Monday, January 03, 2011

Edi's Lighthouse Chatter: Something from 2010

Dear Readers,

I know it is quite unusual to come across a post from me on Monday. I'm still on the way back to normal business after the crash of my notebook on Saturday.

When you follow my blog you may remember that I waited for two packages in December 2010.
Finally one package arrived on Thursday last week. So far I did not find the time to talk about and to reveal the content.

In October 2010, 502 people took part in the Steampunk Fortnight Giveaway: New Books from Pyr over at And now you know why I post about it.

I WON !!!

Due to the release date of one of the books it took some time to send them. In sum I won four books which I would like to present you.

I start with the book which made it into the top five of my top reads in 2010. I bought, read and reviewed the UK edition. And now I won the US edition which show a cover I like a lot. I think this is the first time that I own the UK and the US edition of a book.

The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
(Snowbooks, UK, April 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906727208]
(Pyr, US, September 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1616142407]

"It is 1861, and Albertian Britain is in the grip of conflicting forces. Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labour; Libertines oppose restrictive and unjust laws and flood the country with propaganda demanding a society based on beauty and creativity; while The Rakes push the boundaries of human behaviour to the limits with magic, sexuality, drugs and anarchy. Returning from his failed expedition to find the source of the Nile, explorer, linguist, scholar and swordsman Sir Richard Francis Burton finds himself sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, employs him as "King's Spy". His first mission: to investigate the sexual assaults committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack; to find out why chimney sweeps are being kidnapped by half-man, half-dog creatures; and to discover the whereabouts of his badly injured former friend, John Hanning Speke. Accompanied by the diminutive and pain-loving poet, Algernon Swinburne, Burton's investigations lead him back to one of the defining events of the age: the brutal assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840; and the terrifying possibility that the world he inhabits shouldn't exist at all." [Source]
It is a great read and I hope you will give it a try. For detailed information read my review.

The following two books have been on my radar since 8th May 2010.

I wrote about the first one:
In seven months time I will give one more vampire book a try. I talk about The Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar (December 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1616142476] by Clay and Susan Griffith. The Setting aroused my interest:
"In the year 1870, a horrible plague of vampires swept over the northern regions of the world. Millions of humans were killed outright. Millions more died of disease and famine due to the havoc that followed. Within two years, once great cities were shrouded by the grey empire of the vampire clans. Human refugees fled south to the tropics because vampires could not tolerate the constant heat there. They brought technology and a feverish drive to reestablish their shattered societies of steam and iron amid the mosques of Alexandria, the torrid quietude of Panama, or the green temples of Malaya.
It is now 2020 and a bloody reckoning is coming.
Princess Adele is heir to the Empire of Equatoria, a remnant of the old tropical British Empire. She is quick with her wit as well as with a sword or gun. She is eager for an adventure before she settles into a life of duty and political marriage to man she does not know. But her quest turns black when she becomes the target of a merciless vampire clan. Her only protector is The Greyfriar, a mysterious hero who fights the vampires from deep within their territory. Their dangerous relationship plays out against an approaching war to the death between humankind and the vampire clans.
Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar is the first book in a trilogy of high adventure and alternate history." [Source]
I ordered The Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar in advance because the setting intrigued me. Of course I canceled my order when I received the message about my luck in the giveaway.

I wrote about the second one:
Wild West and Steampunk - does that fit together? I must say I was not a big fan of the movie Wild Wild West starring Will Smith. But the following book will maybe change my opinion: The Buntline Special (December 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1616142490] by Mike Resnick. By the way do you know what a buntline special is?
"The year is 1881. The United States of America ends at the Mississippi River. Beyond lies the Indian nations, where the magic of powerful Medicine Men have halted the advance of the Americans east of the river.
An American government desperate to expand its territory sends Thomas Alva Edison out West to the town of Tombstone, Arizona on a mission to discover a scientific means of counteracting magic. Hired to protect this great genius, Wyatt Earp and his brothers.
But there are plenty who would like to see the Earps and Edison dead. Riding to their aid--old friends Doc Holliday and Bat Masterson. Against them stand the Apache wizard Geronimo and the Clanton gang. Battle lines are drawn, and the Clanton gang, which has their own reasons for wanting Edison dead, sends for Johnny Ringo, the one man who might be Doc Holliday's equal in a gunfight. But what shows up instead is The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo, returned from the dead and come to Tombstone looking for a fight.
Welcome to a West like you’ve never seen before, where “Bat Masterson” hails from the ranks of the undead, where electric lights shine down on the streets of Tombstone, while horseless stagecoaches carry passengers to and fro, and where death is no obstacle to The Thing That Was Once Johnny Ringo. Think you know the story of the O.K. Corral? Think again, as five time Hugo winner Mike Resnick takes on his first steampunk western tale, and the West will never be the same."[Source]
I can't tell you more about because I did not read it so far. Therefore I recommend to have a look at following reviews: The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick reviewed by Pauline Morgan over at SF Crowsnest and LEC BooK Reviews: The Buntline Special by Mike Resnick

It is a bit strange with the last book. It has been on my to buy list but I never mentioned it on the blog. I talk about The Horns of Ruin (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1616142469] by Tim Akers. I must admit I never read a book by Tim Akers so far.

"Eva Forge is the last paladin of a dead God. Morgan, God of battle and champion of the Fraterdom, was assassinated by his jealous brother, Amon. Over time, the Cult of Morgan has been surpassed by other gods, his blessings ignored in favor of brighter technologies and more mechanical miracles. Eva was the last child dedicated to the Cult of Morgan, forsaken by her parents and forgotten by her family. Now she watches as her new family, her Cult, crumbles all around her.

When a series of kidnappings and murders makes it clear that someone is trying to hasten the death of the Cult of Morgan, Eva must seek out unexpected allies and unwelcome answers in the city of Ash. But will she be able to save the city from a growing conspiracy, one that reaches back to her childhood, even back to the murder of her god?" [Source]
Again I recommend to have a look at following reviews: LEC Book Reviews: The Horns of Ruins by Tim Akers and “In the Lap of the Gods”: Tim Akers’ The Horns of Ruin by Rob

I can't tell you when I will read the books. I hope within 2011 ....

That's all for today.



Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, congratulations!

The Golden Eagle said...

Congratulations on winning the books!

ediFanoB said...

@Alex, @The Golden Eagle,

thank you very much. I must say I can't resist to read one of them soon...

Simcha said...

Oh wow, you're so luck. I've been wanting to read all of these books. The Vampire Empire: The Greyfriar sounds particularly fun and I think I might get that one soon. I look forward to reading your review of it.

ediFanoB said...

yes I have been lucky. Today I finished The Greyfriar. Review is in progress. I hope to post the review next Sunday.

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