Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

Morning Cuppa: Amster Damned #steampunkfiction

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen! Welcome back after a long and exhausting summer, to Max and Collin’s delightfully delinquent and salubriously seditious parlour located in the splendidly scenic city of Lancaster.

True, perhaps, some have called it a Smuggler’s Cove which is  haunted by scurvy-ridden sky dogs and liable to give you the plague, but we consider that such people are merely embittered that they have not yet received an invitation.

You find us on this, bright but blustery autumn day, soaking our tentacles in cider vinegar (yes, sorry about the smell) and counting our earnings. Having sold excruciating amounts of lemonade, we should have easily enough to pay the rent for the next month or so and a good thing to because as the nights draw in, the Good Folk become far less tolerant of street peddlars and urchins.. and of course Lord Ashton’s flesh eating Liver Birds will be waking up from their long summer sleep to help enforce the curfew… so we are far better off curled up inside with a nice cup of tea and an excellent book. And, of course we have both!


Our tea this morning is… smugglers’ spice


And to accompany it we have….

amster damned.jpg


“Five and twenty sky-skiffs

Skirring through the dark

Brandy for the parson

Baccy for the clerk

Laces for a lady

Letters for a spy

crystals for a clocker

roundshot to make rozzers cry

Watch the floor, me darling

Whilst proud aeronauts skirr by

Atween the silver stars

in a black and moonless sky …”


This book is EVERYTHING we love about Steampunk. An exquisitely well crafted adventure with characters to die for, this is Falkner meets Hodder with the most elegant Ada Lovelace twist we have ever encountered.

Competent PI Alice Kittyhawk is sent to Amsterdam on a routine mission to discover the whereabouts of an old family acquaintance, Dr Braxton Beesworth, but under the imposing shadow of the formidable Waag, with its Gestapo -esq Time Police, and in the company of smugglers, seditious book dealers an exiled Admiral, a cat called Fiveways and the magnificent Furry George, Alice finds herself delving into the dark and complex and world of temporal travel where morality is blurred and the paths of duty and honour do not always lead in the same direction.

Oh, and if you have enjoyed Nils Visser’s short story The Oval Sky Room you will be over the moon to see some much-loved characters making an appearance too!

We were so distraught when the story ended and we had to put this one back on the shelf  that we emptied an entire caddy of Lapsang in one sitting, but we are very happy to hear that Nils will be paying our dear Mrs Baker a visit in her little soup kitchen on Wednesday, so there is something to look forward to!

In the meantime, we wish you a devastatingly delicious morning, filled sauce and spice in equal measure, and we invite you back to join us for elevenses tomorrow so, until then, please be always,

Utterly Yourself.

2 responses

  1. Rachel West

    It’s Furry George, not Fury George , and I agree, Amster Damned is a damned fine example of exquisitely written steampunk.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 5, 2017 at 2:34 am

    • smithandskarry1

      Oh damn these tentacles, Rachel, they don’t make for accurate typing at all.. thankyou for pointing out that typo I shall amend it immediately – sincere apologies 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      September 5, 2017 at 6:49 am

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