Steampunk fiction, reviews and interviews

Posts tagged “revolution

Aether Eggs: With Stephen Palmer

Good Morning! Happy Oestara!
My name is Stephen Palmer and I write various kinds of genre novels: steampunk, SF, fantasy, and what used to be called slipstream, by which most people mean unclassifiable… I’ve been professionally published since 1996, and have a reputation for following my muse. But I think that’s a good thing. My most recent work “Woodland Revolution” is about myth, death, landscape and revolution. A heady brew!
So, here in Steampunk’d Lancaster we’re enjoying the annual Aether Egg Hunt – a chance for authors to connect with their readers and give a little gift of thanks for all their support in the form of an Aether Egg, or Small Gift linked to the fictional world they have created. Here’s my contribution to the fun!
Woodland Rev Aetheregg

You can find my books here:

And connect to me on the internet here:
Wishing you a Springtime filled with Splendid Shenanigans! Do remember to keep an eye out this month and hunt down all the Aether Egg surprises that will be appearing each week until May!

Elevenses: The Language Of Tea

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I hope you are all feeling extremely eleven o clockish because the time is, of course, eleven o clock and no doubt our lovely werewolf butler is just itching to break our door down and shower us with tiffin.

You find us this morning pressing on with revolutionary business-  which in this case means writing covert communications using Tsaiography (or as some uneducated folk call it ‘Charlatin’) .

That’s right, last week we showed you the Victorian art of coding with flowers, this week we are using tea (which is much more environmentally friendly and also better if you happen to have hayfever).


Tsaiography is extremely versatile and if you were ever forced to learn Latin at school, or if you grew up anywhere near East London, you will have no trouble at all as it bears a striking resemblance to the noble cockney street-slang known as ‘pig latin’

The basic rules are as follows, however there may be regional variations:

First select the word you wish to speak (or write) and, very carefully, slice away the first consonant and anything that was unfortunate enough to come in front of it ( So, for example, TEA would become EA and BUFFOON would become UFFOON ) Keep those letters in a safe place now, we’ll be needing them again in a jiffy.

Next open your larder, pantry or picnic hamper, remove your trusty tea caddy and choose any type of tea you fancy. Carefully insert the name of this tea after the next consonant in the word. If there is no other consonant, simply insert the tea at the end of the word. (So if we used ASSAM; TEA would become EAASSAM  and BUFFOON would become UFFASSAMOON)

Now, remember where you left those first few letters that you cut away earlier? Scoop them up, being careful to keep them in the correct order of course, and place them right after the name of the tea. (Sticking with our examples, we now have EAASSAMT and UFFASSAMBOON)

Now you may be stuck with an unhappy circumstance in which the new word you have created doesn’t sound quite the ticket. (EAASSAMT for example) Don’t panic. If this occurs simply act swiftly and haul another tea from your caddy to add to the end of it. (EAASAMTOOLONG, for example, is vastly preferable to EAASSAMT )

Last but not least, if in doubt make it up. No true lady or gentleman would ever ridicule or berate another for improvising around the rules where necessary and there is plenty of fun to be had by combining meaningless multisyllabic ploynons with various brands of tea without worrying too much about whether or not you are spouting anything meaningful. (Children catch on to this much more quickly than grownups – follow their lead.)

To start you off, here are some useful phrases:

Hello – Ellassamho

How are you? – Ochaihwearlgrey aredbushegreentea ouchaiyoolong?

Would you care for a cuppa? – ouladygreywld ouchaiyoolong arassamec orchaif a uppingshuica?

Quick! Put the kettle on before I pass out! – Uigreenteaqck! Utoolongpearlgrey herooibust ettassamkle on efchunmeebore I assyunnanpoolong oukeemuntsouchong!

Now, if you are feeling brave, here are some phrases to translate yourself:

– I think that cake may be laced with laudanum, better let me try it first.

– Excuse me, Sir, did you happen to see an airship parked around here?

– Is that a flame throwing parasol by any chance?


Now hopefully our tongues aren’t in too much of a twist to enjoy our elevenses which this morning is a traditional fruity Yorkshire Teacake to compliment all this tea themed nonsense and you can find the recipe for it here

And now all we need is some inspiring music to keep us going through the afternoon…

Splendid, we wish you a totally tea-tastic afternoon and until we see you again please be always,

Utterly yourself







teapot image from

Elevenses: The Language Of Flowers

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen I hope you are feeling extremely eleven o clockwise because the time is indeed eleven o clock so please, Hang up your top hat of imposing mental prowess, fold down your pugnacious parasol and pull up a chair (or lemonade crate)


This morning our lovely werewolf butler has been out picking flowers for us… hm? Oh no, no, no don’t worry, nothing like that… we need them for the revolution. Sorry? War of the roses? Oh I see, you are trying to be amusing! Oh well done, yes…hm… but seriously now, please, these flowers which Max is diligently dismantling over there are going to play a vital role in overthrowing the queen and taking our first tentative steps towards world domination…. Hm? Oh yes, sorry, you’re right of course I did mean world liberation. Liberation from the tea time tyranny of Wiz.


You may be aware that Max and his fellow revolutionaries communicate with each other using coded poetry books and an unnecessarily complicated language of stamps? Well now we are attempting to incorporate Floriography (the language of flowers) as well. If you are plotting a revolution, you may wish to consider using this marvellous coding method yourself and so here, for your convenience, are some commonly used flowers and their traditional Victorian meanings to get you started…

Yellow Marquerile – I come soon

Canterbury Bell  – Your letter was received

Iris – I sent a message

Red Fuchia – I like your taste

Pinks – Yes

Wild Rose – Pleasure and pain

Poppy – I am not free

White rose – I cannot

But goodness, all this flower arranging tires one’s tentacles to the extreme, let us break for a while and see if Klapka has not been too busy flower picking to to make us something delicious for our elevenses… mmm, lemon and lavender tea cookies! They are her own recipe, and here it is…

Lemon and Lavender Tea Cookies

150g plain flower

100g butter or margarine

50g caster sugar

1 lemon zest finely grated

1 tsp hot earl grey tea

1 tsp lavender flowers

Mix all ingredients together to form a soft dough, adding a little more flour or tea as needed. Roll into a sausage shape, wrap in cling film and chill for 1 – 24 hours. Slice into cookie rounds (each about the thickness of a pound coin) and bake on a greased tray on gas 4 for about 10mins until pale gold. Leave to cool down and firm up then serve with a cup of jasmine or lady grey tea.

Delicious! And now there is nothing left to do but find some soothing music to tap our tentacles to as we nom …


Marvellous, we hope you have a very lovely afternoon and we invite you back to join us for our morning cuppa on Monday, until then please be always

Utterly Yourself