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Starburner Agents

Occasionally, people who show outstanding service in the Steampunk community are offered the opportunity to be inducted as a Starburner Agent.  These individuals are selected for their intense interest in the ways of steampunk and their devotion to supporting the amazing spectrum of talented people within that community.  Agents of the Starburner Galactic Courier Service promote the steampunk community by sharing our interests, talents and skills and by offering encouragement, support and instruction to all those who wish to explore this fascinating subculture.

Agent No. 1
Lithobius Quick aka Kim Hutsell


​Dept. Mission Logistics/Cat Herder

​Dept. Weapons Division

Founder and leader of the Starburner Galactic Courier Service, accomplished metalsmith, expert in design & design concepts, master craftsman.


Interview with Kim & Linda Hutsell. Known as Agents 1 and 2 of the Starburner Galactic Courier Service, they are the progenitors of Steampunk in San Diego, Ca. Hear how they got into Steampunk and how they continue to shape the community.


Photo: Samantha Gragg

Agent No. 2
Ambassadress Thora Chase
aka Linda Hutsell

Induction Date: October 4, 1986

​Dept. Diplomacy


Having worked in the accounting department of the Marriott Corporation for over a quarter of a century, Linda has a sharp mind for business and is truly a diplomat of the Starburner Crew who has proven time and again that she is a fair-minded leader. Among her many talents, she is an artist, a consumate costumer and an expert seamstress.


"I am Thora Chase. I am a Unomian ambassador, a diplomat and a negotiator.  I have the uncanny ability to sense what people want, what they need, what they’ll settle for and what they’re willing to sacrifice to get it. I can tell when they’re being honest and when they’re holding out. When groups are on the verge of war, I bring them to the table. Often my presence at a summit is all that is necessary for opposing parties to settle their differences and strike a lasting treaty or sign a trade agreement that doesn’t dissolve the moment my back is turned. 


My connection with the Starburner Galactic Courier Service is simple. I form alliances and obtain information about our various missions...without our agents shooting the locals or getting shot at in the process.


And I’m rather fond of cards."

Agent No. 3
Empress Irukandji aka Heather E. Hutsell

Induction Date: October 19, 1973

​Dept. Alternate Solutions


Heather E. Hutsell began writing stories at age eleven. Her first—a murder mystery—won her an award through the Young Authors program, as did two other detective mysteries in as many years. Already set on becoming an author, she published her first novella, Awakening Alice—a sequel to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland—in the collaborative work Ghost on the Highway, in 2006. She then went on to self-publish Awakening Alice along with its sequel A Ticket for Patience in an illustrated version, in 2007. A prisoner of her many muses, when asked what genre she writes, Heather gives credit where it’s due: her muses make that call. Romantic Horror, absurdist fiction, surrealist fiction, Steampunk mysteries, futuristic cautionary tales, fairytales gone awry, and vampires—she covers them all. It’s her hope that her creations never fall into any one category. She doesn’t write to thrill one particular audience, fill high-demand or popular subjects, or fight for a place on any Top Ten list. She writes what her muses demand is written, and they are a busy lot.


When time allows, Heather designs costumes for her personal use, as well as constructs costumes that are used in film and historical documentaries. When there is a call for need, she will occasionally act in said documentaries and has so far appeared as a 1930’s speakeasy patron, the young wife of circus tycoon P.T. Barnum, and Lizzie Borden.

As an agent of the Starburner Galactic Courier Service, Empress Irukandji (as she is known within the service) has covertly taken on the role of Conscientious Subjector in the Department of Alternate Solutions. Fortunately for all, the Empress more frequently acts as Starburner’s representing agent for the East Coast Chapter. She has thus far conducted the Chapter’s honorary award ceremonies for the past two years.


More information about her goings on can be found at


Heather in her infamous "Time Jumper" dress at the 2008 Comic Con Steampunk meet-up. Made from a surplus military parachute, the Victorian style dress boasts 25 pocket watches! One for each time zone and one for "actual" time.

Agent No. 4
Tiberius Shortwick aka Braden Cox

Induction Date: July 11, 2010

​Dept. Alternate Solutions


Braden Cox is currently an art and media student in the Los Angeles area. I was once and hopefully still am a student/peer of Kim and Linda Hutsell once upon a junior high dream, and spend most of my days working or attending classes to further my abilities in the areas that interest me the most. At the moment I am a freelance illustrator for a variety of companies like Bon Appetit Management Company, Pret A Manger Restaurants, and Google Incorporated. I work mostly in the concept design field, but occasionally stray into the world of set and prop design for film, webseries, theater productions and short films.


Kim and Linda were initially the ones who opened my eyes as it were, to the world of actually crafting the things that were flying around in my imagination. I love the work of taking something from thought, to paper, to an actual, tangible piece of art that functions just as it was imagined to.


I am in the process of transferring from Santa Cruz back into LA which will make trips down to San Diego much easier in the future, which will in turn make me much happier. My goal is to make prop design, story crafting and networking with creative artists the foundation of my future and I am feeling like the future is ripe with opportunities to make that possible.


Designer of the classic sidearm "Dutch Thunder"

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