This wasn’t planned, but four of the next pile o’ books in my TBR happened to all be in the steampunk genre, so I dug around to add a couple more.
In case you missed previous giveaways, my word for 2015 is “Simplify.” It means cutting things out of my life that cause me stress, at least when I can, making complex tasks simpler, and decluttering. My 500-plus title TBR pile is stressing me out, but I can’t throw books away (which is how I got in this shape to begin with), I think they’re wasted at places like Goodwill, where they languish for years and eventually get destroyed. So I’m passing them on to you in hopes you’ll find something you want to read.
I’m pleased to say that, as of this week, one shelf is now EMPTY. That leaves only, er, about 20 left to go…if no more books come into the house. Oh, wait, I forgot about the stacks downstairs. Sigh.
HOW TO ENTER: Leave a comment saying which of these steampunk books you’d read first!
STEAMPUNK FRANKENSTEIN, by Mary Shelley, with illustrations by Zendo Basic and Manuel Sumberac (Running Press, hardcover, 2012).
Running Press released a series of classics a few years ago, all lavishly illustrated steampunk-style, and this hefty volume is as beautiful as the others. The blurb: Everyone is familiar with Mary Shelley’s classic novel, but no one has read it like this! “Frankenstein” is the long celebrated gothic tale of a science experiment gone awry. But in this brand-new edition, Shelley’s haunting horror story is transformed with the addition of steampunk-inspired art. With elaborate full-color illustrations throughout, this is a truly unique interpretation of “Frankenstein.” It’s a fresh look at a classic story, spiked with gadgets, fashion, and steam-powered machinery inspired by the hottest trend in science-fiction. Releasing just in time for summer reading, teens will enjoy this classic novel with an awesome steampunk twist!
THE MAP OF THE SKY, by Felix J. Palma (Atria, Hardcover, 2012).
Another gorgeous cover by Cliff Nielsen, who does the covers for my Sentinels series, and the book sounds fascinating. I mean, extraterrestrial-made gadgets in Victorian London? How can it go wrong? The blurb: 1898. New York socialite Emma Harlow agrees to marry well-to-do Montgomery Gilmore, but only if he first accepts her audacious challenge: to reproduce the Martian invasion featured in H. G. Wells’s popular novel The War of the Worlds. Meanwhile in London, Wells himself is unexpectedly made privy to certain objects, apparently of extraterrestrial origin, that were discovered decades earlier on an ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic. On that same expedition was an American crew member named Edgar Allan Poe, whose inexplicable experiences in the frozen wasteland would ultimately inspire him to create one of his most enduring works of literature. When eerie, alien-looking cylinders begin appearing in London, Wells is certain it is all part of some elaborate hoax. But soon, to his great horror, he realizes that a true invasion of Earth has indeed begun. As brave bands of citizens converge on a crumbling London to defend it against utter ruin, Emma and her suitor must confront the enigma that is their love, a bright spark of hope even against the darkening light of apocalypse.
STEAM MOLE, by Dave Freer (Pyr, Hardcover, 2012).
A YA steampunk, no less. The blurb: Steampunk adventure with an environmental point. After a daring chase across the globe, Tim Barnabas and Clara Calland have brought Clara’s scientist father’s secret formula to Westralia. Here, much of Australia is simply too hot to be habitable by day. Duke Malcolm, of the Imperial Security Service, transports Claras rebel-father to a prison in Eastern Australia, hoping to bait her into attempting a rescue. Clara looks to Tim for help, only to find he has fled a racist incident into the desert. She takes a burrowing machine know as a “steam mole” in search of him. The two head to Eastern Australia, where they discover an invading force with plans to take Westralia.
POWER UNDER PRESSURE, by Andrew P. Mayer (Pyr, Trade Paperback ARC, January 2013).
Third in Mayer’s Society of Steam series; book two is below. I very likely have the first book around here somewhere and will add it as soon as it’s unearthed. The blurb: The Society of Paragons is gone—destroyed from within by traitors and enemies. With the death of The Industrialist and the rebirth the Iron-Clad as a monstrous half-human creature known as “The Shell,” Lord Eschaton now has almost everything he needs to cover the world in fortified smoke and rebuild it in his image—everything except for the mechanical heart of the Automaton. The device is nearer than he knows. Just across the East River, hiding in a Brooklyn junkyard, Sarah Stanton is trying to come to restore the mechanical man to life. But before she can rebuild her friend, she must first discover the indomitable power of her own heart and save herself. Only then will she be able to forge a ragtag group of repentant villains, damaged Paragons, and love-mad geniuses into the team of heroes known as “The Society of Steam.”
HEARTS OF SMOKE AND STEAM, by Andrew P. Mayer (PYR, Trade, November 2011).
Second in the Society of Steam series; see note above about book one. The blurb: Superheroes and steampunk come together in 19th century New York. Sir Dennis Darby has been murdered, the Automaton has been destroyed, and Sarah Stanton has turned her back on a life of privilege and comfort to try and find her way in the unforgiving streets of New York. But Lord Eschaton, the villain behind all these events, isn’t finished with her yet. His plans to bring his apocalyptic vision of the future to the world are moving forward, but to complete his scheme he needs the clockwork heart that Sarah still holds. But she has her own plans for the Automaton’s clockwork heart-Sarah is trying to rebuild her mechanical friend, and when she is attacked by the Children of Eschaton, the man who comes to her rescue may be the one to make her dreams come true. Emelio Armando is a genius inventor who had hoped to leave his troubles behind when he and his sister left Italy for a life of anonymity in the New World. Now he finds himself falling in love with the fallen society girl, but he is rapidly discovering just how powerful the forces of villainy aligned against her are, and that fulfilling her desires means opening the door to a world of danger that could destroy everything he has built. The Society of Steam takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities and grants powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for, and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.
So, which one most floats your boat, or if you’ve read one of them, what did you think? Leave your answer in a comment, and I will announce winners on Sunday! These books, by the way, must be mailed media mail in the US and slow-boat-to-anywhere internationally because otherwise the postage costs would kill me. So be patient