'One does not see Germany star in Steampunk literature very often, and I must say that the location is fascinating and refreshing. I might call portions of this book revolutionary, or at the very least quite punk ... I recommend this novel for those who wonder where the “Punk” part of “Steampunk” has gone. Here it is, dancing through the streets with circus performers and a clockwork bear. I give Berlintoxication four gears out of five.' (Penny J. Merriweather, gearhearts steampunk revue)
'Very interesting and highly recommended book, this. Mostly reminds me of the works of Hermann Hesse, George Orwell and Philip Pullman. It's brilliant, compelling, eye-opening prose; vividly, richly composed, alluringly dripping with intrigue and history, powerfully conveying a sense of a whole world and a world beyond.' (Jake wyatt, artist and performer)
'Berlintoxication'' is the story of an alternative Berlin in the late 1880s. The protagonist is Walter Busch, a bank clerk who would like a quiet and respectable life, but gets drawn into a conspiracy to take over Berlin. Suddenly he and his fiancee, Charlotte, find themselves in a bizarre, dystopic city ruled by magic, strict, well-organised and unforgiving towards everything that is different. Escaping the system is not only difficult; it is life-threatening.
- Walter Busch, a bank clerk, who unwillingly gets involved in magical and seditious machinations.
- Charlotte Schaefer, his fiancee.
- Gustav Springer, entrepreneur and benevolent dictator.
- Alexandra Dietrich - the "Mindhunter".
- Kaiser Wigbert II, emperor of Prussia. Likes pageants and wigs.
- Kaiserin Thea, his wife.
- The Marzipan Rebels, a conspirative group with a shared sweet tooth.
... and others.
'Berlintoxication' came to life when my partner (whom I can never thank enough) told me about a steampunk short story competition in summer 2010. The story I planned to enter was basically the first two chapters of the book. In the end I didn't participate in the competition, but the story was there. I spent the next two years or so writing the book, sometimes feeling as if the strange place I was describing was where I actually lived.
It is also the first English book I have written. Writing in a foreign language was pretty challenging, but extremely fascinating. It is not only finding words with the right meaning and putting them in the correct order, but also finding out which word is best in which context, what is appropriate for the time and environment, and how to include German expressions.
Berlintoxication' is probably the most political thing I have written so far. One of its main subjects is the danger of trusting rulers of any kind - no matter how benevolent they appear. The book is about the development of a dictatorship, and Naturally there are many allusions to the National Socialists. it is not a direct allegory to the 'Third Reich', but similarities are not incidental, and i sincerely hope that it might upset some people.