With each anthology we release at Sirens Call Publications, we enjoy sharing the inspiration behind the stories contained within them. Our recent release, Bellows of the Bone Box is a combination of two fantastic genres – Steampunk and Horror. The authors have decided to share their inspirations of their story or talk about what Steampunk means to them. Today we feature an inspiration piece from Brad Bass, who contributed Shred to Bellows of the Bone Box…
Brad Bass is married, has three kids and lives in Milwaukie, Oregon. He has worked for the Oregon State Lottery since 1998. He loves writing, movies and is an avid runner. Brad has previously published Ehlron World of Magic and The Guardian: An Angel Story. He is currently working on his next novel and can be found on Twitter at @Brad_Bass or on Facebook.
Inspiration and Steampunk
Hello. My name is Brad and I wrote the short story Shred. It’s a privilege to be included in this new anthology called Bellows of the Bone Box published by Sirens Call Publications.
I was asked two things; one – what was your motivation; and two – what does Steampunk mean to you?
This may sound unbelievable but my motivation for Shred was the picture that was posted on the Sirens Call Publications open submission page. As a writer, when I am looking to submit my work, I will look at a Publisher’s website and look at the type of submission they are looking for. The picture they posted, for some unknown reason, inspired me to write Shred. I am always happy for any inspiration that gets me to put pen to paper and this time I owe a big thanks to SCP!
Now when I think of Steampunk there are two great movies that come to my mind. George Miller’s Mad Max from 1979 and the 1982 Ridley Scott movie Blade Runner. I do love both of these movies! If you haven’t seen them, treat yourself and see them right away! I hope you like my story Shred! Happy Reading and Well Wishes!
The Steampunk and Horror genres are masterfully combined in the twelve stories contained within Bellows of the Bone Box. Each of the authors has transported you to an age where steam is the dominate means of power and has woven a tale that will fascinate, or possibly scandalize you.
In this volume, you will find clockworks, pneumatic tubes, airships, and leather worn out of necessity – not vanity. Can an engine be powered by human blood; should it be? What about body modification; what happens when the mechanical meets the biological and goes awry? Does the heart rule the machine, or does the machine consume the humanity that once existed within it? What of airships, regeneration, or hallucination; is it safe to trifle with such things? Should technology that can rift time and dimensions be researched; and if that research proves fruitful, should it ever see the light of day?
Packed full of intrigue, imagination, and horror, lovers of Steampunk will have a hard time deciding which of the twelve is their favorite!
Featuring the talents of:
Brad Bass, Paul Boulet, Laura Brown, Vivian Caethe, Alex Chase, Megan Dorei, O.M. Grey, Tarl Hoch, Gavin Ireland, Kirk Jones, Kate Monroe and Christofer Nigro
Here is a snippet of Brad’s Shred from Bellows of the Bone Box –
Screaming by at lightning speed brings teardrops to my eyes.
Sometimes it is hard to breathe when wearing a disguise.
It is time to say your prayers. It’s time for you to die.
There is nothing more to say, there is no reason why.
I closed the door behind me. The room was almost completely dark and smelled of rot. Thankfully, I had changed the filter in my mask. I checked the dial on my air mix. The only light that dared enter the room came through small finger holes in the stained curtain hanging over the large window. As I took a step, I felt a crunch. I looked down; beneath the scattered garbage and clothing, the floor was covered in dead insects. I had never been here before, but the scene was all too familiar. I scanned the room, then quickly crossed the space. My senses tingled with excitement. Could I have finally made it? Could it really be here? Anticipation made my heart beat faster. Once at the window, I flung the curtain aside allowing the light from the glowing neon to fill the room. In the air, thousands of flies could be seen. This apartment was so high up that even the air cars were far below me. It was the middle of the day but as usual, the sky was nearly black, the pollution alerts had been blaring for hours. Again, I glanced around; I was alone. In the corner of the room running from floor to ceiling were large green and black tubes glistening with sweat. The sound of rushing fluid could be heard emanating from them. Next to that, there was a small refrigeration unit with its door hanging open; a filthy sink with a shelf above it containing what looked like eating utensils, a couple of plates, and two or three cups. On the floor lay a brown mattress. On the mattress was a large lump of dirty blankets. I carefully reached down and pulled the stiff fabric back to see what lay underneath. Just as he’d said, there was a corpse. It was in such a state of decay that I nearly vomited into my mask. Both of the wrists had been cut – an obvious suicide. I reached down and started to feel for what I had come here for. Clutched in its hand wasn’t what I wanted, wasn’t what I was told would be there.
I had spent most of my life savings paying off what I thought were the right people. If this was a dead end… My stomach tightened at the thought.
I wanted the Bone Box but instead I found a tattered piece of paper.
“What the fuck!” I shouted.
Severely disappointed, I had to pry the fingers apart to get at the document. In the dim light I could see that there were scribbles on the paper, but I couldn’t tell what it said because it had been saturated in bodily fluids. Damn it! I would have to look at it later. Carefully, I stuck the crumpled scrap into my pants, then with gloved hands, I felt along the corpse for anything else that might be of value. There was nothing…
Come back tomorrow for another inspiration piece from one of the authors in Bellows of the Bone Box!