Archive for the 'Books' Category

Alchemy of Stone

Here is a Clockpunk novel, Alchemy of Stone, that I came to know of recently. The novelist, Ekaterina Sedia is a US novelist of Russian origin. I loved the tagline “A novel of automated anarchy and clockwork lust.” Clockwork lust? Where was I when they invented that? Here is the product description from Amazon.

Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets – secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. However, this doesn’t sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart – literally!

Memory Cathedral Revisisted

A few years ago Infinity Plus did an interview with Jack Dann who is the author of the Clockpunk novel Memory Cathedral. In the interview Jack goes into details about the background about Memory Cathedral and why the novel is not strictly alternative history but can even be thought of as secret history.

So is this alternate history? I think I am probably picking the nits here, but I would think it is secret history, the history that could have been, but we don’t — or can’t know — if it had been. I excerpted a story from The Memory Cathedral, which I reworked and [to which I] added 5,000 words of new material. It was titled “Da Vinci Rising,” and Gardner Dozois bought it for Asimov’s Science Fiction. In that story I have Leonardo’s flying machine affecting Florentine history, changing history. To my mind “Da Vinci Rising” would be alternative history. Something different from the secret history of The Memory Cathedral.

Check out the interview at the following URL:

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/nonfiction/intjd.htm

Clockwork Girl

cw-girl.jpg

Clockwork girl is a new comic book which is basically a new and unique take on the Romeo and Juliet story where “Juliet’s” family believe in the superiority of technology and the family of “Romeo” believes in the superiority of biology. As the title suggests the “Juliet” is a Clockwork automata. Here is a description of the story by the author.

A nameless robot girl has recently been given the gift of life from her creator. While exploring the wonders of an ordinary world, she meets an amazing mutant boy and they share a friendship that must overcome their warring families.

The Tinker is the Clockwork Girl’s creator and the world’s leading machine scientist. He blames the natural sciences for holding back the machine age with a zealous fervor.

Dendrus is the Tinker’s former friend, chief rival and the creator of Huxley, the monster boy. He cares for his “son” a great deal, but is overly protective and shelters his son as much as he can.

Huxley, the monster boy, is just like every other pre-adolescent boy, only more so. He’s reckless and emotional, impulsive, but has a good heart. He wants to be free of his father’s restrictions regardless if the world is ready for him.

The Clockwork Girl is innocent, curious, but not stupid. She looks at strangers like a kid in a candy store and wants to know everything about this new world around her.

T-Bolt is the Clockwork Girl’s older “brother” and the Tinker’s first automaton. He’s not as primitive as he might appear, nor as a harmless.

Maddox is Huxley’s best friend, and the only sane one in the entire story. He likes apples.

Losing The Dragonfly An exerpt from Royal House, by Heather McDougal

We have been running a few short stories on the site, here is something equally good – an exceprt from a novel which falls under the Clockpunk genre with some fantasy overtunes. So here is the excerpt.

Mainpring by Jay Lake

Jay Lake’s Clockpunk book Mindspring is almost here. Here is the book description from the publisher. Sounds exciting for sure.

Book Description: Jay Lake’s first trade novel is an astounding work of creation. Lake has envisioned a clockwork solar system, where the planets move in a vast system of gears around the lamp of the Sun. It is a universe where the hand of the Creator is visible to anyone who simply looks up into the sky, and sees the track of the heavens, the wheels of the Moon, and the great Equatorial gears of the Earth itself. Mainspring is the story of a young clockmaker’s apprentice, who is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. He is told that he must take the Key Perilous and rewind the Mainspring of the Earth. It is running down, and disaster to the planet will ensue if it’s not rewound. From innocence and ignorance to power and self-knowledge, the young man will make the long and perilous journey to the South Polar Axis, to fulfill the commandment of his God. (Source: Tor Books)

Faust by Michael Swanwick

Thanks to RobW for pointing out this novel. Michael Swanwick retells the story of Faust but with the twist that Mephistopheles is an alien instead of the devil and the knowledge that he offers Faust is scientific and technological. Mephistopheles’ hope is that humans will use this technology to destroy themselves. In a very short span of time, industrial revolution is unleashed on the world. Faust never thinks about the consequences about the consequences of his technology, Europe is littered with industrial pollution and there is a very real prospect of weapons of mass destruction. The novel thus explores how the Renaissance’s ideal of relentless pursuit of knowledge could easily have been perverted.

Pasquale’s Angel

Pasquale’s Angel by Paul J. McAuley is set in an alternative Renaissance where Leonardo da Vinci, known as the Great Engineer in the novel, concentrates his efforts more on his inventions than his art with the result that he almost single handedly launches the industrial revolution a few hundred years earlier than it happened. Almost overnight what would have been the great artists of the Renaissance are are overshadowed by the new inventions. The novel is a murder mystery where someone in Raphael’s household is killed and the protagonist Pasquale gets involved in the investigation along with Machiavelli who is a journalist in Florence! It should be noted that Pasquale’s Angel is also the recipient of the Philip K. Dick award in Science Fiction.


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Knowing and Doing

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“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” - Leonardo Da Vinci