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The Bohemian Astrobleme by Kage Baker

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"The Bohemian Astrobleme" is a 2010 science fiction novelette by Kage Baker. It is about some members of a secret English group who are searching for the source of a powerful red gem.


While I enjoy Steampunk I haven’t really delved too deeply into it. Here is a fun story that qualifies as part of that genre, is by an extremely talented author, and is a very fun read – enjoy!

Non-Spoiler Summary

Red on red - 20100319... by Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka, CC 2.0 license

The Gentlemen’s Speculative Society is an ancient, secret group of people who are trying to improve humanity through the use of technology. This story takes place in the mid 1800s and follows the group’s interest in a red gemstone with amazing properties. After some small successes, a group of agents for the Society end up in Eastern Europe, where they each must employ their own special skills to convince the locals to help them find the one, true source of the gemstone. And they aren’t about to let anything stand in their way either!

Some Interesting Tidbits

  • Word count: 10,266 (18 pages)
  • Did you know that Kage Baker passed away around the time this story was published? Yeah, you can learn more about this excellent author at her web site.
  • A special thanks goes out to SF Signal for pointing out this excellent story!

Where To Find The Bohemian Astrobleme

  • This story was first published in the Winter 2010 edition of Subterranean Online.
  • You can still read "The Bohemian Astrobleme" online for free at the Subterranean Press web site.
  • It is also included in Kage Baker’s book about Lady Beatrice: Nell Gwynne’s Scarlet Spy.

Craving More SF Stories Like This One?

If you liked "The Bohemian Astrobleme" then you might also enjoy “The Colour Out Of Space” by H.P. Lovecraft – about a meteorite that falls from the sky in the 1880s and the devastating consequences it has upon the people in a rural New England town.