Cogs, Crowns and Carriages (and Kickstarters)

Twitter Regicide and Prejudice quote 2Dear Reader

We are delighted beyond belief to inform you that our esteemed lead writer Mr Paul Michael Esq has had the very good fortune to be in yet another anthology. This time he will be in the most excellent Cogs, Crowns and Carriages Steampunk anthology (one of a pair along with Gears, Ghouls and Gauges).

Alas, though, the anthology may never see the light of day unless enough charitable folk contribute to a “Kickstarter” campaign. We implore you to consider this opportunity presented here

In any event, we are excited about the imminent release and will be posting more anon.




And it’s (nearly) here

So finally, Dear Reader, we can explain all the Dreamtime Damsels malarkey. For here is the precious tome itself…

Including a story featuring the marvellous Miss Henderson as well as many stories from our friends, available Sep 25 – we heartily, excitedly and proudly recommend it.

La racine des malapropismes de Miss Henderson – encore

menu“Unfair of what?”

Dear Reader

Well we have all hopefully enjoyed the prologue of the Paris Awakening and your appetites are suitably whetted for the forthcoming serialised novel. For this we shall return to our “two episodes a week” regimen, starting this Saturday hence. This will be followed by another episode next Tuesday and so on and so forth.

We may of course add a little light entertainment, book review, waspish comment or other ephemera on a more or less random basis during the coming weeks. Our aim is to have the novel serialised, completed and enjoyed by your good selves by the end of this year 2018. We would also like wish you a very pleasant New Year and hope this to be the very best of years for you.


Mr Michael and Miss Pichette


Interview With A Vaper

vaper copy

The following is reprinted from the Fernando Po Literary Review, published Dec 23, 2017. It is an interview with Roberto de Guillermo, editor of that journal and Paul Michael, author. Mr de Guillermo was lucky enough to catch up with Mr Michael at the Tequila y Mota International Airport and was able to conduct the interview in the departure lounge and capture it on his minidisc recorder.

RdG: Oh I’m sorry, are you alright? Let me get your bag.

PM: No, that’s quite alright, just an accident. I can get that.

RdG: Ay! That’s heavy! What do you have in there, gold bricks?

PM: Haha! No, no … er may I take that?

RdG: Wait. Aren’t you Paul Michael, the famous author of the Jennings and Jennings series?

PM: You’ve heard of me?

RdG: Of course, you are famous on this island! Are you in a hurry? I’d love to do a an interview!

PM: Well, my flight to Panama is…

Voiceover (in background): We regret to inform you that the Aeroflot flight AFL123 to Panama City has been delayed by 6 hours.


PM: Apparently I have time.

RdG: So we are all looking forward to the release of The Paris Awakening, your forthcoming novel. We’ve been hearing news of that a lot this year. It must be due for release soon?

PM: Yes, yes it’s due soon.

RdG: How soon exactly? I think I heard it would be out by now.

PM: Well, you know, publishers and so on, and, and marketing schedules, etc, etc. Bit tricky to say right now.

RdG: Of course, of course, but it’s finished now at least?

PM: Well, there is a little editing to do, maybe a bit more writing.

RdG: A few words, I’m sure.

PM: Well, maybe a few at the end. And maybe some in the middle. And possibly one or two at the start.

RdG: One or two words at the start?

PM: One or two thousand at the start.

RdG: Oh.

PM: You see, it’s probably more accurate to say it’s not really completed. And even more accurate to say it’s not even written. It’s the literary equivalent of vapourware. It’s a vapelit romance.

RdG: So this is why you are fleeing to Panama with a sack full of gold bullion?

PM (dejectedly): Yes.

RdG: Mr Michael! Don’t lose heart so quickly! Why you are the mighty author that has written six most exciting serials. Why not treat this the same!

PM: What, you mean serialise the novel?

RdG: Charles Dickens! Arthur Conan Doyle! Alexandre Dumas! What do they teach you about writing?

PM: That I should change my surname to start with D?

RdG: No sir, that the serialised novel can be a classic of literature! Return to your home sir, serialise your novel! Tell your story to the world.

PM: My God, man you’re right! I shall, I shall! (Voice fades)

RdG: Mr Michael, you forgot your bag!

(Sound of zip opening, then exhalation and a clinking sound.)

RdG: Oh well, finders keepers…



Letter To The Editor

Dear Mr Michael

It has come to my attention that there has been, how may I put this delicately, a certain reduction in communication from The Benthic Times. Whilst not wishing to give offence, it would seem that the author’s attention is, perhaps, elsewhere. I’m writing to ask whether it is too much of an inference to assume that there is perhaps a hiatus of sorts, induced by the author’s focus on his forthcoming novel?


Alfred Botheritall


Dear Mr Botheritall

My dear sir, good heavens no! Nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst it would seem to the casual observer that there is less activity than before, I can assure you that the writer’s and editor’s attention is directed wholeheartedly to this “weblog”. To demonstrate this fact we will be reminding readers of just how pleasant our serialised stories are by repeating, in its entirety, the first ever Jennings and Jennings story, the famous Howarth Haunting, commencing this coming Tuesday. Does that, sir, sound like the actions of a man distracted by other events?

Yours &tc &tc

Paul Michael





intermissionDo not adjust your television, reality is faulty today

Dear Readers

We trust your are having a most pleasant weekend and are enjoying whatever weather you are currently experiencing. You will have no doubt noticed that we have finished our recent most entertaining story and that Lord Hollingbury has gone back to Brighton. We may hear more from him this summer, incidentally, but that is a story for another day.

It is with a heavy heart that we have to inform you that we shall not be running another serialised story for a little while. This is all the fault of Mr Michael who has faithfully promised us a novel set in Paris and has so far failed to deliver. He has pleaded ignorance, poverty and exhaustion, which have all fallen on deaf ears. However, we have come to the conclusion that unless we lock him in a room and force him to do nothing else (metaphorically speaking, we have already tried this literally) then the novel will not appear. So Dear Reader, for our greater collective pleasure we have released the wretch of the need to write the serials such that he may concentrate on the novel.

But not to fear, as there are many more entertaining tidbits we shall bring to the blog. From original artwork from Ms Pichette, to opinion pieces on a plethora of trivial matters, to our ongoing unearthing of obscure Victoriana, we shall continue to keep you entertained and enlightened.

We trust this news does not dampen your spirits too greatly. Normal service will, as they say, resume as soon as possible

The Benthic Times

Paperback Writer

PM Reading small
The Author inspecting the paperback for possible typos and possession by spirits.

Good evening dear Readers!

We can barely contain our joy this fine Saturday evening at the news. – What news? We hear you cry. Well, only the news that our recently published Jennings and Jennings collection is now available in paperback! Using the miracle of Amazon’s simple to use Paperback publishing tools we were able to convert our “electronic book” to a real one in a mere matter of weeks!

Here is the link for those of you quivering with excitement as we speak…

the link for those of you quivering with excitement as we speak in the British Isles

the link for those of you quivering with excitement as we speak in the United States

May you have the very best of weekends dear friends

Paul Michael, Esquire, Paperback Writer

Thanks For Dropping By…

Thanks for coming…you’re welcome…come by again…

Yes, sadly The Benthic Week is all over. There has been laughter and tears, music and dancing and an overconsumption of jelly (or jell-o if you will). But, we are stacking the chairs, sweeping the floors and handing out goodie bags (1 slice of cake, 1 plastic octopus, some wakame flavoured sweets and a “Clackprattle and Pook” colouring book).

Normal service, such as it is, will now resume. Stories will be back to Tuesday and our usual posts on a plethora of topics will be at the weekend.

We only have time to leave you with two more things. We are now fully into the modern way of things by having joined something called Twitter @thebenthictimes

And finally, a lovely combination of shops I discovered round the corner from our new house. One featuring a painting of an octopus and the next with the sign “Be unique”. I could barely think of anything more Benthic. (With the possible exception of this book of course…)



Be Unique

Have a wonderful weekend!

Stop the Press!

No, wait, start the press – or the virtual one at least. For the wondrous behemoth, Amazon has spoken, and our book is available! For 3 British Pounds, or your local currency equivalent, you can read the first four Jennings and Jennings stories on your electronic reading device! Delight to these four comedy paranormal steampunk novelettes! Relive the thrill of Sir John and Marie’s adventures, even when you’re travelling by locomotive or on an airship! Rejoice, my friends, rejoice! If you find these adventures a joy, please do us the honour of reviewing them in Amazon, too.



casebook one cover SMALL

For those souls expecting to be reading the start of the Sunnyport Shadow, I beg some patience. Todays news was too exciting to contain and you only have one day to wait in the Benthic Week!

The Benthic Week?

Ah! You noticed our little teaser … and the prolonged gap between posts. Let me furnish you with an explanation for all of the above.

First, The Benthic Week…

We here at the Benthic Times are tickled pink to announce the commencement of our latest venture, The Benthic Press. We are now in the business of publishing, and our initial publication will be the much anticipated collection of the first four Jennings and Jennings stories. This is working its way through the behemoth called Amazon even as we speak.

We are also thinking to produce an anthology of other writers’ stories, offer some editing/proofing services, build a small artificial island with a giant laser on it and so forth. In short, we have big dreams.

Yes, yes, that’s all very well, I hear you mutter, but what’s this Benthic Week malarkey? Well, to celebrate the creation of the press and the immanent release of the book, we have decided to have one whole week of daily posts. Now, we see you gasp in amazement! Yes, it’s true. We have already started with the epilogue for The Cornish Curse and will start, from tomorrow, our latest story: The Sunnyport Shadow.

welcome to sunnyport

This new story is inspired by two sources of existential dread and horror, by two elements which cause one to question one’s meaning in a cruel universe, one’s significance in the face of total indifference, and even one’s sanity. I refer to firstly, the writings of HP Lovecraft and secondly, a British seaside holiday in inclement weather.

Ah, now everything is clear, you say. Of course, the pause in posts was merely to create anticipation for this schmorgasbord of Benthic delights. Sadly, there we must hang our heads and confess. For in truth, the Benthic Times has relocated home once again and whilst we try to prevent personal obstacles from blocking our posting habits, this time it got the better of us. We trust that the Benthic Week, culminating in the release of the book, will suffice as apology and recompense.


Paul Michael and Josephine Pichette