Æther Feature: How Amelia Chain Brings the Punk

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. on August 21, 2014

These features as a way for the Ministry to highlight artists, musicians, writers, and makers of all variety. With so many talented individuals to choose from, we know it is a challenge to feature every clever creative worthy of note, but perhaps we might endeavour to introduce to you a new name in our community of steam and cog, or perhaps remind you of one artisan’s successful efforts to bring the past that never was to the here and now.
 This week’s Æther Feature by the XII for August 21st, 2014, is now submitted for your pleasure…

Amelia_Chain_Drums-_IXWe, the XII, would like to thank the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, for giving us the opportunity to declare to you, dear readers, the glory of the merciful and wonderous spirit that manifests itself via the Collective ….. Amelia Chain.

The XII, or “Collective”, comprises performers, author, composers, producers, film maker and a couture designer that have coalesced into the one, brought together with one singular aim, the elevation and veneration of the benevolent glory of Amelia Chain herself.

Indeed it would be remiss to squander the opportunity provided by the Ministry, to inform, and exhibit, to those with an open and accommodating mind, to the power of artistic endeavour and freedom that is created by anonymously, free from the ties and expectations created from previous plaudits and achievements.

The embryonic soul of Amelia Chain is based in the heartland of Great Britain, Shropshire.

Shropshire, the Mother Lode county, has given birth to one of the greatest developments in human civilisation, The Industrial Revolution, along with the Godfather of Evolution, Charles Darwin and the renowned “Great War” poet, Wilfred Owen.

AMELIA-CHAIN-IV-CLOCK-BIG-BLACKThe XII have all previously enjoyed success in their own respective fields, under their given birth name, however as part of the XII and to assure anonymity, the entire collective is represented by “antiquo numero”.

The collective have been posed the question by the Ministry: “Is Amelia Chain Steampunk?”

In order to answer the conundrum, the word or phrase, “Steampunk” needs to be defined. Ask one hundred people and you will likely get one hundred different definitions. If anyone describes it it as “top hats, goggles and airships” then are they then guilty of “Steampunkism”?

To those guilty of Steampunkism the XII would retort, “is Punk a leather jacket, bondage trousers with a green Mohican, smoking a cigarette down the Kings Road?” That image is of course a caricature of “punk”. An easily identifiable image for the tourists and the  easily influenced, worn by someone lacking the individuality to be anything other than a clothes horse for yet another corporate driven, high street retailers unknowing attempt to administer the kiss of death to a movement that  already lay motionless, on the cold, marble slab, of irrelevance.

The same fate befell the “grunge” movement, that wheezed it’s last asthmatic breath once the multi-national fashion chains assimilated its essence, and sanitised it for mass consumption to sell to the gullible.

So, what is Punk if it not the above and is it still dead? The XII believe it is simply the confidence, brought about by experience, or conversely, youthful belligerence. It is the belief that your statement and artistic endeavour is completely valid, and justified, irrespective of what mass media or a mainstream view on your endeavours may be, irrespective of the financial impact, positive or negative, that results from following your muse.

ameliachain_IVIn that respect Amelia Chain, in the form of the XII, is the epitome of Punk.

As for “Steam”….this power source drove the industrial revolution, and even in these days of advanced power systems, the majority of the world’s civilisations  energy requirements are still provided by steam. Steam is beauty, steam is raw power, but steam needs to draw in latent energy to produce this power. Amelia Chain sublimates this energy from the Collective, the XII.

So to the question “Is Amelia Chain Steampunk”? We the collective think the answer is discernible from the above for those likeminded to the XII.

The first release worthy of Amelia Chain’s talents is Piano Concerto No 1 (Earhart).

The essence of this music has already been recognized and was requested to accompany a stunning “from the pilots seat” view of an aircrafts approach at 2000mph through the clouds to landing.

For more information and to register for regular free downloads and advance notice of  Amelia Chains works and deeds please visit www.ameliachain.com and download a free Orchestral version of Piano Concerto No 1 (Earhart).

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Begging Your Forgiveness

by Philippa Ballantine on August 5, 2014

Unfortunately, we here at the Ministry are once again short-staffed. (Terrible thing, cut-backs don’t you know).

While our journalists have their noses pressed to the grindstone getting the first round of edits out for the Diamond Conspiracy (due in March next year), they have rather fallen behind with the Tales from the Archives.

This means that a new episode will not be released until the 19th of August.

We promise it will be worth the wait, with the same said for the fourth novel! The story will not only be a rather wonderful one from Bill Blume, but it will be accompanied as our apology gift by special interlude by Mr Axelrod himself.

Until then, imagine our writers, hard at work, and looking somewhat like this…

 

Distraught writer

 

 

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S4: Steampunk Saturday at Shaharazade’s in Shepherdstown

by Philippa Ballantine on July 30, 2014

s4_streetOur journalists are hosting a steampunk tea in charming Shepherdstown, WV, and they’d love you to attend!

Tiffany Trent, author of the Unnaturalists, and a Ministry Initiative contributer will be joining Tee and Pip at Shaharazade’s Restaurant & Tea Room, 141 W German St, Shepherdstown, WV.

Here are the details…

The Teahouse: With over 60 varieties of tea from around the world to choose from, Shaharazade’s Restaurant & Tea Room is fairly confident that: Any time is teatime.

The Authors: The authors of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine, as well as Tiffany Trent author of the Unnaturalists and the Tinker King will be in attendence.Teashop interior

What you get: Purchase of a ticket guarantees you a seat, and a two-cup pot of fine tea as well as a sweet milk or cranberry scone served with devonshire cream, lemoncurd, and raspberry preserve.

The Goings-On: The authors will be reading from their latest novels and answering questions about their work (though no SPOILERS will be provided). The Four Seasons bookstore will be at the teahouse selling books, and there will be exclusive giveaways and prizes during the event.

Post-Tea: Those interested can promenade from Trinity Episcopal Church, W German St, Shepherdstown, WV 25443, down to the historic railway station. There are plenty of beautiful locations to show off your steampunk best in Shepherdstown and we have arranged for a Bruce Press Photography to take shots of the event and the promenade.

We do hope those of you in the Washington DC Metro area will join us for this event! Seating is strictly limited, so don’t dilly dally!

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Happy Birthday, David Warner!

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. on July 29, 2014

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences wishes David Warner the happiest of birthdays!

Warner-TimeAfterTime

This fine British actor is multi-faceted, to say the least. From crime dramas such as Midsommer Murders and Wallander, to science fiction classics like Tron, Time Bandits, Doctor Who, and various Star Trek properties, to astounding voiceover work including Batman’s Ra’s Al Gohl and Winnie the Pooh, but the distinguished actor is also quite the icon of steampunk. His repertoire includes The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, Doctor Jeckyll and Mr Hyde, and the recent Showtime sensation, Penny Dreadful.

For our journalist, Tee Morris, David Warner hold a special place with his performance as Dr. John Leslie Stevenson (and *spoiler* Jack the Ripper) in what has become a steampunk classic, Time After Time. The film marks the directorial debut of Nicholas Meyer (who went on to direct Star Trek II and VI), and tells the story of H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) who actually builds a time machine. However, when Dr. Stevenson’s actual identity is revealed, the time machine spirits Stevenson into the future. H.G. Wells must now hunt down Jack the Ripper in San Francisco before he can kill again.

Happy birthday, Mr. Warner, and thank you for the inspirations you have provided us all over the decades!

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Dispatches from the Ministry

by Philippa Ballantine on July 26, 2014

Eliza writing the dispatchWe here at the Ministry are always looking for ways to maintain contact with our agents.

However recently, it was pointed out to us that we are missing a beat.

Though we have a Ministry Facebook, Twitter, Google+, tumblr and pinterest account…we were missing out on an email list! We’re not entirely sure how we missed this.

So now, we’ll be doing a monthly update called Dispatches from the Ministry. In it we will be updating subscribers with latest news on all Ministry happenings, doing giveaways, and an occasional peak behind the curtain for upcoming stories. If you want to absolutely keep updated on everything Ministry and not risk missing a thing, this service is for you.

If you are interested, the form is below, and will also be found in the sidebar to this website. We hope you enjoy this new service.

 

Subscribe to Dispatches from the Ministry

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Happy Birthday, Nikola Tesla!

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. July 10, 2014

Our favourite mad science consultant for the Ministry, Nikola Tesla, celebrates a birthday today. We came across this picture in the Archives, circa 1894-95, where we see Nikola on his travels across America, enjoying a relaxing afternoon on the beach.   Wait. Hold on a moment… Is that the Currituck Light in the Outer Banks […]

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The Secret of the Diamond Conspiracy is out: 31-3-2015

by Philippa Ballantine July 8, 2014

We have managed to declassify information on the fourth Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences books. We have a publication date which is the 31st of March 2015…and we even have information on the contents of the book. Your support with pre-orders of said book makes a great deal of difference to the Ministry, so please help […]

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New Tale: Blessings of Baalsheim

by Philippa Ballantine June 29, 2014

Something new from the Archives, a new story from Mr Reed. Once again available on all platforms, but buying direct gives the Ministry the best return (and keeps us in tea!) Blessings of Baalsheim by Nobilis Reed In the Spring of 1869 Mrs Isabel Burton begins a correspondence with the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Director, […]

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Tales from the Archives III: Six

by Philippa Ballantine June 17, 2014

    The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. In this episode: Blessings […]

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New Ministry tales for your aether reader

by Philippa Ballantine June 5, 2014

This week sees the arrival of three new offerings from the vaults of the Tales of the Archives, a story from Lisa-Anne Samuels, Suna Dasi, as well as Collection 7 of the Tales from the Archives. All of these are also available on all ebook platforms, but the Ministry gets the best when you buy […]

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Æther Feature: Still Think Steampunk is Dead? You Must Not Be Watching Penny Dreadful.

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. June 5, 2014

Showtime, back in May, offered up a free preview—the first episode—of a new series featuring Josh Harnett, Eva Green, and Timothy Dalton. The show was advertised as gothic horror; but amidst the breathtaking fashions, the epic sets, and its beautiful design, steampunk makes its presence known. This is the new horror series, Penny Dreadful. Exactly what […]

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PNR Radio appearance + giveaway

by Philippa Ballantine June 4, 2014

In partnership with ILoveVampireNovels.com, author Arial Burnz is the host of the podcast PNRradio.com, where she features entertainment that goes bump in the night. If you love paranormal and fantasy books, TV shows and movies, you’ll love PNR Radio! Guests include bestselling authors (e.g., Nalini Singh, Kami Garcia, Julie Kagawa) and celebrities (from TV shows […]

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Tales from the Archives, Volume III: Five (Part Two)

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. June 3, 2014

    The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. In this episode: Those […]

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Something new…

by Philippa Ballantine May 29, 2014

We here at the Ministry are all about choices and options. Our podcasts, our audio books, and our digital books are available in as many platforms as possible, and now we bring you the ability to buy from us directly. We are often asked which method yields the best return for our journalists, and we […]

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Tales from the Archives, Volume III: Five (Part One)

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. May 13, 2014

  The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. In this episode: Those Dark […]

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Æther Feature – Eliza D Braun Cosplay

by Philippa Ballantine May 8, 2014

These features as a way for the Ministry to highlight artists, musicians, writers, and makers of all variety. With so many talented individuals to choose from, we know it is a challenge to feature every clever creative worthy of note, but perhaps we might endeavour to introduce to you a new name in our community […]

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Tales from the Archives, Volume III: The “Meet the Ministry” Panel from DemiCon 25

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. May 6, 2014

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. Still working through the cases incoming […]

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Ministry Protocol Wins!

by Philippa Ballantine May 6, 2014

Another piece of wonderful news from the Ministry, our anthology Ministry Protocol has won the Steampunk Chronicle Readers Choice, Best Fiction 2014. If you want to watch the award ceremony, then you absolutely can! Thanks to all our wonderful authors that helped make this project a rousing success, and thanks to you all for taking […]

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FREE ebook – Silver Linings

by Philippa Ballantine May 1, 2014

We here at the Ministry are celebrating not only our win at the Steampunk Chronicle’s Readers Choice award, but first month of Dawn’s Early Light being out in the wilds of publishing. To that ends, we are giving away Silver Linings. This short story is set between Phoenix Rising and the Janus Affair. Please download, […]

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Tangi A Te Ruru/The Cry of the Morepork

by Philippa Ballantine April 23, 2014

Last year, our journalist Pip Ballantine was lucky enough to be accepted into an anthology whose purpose was to explore the multicultural aspects of steampunk. Alliteration Press ran the very successful Steampunk World kickstarter, and raised over their goal. This enabled the wonderful artist James Ng to not only do an original cover for the […]

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Tales from the Archives, Volume III: A Special Preview of Dawn’s Early Light

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. April 22, 2014

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. In this episode: Dawn’s Early Light, […]

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Our journalists visit Seattle…with

by Philippa Ballantine April 14, 2014

  Our journalists have always longed for distant Seattle…and now they get to go there…at least their voices do. Shannon and Matt sit down to talk with Tee and Pip about steampunk and Dawn’s Early Light.  

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Functional Nerds welcome our journalists

by Philippa Ballantine April 10, 2014

Functional Nerds is the new podcast from author/blogger Patrick Hester and musician/blogger John Anealio focusing on science fiction and fantasy media: television, film, comics, and new media such as fan films, audio dramas, online animated comics and more, technology, gadgets and all things Apple as well as music and the occasional video game. Functional Nerds […]

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Tales from the Archives, Volume III: Four

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. April 8, 2014

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. In this episode: Wooden Go to […]

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Our journalists get all mythy and witty

by Philippa Ballantine April 7, 2014

The MythWits bring you the very best in geek pop culture. A weekly live video show, on-demand video channel, and audio podcast. Specializing in informative interviews and convention coverage all with a heavy dose of comedy. And now they meet Pip and Tee, live from their hidden lair….

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Our journalists get all Geekily

by Philippa Ballantine April 3, 2014

Our journalists ‘get their…achemmm…geek on’ with the lovely folks of Geek Radio Daily. After consuming a proper meat pie they talk the geek news of the week (oh good grief see-through skulls!!) and what they have been watching. We begin to suspect they need to be called into the office for watching aether shows that […]

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The Way of the Buffalo and our journalists

by Philippa Ballantine March 30, 2014

Our journalists journey into the north of the country, but not quite as far as Canada. They join Hugh O’Donnell and Pat Toner talking about steampunk, and what they plan to be up to in the coming weeks. (Hopefully not resting on their laurels) Unfortunately Mr Morris reveals a Ministry secret- the origin of The […]

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Tales from the Archives III: Three

by Philippa Ballantine March 25, 2014

  The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. In this episode: Why the […]

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The Break of Dawn’s Early Light

by Philippa Ballantine March 25, 2014

You’ve waited for it. We’ve waited for it. Now it is here. Dawn’s Early Light is now out in the wild. You can find it in all your brick and mortar stores, as well as on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Mysterious Galaxy. Here’s what the early reviews have said about it. Dawn’s Early Light […]

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Fan Appreciation – Portraits

by Eliza D Braun March 19, 2014

Catching up with all the lovely readers and listeners as we approach the release day for the third Ministry novel, Dawn’s Early Light, has been heartwarming. The number of people who have told us how excited they are to have new tales of Eliza and Wellington’s adventures inspires us here at the Ministry to keep […]

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Our Journalists Appear on Geekually Yoked

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. March 18, 2014

Our journalists continue their journey to blogs and podcasts far and wide in anticipation for NEXT WEEK’S release of our latest adventure, Dawn’s Early Light. Tee Morris and Pip Ballantine sit down with Rachel and Leeman of Geekually Yoked, billed as the World’s Best Married Christian Geek Podcast. (Quite a moniker, I say!) Hailing from the Canadian […]

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Fan appreciation – Hypersteam

by Philippa Ballantine March 17, 2014

Today we are posting an image made by G A Jack Hammerquist. Our journalists met Mr Hammerquist (Alan Smith) at Octopodicon, prompting us to initiate our search of the archives for this lovely line drawing of a hypersteam train he had sent us some time ago. We are happy to report we located it, and […]

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Win with the Ministry

by Philippa Ballantine March 13, 2014

As we tick away the hours and days towards the release of Dawn’s Early Light, the competition heats up… And that means winnings available to you! Both we here at the Ministry and our allies over at Ace Books, are giving away with reckless abandon. Head on over to Facebook to win with Penguin and […]

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The return of Mr Langton!

by Philippa Ballantine March 12, 2014

We can now confirm with great joy, that Dawn’s Early Light will be getting an audio release through Tantor Media, and that the amazing vocal talents of Mr James Langton will be bringing it to you. After the fine work he did with Phoenix Rising and the Janus Affair, we were holding our breath that […]

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Tales from the Archives, Volume III: Two

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. March 11, 2014

  The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. In this episode: Under Oak […]

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Friday Frivolity: Wherein Our Journalists Get Geeky on Technorama

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. March 7, 2014

Continuing their journey across the global ætherweb, our fearless journalists join the fine chaps at Technorama, a Parsec-winning and long-running æthercast of the highest quality and caliber. Sadly, Chuck Tomasi was not present for the interview; but this did not mean Tales from the Archives‘ own Kreg Steppe could not handle the Herculean task of […]

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Our Journalists Appear on the MythWits

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. March 5, 2014

Moving along in their travels across the blogosphere and podosphere, our journalists stop by the MythWits podcast, an æthercast available both in audio and in video that delves into popular culture, convention appearances, and all things of a more “geeky” nature. Pip Balantine finds herself the only lady amongst the group, but in true New […]

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Our Journalists “Get Nutty” on the Nutty Bites Podcast!

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. March 3, 2014

Oh, I say! Should our journalists talk of such intimacies amongst the sexes? Well, who are we to judge here in the Archives? Our honourary agent and delightful hostess “Nutty” Nuchtchas, Tek the Clockwork Doctor, our journalists Tee Morris & Philippa Ballantine, and Heath Fowler, & Angela Fowler, come together to discuss on this æthercast the attractions of […]

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Editors Roundtable from John Mierau’s Serving Worlds

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. February 28, 2014

We are so pleased to introduce John Mierau’s Serving Worlds æthercast here on the Ministry website. Continuing in his series of roundtable discussions, Mister Mierau invited our journalist, Tee Morris, to join other editors of the finest caliber: Ann Vandermeer David Gatewood John Joseph Adams This collection of literary luminaries sat down with Mister Mierau to […]

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Æther Feature – The Artifact Hunters, finding inspiration

by Philippa Ballantine February 27, 2014

These features as a way for the Ministry to highlight artists, musicians, writers, and makers of all variety. With so many talented individuals to choose from, we know it is a challenge to feature every clever creative worthy of note, but perhaps we might endeavour to introduce to you a new name in our community […]

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First Review – Dawn’s Early Light

by Philippa Ballantine February 26, 2014

The waiting is always the hardest. It is now less than a month until the arrival of Book Three of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series. Dawn’s Early Light will be touching down on the 25th of March. We are all on pins and needles here at the Ministry, so when news of a review […]

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Tales from the Archives, Volume III: One

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. February 25, 2014

  The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. Welcome to our third season […]

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Our Journalists Make New Friends from the North

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. February 19, 2014

How delightful! Our delightful intern, Katherine, has reached out her friends in the chilly wilds of Canada to sit down with our journalists and talk about the Ministry’s upcoming release of Dawn’s Early Light. Tee and Pip also talk about the challenges of writing steampunk a challenge, adventures on the road, and the games they […]

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Tales from the Archives, Volume Three — The Promo

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. February 17, 2014

More exciting stories of adventure, mystery, and derring-do are currently in production; but with a handful of podcasts ready and waiting, the Ministry will begin the third season of the award-winning steampunk anthology, Tales from the Archives, on 25 February 2014. To celebrate the occasion, we offer you this humble promo for your respective æthercasts. (Now […]

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Æther Feature – An Ode to Steampunk

by Philippa Ballantine February 7, 2014

These features as a way for the Ministry to highlight artists, musicians, writers, and makers of all variety. With so many talented individuals to choose from, we know it is a challenge to feature every clever creative worthy of note, but perhaps we might endeavour to introduce to you a new name in our community […]

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Win with Scott

by Philippa Ballantine February 4, 2014

Friend of the Ministry Scott Roche is running a wonderful contest over on his site. It is quite a magnificent bundle of Ministry novels leading up to the arrival of Dawn’s Early Light. We strongly suggest you take advantage of Scott’s magnificent generosity post haste- check out the post here or simply participate directly. a […]

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Aether Feature – AETHERANGELEGENHEITEN

by Philippa Ballantine January 23, 2014

These features as a way for the Ministry to highlight artists, musicians, writers, and makers of all variety. With so many talented individuals to choose from, we know it is a challenge to feature every clever creative worthy of note, but perhaps we might endeavour to introduce to you a new name in our community […]

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Tales from the Archives: A 2013 Hanukkah Special

by Wellington Thornhill Books Esq. December 25, 2013

The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences has many forgotten stories in its Archives. Stories of madcap adventures in all corners of the Empire, dark doings in hidden places, and mysterious devices and artifacts that the everyday citizen should never become aware of for fear it would quite undo their minds. To launch our third season of […]

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Mistletoe Bloghop

by Philippa Ballantine December 13, 2013

It’s that time again. The time to begin hopping under the Mistletoe. We here at the Ministry have collaborated with some wonderful authors to bring our readers and listeners the chance to win some rather awesome prizes. Go to the main page to enter for the Grand Prize Then begin the hopping to see what […]

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Multi-cultural steampunk anthology Kickstarter

by Philippa Ballantine December 9, 2013

Our author, Pip Ballantine is very proud to be part of this new steampunk anthology being kickstarted. Steampunk World It is easy to find excellent stories of American and British citizens… but we rarely get to see steampunk from the point of view of the rest of the world. With your help, *Steampunk World* will […]

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