Press Release – Action-packed debut YA steampunk murder mystery re-imagines 1893 Toronto


“A nimble, inventive steampunk romp — complete with clockwork cats, daring escapes, beguiling romance and shadowy mysteries — that you’ll rip through in one sitting and beg for the next.”

-Matthew Bright, author of THE LIBRARY OF LOST THINGS


“I lost track of the boxes this novel checked for me. Alternate reality? Set at the turn of the 19th century? During a World’s Fair? With a murder mystery; clockwork monsters; a wonderfully genuine and familiar family dynamic; and romance? Pair all that with beautiful and evocative writing, and you’ve got a stunning debut.”

-KD Edwards, author of the THE LAST SUN and THE HANGED MAN.


TORONTO, ONTARIO, May 4 – An action-packed tale of wondrous technologies, homicidal automatons, airship chases and pistol-wielding women’s dress reformists, this debut by young Canadian science fiction author MJ Lyons, MURDER AT THE WORLD’S FAIR (Renaissance, June 8, 2019), is sure to capture the imaginations of a new generation of readers while reinventing the past.


The year is 1893 and airships cloud the skies over the bustling metropolis of Toronto, the Dominion of Canada’s crown jewel. The city is set to host the “New World Exhibition” thanks in no small part to the work of two fantastical inventors. On the day of the grand opening, young Norwood Quigley, scion of a world-famous airship magnate, stumbles onto the scene of a murder; the victim: a Prussian Ambassador; the perpetrator: a Chinese assassin, or so the powers-that-be say. Concerned by the would-be assassin’s claim of innocence and his assumed guilt by higher powers, Norwood is thrown into a grand intrigue that hinges on Toronto’s world fair.


MURDER AT THE WORLD’S FAIR soars into Canada’s summer reads just in time for the Pride season. Chock-full of LGBTQ characters and diverse themes this inventive debut examines Canada’s historical relationship to colonization and imperialism, all through the lens of a page-turning, steam-powered, clockwork contraption.


About the Author:

MJ LYONS is a writer, game maker and bookstore professional. He manages the bookstore side of Glad Day Bookshop, the world’s oldest surviving LGBTQ bookstore and lives in Toronto, Canada with his goblin of a cat. Murder at the World’s Fair is his debut novel.


Published in: on May 12, 2019 at 8:38 am  Comments (1)  

Press Release – The Department of Curiosities by Karen J Carlisle

All for the good of the Empire!

The Department of Curiosities is a steampunk tale of adventure, a heroine, mad scientists, traitors and secrets.

Adelaide, South Australia— 9th, April, 2019 — It began with a shortlisted story in the Australian Literature Review’s murder mystery competition, 2013, then The Adventures of Viola Stewart.

Now Karen J Carlisle has expanded her steampunk universe with new characters, and delves into the clandestine Department of Curiosities. Enter a world of intrigue, mistrust and betrayal and experience an alternative Victorian history, as Tillie Meriwether searches for answers to clear her father’s name.

Miss Matilda Meriwether has a secret. Actually, she has several. One of them has shaped her adult life. Another now controls it.

Her Majesty Queen Victoria has control of the Empire. She is the Empire, and creator of its secrets.

Sir Avery works for The Department of Curiosities – the keepers of secrets – especially if they are useful to the Empire.

When Tillie finds herself in the employment of The Department of Curiosities, she realises this is the perfect opportunity to uncover the truth she has been searching for.

But the Queen has other plans for her.

View the book trailers here:

Release date: 22nd May, 2019.

Paperback copies of The Department of Curiosities will be available from online booksellers, or order via local bookstore.

EBooks will be available from Smashwords and Amazon.

For more information on where to purchase:


Karen J Carlisle is a writer of steampunk, Victorian mysteries and fantasy.

Her books include:
The Adventures of Viola Stewart series

Aunt Enid: Protector Extraordinaire.

Her short stories have featured in the 2016 Adelaide Fringe exhibition, ‘A Trail of Tales’, and the ‘Where’s
Holmes’ and ‘Deadsteam’ anthologies.

Karen lives in Adelaide with her family and the ghost of
her ancient Devon Rex cat. She’s always loved dark chocolate and rarely refuses a cup of tea.

Connect at:

Published in: on April 28, 2019 at 12:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Steampunk Hands Around the World 2019 – This is Me


It’s hard to believe a year has passed by so quickly. It doesn’t seem that long ago when we were taking a Steampunk Road Trip around the world. Together, we visited many wonderful countries, heard about some great events and groups, and got to meet some amazing people.

This year, we’ll be traveling a bit, but in a way, also staying close to home, because this year is all about You.

This year’s theme is “This is Me”, inspired by the song from The Greatest Showman.


Paraphrasing the key ideas from the song:

I am who I am meant to be

I’m marching on to the beat I drum

I make no apologies

This is me!


This year, I want to hear from you about how steampunk helped you more fully express yourself, guided you to what brought you joy and happiness, and how maybe it gave you the strength and courage to be unreservedly and apologetically your full self.

There won’t be daily posts from me as in years past, but I look forward to reading your stories, either publicly here or on social media, or privately in emails.

Our community is so amazing, so creative and so very vibrant. Each one of you have stories to tell about how steampunk intersects with your life, and I’m eager to hear them.


As I always say,

Do what you do

Be who you are

Support each other and the community

Published in: on February 1, 2019 at 8:56 pm  Comments (5)