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:
The Black Empress — written by Katharina Bordet
When two agents from the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences are called to Vienna to investigate disturbances at the palace, what they discover could threaten the Austro-Hungarian Empire and shatter the fragile peace in Europe. Who is the mysterious man who has pulled diplomatic strings to enlist the help of a foreign agency and how is the Empress Elisabeth herself involved?
Music by Mick Border
Narration by Katharina and Mick Bordet
About the Author:
Katharina Bordet lives in Vienna (Wien), Austria with her husband. She works as a lawyer and is currently working towards her doctorate, yet still manages to find time for writing fiction, taking photographs and recording podcasts. These interests all come together in the regular podcast Every Photo Tells… where her photographs inspire short stories by herself and many other writers, with well over 100 episodes produced to date. When it came time to record a podcast version of The Coffee Legacy (Wiener Blut 1), her standing within the podcast community resulted in a who’s who of audio fiction appearing in roles within the full cast audio production. The sequel, Danube Waves (Wiener Blut 2) is currently in production and will be published in summer 2015.
Besides writing fiction, Katharina also published some non-fiction with her husband Mick. They wrote a Christmas market guide book full of photos, reviews and tips in English and German, titled Christmas Markets in Vienna — Weihnachtsmärkte in Wien. It is available at Amazon, the iBooks Store and other eBook sellers.
Theme music for the Ministry composed and created by Alex White.
Order your copy of The Diamond Conspiracy: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, now available from online and bricks and mortar stores everywhere.
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.
In this week’s Æther Feature we take a look at Scale75 who are producing a range of steampunk miniatures.
Scale75 is a company based in Spain that designs and produces metal and resin miniatures to be assembled and painted by people all around the world. We have a big catalog of figures, paints an complements that can be seen at www.scale75.com, both historical and fantasy subjects. Our range Steam Wars of figures and dioramas in a 75mm scale has been a great success between painters, although some of them were a bit worried about the complexity, the size or asking us how to paint those little eyes or how to get some painting effects… and that’s why we decided to create a new range to allow people to learn to paint or to develop their skills to another level. We decided to create a new line of steampunk miniatures in a chibi style so the geometric volumes and bigger details are easier to paint, and the scale is 35mm, much easier to paint and handle. So to speak, the Smog Riders are simple figures with a “friendly” geometry that removes barriers for miniature lovers that are a bit “scared” of brushes. All this with an attractive aesthetics so that later you can put them proudly in your display cabinet or show them to your friends. Check out our gallery here.
For every miniature we include a prospect with a step-by-step painting guide, showing the painters how to paint the different parts of the miniature (leather, metallic parts, skin…), including which paints and techniques we use. Also, for those who want to level up their skills, we set up a blog at www.smogriders.com where we upload new painting guides to develop new techniques and to achieve some greater painting effects. People can join the blog and those lessons for free and ask whatever they want and we try to help them.
This new range has been well received by the painters community as they can achieve great results more easily than having to spend months with a bigger and more complex miniature. As said, they are specifically designed to practice painting skills but more experienced painters find them really attractive as they can get awesome results due to the great quality and level of details.
If you ever wanted to paint a miniature but you were afraid, we believe this new line is the best option to get you started so we invite you to join our blog or our Facebook community
Thanks to all those that entered the competition to celebrate the release of Dawn’s Early Light. We had over a thousand entries, and luckily the rafflecopter gadget chooses winners rather than our previous method involving guinea pigs, cheese and a roulette wheel.
So without further ado, the winners are
$150 Amazon voucher, Michael Spence.
$50 Amazon voucher, Jon Tollerton
$25 Amazon voucher, David Walker
We hope everyone is enjoying the Diamond Conspiracy, and continue on with us and our Ministry adventures.
Our journalists spent two weeks last month back in New Zealand, and the steampunk they found there was wonderful. So the next few Æther Features will be spotlighting the steampunk scene in New Zealand.
Our journalists were, along with Gail Carriger, Guests of Honour at Reconnaissance: The 36th New Zealand National SFF&H Convention.
This was held in Rotorua, the town in the middle of the North Island of New Zealand, known for its thermal activity. There, much as they do in Bath, England, people come to soak in the hot mineral pools. However, unlike Bath, Rotorua has also plenty of therapeutic mud, and geysers to add to the spectacle.
Tee, Pip, and Gail had a lovely signing at Atlantis Books, with reading, signings, and a lovely turn out. Pip seemed to enjoy the smell of the older books. Perhaps a little too much.
Tee holds forth
Tee, Gail and Pip
Display at Atlantis Books
More panels, and Guest of Honour speeches followed. They may have also ventured to Hell…Pizza that is.
Around the convention there were some fine examples of steampunk, which were delightful.
Fanastic costuming from New Zealand
A lovely attendee from Australia
Finally the event was rounded off with a steampunk gathering at the Tearooms in the Government Gardens. This historic area was the perfect location for a steampunk gathering.
The teahouse set
Now facing the garden
Three authors in a rotunda
The Rotorua Musuem, once the Bath House
If you are interested in finding out more about New Zealand’s steampunk scene in the North Island then there are quite a few.
Next, our intrepid journalists head to the South Island, and the steampunk capital of the world.