The Falling Machine

Andrew P. Mayer

285 pp • ISBN: 978-1-61614-375-6
Trade Paperback • $16
May 2011
Cover Illustration ©Justin Gerard
Interior illustrations by Steven Sanders ©Andrew P. Mayer

In 1880 women aren't allowed to vote, much less dress up in a costume and fight crime...

But twenty-year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming a hero. Her opportunity arrives in tragedy when the leader of the Society of Paragons, New York's greatest team of gentlemen adventurers, is murdered right before her eyes. To uncover the truth behind the assassination, Sarah joins forces with the amazing mechanical man known as The Automaton. Together they unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the Paragons that reveals the world of heroes and high-society is built on a crumbling foundation of greed and lies. When Sarah comes face to face with the megalomaniacal villain behind the murder, she must discover if she has the courage to sacrifice her life of privilege and save her clockwork friend.

The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, Book One) takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities and grants powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.


"Andrew P. Mayer's The Falling Machine enjoys the promise of a glorious conceit that the book delivers on—steampunk superheroes in Gilded Age New York City. The first of Mayer's Society of Steam trilogy, this book offers cocked-eyed adventure and the high camp of steampunk wrapped around a story of moral choice, family loyalty, and the ultimate question of who gets to be counted as a person. A ripping yarn that strikes all the right notes, The Falling Machine will delight and entertain you."
—Jay Lake, Campbell Award–winning author of Mainspring and Green

"If Stan Lee had lived in the 1880s, this is the book he would have written—steampunk superheroes. Filled with larger-than-life characters, cliffhanger action, and ingenious gadgets so richly realized you'll feel the steam hissing from them, at its heart, it's a two-fisted meditation on the mythic glories of heroism and the tragic frailties of the heroes themselves."

—Clay & Susan Griffith, authors of The Greyfriar (Vampire Empire Book 1) and the forthcoming The Rift Walker (Vampire Empire Book 2)