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The Wizard of OZ: A Steampunk Adventure

Steampunk OZ, #1

Author(s): S. D. Stuart, Steve DeWinter

There is no yellow brick road here. No emerald city. No lollipop guild. This is the Australis Penal Colony, a continent sized prison referred to the world over as the Outcast Zone. Built to contain the world’s most dangerous criminals, OZ ended up the dumping ground for everything polite society deemed undesirable.
 
From inside this place a garbled message proves Dorothy’s father is still alive, trapped in a prison with only one way in and no way out. Into this place 17-year-old Dorothy must go if she wants to find her father and keep the promise she made to her dying mother.
 
She thought she had spent the past seven years preparing to overcome anything that got in the way of fulfilling her promise, but the situation she finds herself is harder and more intense than anything she has experienced before as she drops right into the middle of a power struggle for control over all of OZ. If she has any hope of surviving long enough to find her father, she will need her mother’s guts, her father’s brains and the unexpected help from those discarded and forgotten.
 
Everyone she meets tells her the same thing. The only person who can help her is the one prisoner who deserves to be in a place like this and refers to himself by the name, Wizard.
 
The Wizard always asks for something in exchange for his help. Can Dorothy afford the terrible price he will demand?
 
The Wizard of OZ: A Steampunk Adventure is an exciting epic adventure that re-imagines a place where no one should be forced to live.
 
This title is published by Ramblin' Prose Publishing and is distributed worldwide by Untreed Reads.

Excerpt


 Chapter 1
 
Professor Benjamin Gale gazed out the window at the fog. Even without the white mist obscuring everything beyond fifty feet, the island continent to the north was still far enough away, he never would have been able to see the coastline from the smaller island that served as the gateway for every criminal sentenced to the Australis Penal Colony.
 
His wife, Elizabeth, tugged at the black satin lapels of his wool frock coat and did her best to brush off imaginary specks of dust from his sleeves. Her eyebrows furrowed as she attempted to adjust the folds in his fiery red ascot tie. “I wish you’d wear a color that was a little less showy.”
 
Benjamin flashed the perfect smile he had used to get funding, resources and a personal visit once with Queen Victoria. “I am asking the Council to set aside nearly 15,000 British Pounds from the annual budget for my proposal. I have to stand before them and look like I know what I’m talking about.”
 
She finished fussing with his ascot and looked him in the eyes. “That smile of yours may have won my heart, but the men in there …”
 
He placed a finger tenderly on her lips. “If I could convince someone like you to marry someone like me, I will not have any trouble convincing a group of pompous old stuffed shirts to fund my project.”
 
Someone cleared their throat behind him.
 
Benjamin spun around to see Bartholomew Danbury, the youngest member of the Council at 68 years old, frowning at him through a monocle. “My fellow pompous stuffed shirts are ready to see you now Professor Gale.” Bartholomew turned away and disappeared through the door.
 
Elizabeth shook her head. “I’ll be waiting in the carriage outside with Dorothy.”
 
He gave her a sheepish grin before he followed Bartholomew.
 
Bartholomew was only slightly taller than Benjamin, but his height was mostly in his legs and, while he was not walking hurriedly, Benjamin had to jog to catch up with him.
 
“You know I’m not talking about you, don’t you?”
 
Bartholomew kept to his long stride without slowing down.
 
“Just be thankful I’m the one who came out to get you.”
 
He did not see how Bartholomew could move so quickly in the heavily starched, fitted frock and waistcoat that had become the most popular attire under Queen Victoria’s reign.
 
He trotted alongside Bartholomew and tried not to sound winded. “So what is the feeling of the room today? Do you think they will set aside the money for my proposal?”
 
Bartholomew stopped abruptly and Benjamin almost crashed into him.
 
“We’ve known each other for a very long time, so I will be frank. I remember when you were just a brash 19-year-old with lofty ideas to convert the southern landmass into the world’s largest prison. And you did it. You changed an entire continent into the inescapable Australis Penal Colony. But I think you did too good of a job.”
 
Benjamin laughed and opened his mouth to defend himself.
 
Bartholomew held up a gloved hand. “It is because of your innovative designs that we have been able to slowly reduce the number of personnel needed to keep the penal colony running and under control. In fact, the Council is considering shifting guard duties to some of the more behaved prisoners; thereby, bringing the non-inmate count in the colony down to zero within a year.”
 
He could not keep his mouth shut after that comment. “That would be a mistake.”
 
“This is not the same prison you and I built twenty years ago, Ben. Times have changed and the recommendations of the Council have to change with them.”

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ISBN (Print):
ISBN (Electronic): 9781619780033
Genre: Steampunk
Date Published: 01/05/2013
Publisher: Untreed Reads

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