The Qwillery | category: steampunk


The Qwillery

A blog about books and other things speculative

Interview with Lynn Viehl - February 13, 2014

Please welcome Lynn Viehl to The Qwillery. Lynn is the author of numerous standalone novels as well as series in several genres including Darkyn, Kyndred, Youngbloods, and Lords of the Darkyn. Lynn's most recent series is Disenchanted & Co.

Interview with Lynn Viehl - February 13, 2014

TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. You have published over 50 novels in several genres. How has your writing process changed (or not) over the years? Are you a plotter, pantser, or hybrid plotser?

Lynn:  I've tried to become more efficient with my creative process, but every book I write presents new and different challenges. I am an obsessive plotter.

TQ:  You've written novels for multiple series. How do you keeps things straight in each series?

Lynn:  Series bibles help a great deal; so does creating a voice and writing mindset unique to each series.

TQ:   Your newest series is Disenchanted & Co., a genre bending mix of steampunk, fantasy, romance, and mystery. What appeals to you about steampunk?

Lynn:  I'll have to quote John Keats here: "There is an electric fire in human nature tending to purify -- so that among these human creatures there is continually some birth of new heroism. The pity is that we must wonder at it, as we should at finding a pearl in rubbish."

TQ:  Why did you set Disenchanted & Co. in what is considered a non-traditional steampunk setting: not Victorian England, but America post the Revolutionary War?

Lynn:  I think America during the Victorian era was just as fabulous and fascinating as England was, and it was fun to bring the genre over to this side of the pond.

TQ:  What sorts of research have you done for the series? What is one of the oddest things you've found?

Lynn:  I have immersed myself in every sort of Victorian biography, novel, newspaper, magazine and artifact I could get my hands on. I've built a small but wonderful collection of Victorian-era classified ads, which include an electric corset, a pocket-watch spy camera and bottled marijuana juice.

TQ:  Tell us something about The Clockwork Wolf (Disenchanted & Co. 2) that is not in the book description.

Lynn:  Neither Pocket Star nor I planned to have the cover art produced in Pantone's color of the year for 2014; the radiant orchid color theme is simply a happy coincidence.

TQ:  In the series so far who is your favorite good guy, bad guy or ethically ambiguous character?

Lynn:  I am very fond of Docket, Kit's inventor friend. I try not to peg my characters as good or bad or other; they never like it.

TQ:  Which character has surprised you the most?

Lynn:  Dredmore. Every time I think I know everything about him he shows me something new.

TQ:  What's next?

Lynn:  Book three, if my publisher is willing. Or if not, a day job. Are you hiring?

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Lynn:  Thanks for having me.

Disenchanted & Co.

The Clockwork Wolf
Disenchanted & Co. 2
Pocket Books, February 25, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Lynn Viehl - February 13, 2014
As the proprietor of Disenchanted & Co. in a steampunk version of America, Charmian “Kit” Kittredge makes her living solving magical crimes. But when a snobbish lady begs for help, saving her reputation might very well cost Kit her life.

Doing a favor for deathmage Lucien Dredmore, Kit agrees to interview a newly widowed lady as a potential client. Upon meeting, however, she learns that the woman in question is none other than Lady Eugenia Bestly, president of the Rumsen Ladies Decency Society— someone who once led a vicious campaign to ruin Kit’s life. Ironically Lady Bestly now lives in fear herself, for the press is about to unmask her husband as the savage “Wolfman” who died while terrorizing the city.

As monstrous rampages continue to occur, Kit soon determines there is more than one Wolfman, and that they may themselves be victims of evil players. While avoiding both mechanized assassins and attempts by Dredmore and Chief Inspector Tom Doyle to take her under their protection, Kit follows a tangled path that leads from a prestigious gentlemen’s club fronting a hellish secret to a vengeful native tribe and dangerous, ancient magics.

Disenchanted & Co.
Disenchanted & Co. 1
Pocket Books, January 28, 2014
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 416 pages

Interview with Lynn Viehl - February 13, 2014
In the Provincial Union of Victoriana, a steampunk America that lost the Revolutionary War, Charmian “Kit” Kittredge makes her living investigating crimes of magic. While Kit tries to avoid the nobs of high society, she follows mysteries wherever they lead.

Unlike most folks, Kit doesn’t believe in magic, but she can’t refuse to help Lady Diana Walsh, who claims a curse is viciously wounding her while she sleeps. As Kit investigates the Walsh family, she becomes convinced that the attacks are part of a more ominous plot—one that may involve the lady’s obnoxious husband.

Sleuthing in the city of Rumsen is difficult enough, but soon Kit must also skirt the unwanted attentions of a nefarious deathmage and the unwelcome scrutiny of the police chief inspector. Unwilling to surrender to either man’s passion for her, Kit struggles to remain independent as she draws closer to the heart of the mystery. For the truth promises to ruin her life—and turn Rumsen into a supernatural battleground from which no one will escape alive.

Note: Disenchanted & Co. was previously published by Pocket Star in digital format in 2 parts as Disenchanted & Co., Part 1: Her Ladyship's Curse (August 2013) and Disenchanted & Co., Part 2: His Lordship Possessed (Ocotber 2013).
Interview with Lynn Viehl - February 13, 2014

About Lynn

Since 2000, author Lynn Viehl has published fifty novels in nine genres, including her New York Times bestselling Darkyn series, the StarDoc SF series (as S.L. Viehl), and the Tales from the Grace Chapel Inn series (as Rebecca Kelly). Ranked as one of the top 100 female, top 50 book, and top 10 SF author bloggers on the Internet, Ms. Viehl hosts Paperback Writer, a popular industry weblog she has updated daily since 2004 with free market info, working advice, and online resources for all writers.

Review: Tempered by Karina Cooper

Author:  Karina Cooper
Series:  The St. Croix Chronicles 4
Publisher:  Carina Press, February 10, 2014
Format:  eBook,
List Price:  $3.99
eISBN:  9781426897924
Review Copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Review:  Tempered by Karina Cooper
Forced out of London's coal-blackened streets, Cherry St. Croix is faced with her most difficult undertaking yet: sobriety.

At long last, my guardian, the enigmatic Mr. Oliver Ashmore, has revealed himself-and his order is clear: I am to be dried out at once, regardless of my wishes.

I loathe the country estate I am imprisoned within. Footsteps follow me, voices call for me, and my sanity wavers. In my fevered dreams, I am haunted by those I failed, while waking proves no protection from the ghosts of my reckless past. The craving for laudanum plagues me. I require a distraction.

To unravel the alchemical mysteries of my mother's family, I must rely on Ashmore's tutelage. I am lured to the art and drawn by the secrets my guardian possesses. Yet the deeper I delve, the more I believe that something dreadful disturbs these haunted corridors. In my madness, I fear that what it wants me.

Melanie's Thoughts:

*This review contains spoilers*

Tempered is the fourth instalment of the Cherry St. Croix Chronicles and starts immediately after book 3, Corroded. Cherry has been rescued from The Menagerie by her guardian, Oliver Ashmore. He is taking her to the family estate to recover and to dry out from the opium that has ruled her life for years. Cherry's withdrawal from the drug is a living hell with the inevitable physical pain but also with nightmares that force her to relive the multitude of horrific events in her past. Cherry's drive and fight is whittled down during this period and it is a life or death struggle for sobriety. Cherry only has to pull her way through the pain and the fugue left by her drug addiction in order to learn about Ashmore, her mother and the alchemical arts studied by both her parents. Secrets are lurking at every turn and it will take everything Cherry has and more to fight her addiction and find out who she really is and what she is capable of.

I was really looking forward to Tempered as Cooper managed to leave us with such a huge cliff-hanger at the end of book 3 even after wrapping up so many plot threads from the previous books. Tempered almost felt like a stand-alone book as Cherry's story is told at her family's cold and crumbling estate and far away from London and the Menagerie where the last three books have been set. The story focused mainly on Cherry and Ashmore's relationship. He becomes the tool for her to learn about her mother. The chapters of the book involving Cherry's withdrawal from opium were particularly harrowing due to the realistic and believable way they were written. It was almost like you were there, suffering along with Cherry.

I didn't, however, warm to Oliver Ashmore as a character. I thought it was a bit odd how often comparisons where made to the colour of Cherry and Ashmore's hair and I thought that he was going to end up being related somehow. However, later in the novel I thought it even more unusual when these comparisons continued even after he becomes a romantic interest. I wasn't sure if I was 'reading' too much into this or I was missing the point. I also thought that given Cherry's character that she would have been less likely to pursue a romantic relationship with Ashmore given the disastrous way her first sexual encounter with Hawke ended. She was going through opium withdrawal so I will let her off with bad choices at this point. It felt in parts that the story is moving more towards PNR rather than its beginnings in steampunk or noir. I hope this isn't the case.

Cooper manages to wrap up yet another plot line that started back in book 1. It feels like she is really tying up loose ends. But what of the enigmatic Micajah Hawke?  He is mentioned but does not play a part in this instalment, much to my dismay. Hopefully, book 5 will see more of the Menagerie's bad boy ring master. I didn't enjoy Tempered as much as the others books in the St. Croix Chronicles. I thought it was quite similar in some respects to Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. In Wilde's story the young Dorian's life is linked to his portrait which stores his sins while he leads a life of debauchery and vice. In Tempered however, Ashmore stores the 'life force' of his victims in their portraits and fuels his immortality from them. Perhaps it was this similarity that helped me to predict what would happen next, something that I hadn't been able to do so far.  I do really enjoy the series though and I like the way that Cooper deals with a character that is so flawed and with such a debilitating addiction. I am looking forward to see what Cherry is up to next. Bring on book 5!

Review: Corroded (The St. Croix Chronicles 3) by Karina Cooper

This review discusses plot points in previous novels of this series. There are SPOILERS!

Author:  Karina Cooper
Series:  The St. Croix Chronicles 3
Publisher:  Carina Press, September 23, 2013
Format:  eBook, 264 pages
List Price:  $3.99
ISBN:  9781426896392
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Review: Corroded (The St. Croix Chronicles 3) by Karina Cooper
Hungry for vengeance, Cherry St. Croix is forced to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London. My rival, a collector of bounties like myself, has murdered one of my own. In consequence, I have been removed from my house, my staff and all who would support me. I have nowhere else to turn, so I beg asylum within the Midnight Menagerie, London's decadent pleasure garden. Micajah Hawke's dominance there will not tolerate my presence for long. I am fixated on revenge, but I walk a razor's edge under his scrutiny. His wicked power is not easily ignored, and I must not allow myself to submit--no matter how sweet the sacrifice. Challenging my rival to a race is the only way to end this--no small task when the quarry is the murderous Jack the Ripper. As my enemies close in, I fear the consequences of this hunt. I am trapped between two killers, and what doesn't kill me may leave its scars forever.

Melanie's Thoughts:

The third in the Cherry St Croix series adds a new dimension to dark and foreboding. Cherry continues her search for both Jack the Ripper and the 'sweet tooth' who murdered her husband on their wedding day. She barely escaped being locked away by her vindictive mother-in-law who has always thought Cherry was not good enough to marry her son. Determined to find justice for her husband, her friends and the murdered sweets Cherry continues her search in the underbelly of London.  Luck is definitely not on her side as time has run out and The Veil wants the concoction that her father had poisoned her with in book 1. Cherry neither has the serum or the desire to give it to them but her hand might be forced as no one betrays The Veil and goes unpunished. The future looks as bleak as the landscape for the reluctant heroine.

Cherry's addiction to opium completely takes over her life and becomes more than just a crutch. The focus of her every step is dependent on when or how much resin she has to consume. Through her dependency we get an insight into her life before she was rescued as a young girl. Her time in the circus was truly horrific and it is plain to see how she came to be addicted to laudanum in order to escape the nightmare of those years. Despite this Cherry still manages to stay true to herself and to her mission despite the fact that most of it is seen through the fugue of a heroin high.

The enigmatic Micajah Hawke is ever present in Cherry's life as she uses the Menagerie as her base. Rather than learning more about Hawke I was left with ever more questions although there was plenty of development of his character during their interactions. Very few of the other characters from Cherry's life are present in this installment but this makes complete sense as she is hiding away from them in order to find the sweet tooth. Her sense of loneliness is palatable as is the sense of loss and regret for the life she never really fit into. She doesn't have too much time to feel sorry for herself as her personal mission to find a killer keeps her more than busy.

I found this review very difficult to write. Not that I didn't enjoy the book because I did. Cherry's life is so bleak and has been since book 1. It keeps getting darker and darker without much of a reprieve in sight. I was quite maudlin at the end of book two when Lord Compton died. I didn't think it could get more depressing but it seems to. Cooper is a master at creating pathos and has developed an environment that lends itself to conveying this feeling.

Cooper resolves the sweet tooth plotline in such a perfect and subtle manner. After so much focus on this plot throughout the series the resolution just seems to pop in, almost to fuel the action in later scenes. Cooper creates a mystery within a mystery in Corroded and leaves the reader with a magnificent cliff hanger. She certainly does know how to tease as I thought the ending of book 2 was cruel enough to my already frayed nerves but Cooper does it again. I am more than eagerly awaiting book 4 but I beg of Cooper...please, please, please have something nice happen to Cherry!  Maybe she finds a penny on the street or she gets a hug from a stranger or she gets to play with some kittens or puppies.  Its almost getting too dark and I need a tiny little light at the end of the Cherry St. Croix tunnel.

Release Day Review: Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett

Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl
Author:  David Barnett
Publisher:  Tor, September 10, 2013
Format:  Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
Price:  $14.99 (print)
ISBN:  9780765334244 (print)
Review copy:  Provided by the Publisher via NetGalley

Release Day Review: Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett
Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire. Airships ply the skies and Queen Victoria presides over three-quarters of the known world—including the East Coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.

London might as well be a world away from Sandsend, a tiny village on the Yorkshire coast. Gideon Smith dreams of the adventure promised him by the lurid tales of Captain Lucian Trigger, the Hero of the Empire, told in Gideon’s favorite “penny dreadful.” When Gideon’s father is lost at sea in highly mysterious circumstances Gideon is convinced that supernatural forces are at work. Deciding only Captain Lucian Trigger himself can aid him, Gideon sets off for London. On the way he rescues the mysterious mechanical girl Maria from a tumbledown house of shadows and iniquities. Together they make for London, where Gideon finally meets Captain Trigger.

But Trigger is little more than an aging fraud, providing cover for the covert activities of his lover, Dr. John Reed, a privateer and sometime agent of the British Crown. Looking for heroes but finding only frauds and crooks, it falls to Gideon to step up to the plate and attempt to save the day...but can a humble fisherman really become the true Hero of the Empire?

David Barnett's Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl is a fantastical steampunk fable set against an alternate historical backdrop: the ultimate Victoriana/steampunk mash-up!

Melanie's Thoughts:

The story starts innocently enough with Gideon and his father aboard their ship fishing. Gideon's mother and brother had died years before leaving the two alone together. It is a significant blow when the one constant in his life, his father, mysteriously disappears at sea. Buoyed on false courage Gideon goes in search for the one man he is sure to help him exact revenge for his father, Captain Trigger, hero of the Empire and star of the penny dreadful series that he loves. Captain Trigger is not the dashing hero that Gideon expects but he too has a missing loved one. Gideon and Trigger work together to find their friends, avenge those they lost and try to save the Empire in the process. Danger lurks on every corner and Gideon risks life and limb to uncover the truth.

When I first started Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl I thought I had made a terrible mistake. I love steampunk and most Victoriana but Gideon didn't gel with me. I thought the character was absurdly naive by believing the hero from a penny dreadful could actually be a real person. Well...that was at first and then I was gripped. I waited what seemed an age until Gideon met his mechanical girl the form of the lovely Maria. Rescuing the mechanical heroine of the tale was a turning point in the story as Gideon seems to grow up almost overnight. The book's prologue gives us a hint at who Maria actually is but it takes much longer for Gideon to find out the truth. His quest to rescue Maria and to find out what happened to his father forces Gideon to face some quite horrific facts and as a result make him grow up. Gideon's other companions are well rounded and one even has a whole side story on their own.  I don't want to give away who turns up to help Gideon on his quest as it is a fantastic surprise as to who comes on board to help the hapless hero.

Barnett has created a richly detailed world with fun and surprising characters. I normally treat books that merge fantasy and steampunk with trepidation as it takes an extremely clever author to do this well. I can tip my hat at Barnett's valiant effort to create a story that so successfully combines fantasy and steampunk/Victoriana. There is a lot happening in the plot with characters that you love, and those that you want to dislike but they worm their way into your affections. I can't even begin to describe them all as it gives too much away. What I can say is that Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl is a cornucopia of fantastical fun. Jump on board and join Gideon on the adventure of a lifetime.

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!

I started The Qwillery as a general blog on October 1, 2008. In the last 3 months of 2008, I posted 19 times. In 2009, the number increased a bit to 38 for the entire year! I guess I really don't like talking about myself much. It's on the boring side. Trust me on that. About midway into 2010 postings increased dramatically and The Qwillery had firmly evolved into a book blog. Now posts are over 30 a month and many people from around the world visit the blog. Fun stuff. Still, I like to celebrate the anniversary of The Qwillery on the 1st of October, which, after all, is the day I started this sometimes odd but always wondrous blogging journey.

Announcement of the blogversary giveaways is a bit late as you can see. Stuff happened! There are 4 giveaways this year:

1) New York Comic Con / NOOK Simple TouchTM Giveaway;
2) Steampunk Giveaway;
3) Angel Giveaway; and
4) Demon Giveaway. 

It will work more or less like last year - you must list your giveaway order of preference in your comment because you can only win 1 of the 4 giveaways.  The first commenter chosen will get his/her first choice, the second commenter chosen will get the highest of his/her choices that has not been given away, etc. until all 4 giveaways have been given away.  All giveaways are open internationally. See The Rules below.

Please note that the NOOK Simple TouchTM requires a US billing address and a Barnes & Noble account. You can read more about the NOOK Simple TouchTM at the Barnes & Noble's website:  The NOOK Simple TouchTM being given away is the Limited Edition that was available only on Black Friday. The border on the front of the device is white instead of black. Please note that I have not opened the box. The winner gets to do that!

And now... the giveaways:

New York Comic Con (NYCC) / NOOK Simple TouchTM Giveaway

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!
a NOOK Simple TouchTM ereader,
a signed copy of Awakenings by Edward Lazellari,
a signed copy of A Kiss Before the Apocalypse by Thomas E. Sniegoski,
a bookmark with a quill crafted by Wicked Lil Pixie Designs,
a signed copy of The Postmortal by Drew Magary and pin,
a Soulless 2011 NYCC Special Preview comic with Soulless pin,
and a Game of Thrones NYCC comic preview.

In addition, the NYCC / NOOK Simple TouchTM Giveaway includes The Qwillery necklace and earrings crafted by Cemetery Cat Jewelry:

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!
Silver plate chain holds a pewter Celtic knot with a sterling silver quill and ink charm 
dangling below.. A pewter bat charm highlights.

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!

The Steampunk Giveaway

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!
The Native Star and The Hidden Goddess by M.K. Hobson,  
The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper,
a bookmark with a quill crafted by Wicked Lil Pixie Designs,  
The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick,  
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack and The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder,  
Dead Iron by Devon Monk,
a signed copy of The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross,
and The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook.

In addition, the Steampunk Giveaway includes a Steampunk necklace crafted by Cemetery Cat Jewelry:

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!
Brass chain holds a pendant made of altered art and watch ephemera.

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!

The Angel Giveaway

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!
Covet, Crave and Envy by J.R. Ward,
a bookmark with a quill crafted by Wicked Lil Pixie Designs,  
Angel's Blood, Archangel's Kiss, Archangel's Consort, and Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh,
Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day,  
Avenger's Angel by Heather Killough-Walden, and
a signed copy of Sins of the Angels generously provided by Linda Poitevin along with some Sins of the Angels bookmarks.

In addition the Angel Giveaway includes a Divine Intervention necklace crafted by Cemetery Cat Jewelry:

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!
Peridot Swarovski crystal is the foundation of this necklace. An Art Nouveau Lily pendant 
holds a large crystal teardrop, while a pewter angel looks on. 16"

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!

The Demon Giveaway

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!
The Lords of the Underworld novels by Gena Showalter: The Darkest Night, The Darkest Kiss, The Darkest Pleasure, The Darkest Whisper, The Darkest Passion, The Darkest Lie, The Darkest Secret, and The Darkest Surrender,
a bookmark with a quill crafted by Wicked Lil Pixie Designs

The Demonica novels by Larissa Ione: Pleasure Unbound, Desire Unchained, Passion Unleashed, Ecstasy Unveiled, and Sin Undone.

In addition the Demon Giveaway includes the Tansy necklace crafted by Cemetery Cat Jewelry:

2011 Blogversary Giveaways!
Nestled among silver plate chain are brilliant purple "tanzanite" colored Swarovski crystals and a Victorian style hand . This is all held together by a pewter scrolled Victorian flower pendant. 
Swaying from the pendant is a large teardrop Swarovski crystal of the same color. 16 1/2"


What: 4 Giveaways:  New York Comic Con / NOOK Simple TouchTM Giveaway, Steampunk Giveaway, Angel Giveaway, and Demon Giveaway. You can only win one of the giveaways!

How:  Leave a comment listing the giveaways in your order of preference and answer the following question:

What is your favorite book of 2011 (so far)?

NOTE: Four commenters names will be randomly chosen. Commenters must list the giveaways in their order of preference in your comment! If you do not list the giveaways in order of preference your entry will not be counted. If you don't answer the question your entry will not be counted. The first commenter chosen will get his/her first choice, the second commenter chosen will get the highest of his/her choices that has not been given away, etc. until all 4 giveaways have been given away.

You can receive additional entries by:

1)  Being a Follower of The Qwillery.

2)  Mentioning the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter. Even if you mention the giveaway on both, you will get only one additional entry. You get only one additional entry even if you mention the giveaway on Facebook and/or Twitter multiple times.

3)  Mentioning the giveaway on your on blog or website. It must be your own blog or website; not a website that belongs to someone else or a site where giveaways, contests, etc. are posted.

There are a total of 4 entries you may receive: Comment (1 entry), Follower (+1 entry), Facebook and/or Twitter (+ 1 entry), and personal blog/website mention (+1 entry). This is subject to change again in the future for future giveaways.

Please leave links for Facebook, Twitter, or blog/website mentions. In addition please leave a way to contact you.

Don't forget to list your giveaways in order of preference and answer the question!!

Who and When:  The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59pm US Eastern Time on Sunday, December 11, 2011. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules are subject to change.*

The Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon Books

Abaddon Books Press Release
24 August 2011

The Summer of Steampunk

Longest running steampunk series raises the heat in fortnight-long genre celebration

Break out your top hats and holster your Tesla Mark Seven blunderbuss, the Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon Books is here!

To mark a major new direction for the world’s longest-running series of steampunk novels, Pax Britannia, Abaddon is running two weeks of steampunk shenanigans at the new dedicated Pax Britannia Facebook page.

From free eBooks and competition giveaways to debate and word from our authors about what makes steampunk so much fun, join us for two weeks of celebration of this most charming, exciting and ever-growing line of books.

The event will culminate in a major announcement about a surprising new book which throws away the rulebook of how genre publishing works.

A must for any fan of steampunk or pulp adventure action, Pax Britannia is set in a radically different version of the late 20th Century where the age of the Victorians never ended and Queen Victoria remains alive thanks to steampunk technology.

From Jonathan Green’s swashbuckling agent of the Empire, Ulysses Quicksilver, to Al Ewing’s ultra-violent El Sombra, Pax Britannia takes steampunk adventure to a new level.

Jonathan Oliver, editor-in-chief of Abaddon Books, said:

““Pax Britannia is one of the longest running steampunk adventures in publishing, and our Summer of Steampunk will bring a host of goodies bound to appeal to new and old readers of the series alike.”

About the Series

The world’s longest-running series of steampunk novels, Pax Britannia launched in February 2007. A steampunk alternative history set in a late twentieth century in which Queen Victoria – now nearing the end of her sixteenth decade on the throne and dependent on steam technology for survival – rules over the vast, powerful and decadent Empire of Magna Britannia. Airships ply the skies as gentlemen of leisure admire dinosaurs in London Zoo, while the Empire has even extended to the Moon. The United Socialist States of America, loosely allied with the might of Magna Britannia, is home to dreamers, poets, madmen, and heroes, poised to usher in a new era.

The Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon Books

The series has included seven books by Jonathan Green, featuring the adventures of Ulysses Lucian Quicksilver, dandy and adventurer and agent of the throne; an omnibus collecting the first three is currently available.

Roil by Trent Jamieson - Cover - March 5, 2011

Trent Jamieson posted the cover for Roil on his site yesterday, well actually today since he's on the other side of the world from The Qwillery. Roil will be published on August 30, 2011 in the US/Canada and September 1, 2011 in the UK.

Roil by Trent Jamieson - Cover - March 5, 2011
Shale is in trouble – the creature-infested darkness know as the Roil is expanding, consuming the land and swallowing up whole cities.

Where once there were 12 metropolises, now only 4 remain, and their borders are being threatened by the growing cloud of darkness. The only way to hold back the darkness and the horrific creatures that inhabit it are the cities huge ice canons. But one by one the defences are failing. And the Roil continues to grow.

With the land in chaos, it’s up to a drug addict, an old man and a woman intent on revenge to try to save their city – and the world.

FILE UNDER: Steampunk [ Ice Canons | Clockwork Tech | Holding back the Tide | Unreliable Heroes ]

Wednesday Comics on Thursday - Lady Mechanika - December 9, 2010

I did not pick up a lot of comics yesterday, but I did get Issue 1 of what is rapidly becoming one of my favorite comics - Lady Mechanika. Joe Benitez is the creator of Lady Mechanika. He also writes and draws the comic. I don't usually get all the variants, but I must for this series. I completely love the steampunk aesthetic that permeates Lady Mechanika.

Issue 0 came out in October and has gone into a 3rd printing. Issue 0 introduces us to Lady Mechanika and to characters who will apparently have recurring roles.

Issue 1 is full of action and mystery as Lady Mechanika continues the search for her origins. She's kick-ass and compassionate. The comic is a joy to read because it is simply beautiful. The story is not complex, but that works for me. This is one of those special comics where everything comes together. I can't wait for Issue 2.

The description for Lady Mechanika, Issue 0 from Aspen Comics:

The mysteries surrounding private investigator LADY MECHANIKA and her origin begin to unfold as she heads to a rundown city known as Satan's Alley. Located on the lower eastside, it is an area of town under siege by the presence of a murderous creature of unknown origin. While a weapons manufacturer has issued a reward for the unknown slayer, drawing a crowd of bounty hunters looking to cash in, Lady Mechanika's purpose is far more personal - information that could lead to the truth about her creation.

Featuring a 13-page story that sets the stage for the brand-new LADY MECHANIKA #1 issue coming next month, make sure to get in on the ground floor of the next exciting series! Complete with an additional sketchbook section, never before seen art, and a stunning cover by creator Joe Benitez himself, this special #0 issue is not to be missed!
Here is the description for Issue 1 from Aspen Comics:
From the imaginative mind of Joe Benitez with colors by the incomparable Peter Steigerwald, comes this all-new supernatural action-adventure series!

The tabloids dubbed her "Lady Mechanika", the sole survivor of a psychotic serial killer's three-year rampage through London. Found locked in an abandoned laboratory amidst countless corpses and body parts, with her own limbs amputated and replaced with mechanical components, her life began anew. With no memory of her captivity or her former life, Lady Mechanika eventually built a new life for herself as a private detective, using her unique abilities to solve cases the police couldn't or wouldn't handle. But, she has never stopped searching for answers.

Now, brought into a case unlike any before, Lady Mechanika will have to rely on her advantage in all things occult and paranormal in order to solve the case and possibly unlock the secrets to her past! 
There are 5 covers for Issue 1.

1A - Cover drawn by Joe Benitez and inked by Peter Steigerwald
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - Lady Mechanika - December 9, 2010

1B - Cover drawn by J. Scott Campbell and inked by Peter Steigerwald
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - Lady Mechanika - December 9, 2010

1C - sepia tone of 1A
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - Lady Mechanika - December 9, 2010

1D - sepia tone of 1B
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - Lady Mechanika - December 9, 2010

1E - Cover by Joe Benitez
Available only at
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - Lady Mechanika - December 9, 2010

I ordered one of the variants of Issue 1 from Aspen Comics directly along with this variant of Issue 0 which was created for the Long Beach Comic Con and Mid-Ohio Con. It's fabulous!

0F - Cover by Joe Benitez and Peter Steigerwald
Wednesday Comics on Thursday - Lady Mechanika - December 9, 2010

If you enjoy steampunk, mystery, and endearing but tough heroines, this comic is for you.

The View From Monday - November 15, 2010

Another Monday! There are not many books coming out tomorrow so yet again no New Release Tuesday Vlog this week. I'm thinking of vlogging some book reviews. What do you think of that idea? Comics may be on Wednesday this week for a reason I won't disclose yet. We'll see what happens together. Friday will be photos. Probably something from my archives if it rains all week.

A new Steampunk anthology becomes available today though I have seen it in bookstores already :

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded
Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (Editors)

The View From Monday - November 15, 2010
William Gibson / Gail Carriger / Cherie Priest / Jake von Slatt / Cathrynne M. Valente / Steven Baxter / Daniel Abraham / Caitlin Kiernan / The Mecha-Ostrich / And More

Gentle Readers, after the outraged letters following our first volume, I would be remiss not to warn you. The handsome tome of classic and original fiction, nonfiction, and illustrations, is perhaps even more shocking than its predecessor. And yet, I see that your curiosity is piqued, so....

Enter the Scintillating Clockpunk Gear-o-Torium: Herein dwell the breathless adventures that you secretly seek. Gaze upon the rebellious Mecha-Ostrich, the seductive Steam Dancer, the intrepid Mssrs. Balfour & Meriwether, and the hithertofore undefeated Cast-Iron Kid.

Experience the Delights of the Chrononaut Odditorium: An esteemed panel of self-appointed experts, under pain of ridicule, will reveal Top Secret Historical Enticements. Be dazzled by the first English translation of the quintessential Steampunk story: "Flying Fish Prometheus" by Vilhelm Bergsoe.

Oooh & Ahhh at the Sub-Culture Contraptor Lounge: Authoress of the Parasol Protectorate Gail Carriger gaily holds forth with on the fashionable subjects of fashion, fiction, and more. The Steampunk Workshop founder Jake von Slatt's "Steampunk Manifesto," shares his musings amusing and profound on the future of Steam.

Look Upon our Brass-Plated Wonders: From the rough streets of modern-day Manchester, world-famous adventurer John Coulthart provides the near-tactile visual experience of this elaborative tome. He is joined by the likes of the artistes Secret Agent Ramona Szczerba (a.k.a.Winona Cookie), and Lovereaftian maestro Eric Orchard.

Meet the Masterminds: Editors Extraordinaire Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, the well-known literary vagabonds and mesmerists, do fully guarantee your satisfaction. However, the publisher does regret that the VanderMeers have become mysteriously unavailable to respond to any grievances.

It's Steampunk - and it's Reloaded.

From Tachyon Publications

Here are 2 books that are coming out on November 16th that I am interested in picking up:

Songs of Love and Death
George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozios (Editors)

The View From Monday - November 15, 2010
IN this star-studded cross-genre anthology, seventeen of the greatest modern authors of fantasy, science fiction, and romance explore the borderlands of their genres with brand-new tales of ill-fated love. From zombie-infested woods in a postapocalyptic America to faery-haunted rural fields in eighteenth- century England, from the kingdoms of high fantasy to the alien world of a galaxy-spanning empire, these are stories of lovers who must struggle against the forces of magic and fate.

Award-winning, bestselling author Neil Gaiman demonstrates why he's one of the hottest stars in literature today with "The Thing About Cassandra," a subtle but chilling story of a man who meets an old girlfriend he had never expected to see.

International blockbuster bestselling author Diana Gabaldon sends a World War II RAF pilot through a stone circle to the time of her Outlander series in "A Leaf on the Winds of All Hallows." Torn from all he knows, Jerry MacKenzie determinedly survives hardship and danger, intent on his goal of returning home to his wife and baby—no matter the cost.

New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher presents "Love Hurts," in which Harry Dresden takes on one of his deadliest adversaries and in the process is forced to confront the secret desires of his own heart.

Just the smallest sampling promises unearthly delights, but look also for stories by New York Times bestselling romance authors Jo Beverley and Mary Jo Putney, and by such legends of the fantasy genre as Peter S. Beagle and Tanith Lee, as well as many other popular and beloved writers, including Marjorie M. Liu, Jacqueline Carey, Carrie Vaughn, and Robin Hobb. This exquisite anthology, crafted by the peerless editing team of George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, is sure to leave you under its spell.

From Simon & Schuster

The House of Discarded Dreams
by Ekaterina Sedia

The View From Monday - November 15, 2010

Trying to escape her embarrassing immigrant mother, Vimbai moves into a dilapidated house in the dunes... and discovers that one of her new roommates has a pocket universe instead of hair, there's a psychic energy baby living in the telephone wires, and her dead Zimbabwean grandmother is doing dishes in the kitchen. When the house gets lost at sea and creatures of African urban legends all but take it over, Vimbai turns to horseshoe crabs in the ocean to ask for their help in getting home to New Jersey.

Book synopsis from

Hope that everyone has a good week!
Interview with Lynn Viehl - February 13, 2014Review:  Tempered by Karina CooperReview: Corroded (The St. Croix Chronicles 3) by Karina CooperRelease Day Review: Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett2011 Blogversary Giveaways!The Summer of Steampunk from Abaddon BooksRoil by Trent Jamieson - Cover - March 5, 2011Wednesday Comics on Thursday - Lady Mechanika - December 9, 2010The View From Monday - November 15, 2010

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