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Imagine an alternate steampunk history where ghosts and demons are a normal part of life. Families known as the Great Houses control the economy of the Great States of America and the middle class and the lower class Irish sole purpose is to not only to serve them, but to rid their lives of supernatural beings. Discover the life of Medium and Spirit Photographer, Andrew O’S Imagine an alternate steampunk history where ghosts and demons are a normal part of life. Families known as the Great Houses control the economy of the Great States of America and the middle class and the lower class Irish sole purpose is to not only to serve them, but to rid their lives of supernatural beings. Discover the life of Medium and Spirit Photographer, Andrew O’Sullivan, before he went to work for ex-Pinkerton detective, Samuel Hunter in The Devil Within. Search for demons (human and otherwise) alongside Granville Woods in The Demons of Liberty Row. And learn why Caitlin O’Sullivan must hide who she is from those closest to her in The Secret of Kage House. Compiled together for the first time are seven stories based on the popular comic Boston Metaphysical Society. The collection also includes Steampunk Rat and The Secret in addition to the short stories, The Clockwork Man (published in eSteampunk Magazine) and The Way Home (previously published in the A1/Atomic Press Anthology). All stories are prequels to the comic and do not contain any spoilers. The book also includes line art by Emily Hu.


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Imagine an alternate steampunk history where ghosts and demons are a normal part of life. Families known as the Great Houses control the economy of the Great States of America and the middle class and the lower class Irish sole purpose is to not only to serve them, but to rid their lives of supernatural beings. Discover the life of Medium and Spirit Photographer, Andrew O’S Imagine an alternate steampunk history where ghosts and demons are a normal part of life. Families known as the Great Houses control the economy of the Great States of America and the middle class and the lower class Irish sole purpose is to not only to serve them, but to rid their lives of supernatural beings. Discover the life of Medium and Spirit Photographer, Andrew O’Sullivan, before he went to work for ex-Pinkerton detective, Samuel Hunter in The Devil Within. Search for demons (human and otherwise) alongside Granville Woods in The Demons of Liberty Row. And learn why Caitlin O’Sullivan must hide who she is from those closest to her in The Secret of Kage House. Compiled together for the first time are seven stories based on the popular comic Boston Metaphysical Society. The collection also includes Steampunk Rat and The Secret in addition to the short stories, The Clockwork Man (published in eSteampunk Magazine) and The Way Home (previously published in the A1/Atomic Press Anthology). All stories are prequels to the comic and do not contain any spoilers. The book also includes line art by Emily Hu.

30 review for Boston Metaphysical Society: Prelude

  1. 4 out of 5

    Laura Ruetz

    I picked up this book at Wondercon. While I had not read the graphic novels and was not familiar with the characters featured in these stories, I had no trouble following the stories at all. These are all stand-alone stories. I really enjoyed the stories and the way they were written. The author is able to really integrate a sense of the people into the pages, and the locations so you can clearly see it in your mind. The writing feels natural, which makes the story flow and the characters are en I picked up this book at Wondercon. While I had not read the graphic novels and was not familiar with the characters featured in these stories, I had no trouble following the stories at all. These are all stand-alone stories. I really enjoyed the stories and the way they were written. The author is able to really integrate a sense of the people into the pages, and the locations so you can clearly see it in your mind. The writing feels natural, which makes the story flow and the characters are engaging and complex. These are steampunk/fantasy/paranomal stories and if I had to pick a favorite, it might be the steampunk rat, not only for how well the story works but the heart behind it, how clearly it shows the heart of the character, and his way of doing things (pardon the vagueness but don't want to give away too much of the ending). All of the stories are good though, and have a great portrayal of people, the author clearly is able to give depth and complexity to her characters in short stories. I highly recommend this for anybody who is interested in fantasy/paranomal as well as steampunk.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Heath

    Great supplement to the Boston Metaphysical Society comic book. It gave lots of great background to the world and good character building for already brilliant characters. The writing style was a bit off at points: too much telling. But not enough to bother me or greatly detract from the awesome short stories. Full review coming soon!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Perrin

    Coming-of-Age Short Stories Set in a Well-Crafted, Steampunk Alternative History Prelude, a short-story collection, is one of three literary paths into an alternative, steampunk world that is the Boston Metaphysical Society. The other two paths are a novel, Storm of Secrets, which I have read, and a comic book/graphic novel, which I have not. The two I've read lead to a fascinating world where steam power and gauges replace the electronics and digital readouts of our world. And it's not just tech Coming-of-Age Short Stories Set in a Well-Crafted, Steampunk Alternative History Prelude, a short-story collection, is one of three literary paths into an alternative, steampunk world that is the Boston Metaphysical Society. The other two paths are a novel, Storm of Secrets, which I have read, and a comic book/graphic novel, which I have not. The two I've read lead to a fascinating world where steam power and gauges replace the electronics and digital readouts of our world. And it's not just technology that's different, but history and society as well. Then, add a supernatural element with mediums, ghosts, and demons, and you have a fertile setting for the imaginative tales that make up Prelude. The collection of shorts in the book can be thought of as specific, significant events in the backstory of the Boston Metaphysical Society saga—how Samuel Hunter came to wed Elizabeth Weldsmore who was well beyond his social station or how the second born of the Weldsmore sons came to power in his family. Even in just these two examples, you may notice one of the prominent features of Holly-Rosing’s alternative history; Boston is composed of a highly stratified society with the politically powerful living in opulence on Beacon Hill, while the Irish struggle and die in obscurity and abject poverty on the South Side. Much of the population is trapped between these extremes in the Middle District. Based on social standing, there are vast differences in the characters’ speech, thought, and dress, which the author has skillfully crafted and consistently maintains. And as you might guess with such a strict structure, the stories often feature protagonists struggling against these constraints, which are imposed by a parent, grandparent, or spouse as well as society as a whole. Add a bit of light humor (as in the Steampunk Rat) and some demon-hunting action (as in The Demons of Liberty Row), and you have a mix that makes these stories a pleasure to read. My concerns are relatively minor. First, there are more typos than one would like, particularly in the use of the wrong word, a missing word, or an extra one. The author’s meaning is easily understood, but the errors can draw the reader’s attention from the story. Second, I would have preferred that the stories be in chronological order or have some type of introduction. I found myself resetting my mental history at the start of each short story—where are we in the character’s life and how does this play into what he/she becomes? I would have welcomed some help from the author in these transitions. Overall, Prelude is a carefully crafted and well-written Steampunk version of history. Coming of age themes with a sprinkling of humor and plenty of action make this collection of short stories a very entertaining read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    This set of seven short stories and novellas will most assuredly whet your appetite for more tales in the Boston Metaphysical Society world. These prequels give us insight into the lives of several of Madeleine Holly-Rosing's key characters. My favorite story of the lot was "Steampunk Rat." I'm an animal lover, and seeing the young scion of one of Boston's Great Houses care so much about little Tinker was splendid. This story also made me cry, because I was very worried about the rat at one point This set of seven short stories and novellas will most assuredly whet your appetite for more tales in the Boston Metaphysical Society world. These prequels give us insight into the lives of several of Madeleine Holly-Rosing's key characters. My favorite story of the lot was "Steampunk Rat." I'm an animal lover, and seeing the young scion of one of Boston's Great Houses care so much about little Tinker was splendid. This story also made me cry, because I was very worried about the rat at one point. Well done indeed, there. The common thread throughout is how the spirit world lives so close to the human world in Boston ... and Medium Andrew O'Sullivan can even capture spirits on camera. Ex-Pinkerton Samuel Hunter (whom I can now only see as cover model Jason Baca, thanks to the book's outstanding design) has an axe to grind of his own, and inventor Granville Woods is determined to use his inventing skills to make the world a safer place. This team of three discover that they are better together, which we see in the closing tale. This book isn't just for steampunk fans (although you'll love it if you are); it's for people who admire a tightly written adventure story peopled with believable characters facing unbelievable odds. Nicely done, and highly recommended.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Very good collection of steampunk stories! I particularly enjoyed the paranormal aspects. The characters are realized and relatable, the tales are engaging, and the world feels dynamic and tangible. You don't have to be familiar with the associated comics to read this. But it might make you hungry for them. Very good collection of steampunk stories! I particularly enjoyed the paranormal aspects. The characters are realized and relatable, the tales are engaging, and the world feels dynamic and tangible. You don't have to be familiar with the associated comics to read this. But it might make you hungry for them.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bruce

    These short stories are quite pleasant to read. My favorite story was "Steampunk Rat". The stories seemed to improve as I read through them. This book could be improved by two changes to the book, one small and one a bit more of a challenge. While the book has a Table of Contents, it must be formatted in a non-standard way because the Kindle app navigation menu doesn't recognize it and offer to let you jump to the individual stories from the "hamburger" menu. A simple addition. And, while the book These short stories are quite pleasant to read. My favorite story was "Steampunk Rat". The stories seemed to improve as I read through them. This book could be improved by two changes to the book, one small and one a bit more of a challenge. While the book has a Table of Contents, it must be formatted in a non-standard way because the Kindle app navigation menu doesn't recognize it and offer to let you jump to the individual stories from the "hamburger" menu. A simple addition. And, while the book has a foreword, it doesn't do anything to provide a context to the reader about the world and the main characters of the stories who live there. I'm guessing that the author assumes that all readers have read the graphic novels; I did not. It took me until two-thirds of the way through the book before I felt comfortable with the world because I lacked the context of the earlier stories. A more complete foreword would ground the reader and let them enjoy the stories immediately. I did have some questions about some of the technology in the stories. For example, the arrows were quite thick (one inch diameter) and contained a battery with enough current to injure or kill the author's kind of demon. That's a lot of current in a very small space and the size/weight of the arrows would limit their range drastically. I therefore assumed that since this is an alternate universe, the batteries were using a different technology that we only wished that we had. [Tesla (Elon Musk's Tesla) may already been working on steam powered batteries.] While the ghosts are consistent with most canonical ghosts, the demons in these stories are very physical until they are killed which is quite different from the way I conceive of demons but then, again, this is an alternate universe. The author is does a good job of providing a balanced cast of characters (not just "white men") including a black scientist that history has largely ignored in favor of Edison and Tesla, a young Irish girl, and others. Kudos.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laurel Heidtman

    Until a few months ago, I’d never read a steampunk novel. I enjoyed some TV steampunk (although I can’t say I knew it was classified as such), especially Sanctuary and Warehouse 13. Then I picked up Madeline Holly-Rosing’s novel Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets and loved it! So when I saw she had another Boston Metaphysical Society book, Prelude, I grabbed it. (Apparently the Boston Metaphysical Society world started as graphic novels, but I’ve never read any of those.) Prelude is Until a few months ago, I’d never read a steampunk novel. I enjoyed some TV steampunk (although I can’t say I knew it was classified as such), especially Sanctuary and Warehouse 13. Then I picked up Madeline Holly-Rosing’s novel Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets and loved it! So when I saw she had another Boston Metaphysical Society book, Prelude, I grabbed it. (Apparently the Boston Metaphysical Society world started as graphic novels, but I’ve never read any of those.) Prelude is a collection of seven short stories and novellas set in the same world as A Storm of Secrets, but some stories take place when some of the main characters of that book are young. My favorites are the last three: Steampunk Rat, The Secret of Kage House, and The Demons of Liberty Row. I just loved that rat, and The Demons of Liberty Row had me wanting to hear more of the heroes’ adventures after they join forces. I know it’s called Prelude, but unless you’ve read the graphic novels, I’d recommend A Storm of Secrets first. I don’t think I would have enjoyed Prelude as much if I wasn’t already somewhat familiar with the world. My only complaint is that Prelude could stand another copyedit. The typos, etc., weren’t enough to keep me from enjoying the stories, but correcting them would provide the final polish. I’m only giving four stars for that reason; otherwise, I would give five.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ellie Midwood

    “Boston Metaphysical Society: Prelude” is a riveting collection of seven stories, each connected to the previous one in a very clever way. It all starts with Lucius, a man who got betrayed by a mad scientist and saved by a child; then we are introduced to Andrew, a medium and a spirit photographer, who finds himself hoping that at least his young daughter won’t inherit his curse of a “gift”. Samuel makes an appearance soon after, and his role is not an envious one: to participate in an experimen “Boston Metaphysical Society: Prelude” is a riveting collection of seven stories, each connected to the previous one in a very clever way. It all starts with Lucius, a man who got betrayed by a mad scientist and saved by a child; then we are introduced to Andrew, a medium and a spirit photographer, who finds himself hoping that at least his young daughter won’t inherit his curse of a “gift”. Samuel makes an appearance soon after, and his role is not an envious one: to participate in an experiment without knowing it. Samuel’s chapter is seamlessly followed by the one in which Elizabeth, a medium, falls in love with him and perhaps now he is the one who is to be saved instead of being a savior… As you shall read further, you’ll definitely fall in love with Tinker, a brave and affectionate rat who was saved by a talented young engineer and you’ll root for Caitlin, a medium, Andrew’s daughter, who is struggling not only with her gift but with her relationship with her mother. The writing is compelling and pulls you right in from the very first page. The steampunk world comes alive with its history, engineering wonders, strict hierarchy and, of course, schemes and evil plots. You will root for the characters; you will admire their spirit and you will hold your breath when, once again, they will find themselves in danger. I really can’t recommend this story collection highly enough! An excellent read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie Sharpe

    Intriguing stores within one book Loved how the author got you involved in this book. Many wonderful tales. Her writing is fantastic throughout. I enjoyed it. Love this authors books. Would recommend her to others. Great job.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Richard Stephens

    A nicely compiled anthology of Steampunk tales that will keep you reading to the end. Congratulations to the author for creating such a compelling read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ralph

    To be frank, I must admit two things: first, I am a fan of the Boston Metaphysical Society web-comic from which these stories are derived and to which they serve, as the title of this collection suggests, as a prelude; second, of the seven stories in this collection, I am familiar with five and have already reviewed them elsewhere. There is nothing to make from my first admission, but the obvious question stemming from my second is, “Is this collection so good that you got it to read the two new To be frank, I must admit two things: first, I am a fan of the Boston Metaphysical Society web-comic from which these stories are derived and to which they serve, as the title of this collection suggests, as a prelude; second, of the seven stories in this collection, I am familiar with five and have already reviewed them elsewhere. There is nothing to make from my first admission, but the obvious question stemming from my second is, “Is this collection so good that you got it to read the two new stories?” The answer, for me, is not only “Yes,” but “Yes, absolutely,” but that is not the whole answer. Let me explain. In both the comic and the short stories, Madeline Holly-Rosing has created a vivid and intriguing parallel reality, one in which the steampunk ethos holds sway, a world with both depth and breadth. Her world has a fascinating history, evidenced by the infuriatingly brief glimpses we are afforded in the stories. In one of the new stories, “The Clockwork Man,” we are given perhaps the clearest picture of the War of the Great Houses revealed thus far, as well as the ethics and motivations of the ruling elite, the masters and scions of the Great Houses. The other new story, “The Way Home,” also gives a wider glimpse of the world, but the information is more metaphysical than historical, more personal than general, more anguish than rejoicing. Madeline, however, is a storyteller, not an historian, and like every great storyteller she tells her story through the lives of her characters, by sharing who they are within, by explaining the fires which have forged them, and by revealing their triumphs…and failures. In the web-comic, we see their actions and read their dialogue, but in the stories we learn who they are and how they became that way. The stories give us a depth of information and understanding denied to a comic-book format, just as books do in contrast to the films derived from them. The mind’s eye gives us a vision of a world that can only be suggested by the painter or cinematographer, no matter how talented or visionary. If I am a fan of the web-comic, then I am a follower of the stories that flow from Madeline’s pen, acquiring them as they are published. Which brings us to a corollary of the original question: “Did you get the collection solely for two new stories?” To read the new stories was only one reason for getting the collection. I would have got the stories individually, if not offered in this format, so to get them together makes sense. But in getting the collection I now have the five previously published stories all in one place. I re-read stories and books that I like, so if I want to read again all the stories straight through, I can do so with ease. On the other hand, if I want to return only to “The Demons of Liberty Row” or to the quirky realm of the “Steampunk Rat” (my favorite story), I can do that as well. For the reader who has read only one or two of the stories or (can it be?) none at all, then the choice to buy the collection becomes simple economics…you save money. So, there you are. So, read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Johanna Craven

    I read Boston Metaphysical Society a while ago, and this series of short stories provides great background to a fascinating novel. The world created by the author is multi-layered and colourful, populated by really interesting characters. You don't have to have read anything else in this series to enjoy this collection, but it's likely to draw you into this great steampunk world! I read Boston Metaphysical Society a while ago, and this series of short stories provides great background to a fascinating novel. The world created by the author is multi-layered and colourful, populated by really interesting characters. You don't have to have read anything else in this series to enjoy this collection, but it's likely to draw you into this great steampunk world!

  13. 4 out of 5

    X

    I've never read the Boston Metaphysical Society comics, but this book made me want to. The characters were likeable, the setting was fascinating, and the art was beautiful. The writing, however, was a bit lacking to the point it made the story difficult to read at a few points. However, it wasn't consistent, so I'm thinking the author gradually improved as she became more used to the written medium of storytelling. But because the storyline, setting, and characters were so intriguing, I'm sure t I've never read the Boston Metaphysical Society comics, but this book made me want to. The characters were likeable, the setting was fascinating, and the art was beautiful. The writing, however, was a bit lacking to the point it made the story difficult to read at a few points. However, it wasn't consistent, so I'm thinking the author gradually improved as she became more used to the written medium of storytelling. But because the storyline, setting, and characters were so intriguing, I'm sure the comics are great and I'm sure if this author creates more written works those will be great as well.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Polkinghorne

    This set of short stories gives you some history and outcomes for the characters from the Boston Metaphysical Society novel. You meet some of the characters in their earlier lives, as well as after the events of the other novel. The stories can stand alone, but hold more meaning if you know more of their story.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steve Lindahl

    Madeleine Holly-Rosing has created a wonderful alternative world in her Boston Metaphysical Society series. I read her A Storm of Secrets novel prior to reading this collection. I had high expectations for these stories and wasn't disappointed. My favorite was Steampunk Rat, which was nominated for a 2013 Steampunk Chronicle Reader's Choice Award. Its plot revealed some of the history that led to the story in A Storm of Secrets. Holly-Rosing also has published some graphic novels with the same s Madeleine Holly-Rosing has created a wonderful alternative world in her Boston Metaphysical Society series. I read her A Storm of Secrets novel prior to reading this collection. I had high expectations for these stories and wasn't disappointed. My favorite was Steampunk Rat, which was nominated for a 2013 Steampunk Chronicle Reader's Choice Award. Its plot revealed some of the history that led to the story in A Storm of Secrets. Holly-Rosing also has published some graphic novels with the same setting. These are steampunk stories, which means they fit in a genre of science fiction where history is re-imagined to create a world with huge steam powered machinery. There is still a Boston, but it is a very different place than what would have existed if the world had followed the path we live on. In addition these stories have a supernatural side with ghosts, demons, and mediums. As with any genre, the true test of a good story is how the characters are developed and how their relationships unfurl. Here's where I believe these stories earned a five star rating. There are rebellious children, unhappy marriages, and many different types of love woven into the book, all fully developed. These stories take place in different time frames, some following A Storm of Secrets, some preceding it, but they all stand well on their own. Steve Lindahl – author of Motherless Soul, White Horse Regressions, Hopatcong Vision Quest, Under a Warped Cross, and Living in a Star's Light

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Garino

    A wonderful entrance to an intriguing Steampunk world. This collection of short stories does double duty; For those who have not had the pleasure of entering the world of the Boston Metaphysical Society yet, it serves as an amazing introduction; for those lucky enough to know the world already, it will deepen and enrich your understandings. This collection has everything a steampunk fan wants; the ghosts and demons, the alternate history, the imaginative application of technology and spirit medi A wonderful entrance to an intriguing Steampunk world. This collection of short stories does double duty; For those who have not had the pleasure of entering the world of the Boston Metaphysical Society yet, it serves as an amazing introduction; for those lucky enough to know the world already, it will deepen and enrich your understandings. This collection has everything a steampunk fan wants; the ghosts and demons, the alternate history, the imaginative application of technology and spirit mediums. What is more – and what rises each individual tale above the realm of mere genre orthodoxy - it has at its heart a wonderful cast of characters who come to life on the page. They will stay with you long after their story concludes. The author has done an excellent job in building a complex world with a rich history that mirrors our own. All in all, it is a wonderful entrance to an intriguing Steampunk world.

  17. 4 out of 5

    David Thompson

    After reading another novel by this author, I was looking forward to this collection of short stories based on the world and characters I loved in the first book. The characters are very well developed and the stories fast paced with seemingly something for everyone. Madeleine Holly-Rosing’s alternate Civil War history coupled with the paranormal and all wrapped up in steampunk cables and gears makes for some very original stories. That said, I am particularly impressed with the world building a After reading another novel by this author, I was looking forward to this collection of short stories based on the world and characters I loved in the first book. The characters are very well developed and the stories fast paced with seemingly something for everyone. Madeleine Holly-Rosing’s alternate Civil War history coupled with the paranormal and all wrapped up in steampunk cables and gears makes for some very original stories. That said, I am particularly impressed with the world building accomplished here by the author. As I read I tried to decide which tale was my favorite but it proved too difficult. I will say that Caitlin and Elizabeth are my favorites characters. Well done and I highly recommend to lovers of steam punk, the paranormal or just plain great story telling.

  18. 4 out of 5

    David Caldwell

    This is a collection of 7 short stories (not a graphic novel) set in the world of the Boston Metaphysical Society. The stories take place before the 6 part graphic novel series. I have to say that I wasn't sure about some of the stories when I started reading them but for the most part liked them by the time I was finished with them. Each of the stories focuses on a different main character including some that are not featured in the main series. They are also from different times, but all before This is a collection of 7 short stories (not a graphic novel) set in the world of the Boston Metaphysical Society. The stories take place before the 6 part graphic novel series. I have to say that I wasn't sure about some of the stories when I started reading them but for the most part liked them by the time I was finished with them. Each of the stories focuses on a different main character including some that are not featured in the main series. They are also from different times, but all before the main series. They add a nice bit of background to the world.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark Morey

    Having read the author's earlier work: Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets and enjoyed that, I looked forward to this collection of stories and novellas. I enjoyed Prelude: A Seven Story Collection, which was a combination of steampunk and paranormal. The characters were all unique, alive and bright; achieved with an impressive economy of writing. Similarly alive and bright but also sketched economically were the settings for this alternate world. Madeleine Holly-Rosing does have a l Having read the author's earlier work: Boston Metaphysical Society: A Storm of Secrets and enjoyed that, I looked forward to this collection of stories and novellas. I enjoyed Prelude: A Seven Story Collection, which was a combination of steampunk and paranormal. The characters were all unique, alive and bright; achieved with an impressive economy of writing. Similarly alive and bright but also sketched economically were the settings for this alternate world. Madeleine Holly-Rosing does have a lovely style of writing. I have no hesitation in recommending this collection of stories.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Virginia Babcock

    Great Steampunk + Realism I got this book after reading the author’s first novel. It is an excellent collection of short stories that perfectly enhance the Boston Historical Society graphic novels. The author puts you in the shoes of her characters and you adventure with them. Each story stands on its own while giving you background on the characters inhabiting the comics. Fans of steampunk and lovers of alternate American history Read This Book!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pamela Harvey

    As soon as I started reading the second story, I was hooked! The mixture of a Steampunk setting and paranormal happenings was fascinating! The characters were endearing, especially those of the Mediums and Engineers. The only criticism I have is for the easily fixed grammar and spelling mistakes that could have been caught by an editor of sorts.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kindle Ninja

    Boston Metaphysical Society: PRELUDE is a collection of short stories that have very important links to the Boston Metaphysical Society web comics. Written by Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Prelude is a cross between an origin story and a supplementary reading that makes the Boston Metaphysical Society universe far more intriguing. The alternate history of Boston Metaphysical Society is every bit entertaining. Ghosts, demons, supernatural beings and prominent Families that vie for ultimate economic and Boston Metaphysical Society: PRELUDE is a collection of short stories that have very important links to the Boston Metaphysical Society web comics. Written by Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Prelude is a cross between an origin story and a supplementary reading that makes the Boston Metaphysical Society universe far more intriguing. The alternate history of Boston Metaphysical Society is every bit entertaining. Ghosts, demons, supernatural beings and prominent Families that vie for ultimate economic and political control – what’s not to like? It's a rarity to like every story in a collection, but I love them all - all seven of them. While it’s not really a requirement to read the web comics series, I would have to say that the impact of the short stories would be more pronounced if the reader has read the Boston Metaphysical Society comics. The secrets and revelations in the stories have a greater impact if one is familiar with the alternate world so cleverly created. While this is primarily a steampunk collection, it crosses genres that make the whole of Boston Metaphysical Society greater than the sum of its parts.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nick

    This collection is steampunk, with a bit of the supernatural tossed in. Supernatural beings that can be affected by technological means are a refreshing story concept. The series of stories are all prequels to some aspect of the Boston Metaphysical Society comic, a well-written short series. I think that the author's style and skill developed nicely over the course of the writing of these stories. They can stand alone if you haven't read the comics, but will be richer and more interesting if you This collection is steampunk, with a bit of the supernatural tossed in. Supernatural beings that can be affected by technological means are a refreshing story concept. The series of stories are all prequels to some aspect of the Boston Metaphysical Society comic, a well-written short series. I think that the author's style and skill developed nicely over the course of the writing of these stories. They can stand alone if you haven't read the comics, but will be richer and more interesting if you also read the comics. Unlike some similar stories, she doesn't go with "big name" central characters, but she did include one of my obscure favorite historical figures, Granville Woods. In addition to his electrical inventions, and his real-life feud with Thomas Edison, he has a legitimate claim to steampunk technology, since at least one of his inventions was for an improved steam boiler. But I digress A couple of the stories in the collection were published separately, but I recommend finding this collection and reading them together, as some involve different characters at different points in time, and that enriches the overall sweep of the stories.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rabid Readers Reviews

    I was given a copy of this anthology by the author in exchange for my review. The stories of Prelude are set in a Victorianesque alternate history. Clockwork machinery plays a prominent role, as does the class system of that era. Rosing adheres to the very specific constraints of the genre while preserving the unique beauty inherent in the Steampunk concept. There is a kinship with the work of H.G. Wells in Rosing’s stories. What Prelude does for readers is build interest in the comic books that I was given a copy of this anthology by the author in exchange for my review. The stories of Prelude are set in a Victorianesque alternate history. Clockwork machinery plays a prominent role, as does the class system of that era. Rosing adheres to the very specific constraints of the genre while preserving the unique beauty inherent in the Steampunk concept. There is a kinship with the work of H.G. Wells in Rosing’s stories. What Prelude does for readers is build interest in the comic books that follow. Even if you roll your eyes at comic books, give Prelude a shot. It will well written prose and shows a great talent.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jocelynne

  26. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  27. 4 out of 5

    Victoria Sanchez

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pawprints

  29. 5 out of 5

    Wise Louise

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bill

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