Steam Whistle Alley: An Adventure in Augmented Reality

by joshua mason

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Fantasy Sci-fi Cyberpunk LitRPG Magic Male Lead Virtual Reality
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore

Everyone else on the street that day saw a lunatic wearing strange brass goggles, swinging an invisible sword through the streets of downtown Seattle. But Jacob recognized what the man was really doing—playing a game in augmented reality.

The game is called Panmachina AR, and Jacob is offered a job by the game's creator. Putting on his own goggles for the first time, Jacob enters a city he thinks he knows, but the skyscrapers have been replaced with towering monuments to Victorian architecture. Airships float between the buildings, and enemies ranging from steam powered bunnies to clockwork werewolves lurk in every shadow. 

Some enemies, however, aren’t creations of the game at all. Every player is racing toward the same goal, which some will use any means to attain. Those who fail, get nothing. The victors, however, get their own stake in the very heart of the game—a place called Steam Whistle Alley.


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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter One: The Nutjob ago
Chapter Two: The Invitation ago
Chapter Three: The 88th Floor ago
Chapter Four: The Details ago
Chapter Five: The Unboxing ago
Chapter Six: Creation ago
Chapter Seven: The Trip ago
Chapter Eight: The Alley ago
Chapter Nine: The Companion ago
Chapter Ten: The Announcement ago
Chapter Eleven: The Werewolf ago
Chapter Twelve: Black and White ago
Chapter Thirteen: The Glitch ago
Chapter Fourteen: The Fear ago
Chapter Fifteen: The Amulet ago
Chapter Sixteen: The Galileo ago
Chapter Seventeen: The Rabbits ago
Chapter Eighteen: Jameson's Gift ago
Chapter Nineteen: The Guild ago
Chapter Twenty: Gearing Up ago
Chapter Twenty-One: The Message ago
Chapter Twenty-Two: The Unknown ago
Chapter Twenty-Three: The Known ago
Chapter Twenty-Four: The Menagerie ago
Chapter Twenty-Five: The Bridge ago
Chapter Twenty-Six: Gasworks Avenue ago
Chapter Twenty-Seven: Persuasion ago
Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Bigger Stick ago
Chapter Twenty-Nine: Underground ago
Chapter Thirty: The Troll ago
Chapter Thirty-One: Jameson's Trick ago
Chapter Thirty-Two: First Gear ago
Chapter Thirty-Three: Dear Iggy [end of book one] ago
Map of Steam Whistle Alley, update ago
(Book 2) Chapter One: Shutdown ago
(Book 2) Chapter Two: Quality Control ago
(Book 2) Chapter Three: Reboot ago
(Book 2) Chapter Four: Synthetic Reunion ago

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Where did this come from?!? Love it!

This story is great! With all of the VR stories around, this take on AR really puts a different spin on things.

The story is fun so far, and I’m enjoying the characters. There are minimal grammatical errors, and the story flows well. 

Very recommended. 

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...give me more! ...please.

Right, uh, the review. This novel is still fairly short as of the time of writing this (<150 pages) so no advanced review for you yet, but it would all be 5 stars anyways so I guess we're not really losing any details in any case.

The world and more importantly the way it is described (or rather, showed) is great, it feels vivid, alive. I've enjoyed the plot so far, and it seems solid, there are not many branches;  it's focused and easy to follow. The characters all have a unique personality to them, and they show it consistently throughout their interactions. A previous reviewer already noted this, but what is somewhat off-putting at times is how quick they are to reveal information, or to build friendships. The evil guys are the evil guys, and the good guys all have white vests. Easy to read and light on the mind, but not a strong point of the story (so far!).

That's it, cheers, and I hope I'll get my next fix soon!

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An Under-Represented Genre

It is good to see an Augmented Reality (AR) story starting up - there are a lot of VR stories out there and many of them are quite good, but something different is even better.

The writing is easy to read - the story, dialog, and scenes are easy to follow, no jarring transitions. The ideas in the story are introduced clearly before being used. Some people might find the idea intros a little long if they are already fully familiar with the ideas, but for newer readers the intros are a definite plus. The fact that the setting is near future US also makes the story easy to pick up - no major assumptions are needed for background knowledge, at least for people familiar with the US.

The only minus I have spotted so far is some of the characters reveal a little too much a little too fast. There may be good in-story reasons for this (e.g., in both cases I spotted the characters revealing to much were in stressful situations) but it still feels a little rushed. Not a big minus, just something to think about.

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Joshua Mason is a literary wizard

Place holder so I can nab a spot on the front page. Will review in detail once I've finished reading

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Beautiful! Absolutely Beautiful!

Spoiler: Spoiler


 This story is so vivid and beautiful! I found myself engrossed all the way through. I love everything about it! The characters feel real and deep and you feel the world coming alive around you more than you read about it. Very well crafted.

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I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this story so far. I will admit that the premise of the story is what kept me going through the early slightly awkward prose of the first chapter or two and I am very glad that I stuck with it. The author has improved immensely in his style as he got deeper into the story and was very responsive to constructive feedback when offered. 

It is clear that the author has envisioned this future Seattle extensively and does a good job of painting the scenery with his descriptive language. As a Seattlite it is very interesting to envision your city as both futuristic with flying cars and in Steam Punk garb with airships. 

The plot is really what sets this story apart. How many of us would love to have some of the opportunities that the characters do to experience an augmented reality style game. There is just enough intrigue to make it interesting without over complicating the story. I am excited to find out what happens next!

Russell Williams
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Steam Whistle Alley a reader's review

I think Joshua Mason wrote an excellent novel for young and old alike. He has captured the essence of true story telling, his characters are awsome, Jacob is a excellent lead character "very whitty" a bit like the author, Jeni is a good supporting lead, Trick is a good second supporting character, Jameson is the kind of villan we all love to hate, everybody "boo's and hisses at the sound of his name" Jacob's monkey "Banjo" was smashing, he done a good job supporting Jacob, Iggy was the kind of guy we have all met in some place or another. I really think this should become a best seller or even a movie. The plot and characters gel together very well. It is very exciting read with twist and turns in the plot, it is a rollercoaster of a read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope Joshua Mason continues to produce literary works of art such as Steam Whistle Alley. For all who have not read it I should stipulate that it worth a read as you will be throughly entertained by this great novel. Thank you Joshua Mason for the great novel, I can't wait for the next episode of Steam Whistle Alley. Excellent novel one of the best I have read in a long time, bravo to a trully literary storyteller.

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Excuse me, I need more please.

I can't really get enough! I've seen story telling and you've got it my man! Extremely recommended