Friday, November 22, 2013


Scott Tarbet
Xchyler Publishing

Pauline Spiegel, a master artificer like her mother before her, wants just one thing: to wed the love of her life, Alexander MacIntyre, a lowly undersecretary of the Royal Household. However, a long-term pact between her parents, and a noble House, stands between her and her happily ever after. When a priceless mechanoid of unfathomable power is stolen, Pauline finds herself entangled in skullduggery and international intrigue, upon which the fate of nations rest. Only with the help of her friends, and a brilliant scientist with a swarm of micromechanical insects, can Pauline survive the dark forces determined to destroy her. But will her betrothed and his rag-tag band of semi-mechanical soldiers reveal Alexander’s secrets as well? Immerse yourself in this Steampunk retelling of Shakespeare’s classic, replete with the newfound wizardry of alternative Victorian technology, mistaken identities, love triangles, and deadly peril, set against the backdrop of a world bracing itself for war, and Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

One of my current activities involves editing for a speculative fiction publisher, Xchyler Publishing. My first project was to line edit Scott Tarbet's debut steampunk novel, which was just released this month. Scott graciously agreed to an interview, and is also giving away a copy of his book. To enter the giveaway, be sure to fill out the rafflecopter form below.



A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk (AMNS) interweaves the plot points of Shakespeare’s classic play A Midsummer Night’s Dream with a story of international intrigue at a crucial turning point in Victorian era history. Four young lovers become enmeshed in the clash of the great European empires, aided by half-man/half-machine clockwork mechanicals.

2.  What inspired you to write this story?

The novel combines my great love of Shakespeare (my wife and I were married in full Elizabethan garb and honeymooned at the Utah Shakespeare Festival) and my love of history.

The adaptability of Shakespeare’s stories to each new generation is at the heart of his longevity and continued literary dominance. He not only the writer at the center of English literature, his stories continue to have ‘legs’. Stage productions, movies, and books are constantly adapting him. (One of my favorite directors, Josh Whedon, has a brand new film production of Much Ado About Nothing.) Extending that history of adaptation into the steampunk sci-fi and alternative history sub-genres couldn’t have been a more natural fit.

3.  What exactly is Steam Punk and how does it differ from other spec fiction genres?

Steampunk harkens back to an idealized Victorian age before the widespread introduction of electricity and the subsequent inventions that have changed the world. It substitutes steam power and clockwork for electrical power in imagining what the shape of inventions would be.

4.  What are the top 3 steam punk books & movies (in addition to yours, of course) would you recommend for someone new to the genre?

I was introduced to Steampunk via Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, which is a wonderful start. The TV series (and subsequent reboot movie) Wild Wild West, and the two recent Sherlock Holmes movies, are good examples of the way Hollywood continues to mine the genre.

5.  What books did you enjoy reading when you were younger? Have any of them influenced you as a writer?

From an early age I was a voracious consumer of sci-fi, in the Golden Age of Asimov, Heinlein, and Bradbury, etc. When Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) hit his stride I became a big fan, to the extent that I ran one of the earliest fan websites and email lists. The email list continues to this day, though it has morphed into a Facebook group. The thoughtful examinations of characters’ inner lives draw me to Card, who eschews the space age gadgetry of my earlier idols.

6.  What can we expect from you in the future?
I am polishing up my short story Ganesh for submission to the Xchyler Publishing steampunk anthology Around the World in 80 Days. Fans of AMNS will enjoy the back-story of one of AMNS’s more imaginative characters.

AMNS actually elbowed its way in front of a longer-term Work In Progress by the name of Dragon Moon, which is also under contract with Hamilton Springs Press and is pending the creation of an ‘imprint’ specific to sci-fi and techno-action. DM is a techno-thriller and not a perfect fit for the Xchyler Publishing imprint, which focuses on fantasy, paranormal, and steampunk. Dragon Moon is a cautionary tale of what happens when the International Space Station partners rest on their Space Race laurels and let newcomer nations take up the slack.

Scott Tarbet is giving away one copy of A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S STEAMPUNK. 
To enter just fill out the rafflecopter form below. 
U.S. residents only, please.  
This giveaway will end on Friday, 12/6.


  1. Does more research go into a steampunk novel, or does the research done for one apply to all?

  2. Scott, how long have you been writing?