Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tales from the Archives - Eight

Tales from the Archives - Eight

By:  Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris

Written & Narrated by:  Jack Mangan

Format:  Podcast, 35.43 minutes & 33.49 minutes

Genre:  Fantasy, Steampunk

Series:  8th in Tales of the Archives podcasts, part of A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

Recommendation:  Yes. Nice way to meet new characters in this steampunk-ish world particularly if you enjoyed the book; A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, Phoenix Rising. This case involves a gold bug, a flying contraption, and trains.  What a combination in the United States for a case!
Night’s Plutonian Shore

This epic tale opens in 1849 when a poet is murdered in the streets of Baltimore. The man behind the seemingly random murder manages to elude the law until — in 1889 — Agents Bruce Campbell and Brandon Hill track him down. The assassin, Mikael Scharnusser, gives the slip to the agents on revealing his “talent” and the madman’s intentions to bring down the House of Usher.

My Thoughts and Summary:
This story starts in 1849 with the mysterious death of a brilliant poet by a one eyed man with a thing in his right eye socket under his patch.  As this is an unsolved case the agents Campbell and Hill are working on.  The murder has eluded the Ministry for years and the Agents have a lead on the man with code name "The Gold Bug."  The agents track Mikael down to find themselves paralyzed so Mikael can do as he plans... bring down the House of Usher.  The Agents are separated.  Finally getting free with the help of Zachary Amboy, a Yankee OSM ~ a new branch from US Marshells - Office of Supernatural & Metaphysical.  And they find them selves over seas in the Ol' USA.

This is author Jack Mangan's first steampunk work.  And from what I see, he has a knack and should explore it more.  The carriage of Zachary's is amazing!  The tubes and wires we see make us curious, but then when you see what this 'simple' (ha!) horse drawn carriage can do, well you'll be surprised.  These Yankee wild west boys can steam it up wonderfully.  Not only the carriage, but when the weapons present too.  Oh, and we get a locomotive scene!  Yes!  Trains!

The neat connection here to the book of Phoenix Rising is the mention of The Usher House.  Now, that caught my attention.  I always want more of them, well from my curiosity point to learn more of them.  We don't get much in the way of details of them as the case is focused on "The Gold Bug" but we do get to chase them a little. :)

This podcast is two parts.  And I really enjoy the way Eliza and Wellington quickly refresh us with brief details before the second half and that last paragraph is repeated from the narrator to bring the mood right back to us listeners.

This was an enjoyable quick listen for fun.  Hope you give these podcasts a go for quick steampunk fixes with mysterious artifacts.  And there are always teeny tiny doors left open to revisit these places again.  Which I hope some day we do.

Would you like to listen to these? For a taste of the characters or in addition to the book... Visit The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences.

There are short stories always added to the listing. So keep checking back!

I listened to this short story for my own enjoyment.


  1. I just started listening to these podcasts. I love them. I plan on listening to more.

  2. Luanne - I'm so glad you started listening to these. :) They are just so much fun! And I love the voices. :) Thank you for stopping by!


Sorry, got 106 spam comments in less than 24hrs. Had to turn on again.

I love comments! Please share your thoughts. I will respond here in the comments back to you.

Thank you for visiting!