The Spirit Phone
by Arthur Shattuck O'Keefe
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Pub Date 15 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 03 Nov 2022
Aleister Crowley and Nikola Tesla confront the enigma of Thomas Edison's new invention: a phone to communicate with the dead.
It is August 1899, and Thomas Edison proclaims his most amazing invention yet: the Spirit Phone Model SP-1. At nearly the same time, a cocksure young mage named Aleister Crowley inexplicably teleports into the home of Edison’s archrival, renowned inventor Nikola Tesla.
As insanity and suicide multiply among spirit phone users, Crowley and Tesla combine their respective skills in “magick” and technology to investigate the device’s actual origin and ultimate purpose.
Embarking upon an adventure of astral travel, demonic invocations, and high-speed airship journeys, they are soon embroiled in a desperate race to stop the spirit phone's use by an unknown adversary to inaugurate a hell on earth from which none shall escape.
A Note From the Publisher
“filled with twists that are impossible to predict…there is nothing to do but enjoy the ride. The Spirit Phone is an inventive novel that's moved by mysteries and magic.” —Foreword Reviews Magazine
“Startlingly original and strangely engrossing, I kept thinking this is E.L. Doctorow’s Ragtime on psychedelics. We are no doubt witness to a new talent in the speculative fiction genre, a writer who has a deep understanding of historical figures and events and knows the true meaning of creative fiction.” —Rex Pickett, author of Sideways
"O’Keefe establishes himself as an imaginative author of uncanny ability. Literary speculative fiction has long been overdue for a new writer to take a hammer to the form and make it better than it was." —David W. Brown, author of The Mission
“This is a strong first novel and gripping read, with a neatly crafted plot that seamlessly blends weird technology and supernatural events. It’s well set up for both further adventures and a potential film adaptation. Watch this space!” —Matthew Allen, screenwriter for the producers of such films as Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Boondock Saints, and The Equalizer
“In this novel you will encounter mystery, suspense, adventure, whimsy, science, occultism, and teleportation through time and space, all in a very entertaining mix. I highly recommend The Spirit Phone for anyone who seeks a lively and intelligent read.” —Bruce Boston, four-time Bram Stoker award-winning author of Dark Matters and The Guardener’s Tale
For fans of alternative historical fiction, The Spirit Phone delivers. What a wild, entertaining romp, following Tesla, Edison, and Crowley through space and time. This tale unfolds with demonic glee.” —Richard Thomas, author of Spontaneous Human Combustion and Bram Stoker / Shirley Jackson nominee
“The Spirit Phone succeeds page by page, especially in the compelling interactions of two Victorian era geniuses, one of science and one of the occult. With relentlessly engaging dialogue and fantastic, gripping scenes, this book is a multifarious pleasure not to be missed.” —Ryan Blacketter, author of Down in the River
“[A] demonic jigsaw that [O’Keefe] masterfully drops in sizzling, sulfuric pieces, keeping the reader waiting for more revelations, until he presses that final answer into place.” —Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Bram Stoker award-winning author of Black & Orange and Bottled Abyss
“A twisted, twisty and novel take on science, the supernatural and modern history. Surprising, engaging, thought-provoking and fun.” —Ian R. MacLeod, author of Red Snow winner of the World Fantasy, Sidewise, Locus, John W. Campbell, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards
—Indie Next List (November) Nomination
—Library Reads (November) Nomination
—National Review Coverage
—#thespiritsarecalling social media campaign
—Extensive marketing to Booksellers, Librarians, and Book Influencers
—Digital ARCs Offered on NetGalley, et al.
—Featured title in Fresh Fiction’s Book Box for October
—Targeted Consumer Email Marketing
—Extensive Social Media Promotion
Key Selling Points:
—The Spirit Phone is based on the supposed invention of the same name that Thomas Edison had been working on prior to his death.
—The novel will have wide appeal as it mixes dark fantasy, the occult, and elements of horror to create this extremely unique novel.
—Using historical figures Thomas Edison, Aleister Crowley, and Nikola Tesla, O’Keefe creates a riveting and fascinating “What if?” alternative history about the possibilities of a device to communicate with the dead.
Average rating from 29 members
I wasn't excepting to like this book as much as I did. The premise drew me in; I have a large affection for the spiritualist movement and ghosts and the paranormal etc.
When I was approved to read this ARC I thought it would be a solid three star read as the whole "let's take real historical people and have them do fictional things" trope is not my favorite.
Boy was I wrong. This is a solid read. It's a little confusing to begin with and I was planning to have that be a con in this review but I see that it was entirely purposeful as the book progresses. At a certain point, however, I did get a little exhausted with the constant addition of more mystical/paranormal things being shoehorned into the narrative. Precisely when this limit was reached, however, there was no more unnecessary additions. It felt like the author knew that the limit had been reached.
Crowley and Tesla are quite the duo and I thoroughly enjoyed their relationship throughout the book.
I highly recommend that this book be checked out when it is released on 11/15/22.
Thank you to NetGalley and BHC Press for providing me with an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
When Alister Crowley climbed to the top of the mountain in the Himalayas he encounters a demon who knocks him off the mountain. This is when he astral planes into the apartments of Nikola Tesla. This begins a most humorous friendship in caper to obtain Thomas Edison’s Spirit phone. Thanks to Alister‘s supernatural shah mine abilities and Tesla‘s scientific no how they decide to make their own, but they’re going to need the recipe. From beginning to end this book is hilarious there’s demons threatening to ruin life as they know it and it’s up to Alastair and Tesla to save the day. The best thing about this book is the funny characters they run into and the historical events that are happening during the interim. I absolutely love this book and now I will read it again in the future. It is witty and clever and original. If you love historical mysteries with historical personality saving the plot you will love the story I certainly did and highly recommend it. I received this book from netGally and publisher and I am leaving this review voluntarily please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review but all opinions are definitely my own. A truly awesome read!
A very cerebral historical scifi mystery that stylistically reminds me of Arthur Conan Doyle and should be interesting for fans of historical fiction, science fiction, and mystery.
Two famous figures of history - inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla and occultist Aleister Crowley - team up to solve a mystery and stop the bad guys from destroying the world as we know it. Tesla plays the Dr. Watson to Crowley's Sherlock Holmes (ish) and Thomas Edison makes some brief appearances as well. This is a fun adventure with nods to famous historical incidents/moments that will entertain people familiar with late 19th century history without derailing the main plot, with just enough steampunk elements thrown in to appeal to fans of that subgenre as well.
The Spirit Phone is reminiscent of an Arthur Conan Doyle type tale, except in this book, Holmes and Watson are Aleister Crowley and Nikola Tesla. It was an interesting take on the crime thriller genre with two very famous real life people heading the investigation. The story is an intelligent whodunnit or howdunnit about a supernatural invention by Thomas Edison. The occult and scientific implications drag the world's most famous occultist Aleister Crowley and the world's most genius inventor, Nikola Tesla into the mix.
Magick and science intersect in unusual ways which causes deadly consequences for this 19th century set story. There were a lot of occult bits throughout which made Crowley the star of the show. I think Tesla felt more secondary and I think the author could have incorporated more of Tesla's personality quirks and beliefs into the plot. The supernatural aspect of The Spirit Phone was complicated and there was a lot going in the story--too many ideas in my opinion. It was an interesting story and using two famous names from the 19th century to solve the mystery was a clever idea, although not everyone might agree with their fictional representations. This book could turn into a series with Crowley and Tesla solving supernatural scientific mysteries but I think the ending of this story wouldn't allow it. I believe fans of the supernatural Victorian genre and steampunk genre will like this story as it strikes a good balance between the technological and magical.
Overall The Spirit Phone is a fast paced occult detective story that I rate 3 out of 5 stars because there was a bit too much going which did not compliment the complicated mystery.
A magical sci-fi inspired by Einstein's 'spirit phone'. In this story, Nikola Tesla and a magician named Crawley, race against time to destroy the Spirit Phone and all the evil that comes with it.
It's a different take on historical figures x detective story.
A story about Tesla and Edison and mixed with fantasy. The relationship between the two are interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. There are lot of things going on and I had to read it slowly but overall, I love the pacing and the story. A truly interesting read.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me an E-Arc in exchange for an honest review.
It took me quite a while to get into this story. A lot was confusing at first. The writing style was not at all one I was used to. Also, I'm not normally a fan of any kind of historical fiction but this one intrigued me. In the end, I'm glad I kept reading. This was fun, entertaining, and thrilling.
Firstly I would like to thank the publisher for sending me an ARC copy of this book.
The spirit phone is a dark fantasy book where Thomas Edison has invented a phone which allows people to talk with dead ones.
On the other hand there is the nemesis of Edison, Nicola Tesla who is trying to unmask this new project of Edison.
In fact, a certain Crowley told him that Edison new invention will bring demons in their world and he knows of that because he is a sort of mage who practices the MAGICK.
I really liked this book, it was interesting reading about Tesla and Edison. The author has created the two characters as I imagined them in reality.
The narration is fluid and simple to read.
I suggest this book to people who are fascinated by the story of Tesla and Edison and do not dislike a magical plot.
Keywords: Ghosts, history, alternative worlds
A thrilling, unique story about well known history figures and ghosts. This is a fun take on the ghosts genre with characters that are fully 3D and intriguing. Although sometimes the plot can become a little confusing at times this story will keep you going long into the dark night.
Some of the best books out there originate from the wildest yet not entirely implausible or at least somewhat fact-based What If premises. What IF Edison really did invent a phone to communicate with the dead? Well, then, perhaps it would be up to one of the greatest inventors of the time and one of the greatest mages of the time to investigate the possibility. Between the two of them, they got magick and science on their side. They’ll astral project, evoke demon familiars, and have all sorts of adventures along the way making for a charmingly entertaining read. Through teleportation and conventional forms of travel, they’ll go wherever it takes to make sure the dead don’t talk back to much. Because you know how it is, once you give someone your phone number…
This is one of those debut novels that went firmly with maximalism and it’s easy to appreciate it, although it does get quite busy. The author throws in so many elements into this literary soup (real life historical figures and events, occult notions, wild speculations, etc.) that it, at times, turns into a stew, but overall, it’s got plenty of flavor and seasonings to delight. Ok, end of the culinary metaphor.
But basically, if you follow the plot, confusing and convoluted as it gets at times, it’s pretty fun. A pretty fun tale of historical speculative fiction. Thanks Netgalley.
I really enjoyed this story, the idea of Tesla and Crowley teaming up was a strange one at first but I really loved the way the story and the characters were written.
I kind of historical fiction/alternate history/thriller/mystery/sci fi/fantasy mash up. It was great!
This was a nice and interesting read. Sometimes it was a bit difficult because of all the technical words that were used, but if you push past that, you will find it entertaining.
The characters were well written, and my favourite was undoubtedly Aleister Crowley, although I would have loved to see a bit more of Thomas Edison’s side.
I give this book 3.5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. This is an honest review, and all opinions are entirely mine.
I received a free copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“The Spirit Phone” by Arther Shattuck O’Keefe is a great Autumn read. I am so happy that I could sit down and enjoy it around Halloween.
I love a good historical fantasy, and it hit all the marks. The story involves some more obscure aspects of history that make you have to go online to see if it actually happened. I found that O’Keefe’s use of real historical characters was how well handled and true to the spirit of the actual person even if they were in fictional situations.
Definitely worth a read, especially if you like history and want to dive into the occult.
Une série de meurtres, un mage tibétain qui vient donner son savoir à Nikola Tesla qui se sert de son "ghost phone" dans une histoire complexe et fantastique. Un livre passionnant et génial.
The Spirit phone by by Arthur Shattuck O'Keefe book review
When Aleister Crowley and Nikola Telsa discover that Thomas Edison has a new invention, a phone to communicate with the dead, they find themselves on a joint mission to stop the phone falling into the wrong hands.
Crowley, a mage and a powerful one at that, arrives at Tesla's home by teleportation just as Edison announces his big invention, that has both men combining their knowledge of magic and technology to discover the origins of the phone and why a dark group hell bent on anarchy, wants to get their hands on it.
With the help of demons and a high speed airship, the two men must work together to stop all hell breaking loose on earth.
This book was so cool! To bring Crowley and Tesla together? Genius! I like the new depths that the author gave Crowley instead of the usual devil worship label Crowley earned himself.
Loved the settings for the book too! Such an innovative concept for historical fiction to be merged with sci-fi!, I don’t think I have ever read anything like it. Truly original. Completely enjoyed the mix of magic and technology that happened here and how the two were on equal footing. I don’t usually dabble in the sci-fi genre but I am starting to think I am making a mistake by not reading more in it, especially if they are half as good as this one.
I couldn’t put it down so if you are into sci-fi and horror and enjoy the historical setting for books then this is a true winner.
Sometimes the language was a little monotone but honestly I found it kind of charming! HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!
5 stars! Thank you #netgalley and #BHCpress for my review copy!
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Arthur Shattuck O'Keefe for providing me with a complimentary digital ARC for The Spirit Phone coming out November 15, 2022. The honest opinions expressed in this review are my own.
What if there was a way for the living to communicate with the dead? It’s August 1899. The telephone has been around for a few years. Aleister Crowley and Nikola Tesla confront Thomas Edison and his new invention. It’s the Spirit Phone Model SP-1 that allows people to communicate with the dead. Soon after Aleister teleports into the home of Edison’s archrival, renowned inventor Nikola Tesla.
There’s a steep cost to using the telephone. People start to go insane or commit suicide when they use the phone. Crowley and Tesla embark on an adventure in a high speed airship, combining their knowledge in “magick” and technology to find out the device’s origin and purpose. Will they be able to stop the the demonic powers by an unknown adversary before it’s too late?
I loved this book! It was such an interesting concept and plot. I really enjoy stories about 1800s inventors and I loved the supernatural aspect of it. The time travel was also fun. There were a few scientific terms I wasn’t familiar with, but overall, I enjoyed this book.
I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys supernatural inventions stories!
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.
While in the Himalayas mountain climbing, Aleister Crowley is psychically attacked. Trying to escape, he teleports himself to his home. However, he ends up in the home of the inventor, Nikola Tesla. Crowley realizes that the ambush was due to new technology, he convinces Tesla to help him investigate. Why? It is Thomas Edison’s newest invention , The Spitit Phone. The device allows people to speak to the dead. It has become the center of much mystery and mayhem. People have bought this phone who often become crazy. What is causing that? Crowley and Tesla are in a race against time to stop the evil on the other side of those phones. The exciting investigative duo are the perfect pair to involve in this who-done-it horror. Will they succeed?
The author has written a novel about the historical time that includes inventions thou this is Edison ‘s invention. Filled with twists and turns, this story finds itself at the intersection of the scientific and the arcane. The author has included other characters and records to resolve the problem of the spirit phone. I enjoyed the novel but at times felt some of the time that the author was a bit too “wordy” when explaining certain things. It is a fascinating horror novel, with magic and mystery included.
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