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March 24 , 2011

Luftigel and Doppelgänger


Phineas Magnetron is an eccentric Nineteenth Century inventor and former Union soldier who sustained a war injury which has unaccountably bestowed upon him a strange gift he doesn't completely understand. No stranger to peril and derring-do, Phineas is asked to join the Hogalum Society, an inscrutable secret organization of crime fighting adventurers, by none other than Society founder Dr. Yngve Hogalum.

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Traveling the globe in their Luftigel electric airship, Phineas Magnetron and his Hogalum brothers encounter mistrustful policemen, mentally ill criminals, wood-craving aliens, a witch doctor, a mad oracle, and a cross-dressing female matador, among many others. However, this "steam dream team" always manages to triumph over impossible odds and improbable obstacles as they preserve order in a disorderly world with all the Steam Age weird science they can muster.

The Magnetron Chronicles is a serialized steampunk tale re-envisioning the future of generations past with all the breathless melodrama and tumult of that Victorian-era pulp fiction staple, the "penny dreadful." The narrative harks back to the grandiose style of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, but gently satirized with a sprinkling of purposeful anachronisms, double entendres, tongue-in-cheek inventions, and droll Twainian humor. Adapted from "The Secret Journals of Phineas J. Magnetron," a web serial characterized by short chapters with cliffhanger endings, the story builds chapter by chapter, volume by volume, as quirky new characters join the fray and perplexing new mysteries and situations arise.

The Magnetron Chronicles is a planned 15-volume series of novelette-length volumes. In this fifth volume of Magnetron’s journals, the strange truth regarding Phineas J. Magnetron’s previously unexplained disappearance in 1901 is revealed, as are hitherto unremarked romantic interests. Having journeyed to Berlin, the Hogalum Society members seek to clear their names and hunt down Eldridge Compost before he can wreak more havoc. In so doing, they will be drawn into Compost’s twisted schemes, culminating in a battle to the death over German skies.

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