The Devil in Chains
A steampunk novella.
First published in two parts in Pantechnicon, issues 8 (cover story, September 2008) and 9 (March 2009), and released in January 2011 as a free podcast in five parts narrated by Emma Newman for Dark Fiction Magazine.
Nominated for the 2011 Parsec Awards, Best Speculative Fiction Story (Novella Form).
December 14th, 1861. Queen Victoria dies from typhoid fever. A distraught Prince Albert instigates a coup and takes direct control of the Empire. A patron of science, he steers the path of progress down a dark and dangerous road, antagonizing the forces of magic and the occult as he strives to bring his queen back from the other side. As the 21st century dawns, the world is trapped in a Victorian caricature, industry powered by sun and steam. And nearly 150 years since the death of his wife, Albert still fights to bring her back, his lifespan unnaturally extended with steam power and black arts.
When journalist Jackson Clarke is sent to the Isle of Man to investigate the tale of a talking animal, he unwittingly steps into a battle between mankind and an ancient evil imprisoned beneath the peaceful island. Charged with treason and cut off from the mainland, can Clarke defeat the Devil in Chains?