Up for preorder from Chaosium Books and editors Brian Sammons and Glynn Owen Barrass is Steampunk Cthulhu, featuring stories from Jeffrey Thomas, Adam Bolivar, Carrie Cuinn, William Meikle, John Goodrich, Lee Clark Zumpe, D.J. Tyrer, Christine Morgan, Christopher M. Geeson, Thana Niveau, Leigh Kimmel, Josh Reynolds, Robert Neilson, Pete Rawlik, and including my story The Reverend Mister Goodworks and The Yeggs of Yig.
The book is due out June 16th and features a killer cover from Daniele Serra, who also did the cover for my novel Coyote’s Trail.
Also known as The Reverend Shadrach Mischach Abednego Carter, a former train engineer who, after a horrific crash, is partially reconstructed with steam engine parts and becomes a battling preacher dedicated to the destruction of evil, the Reverend Mr. Goodworks plays a sizable part in the events of Once Upon A Time In The Weird West.
I actually wrote this some time before I published Once Upon A Time In The Weird West, so I’m excited to see it in print at last. It involves the servants of the Lovecraftian deity Yig (obviously), and ties into the Old Testament story of the Nehushtan.
In this story, the Reverend encounters a distraught pregnant Mexican woman fleeing across the desert at night. Although she begs him to kill her before they are born, the Reverend delivers her children, only to be attacked by them as they slither from her womb; a pair of vicious serpent-human hybrids. He sets out to find those responsible for this abomination….
Here’s an excerpt.
The Reverend lurched into New Valusia sometime before noon, the sand grinding in his knee joints. It was little more than a few communal frame houses, some gardens, and a couple outbuildings, all arranged around a two story farmhouse with a veranda.
On the porch stood a strikingly tall, lean, yellow haired woman in a white and purple robe. She folded her sun freckled arms at his approach.
Several of the New Valusians in white cassocks rose from their various tasks to interpose themselves, bearing only shovels and hoes as weapons. The Reverend was forced to halt or else plough through them.
He stood quietly, a head taller than their tallest, and surveyed the small crowd.
“Which of you is Susannah?” he bellowed at last.
“I’m Sister Susannah Coyle,” said the woman on the porch. “What brings you here?”
“The Lord brang me here,” drawled the Reverend, unfastening his coat.
“Well, the Lord welcome you.”
“Not your lord, bitch,” growled the Reverend.
He threw open his greatcoat like a knightly tabard.
Beneath, his body was flat black with steel accents, like the shell of a richly ornamented locomotive engine. Indeed, his chest resembled the face of a locomotive, with the dim lamp set in the center. His torso was further festooned with dancing pressure gauges and valve wheels, like a harness of little metal daisies. His heavy, ironclad legs bristled with pistons and driveshafts that plunged and hissed as he moved.
There was a thick bandolier belted around his blocky waist. Hanging from the belt was an old LeMat pistol. He brought his left arm up sharply, accompanied by a series of mechanical whirs and clicks. The sleeve was split down the middle from elbow to cuff, allowing the arm to emerge from the fabric unencumbered. His right hand went to his elbow and jacked a brass lever there. A strange amalgamation of octagonal rifle barrels, three in number, and situated in a kind of pyramid one atop the other, appeared at the end of the metal arm.
The Reverend rightly assumed any of these New Valusians walking around of their own volition were acquiescent in the hell the young woman he’d buried had been put through. He had no compunctions about firing into their midst, but he directed his aim at the statuesque Susannah Coyle, furiously levering his tri-repeater arm and cutting loose with a rapid barrage.
The New Valusians weren’t used to facing gunfire and scattered, dropping their makeshift weapons in their mad flight.
Susannah Coyle didn’t budge. To his amazement, the fifteen bullets he had flung in her direction all stopped and hung suspended in mid-air a few feet from the porch, spinning in a tight group.
When he lowered his smoking arm, frowning, he became aware of a deep thrumming in the air.
The door to the house opened and two muscular white-clad men armed with primitive, two-handed stone headed mallets appeared.
“The Pacifier Field,” Susannah explained, flicking the spinning bullets one by one with her finger until they bounced down the porch steps and rolled harmlessly in the dust at the Reverend’s feet. “An electromagnetic generator. It protects our Nesting House from those who do violence. It’s on its most agreeable setting now, but when I order it directed against your person, it will repel all your metal components, even from each other. That suit of yours will come apart and fly to the compass points.”
“It’s not a suit,” said the Reverend.
Steampunk Cthulhu is up for preorder now on Amazon.com.