Cover art: Fiendish Schemes

Fiendish Schemes

On October 15th, Tor will release the Jeter’s sequel to Infernal Devices (my review of Infernal Devices) titled Fiendish Schemes. The beautiful cover art LOOKS like John Coulthart’s work. Angry Robot has re-released Infernal Devices and Morlock Night with some beautiful cover art by John Coulthart. October looks like a good month for steampunk.

Fiendish Schemes

Writer K. W. Jeter, October, 1989, at the Worl...

In 1986 K. W. Jeter coined the term “steampunk,” applying it to his first Victorian-era science fiction alternate-history adventure. At last he has returned with Fiendish Schemes, a tale of George Dower, son of the inventor of Infernal Devices, who has been in new self-imposed exile…accumulating debts.

The world Dower left when he went into hiding was significantly simpler than the new, steam-powered Victorian London, a mad whirl of civilization filled with gadgets and gears in the least expected places. After accepting congratulations for his late father’s grandest invention—a walking, steam-powered lighthouse—Dower is enticed by the prospect of financial gain into a web of intrigue with ominously mysterious players who have nefarious plans of which he can only guess.

If he can locate and make his father’s Vox Universalis work as it was intended, his future, he is promised, is assured. But his efforts are confounded by the strange Vicar Stonebrake, who promises him aid, but is more interested in converting sentient whales to Christianity—and making money—than in helping George. Drugged, arrested, and interrogated by men, women, and the steam-powered Prime Minister, Dower is trapped in a maelstrom of secrets, corruption, and schemes that threaten to drown him in the chaos of this mad new world.

My thoughts of “Infernal Devices” by K.W. Jeter

Infernal Devices
by K.W. Jeter
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot (April 2011)
ISBN-10: 0857660969
ISBN-13: 978-0857660961

( 5 stars out of 5 )

“Infernal Devices” is, as you might gather from the title, a comedic steampunk tale. It is an excellent must-have book for your steampunk library. Let me first comment on the cover art.

The cover art is by John Coulthart and it is among one of the best covers that I have ever seen. I would love to have a poster of this cover. I love Coulthart’s artwork. Notice how he worked the “Angry Robot” logo into the design. They say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but this book is as good as its cover.

When a brilliant inventor dies, his bumbling son, George Dower takes over his shop. An enigmatic Brown Leather Man leaves a device for repair. Thus begins George’s adventure into a tale of secret societies, legends, and fantastic machines. The setting is straight out of a Dickens-esque Victorian England, with the impossible found in its dark shadowy alleys.

I really enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it. I give it a solid 5 stars out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Angry Robot Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

My thoughts of Morlock Night by K.W Jeter

Morlock Night
by K.W. Jeter
Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Angry Robot (April 26, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0857661000
ISBN-13: 978-0857661005

(2 stars out of 5)

Morlock Night begins with an interesting premise. What if the Morlocks, of H.G Well’s The Time Machine, traveled to the past?

Edwin Hocker is walking away from a party when the ‘Pale Man’ poses that very premise.

“–as I say, the Morlocks, but the really clever ones instead of the mere workers and foot-soldiers he grappled with; the Morlock generals, let’s say! These are waiting for him the next time, they direct the ambush that overpowers our host – and our host’s bones are tossed into an open grave millions of years removed from the day of his birth!” The disturbing vehemence had returned to his voice.

With that Edwin Hocker’s life changes forever, he is plunged into a quest to recover King Arthur’s sword Excalibur and save the world from the Morlocks.

Let me first comment on the cover art of this book by John Coulthart. This has got to be one of the best covers that I have ever seen. I would love to have a poster of this cover.  However; this proves the old adage that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

I wanted to love this book. It has many of the elements that I enjoy: steampunk, Arthurian mythos, and Atlantean mythos. Sadly, it was all I could do to finish this book. While Morlock Night started strong, it finished mired in dozens of plot holes large enough to swallow an Atlantean submarine.

The ending was very disappointing, it was as if Jeter just decided to quit writing. The conclusion of the war with the Morlocks was condensed into less than one page.  

I give it a disappointing 2 Morlocks out of 5.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Angry Robot Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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