Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo)

Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo)
Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo)

Today we have Lexa Roi Clarke’s steampunk novel, Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo).

The story takes place in a fictional nineteenth-century world. Lonely orphan Bailey Jo (no last name) makes a living as a transporter. Whether it’s people or contraband, she’ll deliver it for you.

At the novel’s outset, she makes a rather rough landing in the town of Wellington while transporting a group of people there in her airship Draggle. The passengers angrily disembark and Bailey Jo proceeds to steal a part she needs to fix the dirigible. She soon runs into a street performer named Ollie Arkwright, who greatly upsets her by pretending to destroy her most cherished possession. Continue reading “Skyskipper (The Ballad of Bailey Jo)”

Cherie Priest Concludes Her Clockwork Century Series with Fiddlehead

Fiddlehead
Fiddlehead

Today I’m reviewing the latest volume in Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series that began with Boneshaker. The novel is Fiddlehead.

Like the other books in the series, the story takes place in an alternate 1880 United States where the Civil War is still being fought. This entry centers around Gideon Bardsley, a former slave-turned-inventor who has created the world’s first computer, a gigantic calculating machine called the Fiddlehead. Continue reading “Cherie Priest Concludes Her Clockwork Century Series with Fiddlehead”

Hope and the Clever Man

Hope and the Clever Man
Hope and the Clever Man

Today we have the steampunk fantasy novel Hope and the Clever Man by Mike Reeves-McMillan. We wouldn’t want to keep the gnomes waiting, so here we go.

The protagonist is a girl named Hope at Merrybourne, who lives at Merrybourne manor in the region of Koskant. When she was eight years old, she displayed a talent for magic, so her father arranged for her to be tutored in the magical arts. This goes on until it comes time for her to choose a college to attend.

She gains a scholarship to the University of Illene. She joins their magic program and does very well until a certain incident almost derails her stay there. You see, she dates a young man named Faithful and all seems well. Unfortunately, she catches him in bed with another girl. Continue reading “Hope and the Clever Man”

The Silvered Review

The Silvered
The Silvered

Taking place in a fictional nineteenth-century world, Tanya Huff’s vaguely steampunk novel The Silvered starts off in the country of Aydori.

Young Mirian Maylin’s parents want her to marry into the Pack — Aydori’s ruling class of werewolves. The Pack traditionally only marries Mage-pack, female magic users. Nevertheless, Mirian’s mother is hopeful she’ll make the cut; marrying Pack would ensure status and prosperity for their family.

Sadly, these simple dreams don’t last long. The Kresentian Empire soon invades Aydori. Continue reading “The Silvered Review”

City Hall, Volume 4

City Hall, Volume 4
City Hall, Volume 4

It took a while, but in October of last year it was finally released: the fourth volume in the ongoing City Hall storyline of the French steampunk manga series created by Rémi Guerin and Guillaume Lapeyre.

We revisit our heroes, Jules Verne, Arthur Conan Doyle and Amelia Earhart, who are still trying to figure out just who or what the illusive Lord Blackfowl is and who else is behind his dastardly schemes of destruction that have plagued the city of London. Only this time events force the dynamic trio to move their investigations to Paris — which isn’t quite the Paris we know — via new and exciting means of transportation. Continue reading “City Hall, Volume 4”

Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror

Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror
Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror

It’s the fourth installment of IDW Publishing’s revamped Rocketeer series already and, to be honest, I’m still not sure where they’re taking it. I’m not even sure I like what they’re doing to the much beloved pulp superhero.

It’s not so much the fact that every story they change writers and artists that irks me. There is a lot of talent out there and it’s great that different people get a stab at The Rocketeer. As long as they’re competent storytellers and make excellent art, I’m fine with it. Continue reading “Rocketeer: Hollywood Horror”

Sherlock Ferret and the Missing Necklace

Sherlock Ferret and the Missing Necklace
Sherlock Ferret and the Missing Necklace

Sherlock Ferret and The Missing Necklace by Hugh Ashton, of Deed Box fame, is marvellously illustrated by Andy Boerger and a real treat for Sherlock fans of all ages, not just the children it’s intended for.

It’s a lovely cautionary tale of things that can go amiss if you encounter Moriarty, with thankfully Sherlock and Watson being about to save the day and help out a young lady in distress. Continue reading “Sherlock Ferret and the Missing Necklace”

Moonlight and Mechanicals

Moonlight and Mechanicals
Moonlight and Mechanicals

Today I’m bringing you my review of Cindy Spencer Pape’s steampunk novel Moonlight and Mechanicals, part of her Gaslight Chronicles series.

I’m actually not sure which book in the series it is, since the Amazon page doesn’t say and the story contains numerous references to the characters’ previous adventures, so I’m just going to treat this as a stand-alone story. Continue reading “Moonlight and Mechanicals”

Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity and the Women Who Made America Modern

Flapper cover
Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity and the Women Who Made America Modern

Occasionally a book comes along that is a must-have for the library of any dieselpunk. Joshua Zeitz’ Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern is one of those books.

Beginning with the court case of Eugenia Kelly in 1915, Zeitz takes the reader on a wild journey of personalities, history and socio-economic forces to show the amazing rise and fall of the flapper phenomenon of the 1920s. While this may sound dry, it’s anything but. Zeitz’ writing is enthralling and holds the reader from front to back. In Flapper, he paints a dynamic picture that’s captivating in its presentation. Continue reading “Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity and the Women Who Made America Modern”

Walking Your Octopus

Walking Your Octopus
Walking Your Octopus

Welcome to the world of renowned steampunk Brian Kesinger, and in particular the world of two of his best known characters: Otto and Victoria.

The world of Otto and Victoria is a Victoriana world where cephalopods live on land as well as in water and are often seen as companions to humans.

It is this world we explore in Walking Your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod. Continue reading “Walking Your Octopus”