Tales of the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD

Tales of the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD

Those that have been reading the Gatehouse Gazette and this blog are no doubt aware of Hugh Ashton’s works, such as Beneath Grey Skies and Red Wheels Turning. I am glad to report that aside from producing excellent alternative-history works and contemporary thrillers (At the Sharpe End), Ashton has now written a truly fantastic Sherlock Holmes book.

This work contains three new tales, stories written up by Dr Watson, the chronicler of Mr Holmes.

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Red Wheels Turning

Red Wheels Turning

For the fans of Hugh Ashton’s other alternate-history novel, Beneath Gray Skies, this novel also features that book’s protagonist, Brian Finch-Malloy.

Now I have never read Beneath Gray Skies, but this wasn’t a hindrance at all, as Red Wheels Turning is set a few years before the events in the earlier novel. Therefore you do not have to have read them in the right order, even though they are part of the same timeline. Where the next installment will fit in this timeline I’m not sure, but for now you’re fine reading this one without the other.

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The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

Some days just don’t go very well for the Doctor, as you could already see in the prequel to this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe.

The story starts pretty explosive, with the Doctor ending on Earth in something of a predicament. Luckily for him, the very friendly and caring Madge Arwell lends him a hand and gets him into a his faithful Tardis. It is pre-World War II England and Madge’s family is happily living in a quiet village.

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The Doomsday Vault

The Doomsday Vault

The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper is a recent addition to the ever-growing library of steampunk novels. And a very worthy one at that.

The times are Victorian and we find ourselves in a London ruled by Victoria and her Albert. The clockwork plague has swept the world, turning people into zombies left and right or worse: mad geniuses known as clockworkers.

Against this background, the tales of our heroes unfold.

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Beyond Aukfontein

Beyond Aukfontein

Dystopian futures where humanity is pretty much on the brink of extinction are a common theme in dieselpunk. It is also the case in J.W. Szczepaniak’s Beyond Aukfontein: An Oddyssey Through a Ruined World.

The setting is a post-apocalyptic world in a not-too-distant future. A world after The Fall. Humanity has been decimated, trying to make use and find wisdom in things of the past (called Oswald), things that hardly anyone can properly use anymore.

It is a world in decline where the inheritors of this broken world try to survive as best as they can and have founded communities of varied sizes and often ruled by madness.

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A Rupture Between Continents?

European steampunk counts fewer numbers than their North American (and mainly US) counterparts. I’m pretty sure that if you would add up all the numbers in the entirety of Europe, you would get about the same as those for the United States alone (the US probably has more numbers than the entirety of Europe, come to think of it).

Originally there was a unison worldwide. Steampunks everywhere where in it for the same reason. If you spoke to steampunks from other continents, the same topics arose and likeminded individuals were easily found, no matter what country they hailed from.

Thankfully this is still the case, but sadly less and less so when one starts comparing some — frankly disturbing — recent developments in the movement in both aforementioned continents.

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The Bride Wore Black Leather

The Bridge Wore Black Leather

The much anticipated final installment of Simon R. Green’s celebrated Nightside series is nearly upon us (the official release date is January 3, 2012) and let me start by assuring you that everything he said in his interview in Gatehouse Gazette 21 is true.

Let me first state that this review will contain no spoilers. I don’t want to ruin the experience for those that have to wait for the official release date, as that would be very unfair of me.

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Mrs Darcy vs the Aliens

Mrs Darcy vs the Aliens

When I first got the review copy of this book in my hands and read the back cover, I thought it was going to be a brilliant and hilarious read. I will happily admit that I’m a fan of the original Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and that I’m always open to a good humoristic approach to sequels.

But this, this was not what I expected, and not in a good way either. While the approach to the story — aliens trying to screw over civilization as we know it in Regency England — is a stroke of genius, the execution is terribly disappointing.

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The Explorer Style

Steampunk and dieselpunk have always been synonymous with adventure for a lot of people. Exploring things ranging from contemporary events and places to history and hidden tombs in some exotic jungle. Whether in real life or as a made-up persona with their own world. Twist and turn as you like, exploration is a big part of both movements and, of course, one must dress for the occasion.

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