The Scrivener, a steampunk opera at sea

The Scrivener, a steampunk opera at sea, was published in the Summer of 2016, an intense story for an intense time, a fun story for a vile moment in history, a transcendent story for people who really want a different future.

If you go to Amazon at the link below, you may find text that hasn’t been updated since my last edit.

Here’s what it should say:

“Blacky, a humble sailor, becomes entangled in the absurd functions of a nameless sailing ship and is suddenly promoted to Captain, at sea. He must learn the fate of the previous Captain and understand the nature of the raging sea around him. The Scrivener is structured in several resonant dimensions. The 2016 Democratic primary battle strongly influenced the writing, but not directly in either character or storyline. Lately, as I read it, though, The Scrivener seems eerily similar to the absurd conduct of the election. A nice companion piece for a society gone mad.

“Your purchase of The Scrivener for Kindle will support my work to complete Berning Bridges, which will be an interesting time capsule, at least, of this momentous season in American history.

“Read The Scrivener and consider the frightening prospects if we are too timid now to do what is right.”


and then you click on the link below and buy the book. You can also read some excerpts below.

The Scrivener

The seagull struggled against the mighty wind that had swept him far out over a gray and featureless ocean, ever rolling below him, no land in sight. The gull was reaching the limit of his endurance when he saw the long, low sailing ship breaking the horizon and he hove toward that black mass with all the strength he retained, landing finally atop a post on the ornate wooden railing, too exhausted even to be wary of mariners on what appeared to be a deserted deck.


“This ship is not like your typical merchant sailor, you see? The sails pull us over the bounding waves, but a screw at the keel’s stern turns the shaft that is geared to drive that roll of paper in an endless trace of our journey. The Scrivener, there, he makes the line with the ink of the roving squid.”

“Bloody hell you say!” says the second man. “I never heard of such a thing! And what the hell do they do with that paper? And what is the meaning of the mark?”

The first man is silent a moment. The exhausted seagull hangs in his hand and watches as the scrivener continues his delicate marks on the endless unrolling paper.




“But…so wot are we out here sailing for?” the second man asks, astounded. “We got no cargo but the continuous written trace of our voyage and we trail that into the sea to disappear behind us? Is that what you’re telling me? Why are we out here?”

“It’s a job,” the first man answers. “The pay’s not bad.”



But the captain appears even more concerned than the seagull.

“What am I to do?” he cries. “The Masters write that the scrivener has gone insane!”

No one dares speak as the captain paces a tight pattern in constant sight of the passing paper and its markings. The gray and featureless ocean swells outside and no land can be seen as the ship plows forward.

“I cannot read the scrivener’s mark’s myself,” the captain cries. “But if the Masters are correct and the scrivener gives us a maniac’s trace, then how can even they infer our proper direction and mission? Perhaps it is the Masters who have lost their perspective? What else can this ship do but follow the song of the Scrivener at its heart?”

The seagull feels the stirring of a vital will to live and he is shocked when the captain suddenly wheels and stands eye to eye with him.

Holding the gull in his left hand, the first man salutes with his right hand and snaps his heels together. “Your dinner, Captain!” he proclaims.



Leave a reply