Phineas Magnetron is an eccentric Nineteenth Century inventor and former Union soldier whose war injury has unaccountably bestowed upon him a strange gift he doesn't completely understand. No stranger to peril and derring-do, Phineas is asked to join a secret organization of crime fighting adventurers by none other than Society founder, Dr. Yngve Hogalum.
Traveling the globe in their Luftigel electric airship, Phineas Magnetron and his Hogalum brothers encounter mistrustful policemen, mentally ill criminals, wood-craving aliens, a witch doctor, a mad oracle, and a cross-dressing female matador, among many others. However, this "steam dream team" always manages to triumph over impossible odds and improbable obstacles as they preserve order in a disorderly world—with all the Steam Age weird science they can muster.
The Magnetron Chronicles is a serialized steampunk tale re-envisioning the future of generations past with all the breathless melodrama and tumult of that Victorian-era pulp fiction staple, the "penny dreadful." The narrative harks back to the grandiose style of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells, but gently satirized with a sprinkling of purposeful anachronisms, double entendres, tongue-in-cheek inventions, and droll Twainian humor. Adapted from "The Secret Journals of Phineas J. Magnetron," a web serial characterized by short chapters with cliffhanger endings, the story builds chapter by chapter, volume by volume, as quirky new characters join the fray and perplexing new mysteries and situations arise.
The Magnetron Chronicles is a planned 12-volume series of novelette-length volumes. In this second volume, the Hogalum Society is drawn into political and supernatural intrigues as they investigate the disappearance of President Grant's West Point ring. Their investigation becomes intertwined with the mystery of Spring-heeled Jack, the shadowy terror of England, and takes them from Calais to London, and back to America for a bizarre encounter with the notorious General Southwick.