Inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, All Men of Genius takes place in a Victorian London familiar but fantastical, where mad science makes the impossible possible.
Violet Adams wants to attend Illyria College, a widely renowned school for the most brilliant up-and-coming scientific minds, founded by the late Duke Illyria, the greatest scientist of the Victorian Age. The school is run by his son, Ernest, who has held to his father’s policy that the small, exclusive college remain male-only. Violet sees her opportunity when her father departs for America. She disguises herself as her twin brother, Ashton, and gains entry.
But keeping the secret of her sex won’t be easy, not with her friend Jack’s constant habit of pulling pranks, and especially not when the duke’s young ward, Cecily, starts to develop feelings for Violet’s alter ego, “Ashton.” Not to mention blackmail, mysterious killer automata, the way Violet’s pulse quickens whenever Ernest speaks to her, and a deadly legacy left by Ernest’s father. She soon realizes that it’s not just keeping her secret until the end of the year she has to worry about: it’s surviving that long.
LEV AC ROSEN grew up in Manhattan. He attended Oberlin College and received his MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence. His work has been featured in Esopus Magazine and on various blogs including Tor.com. He lives in lower Manhattan.