This works out much better than that alternate ending where Yapix really was crazy and everyone gets sucked into the windmill blades.
“Hey, when are you going to post that chapter with the giant windmill?”
“Sometime this spring. Why?”
This is loosely how I remember a conversation with my sister, Liz, which took place several months ago. Liz had already read my Draconis Wicked script and she knew what was coming. And she knew that if my readers were enjoying the tale of two rival mad scientists engaging in combat on top of a weaponized clockwork tower, then they would probably enjoy hearing about her latest project too.
Liz and her creative team are writing an opera called Steam -or- The Specters of the Knox Mill. It is a steampunk ghost story.
Before I tell you anything specific, I need to make this clear: this is a new opera, designed to be enjoyed my modern audiences. If you have ever found classic opera to be stuffy and unaccessible, rest assured that this one will be different. Liz has made it her mission to apply traditional opera styles to new stories that can be enjoyed my opera fans and non-fans alike. If you’ve ever seen Evenings in Quarantine: The Zombie Opera (her debut opera) or Super Smash Opera (the video game opera that I also helped write) then you already know that she can make an opera fun and exciting without sacrificing professional quality.
This latest opera is about a scientist named Charlotte who is working during the Industrial Revolution. After an industrial accident, the local steel mill becomes haunted by the spirits of deceased mill workers. Before these hauntings can put the mill out of business, Charlotte offers to build a machine that can talk to the dead. Naturally, some of the other mill employees and directors are a little unsettled by Charlotte’s suggestion. Everyone has their own reasons to want Charlotte’s machine to succeed or fail.
Steam -or- The Specters of the Knox Mill is going to be filmed and released online in a six episode series. Right now, Liz has launched a Kickstarter to help fund the first episode. Check it out here.
If the Kickstarter video isn’t enough to get your attention, then you might want to check out the music video version of the song “The Pitch,” in which Charlotte the scientist proposes her plan to build the “Spectograph” machine.
By now, I’m sure most of you know the drill with Kickstarters. If you want to see this project come to be, go to the project page and pledge a few bucks. If you can’t afford to pledge any money, then you can help by telling your friends about it. The more people who aware of its existance, the more likely it is that someone will be able to pledge a little cash.
I’ve been making a lot of graphics and a few props for Steam. I’m already invested and I want to see this project hit its funding goals. So, I’m going to throw in a little extra incentive for my readers: If you found out about Steam -or- The Specters of the Knox Mill from this blog and you pledge any amount to the Kickstarter, let me know and I will draw you a quick sketch and tweet it to you. Just send me an email or mention it in the comments below after you’ve made your pledge. Give me a sketch suggestion or let me pick for you. (I reserve the right to ignore your idea if it’s objectionable, so let’s keep it clean, people.)
Keep in mind that Liz and I grew up together and shared many of the same creative influences. If you enjoy my stories, there’s a fair chance you will enjoy hers too.
And remember that thing I said earlier about Liz reading my comic scripts in advance? Well, that street runs both ways. I can say with great confidence that the story and music for Steam will not disappoint.