Tagged ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE

5 Questions of Victorian Conversation & Etiquette Including THE CUT DIRECT for the Finishing School (Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

And now, for today’s blog post, Gentle Reader, I have to you 5 Questions of Etiquette.

1. How are people introduced?

  • Youth is introduced to age. “Wolverine, may I present Doogie Howser?”
  • Men are introduced to women. “Eddie Izzard in drag, may I present Eddie Izzard out of drag?”
  • Lower ranks are introduced to higher. “Countess Nadasdy, may I present Miss Dimity?”
  • Individuals are introduced to groups. “Ladies of Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy, may I present Sophronia Temminnick?”

2. How do you cut someone?

  • The Cut: To ignore the existence, or avoid the presence, of a person.
  • The Cut Direct: To look an acquaintance in the face, and pretend not to remember her.
  • The Cut Modest (Indirect): To look anywhere but at her.
  • The Cut Courteous: To forget names with good grace; as, instead of Sophronia to address an old friend with ‘Madam,’ or ‘Miss…’
  • The Cut Obtuse: If slightly known to a fellow traveler, the cutter insists he never was at the place, nor on the vessel mentioned; and may even deny his own name.
  • The Cut Celestial: To be intentionally engaged in observation of the skies when an acquaintance passes.

A note:

By tradition gentlemen may never cut ladies (this reflects badly upon him, not her). A lady may cut a gentleman, or another lady, or even a couple, for extremely bad behavior. (Like serving the wrong tea.)

Gossiping Ladies Punch June 8, 1895
Gossiping Ladies Punch June 8, 1895

3. Is there a published set of rules by which males in the Victorian era were expected to approach and express interest in females?

Not that I can pull out of a hat at short notice, although some of my readers out there know differently (and will probably comment below). There might be something in What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew: From Fox Hunting to Whist-the Facts of Daily Life in Nineteenth-Century England, but I haven’t consulted it recently. I would urge caution not to rely on characters from Austen as, in her very subtle way, she is often breaking the rules of courtship, in order to comment on society as a whole. Dickens, of course is more interested in the lower echelons of society, and he too is writing human-interest stories that involve, by their very nature, tampering with social convention. You might look later in time, oddly Wooster in P.G. Wodehouse’s 1920s setting books, behaves (around women) in a rather Victorian manner. It’s part of the way Wodehouse is driving conflict.

4. Is there a published set of rules for the converse direction?

Again, I don’t know, but a good general rule is that (as with conjugal relations) a lady always starts the conversation and a gentleman always finishes it, and in the middle the gentleman should act more than he talks. He is responsible for fetching things the lady needs (e.g. tea, punch, fan, dance card) and discussing topics that a lady might find congenial (e.g. weather, fashion, dance, food, society) nothing too personal or intrusive.

 1851
1851 Punch

5. Were the rules different depending on social class?

Absolutely, completely different. They were also dependent on ethnicity and location of said middle and lower classes as well, both within and outside of London. In general, the middle class from about 1840 on was far more strict about observance of social rules than the upper class for whom, particularly the gentlemen, many of the rules were strangely lax (possibly because they were dabbling with whores). In this respect, we see very high-class men using low class slang but in their Eton accent (when around other gentlemen), while the middle class try to imitate what they think is high class and taking it too far (nouveau riche). And, of course, if you are blue blooded enough almost any eccentricity could be forgiven in both men and older married/widowed women. (A note on the military ~ kept mainly isolated when they returned from (often) decades of fighting abroad, they had their own kind of culture and interactions. The officers (purchased commission) did reintegrate somewhat into society but it could be difficult for them. There is a reason military men usually married the daughters of other military men.)

Some useful information on Calling Cards.

Lastly, a word on outside influences, and this from my archaeology background. Victorian England did not exist in a bubble. Much as they hated to admit it, London especially was open to influence from across the channel and across the pond ~ dress, society, food, technology, and language. Victorians were cooking with pasta and calling fashion, objects, cuisine, and behavior by French titles. In addition to the middle class trying to break into high society, moneyed (via industry) Americans were traipsing over, particularly in the 1870s and 80s, to Get Culture through education or marriage (i.e. The Buccaneers unfinished last novel of Edith Wharton). All of these components had their effect on what we, all too often think of as, those isolated Victorians.

Want more behind the scenes sneak peeks? Join the Chirrup

Book that goes with this post?

Etiquette Finishing School Gail Carriger Shirt Team Soap

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1904-1905 Ensemble Gustave Beer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1904-1905 Ensemble Gustave Beer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Lorgnette 1890s Doyle Auctions
Lorgnette 1890s Doyle Auctions

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Five Types of Modern Spies
1. Local Spy ~ hired from among the people of a locality
2. Inside Spy ~ hired from among enemy officials
3. Reverse Spy ~ hired from among enemy spies
4. Dead Spy ~ transmit false intelligence to enemy spies
5. Living Spy ~ come back to report
~ Schott’s Quintessential Miscellany

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
If I Could Do Things Over:What I’d Change & What I Wouldn’t

Quote of the Day:
“After all, one knows one’s weak points so well, that it’s rather bewildering to have the critics overlook them and invent others.”
~ Edith Wharton


Why Did Gail Carriger Switch to Writing YA & More (Occasional FAQ)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today, with the release less than a week away, here are some more philosophical frequent questions I am getting regarding Etiquette & Espionage . . .

Etiquette Finishing School Gail Carriger Shirt Team Soap

1. Why did you decide to write a YA series?

I adore YA. Since I picked up Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce I’ve been hooked. It’s still my favorite genre to read and I’ve always hoped to be able to write it. There’s something so breezy and tidy about the best YA novels. I find them comfortably immersive…and I can finish one in the space of an afternoon!

2. Why keep the Finishing School series in the same world as the Parasol Protectorate?

I felt there was more about the universe I wanted to explore. More about the way the Victorians accepted or reviled the supernatural creatures and their Steampunk technology. More about class structure and the etiquette of social interaction. More about what this environment was like for a normal, daylight girl. I’ve always admired writers like Mercedes Lackey who create a universe and then play with multiple books, various characters, and different time settings.

3. What’s the biggest aesthetic difference?

Etiquette & Espionage is set in 1851, while Soulless takes place in 1873. Aside from different kinds to steampunk technology and a much diminished presence of dirigibles (and more frequent use of hot air balloons) the clothing style is different. Alexia wears drape layers and bustle dresses, curiasse bodices, and perch hats. Sophronia wears large poofy skirts held out by multiple petticoats, often horsehair (crinoline had yet to be invented), the occasional Swiss waist, and classic broad brim bonnets. Alexia wields her parasol with untrained verve, while Sophronia carries about her person multiple small useful devices and weapons her first objective being to keep both hands free for nefarious purposes (or possibly porpoises).

1872 Afternoon Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art 1854-1856 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1872 Afternoon Dress The Metropolitan Museum of Art versus 1854-1856 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

4. How did you approach a younger audience?

I worked to create a more youthful and accessible voice and characters who would grow and change with the books. Sophronia has a different world view than Alexia. She’s private and introverted and must become more self actualized along the way by making new friends and discoveries. Her focus is on her immediate environment, less political, more personal.

5. Will we recognize any characters in Etiquette & Espionage?

Absolutely! One of the wonderful things about writing with immortals is they are immortal. Even though this series is set 22 years before Soulless there are plenty of familiar faces, although perhaps not immediately recognizable. There are also many lovable newcomers. In addition, I hope fans will have fun theorizing on how and why the technology is so different between the two time periods. Many steampunk details mentioned only in passing during Alexia’s journey will be explained through Sophronia’s adventures.

Want some more of that insider information? Join the Chirrup.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1895-1900 Mourning Parasol The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1895-1900 Mourning Parasol The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
A teacup planter from Hobby Lobby

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
MIND MELD: Rebranding Fiction as Young Adult

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Cakes wrecks goes all literal.

Quote of the Day:

“Six Ways of Wasting Time to be Guarded Against
1. Indefinite musings
2. Anticipating needlessly
3. Excessive speculation
4. Indulgence in reluctance to begin a duty
5. In doubtful cases, not deciding at once
6. Musing on what has been said or done, or what may be.”

~ Adapted from Schott’s Quintessential Miscellany (Indispensable Irrelevance)


Etiquette & Espionage Book Trailer & Tumbler

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today Little Brown launched two very exciting things. The Finishing School tumbler feed blog. That includes sample material, as well as DVD extras about the Academy, forthcoming lessons, and . . .

As a rule, I’m a little nervous about book trailers, but I’m quite chuffed with this one. It’s rather adorable and has a kind of Edward Gorey (like the credits of BBC Mystery) meets Monty Python’s cartoons.

Etiquette & Espionage Add

The fan site reported on this before I was even awake this morning! Nicole is on it, By George!

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1855 Robe à Transformation The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1855 Robe à Transformation The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
I just love this coffee table!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Over on Retro Rack I have an massive blog post on 10 Tips on Writing Victorian Garb

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Rights reversion

PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Corralling edits. Working 3rd draft.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Title changed. Release date November 2013. Proofs handed in. Done my end.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Out now!
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013. Tour events planned!


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, both now available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Out Feb. 5, 2013

Book News:
Heartless Review

Quote of the Day:
“Kiss: An insipid and tasteless morsel, which becomes delicious and delectable in proportion as it is flavored with love.”
~ E.L.C. Ward, The Scrap Book, 1899

Daisypath Wedding tickers


10 Questions About Etiquette & Espionage (Q&A with Gail Carriger)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

As I am sure you are now aware, Gentle Reader, Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School book the First) is coming!

Eeep! I’ve been busy plotting fun blog posts and much silliness for the ramp up to the February 5th release date.

ARCcover

Here are some of the questions I anticipate being asked the most…

1. Will it be available early (or shipping early from online retailers)?
No. This book has a SSD (Street Smart Date) which means retailers are not supposed to shelve or ship before the release date.

2. Does this mean online retailers will ship a few days early so it arrived on my doorstep on Feb 5?
I don’t know, this is my first time with an SSD.

3. I can’t make any of your events, can I order a signed copy or send you a bookplate with postage return?
It’s not my policy to do bookplates, but you can order a signed copy from Borderlands, my local Indy in San Francisco or (I think) from any of the venues I am visiting. So far as I know, Borderlands will ship anywhere (you will have to pay shipping). If you get your request in early enough (email, phone) I will also dedicate the book to whomever you wish.

4. What about the ebook?
Right now you can get a free preview of the first 3 chapters of Etiquette & Espionage online, I believe it will drop in full on February 5th.

5. The audiobook?
Should also drop, unabridged, on February 5th. I have a new voice actress for this series, we wanted a more youthful tone. I did get to help select her and I think you’ll like her a lot.

6. Will there be graphic adaptations of this series?
If they do well enough, I certainly hope so. I’d like to wait for REM though, if I have the choice. And right now she’s busy with the Parasol Protectorate series.

7. What age group bests suits the Finishing School series?
I’d say 10 and up. Although a voracious younger reader might also enjoy these books. There is very little romance in the first book and what appears in future books will be off the “high school crush” variety.

8. Why isn’t the language (vocabulary, syntax, spelling) proper Queen’s English? (AKA the ladybird issue)
Little Brown US house rules require American language and grammar. However, unlike the Parasol Protectorate series, the UK editions of Etiquette & Espionage will be anglicized! Yay!

9. How about a movie of this one?
Whoa there sparky! The book is not even out yet.

10. How do I pronounce Sophronia?
Ta da!

Did I miss your question? Please feel free to ask about Etiquette & Espionage nitty-gritty in the comments below. No spoilers, please. I do have a blog prepped with some more interview questions (like why I chose to switch to YA) for the end of this month.

Book News:
Soulless review, with a mention to the rest of the series.

Quote of the Day:
“Tea. Fortunately, this everyday article is not so rare a thing to obtain good of its kind in this country as in many others. Still, there is often a total incapacity on the part of the ordinary lodging-house and other domestic to fathom the idea that the achieving of good tea depends largely upon the fact of the kettle boiling at the time when it is made, not merely having boiled; and it is often more satisfactory to manufacture the article in question for oneself than to leave it to the tender mercies of the ignorant and incapable.”
~ Lillias Campbell Davidson, 1889
This is how I feel about hotel tea.


Bumbersnoot Art! (Finishing School Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Bumbersnoot is a new and excitingly silly character in the up-coming Finishing School series.

On his first introduction…

It had four legs—four very short legs—and a small, spiky tail. Steam emanated slightly from its underbelly, and smoke came out from under its leather earflaps. It looked a little like one of those sausage dogs the Germans were so fond of.

Sometime later . . .

Sophronia hesitated, and then—because everyone seemed to have forgotten him and he looked so forlorn—she scooped up the sausage dog mechanimal and hid him in her large pinafore pocket.

Sophronia names her new pet Bumbersnoot. And later introduces him to another new friend who has the following opinion . . .

“He’s quite the little beauty, isn’t he?”

Bumbersnoot had a long, sausage-like body, and while he was mostly bronze, it was clear he had some brass and iron parts, so that he was rather a patchwork. Fond of him though she was, “little beauty” was not a phrase Sophronia would have used to describe him.

“If you say so.”

A little while ago I ran an art contest and here are some images of Bumbersnoot!

Amanda
Amanda

Remusrox
Remusrox

Caitlyn
Caitlyn

Endless Pages
Endless Pages

Fairandbright
Fairandbright

Fatedreamer
Fatedreamer

FliterKit
FliterKit

More to come!

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Kurt Vonnegut Can Bite Me

Book News:
Interview about E&E over on PW Kidscast.

Quote of the Day:
“He wants to know if you can ride. he says you have the right build. ANd he says you are a pei-makhe halak – a milk faced boy.”
~ Second Lieutenant Francis Yeats-Brown, 1906 via Richard Holmes’s Sahib the British Soldier in India, pg. 263


Upcoming Etiquette & Espionage Events

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

You haven’t seen the duck legs paddling, Gentle Reader, but they have been going madly under the water my end for a week or more.

I thought 2013 would be a beast. That beast appears to be a vicious quack of a duck.

QUAK!

This early 2013 scrabbling is because I am trying to finishing my website update. It’s getting a redesign to compensate for two new book series. Silly me, I never thought that might be necessary when I originally conceived of the website.

AND, Little Brown has been organizing a book tour for me at the end of the month! Quack.

ARCcover

So here’s what’s happening:

Right now io9 has an EXCLUSIVE sneak peak excerpt from Etiquette & EspionageM that you won’t find anywhere else!

Feb 5, Tuesday in San Francisco, CA
7:00pm NYMBC Presents: Gail Carriger Launch Party
At Books Inc, Opera Plaza
In conjunction with their Not Your Mother’s Book Club™ teen event series

Feb 10, Sunday in Redondo Beach, CA
2:30pm Event with Ally Carter
Mysterious Galaxy, 2810 Artesia Boulevard, Redondo Beach, CA 90278
I pair up with New York Times bestselling young adult author Ally Carter for hijinks in the LA area.

Feb 11, Monday in LA area
Possible school event?

Feb 12, Tuesday in Everywhere!
5:00pm PST Live at the Lounge, Online Video Chat
RSVP at the site to ask me all your burning questions

Feb 16, Saturday in Davis, CA
4 pm Reading, Signing, Q&A
The Avid Reader 617 2nd St. Davis, CA 95616
My first time doing a Sacramento area event!

Feb 22, Friday in Palo Alto, CA
6:00 to 8:00pm Steampunk Reception
Palo Alto City Library Downtown, 270 Forest Avenue, Palo Alto, CA
Books Inc. will be on hand to sell books

My possible visit to Phoenix for YA Paloloosa never materialized.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1862 Ensemble The Victoria & Albert Museum
1862 Ensemble The Victoria & Albert Museum

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
YouTube Lady Got Bustle

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
I knew about Project Gutenberg, of course, but just discovered this amazing resource was part of it: Punch, or the London Charivaria archived with issues dating from 1841 – 1920!

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
To preach or not to preach

Book News:
New interview up.


Etiquette & Espionage Final Cover

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today in the mailman brought to me . . .

Three Amazon Packages
Two Copies of Page Proofs
and
An Early Print of E&E!

E&E Final Cover
Etiquette & Espionage final embossed cover

E&E Bakc Cover
Etiquette & Espionage final back cover

E&E Spine E&E Inside Spine

Etiquette & Espionage final spine cover & spine underneath

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1914-1918 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1914-1918 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
YouTube Lady Got Bustle

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
teapoor

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
How Much Interaction Should Authors Have With Readers?

PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: First draft with betas.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Title changed. Copy edits done and in! Release date November 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Out now!
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, both now available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Out Feb. 5, 2013

Book News:
Jenaveve Lester fan art of Gail
Jenaveve Lester fan art of Gail

Quote of the Day:
“The main way to tell the difference between a human and an animal is by figuring out if they gain or loose dignity by wearing clothes.”
~ Mark Anderson

Daisypath Wedding tickers


Bumbersnoot Art for ARC Contest Concludes

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Since we had less than 20 entries I am delighted, and even more relieved, to say that everyone who entered won!

With the exception of one sketch:

Meghanisms Bumbersnoot
Meghanisms

For whom I never got an email address. Sadness.

So everyone should expect contact from my publisher over the next week or so. Please don’t fret if it takes a little time, after all it is the holidays, and please do check your spam filters! It may take the books a little while to get to you as sometimes they are mailed media mail so don’t panic.

In case you want to double check.

Winners are:
1. Amanda amandolinb
2. Caitlyn cdavis
3. Endless Pages llou
4. Fairandbright queenlothiriel
5. Fatedreamer onceuponadreambooks
6. FliterKit flitterkit
7. ForeverSearching alexa.may
8. Jenaveve visual_veve
9. Lara larabatesprior
10. Lisa lisaradgirl
11. Massimo Handcuffbetty
12. Melissa missy
13. Talia tmyres

I am beyond delighted with the entrants and you can expect to see them popping up in this blog, probably during Jannuary, closer to release date of Etiquette & Espionage.

And now I must get back to Prudence!

Book News:
Still slaving away at Prudence. Nothing new on the radar right now.

Quote of the Day:
“Most of the recipes given under fist and eggs are suitable for breakfast, while a variety of appetizing little dishes can be made by using white China scallop shells, and filling them with various mixtures. And inch or two deep of nicely-minced chicken, covered with tomato or brinjal [eggplant] scallop, or with a nicely-seasoned batter – the whole to be crumbled over and baked – is always liked. Hunter’s sandwiches [cold meat in bread], kromeskys [croquettes made of minced meat ir fish rolled in bacon or calf’s udder and fried], and croutons [small pieces of toasted or fried bread added to soups and used to garnish stews] of all descriptions are also suitable, but it should be remembered that any elaborate side-dish has too great an apparent connection with yesterday’s dinner to be agreeable to the fastidious. Indeed, this lingering likeness to the immediate precedeing meal is always to be striven against; and the mistress of the house where you have duck for dinner, and duck stew next morning at breakfast, may be set down as a bad manager.”
~ Steel & Gardiner, 1888
No left over pizza for breakfast, I guess.

Daisypath Wedding tickers


Changing Release Dates

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Some of my more crafty Gentle Readers out there have already spotted this fact ~ yes my release dates have changed.

  • Etiquette & Espionage (The Finishing School Book the First) is still releasing February 5, 2013. It will be in hard back. You can pre-order on Amazon or any fine bookstore online or near you. The print book may ship BEFORE the release date. It may be available in stores BEFORE the release date. The ebook will drop ON the release date. The audio book is suposed to be out around the same time, it will be available for digital download but it is impossible to know the exact date. I doubt the CD will be easily available for this series . . . ever.
  • Curtsies & Conspiracies (The Finishing School Book the Second) has been moved forward to November of 2013. Cover art reveal coming soon.
  • Prudence (The Parasol Protectorate Abroad series Book the First) has been bumped to March of 2014.
ARCcover
Welcome to publishing, nothing is fixed until it is and even then Amazon will probably mess it up.

There are a number of reasons for this change, but mainly it has to do with me and what I’ve been able to write this year. I thought I could balance writing one book every six months along side my releases, touring and other events, but it turns out I was a little ambitious. If you ever see me at the buffet table you’ll notice I have a tendency to bite way more than I can chew! So the editors and I had a confab and we are shifting things about to compensate. In 2014 I hope to drop back to one book every eight months.

I’m sorry to disappoint those of you who are more in the adult-only book camp, but I need to stay sane and not burn out so I can write more! And more! In that vein, I’m hoping to at least have a short story for you during the wait, set in the Parasol Protectorate universe. But no promises.

On the other hand, this will give you the chance to immerse fully in Sophronia’s world in 2013. Two books in the same year in the same story arc!

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
Self at World Steam Expo
Self at World Steam Expo

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Tea Snowflake
Tea Themed Snowflake on a Twingings English Breakfast tin

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Draft Zero: Where Writing Begins

Book News:
Found a source for the Japanese editions in the United States. Here’s Soulless. Just search under Gail Carriger in Japanese Books each is about $16 + shipping.

Quote of the Day:
“A two or three tiered table with strong wooden legs which can be stood in earthen saucers kept full of water, will be found most useful in the storeroom. On it all open tines, sugar c., can be kept in perfect security…”
(Keeps Ants Out)
~ Steel & Gardiner, 1888


Etiquette & Espionage ARC Contest the Second! Finishing School Special Extra

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

So this is both a contest and a peek into Etiquette & Espionage.

Immediately upon arriving at school Sophronia gets embroiled in a stand off battle and meets her first mechanimal.

It had four legs—four very short legs—and a small, spiky tail. Steam emanated slightly from its underbelly, and smoke came out from under its leather earflaps. It looked a little like one of those sausage dogs the Germans were so fond of.

Sometime later . . .

Sophronia hesitated, and then—because everyone seemed to have forgotten him and he looked so forlorn—she scooped up the sausage dog mechanimal and hid him in her large pinafore pocket.

Sophronia names her new pet Bumbersnoot. And later introduces him to another new friend who has the following opinion . . .

“He’s quite the little beauty, isn’t he?”

Bumbersnoot had a long, sausage-like body, and while he was mostly bronze, it was clear he had some brass and iron parts, so that he was rather a patchwork. Fond of him though she was, “little beauty” was not a phrase Sophronia would have used to describe him.

“If you say so.”

Some inspiring Bumbersnoot images:

Sewing Machine
Walkies
Bumbersnootsteampunk_robot_dog_1

Once again Little Brown has recklessly offered up 20 ARCs of Etiquette & Espionage and given the above description, here’s the contest . . .

*E&EFinal

Art for ARCs!

The Rules

  • 1 entry per person
  • Open to those in the continental US, no PO Boxes
  • 20 winners chosen by random number
  • You must leave a email address with your entry
  • I will pass along your email to Little Brown, they will contact you for your mail address

Here’s what to do to win . . .

    1. Given the information above, please create a piece of art based on Bumbersnoot. It can be anything from a polyvore collage to an outfit to a sketch to a photo of your own dog (or a friend’s) dressed as Bumbersnoot. But it does have to be original.
    2. Post your art, or a photo of it, in an easily assessable online venue (blog, tumbler, FB, whatever). If on Facebook, I’d love it if you tagged me.
    3. Put a link to the image in the comments section bellow (either my Live Journal or Blogspot blog only). I am sorry, I can’t enable anonymous posting, I get over 20 spams a day. Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook and other comment-challenging arenas are not allowed. <——— li=”li” part=”part” read=”read” this=”this”></———>
    4. You MUST include an email. If you forget and have to re-comment, then please delete your first comment and include both entry and email in a new one.
    5. One entry per person, please.
    6. You have until Sunday Dec. 16th. Winners will be chosen Monday Dec. 17 in the AM, and notified by Little Brown. Please check your Spam filters.
    7. Have fun!

I can’t wait to see what you come up with. I know it’s a limited time frame but remember this one is a challenge and with fewer entries you’ll have a better chance at winning.

This will be my last Etiquette & Espionage ARC give away.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Dog Coat 1920 The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dog Coat 1920 The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Excessive Detail Can Kill Your Story

Book News:
My upcoming events and sightings for 2013 have been updated.

Quote of the Day:
“In regard to eatables, plain bread and butter should invariability be a standing dish. Many people do not care for cakes, and yet find a cup of tea or coffee better for something to eat with it.”
~ Steel & Gardiner, 1888


Name That Finishing School Class CLOSED

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

The random numbers have been generated, Gentle Reader, and the list has been sent to my publishing house. Winners are chosen. We had a total of 149 entrants, from which 20 were drawn. Please make certain your spam filters are adjusted so that an email from my publicist can get through to you. They’ll be contacting you shortly as they’d like to get the ARC’s out next week.

 

*E&Elogo
Sadly, not by dirigible mail, although it’d be pretty cool if that were the case.

In a draconian teacherly fashion, a few of you did not follow the rules to the letter, and I thus summarily disqualified you. Tut to the tut.

Thanks so much for participating. You came up with some wonderful class names. A few of you went above and beyond, providing course descriptions and everything! Since I try to not play favorites, I always random number my winners, but I was so impressed a few of you may see the title of your class in a future book or short story, with thanks of course!

I thought you might enjoy a small sampling of some of the amusing offerings. This is not a list of the winners (as above they will be notified privately).

  • Tussie-Mussies & Airborne Poisons: How to create stunning (!) nosegays
  • Servants & Suspects: Beyond the butler
  • Poise & Pistols: Maintaining proper posture when firing a weapon
  • Calling Cards & Combustibles: Combining the art of polite visitation with necessary explosives
  • Sartorial Subterfuge: The art of rapid redressing
  • The Resourceful Reticule: How to fit the largest number of items into the smallest, most delicate handbag
  • Bustles & Bootlegs: How to smuggle junk in your trunk
  • Chrysanthemums & Ciphers: Encrypting with flower arrangements
  • Deportment & Decapitation: How to keep your head on, when another loses theirs
  • Peas & Garrotes: How to ensure your target does not make it beyond the vegetable course

You, Gentle Reader, are so very brilliant and creative!

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Get Your Head in the Game: How Character Moods Affect the Scene

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Quote of the Day:
“Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.”
~ Anatole France


Guest Presentation For the Intellectual Salon ~ Espionage in the Aether (Finishing School Special Extras)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 
 Today, Gentle Reader, I invited Mr. Micah Lee, noted scientist in good standing, to present here the proceedings of his recent talk, given at the Royal Society Tea & Biscuits Event, presided over by Lady Maccon. Lady Maccon pronounced Mr. Lee’s findings most intriguing and was convinced my readers would agree.

(For the careful reader, please note, this presentation takes place some 10 years after the events chronicled in the Parasol Protectorate.)

Espionage in the Aether:
Security Challenges Inherent in Aetherographic Transmissions

Presentation to the Royal Society of London (Lady Maccon presiding) for Improving Natural Knowledge
By Mr. Micah Lee
Scientist in Good Standing

July 30, 1883

Good evening Ladies & Gentlemen,

Aetherographic transmitters are growing in popularity in England and all other parts of the civilized world because they let us communicate instantly to anyone, anywhere, as long as there is aether to carry the message. If you take a dirigible flight above London you’ll see that many a House of Quality now boasts and aetherographic receiving chambers on the roof. The offices of the Bureau of Unnatural Registry have one of course, as do most of England’s Hives and Packs, as well as many well-bread daylight folk, Her Royal Highness included.

Undoubtedly, classified messages get transmitted on a daily basis and the only thing preventing eavesdroppers from learning everyone’s secrets are crystalline valves. In order to receive a message sent from one transmitter, you must have that transmitter’s crystalline valve in your receiving chamber at the time the message is sent. But the British Empire has many enemies. How long before one of them builds up dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of receiving chambers using every possible crystalline valve setting, recording secrets being sent from all corners of the world? All it would take is sufficient funds and a good deal of land. Has one of Britain’s enemies already built such an espionage network estate?

Since eavesdropping on aetherographic transmissions takes nothing more than petty resources, the only safe way to communicate through the aether is to assume that all of your enemies are listening. You can utilize fake identities and code-words to muddle the meanings of your messages, but fortunately there is a safer way to keep secrets: the fine art of encryption.

Encryption is nothing new. It is said that some of Egypt’s hieroglyphic writings are actually encrypted messages. Julius Ceasar, dictator of the Roman Empire, invented a cipher known today as the Ceasar Cipher, in which you shift every letter of your message a set number of characters later in the alphabet. With such a cipher, the word SECRET might look like FRPERG. Such ancient codes can be easily cracked now, during the Age of Science, but there are newer more secure codes in development.

There are contemporary experts in the field of cryptography. The American poet Mr. Edgar Allen Poe wrote an essay for Philadelphia’s Graham’s Lady’s and Gentleman’s Magazine in 1841 entitled “A Few Words on Secret Writing,” discussing the ways one develops, uses, and breaks substitution ciphers. Some people call these cryptograms and solve them for fun. You take the alphabet and scramble it up, and then substitute every letter in the real alphabet with your scrambled version. You might end up replacing every I with a V, and replacing every Q with an A.

And even before that, almost 80 years ago, Mr. Thomas Jefferson the noted American invented a device known as the Jefferson Wheel Cipher. It is a set of circular wheels on an axle, each wheel with the 26 letters of the Roman alphabet painted on its edge, the letters in shuffled order. Mr. Jefferson’s device had 36 such wheels. If two people pre-arranged which order the wheels were placed on the axle (this order is referred to as the key), then they can encrypt and decrypt messages together. One must spell out a message on any row by rotating the wheels, and then copy down any other row’s characters and deliver this message. The receiver of the message can copy these ciphertext letters on his own Jefferson Wheel Cipher, and as long as the key is the same, he can look at each row until he finds the plaintext.

How does this all relate to securing aetherographic transmissions from eavesdroppers? Let us invent characters to use as examples. Mrs. Chripshaw is in her London mansion, and Mr. Haverbink is in Paris on a top secret mission. Miss Duffletree is an American spy in Boston with a keen interest in what Mrs. Chripshaw and Mr. Haverbink are saying. For this example we can pretend that Miss Duffletree has successfully guessed or figured out which crystalline valves Mrs. Chripshaw and Mr. Haverbink are using to communicate. When Mrs. Chripshaw sends her secret message across the aether, Mr. Haverbink is sitting in a Parisian receiving chamber collecting each letter. But at the very same moment, Miss Duffletree is doing the same in Boston. Mrs. Chripshaw’s secret message fell into the greedy spying hands of Miss Duffletree.

However, now let’s pretend Mrs. Chripshaw and Mr. Haverbink both have a device similar to Mr. Jefferson’s Wheel Cipher. Before Mr. Haverbink leaves for Paris they both agree what key they will use to encrypt messages. Before sending the message, Mrs. Chripshaw encrypts it using her Wheel Cipher device. Then Mr. Haverbink and Miss Duffletree would both receive the same ciphertext at the same time. Mr. Haverbink, however, would be able to decrypt it with his Wheel Cipher, while Miss Duffletree would be stuck scratching her head.

Science has barely scratched the surface of encryption machines. In the end one will find that the strength of the encryption depends on the complexity of the key being used. In the case of the Ceasar Cipher, the key is simply a number between 1 and 25 – how many letters to offset each letter. This can be easily cracked by trying all 25 combinations until you see plaintext. In Mr. Poe’s substitution ciphers, the key is a scrambled version of the alphabet. It is much harder to crack than the Caesar Cipher because there are such an enormous number of possible ways to scramble the 26 letters of the alphabet. Not to mention there are clues in the ciphertext. For example, the letter E occurs much more often than the letter Z, so if you note a letter in the ciphertext that occurs the most often it is more likely an E than it is a Z. Given that, a simple substitution cipher can normally be cracked by a modern scientist within the space of one afternoon.

But, what if we use the power of technology to make the key so incredibly complex that it would take someone years or even centuries to try all combinations? What if you encrypted each letter of your plaintext using a different shuffled alphabet, the key being a series of dozens of shuffled alphabets? What if your key changed every day, and you could figure out what today’s key is supposed to be based on some sort of mathematical formula in relation to positions of the stars with a random, pre-shared variable in the mix? With the power of steam, in conjunction with the technology that makes Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine possible, we could devise a portable encryption device capable of scrambling messages that are virtually impossible for anyone without the proper key to de-scramble, and field agents could carry such devices with them.

Without encryption, our secrets are no longer safe! If we wish to use aetherographic transmitters to communicate, we must do so with full knowledge that our enemies will be watching every letter as it emerges from the aether! As aetherographic transmitters rise in popularity it becomes more and more clear that encryption, dear Sirs & Madams, is the future of long-distance communication.

Presented by

The Most Honorable and Most Analytical

Mr. Micah Lee

(@micahflee on The Twitters)

Please join me in thanking him for this most marvelous presentation!

~ Miss Carriger

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Quote of the Day:
“In going upstairs the gentlemen should precede the lady; in going down, he should follow her.”
~ Etiquette for Gentlemen, 1850


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