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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Colorado Gold Literary Award for Speculative Fiction

What if War of the Worlds wasn't the whole story? What if the Martians had help...human help?

In an alternate 1887 England, mysterious little cylinders have been landing in the countryside for a generation, hidden in meteor showers. During that same time, incredible advances have occurred in aeronautics, weaponry, robotics, and genetics. Coincidence? Or are shadowy groups preparing Earth for a terrible fate?

When he is attacked by ferocious beast-men and a ray-gun-wielding aviator while aiding a tentacled prostitute, Shakespearean actor and government agent Montague Paragon knows something weird and threatening is afoot.

Does it involve the mysterious Dr. Moreau and his fiendish genetic experiments? Why are winged gargoyles abducting people in broad daylight? Who killed a corrupt Member of Parliament with black smoke? What are the deadly little tripods that are stalking Paragon with heat rays? What secret is the saintly Dr. Jekyll keeping? Who is behind the rash of murders of famous inventors? Why have Edison, Westinghouse, and their peers been dispatched? And how is all of this connected to those cylinders falling from space?

Wounded in body and mind by the Zulu War and a dreadful childhood experience, Paragon must overcome his many demons on the way to saving the world…again. With his partners, aesthete author Oscar Wilde and famed male impersonator Vesta Tilley, along with his oh-so-proper brass valet, Mervyn, he ventures into a world of genetically-modified assassins, rogue automatons, ornithopter dogfights, four-armed white apes, and human traitors aiding an unimaginably foreign enemy in the subjugation of mankind.

At the top of Paragon’s worries: Is the impossibly seductive Lady Ambergris Kalmaar as helpful as she seems, or is she leading him by the trousers into a deadly trap?

Paragon of the Eccentric is a witty, fast-paced steampunk adventure. Imagine Dr. Frankenstein creating a Penny Dreadful hero from parts of James Bond, Lord Peter Whimsy, and the Scarlet Pimpernel.

©2021 Terry Kroenung (P)2022 Terry Kroenung

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