlling, doppleganger creating, overlords. A fun romp that makes me want to enter into the universe created by Mr. Allred again.
So that's my rundown. As soon as it's up for sale, I'll have a link to it for you! Let me know what you think (LEAVE A REVIEW). I'm hoping to be able to do the next 2 volumes for Immortal works as well. I'll keep you posted!