[“Tucker Teaches the Clockies to Copulate”] is at one level nearly wacky, but it has deeper concerns, reflected in the examination of the treatment of such disadvantaged individuals as alcoholics, Confederate veterans, the Chinese, Jews, and of course clockwork ex-soldiers. It all comes together very effectively.
— Rich Horton, Locus, July 2008 (Recommended Story)

Read a Free Sample of “Tucker Teaches the Clockies to Copulate.”


Thanks for taking a second to meditate on my Pick-What-You-Pay scheme for “Tucker Teaches the Clockies to Copulate”! Here’s my thinking: This DRM-free ebook bundle offers certain advantages and disadvantages. On the downside, it’s clearly a little bit more of a hassle to buy directly from me than it is to use Amazon’s whiz-bang one-click Whispernet cloud-based thingy. On the upside, by purchasing here you’ll get unencrypted copies of all the available electronic formats of my novella, so you can read on basically any device. I encourage you to treat these exactly as you would any printed book: Give one as a gift, loan it to a pal, use it as a coaster (after printing or burning to to physical media, obviously)—but please don’t post them for the world at large to download (on account you can’t do that with a “real” book) or burn it (because of the fumes).

I have no idea what these costs and benefits are worth to you, Dear Reader, so I’m suggesting this sliding scale:

“Tucker Teaches the Clockies to Copulate”
Illustrated ebook pack
Same as the Kindle version available through Amazon, but DRM-free, and in formats suitable for almost any device. Includes mobi, ePub, PDF (in several print-ready layouts), and digital extras(!!!) “Patrons” get an exclusive, handmade, signed and numbered print edition (pictured above)!

  • $15 (“Deluxe Patron!”): You like my work enough that you want to help fund new and exciting weirdness. As a token of their awesomeness, patrons get the DRM-free ebook bundle and an exclusive, handmade, signed and numbered print edition (like the one in the picture above). The newest round of print editions have laser-printed interiors, sewn bindings, and handset letterpress-printed covers (made on the very same century-old Chandler & Price press that’s shown on the Wikipedia entry for Chandler & Price New Style printing presses!) Each is individually customized. Want a personalized message? Just mention in the notes when you order. (International Patrons please add $10; you wouldn't believe what it costs to mail one of these packages overseas!)
  • $5 (“Steampunk”): You dig steampunk, or you dig other stuff I’ve written; you’ll dig this.
  • $1.50 (“Market Value”; this is what the original Paradox magazine readers paid for the story, in terms of dollars/page): You’re a little hesitant about this “steampunk” thing, but willing to wager the price of a coffee.
  • 99-cents (or “Candy Money”): You’re a student or other penniless sort; I understand. We’ve all been there.
If none of these payment levels work for you (or you aren’t a credit card person), drop me an email and we’ll work something out.

Tweet about this scheme



Just in case you navigated here from parts unknown, this is Amazon’s blurb for the book:

Utah Territory, 1874: The long American Civil War is finally over, and the Union restored thanks to the tireless service of the Chinese-built clockwork soldiers of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's Terrible Mechanical Corps. Many of these discharged "clockies," feared and reviled for their efficiency on the battlefield, have moved West to live peacefully alongside an often suspicious citizenry. One such small company of clockies has been basically accepted as a tolerable nuisance by the Mormons of Lost Creek--until a crippled, alcoholic, Confederate ne'er-do-well, Dickie Tucker, teaches these machines the art and craft of being--or at least seeming--human.

As Lois Tilton wrote in the Internet Review of Science Fiction, this novella is "dark comedy, wonderfully absurd, riotously bawdy, populated by a full set of fantastically flawed characters, such as Two-Ton Sadie the madam, who helps [Dickie] demonstrate the art of copulation, and 'Rabbi' Emet Kohen, who ministers to a congregation of Hebrew Zunis. Yet it is also a poignant tale of wanting to belong, wanting to be counted as a human among humans."

First published in Paradox magazine in 2008, this complete, revised edition of "Tucker Teaches the Clockies to Copulate" includes all new art and illustrations by Chad Sell. Other stories featuring Dickie Tucker have appeared in Asimov's magazine and the anthology Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded.