My Fantasy Circle of Five

A couple of weeks ago, Paige Addams tagged me to share five fantasy characters I’d love to spend time with.

Fantasy Circle

What’s more, I’ll be participating in the Time Traveler’s Outpost at the 4th Avenue Trunk Show in Tucson, Arizona, hosted by the Tucson Steampunk Society today. The event runs from noon to 6pm. Visit for details. Tomorrow, I’m the guest of the Tucson Steampunk Society’s Book Club where we’ll be discussing my novel Owl Dance at Antigone Books starting at 3:30pm. If you’re in Tucson, I hope you’ll drop by one of these two great events.

In keeping with the wild west steampunk theme, I decided to pick the five western or steampunk characters I’d most like to spend time with. Clicking on the images will take you to Amazon where you can find a book or DVD featuring the character.

Agatha Heterodyne

When we meet Agatha, she’s a student at Transylvania Polygnostic University with a drive to create, but the worst luck in the world. Over time, she learns her true heritage and unlocks the inner spark that allows her to create amazing devices. The story is still continuing and she’s now fighting for the city and castle she inherited from her fore bearers, a line of mad geniuses called the Heterodynes.

Over the course of the comics, it’s clear that Agatha has a sense of fun and she’s great with machines. As someone who likes to tinker and build things, I would enjoy comparing notes with her and see what trouble we could engineer. As an added bonus, I love a good cup of coffee and at one point in the comic, Agatha builds a machine that brews the perfect cup!

Captain Nemo

Captain Nemo was created by Jules Verne for the novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I’m recommending the wonderful comic League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill in which Nemo joins a team fighting a villain intent on destroying London.

Nemo as envisioned by Verne and continued by Moore and O’Neill is an Indian Prince who built a submarine to make a life from the sea. He fights the English who invaded his homeland, but helps those in need. I would love to meet Nemo and hear his remarkable story. I would love to wander through Nemo’s salon aboard the Nautilus and explore his library while he played the organ, then sit back and see the wonders of the ocean revealed through the submarine’s great windows.

Artemus Gordon

The Wild Wild West was the series that introduced me to steampunk before the term had even been coined. When I was in junior high, I used to watch reruns of the show religiously. My parents watched westerns and frankly, when I was a kid, they bored me, but this was something different, a western with a science fictional jolt.

My favorite character was Artemus Gordon, sidekick to the show’s title character, Jim West. Arte invented all the gadgets Jim used, but he was good in a fight and utterly loyal. He was also a lot of fun. My own steampunk costuming is modeled on the clothes Arte wore in The Wild Wild West. What can I say? Arte has been a favorite character for decades. Of course I’d want to meet him!

Brisco County, Jr.

Brisco County, Jr. was a lawyer turned bounty hunter, hired by a group of wealthy men in San Francisco to track down the men who murdered his father. In the process he learned about the orb, a mysterious device from another time that had amazing powers.

What made Brisco County, Jr. such an appealing character was that he was educated and he was always interested in what was around the corner in the next century. As with most of my other picks, he’s a traveler who has seen many places and many things. Although he was a pragmatic realist who wasn’t afraid to fight when he needed to, he always maintained his sense of wonder and optimism.

Fatemeh Karimi

True, I’m engaging in some shameless self-promotion, but seriously of all the characters I’ve created, Fatemeh Karimi is one of the people I’d most like to meet.

Fatemeh is by nature a healer in the ultimate sense. If she sees something wrong, she will attempt to fix it. She also works to balance her rational and spiritual selves. There are times when I could really use her wisdom and council and I’m glad I can seek her out within my own mind. I just hope I do her character justice through my words.

Because these things are more fun with other people also play along,  I’ve decided to tag the following people to play along and name the five fictional characters they’d most like to spend time with:

  1. Marina Martindale
  2. Deby Fredericks
  3. F.T. McKinstry
  4. Sandi Layne

Her Royal Majesty’s Steampunk Symposium – 2013

Next weekend I’m honored to be a literary guest at Her Royal Majesty’s Steampunk Symposium aboard the Queen Mary docked in Long Beach, California. Other guests include Bruce Boxleitner, Phil and Kaja Foglio, Unwoman, and Dino Staats. You can learn more about the convention at

HRM Steam Logo

I was one of the guests last year and I had a fantastic time. The Queen Mary is a wonderful venue for a steampunk event. The grand old ship sets the scene and most of the attendees were in costume. Tourists visiting the Queen Mary wondered if they had fallen into a time warp.

At this point, I’m scheduled to be on several panels. I’ll be giving an updated version of my Victorian Astronomy presentation, plus I’ll be discussing Steampunk Poetry, writing steampunk in a shared world, and Dino Staats and I will once again delve the fine line between magic and science that existed in Victorian days.

David and Kevin

Last year, one of the things I was asked most often is whether any of my steampunk books were available as ebooks. Unfortunately, at that point Owl Dance had just been released and was only available in paper. Now, there are several ebooks available that contain my steampunk tales. Here are a few of the ones that are available. Clicking the covers will take you to their pages at Although Owl Dance is currently a Kindle exclusive ebook, both Revolution of Air and Rust and Gears and Levers can be purchased at other sites such as Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, and the Kobo ebook store.

Owl Dance Cover
Gears and Levers
Revolution of Air and Rust

I’ll have these and more in print and will be happy to autograph them for you at the convention! I hope to see you there.