Brass Automaton by Mark Gardner, D. Paul Angel

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Brass automaton

"This story happened when His Majesty was still a young man, a huntsman to be precise. It is the tale of a clockwork machine from the future, with a mission to terminate His Majesty to prevent him from meeting his future queen." Jarvis paused for effect. "Then, she was known only as Snow White."

Genre: FICTION / Science Fiction / Steampunk

Secondary Genre: FICTION / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology

Language: English

Keywords: Steampunk, fairy tale, Time travel

Word Count: 29000

Sample text:

“MIRRORED FRAGMENT IN MY HAND, SHOW me now the brass-made man.”

The glass fragment reflected the old woman’s withered features. Her visage slowly faded, and all that was left was her floating smile. The smile morphed until tendrils weaved and bobbed in the mirror. After a moment, an androgynous face replaced them. The face’s lips were peeling and the facial features were cracked. Eyes empty of light stared back at the old woman. The disembodied head attenuated and rippled as it was replaced by a rolling forest.

“There it is!” she crooned.

The glass fragment showed a man made of brass uproot a tree and launch it at two cowering figures. One was covered in mud and pig excrement, while the other stood defiant against what she saw. The old woman had to move the glass fragment to follow the action. The figures dove out of the way, the tree barely striking one. The brass automaton’s clockwork gears propelled it forward in a leap, and a burst of steam arrested its decent.

“What have you got there, prisoner?” A guard banged the hilt of his sword on the bars to the woman’s cell.

The withered woman secreted the glass fragment in her tattered robe and turned to face the guard. “I have nothing,” she croaked.

“I saw you with something,” the guard retorted.

The crone extended her arms and spun in a circle, gesturing around the room. “I’ve been locked in this cell for generations,” she rasped. “The oracle foresaw my death in this very cell.”

Book translation status:

The book is available for translation into any language except those listed below:

Unavailable for translation.
Already translated. Translated by Tatiana Picchi

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