Well I finally paid for another book, The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman. Why, you ask? Two reasons:
1) Macmillan is currently selling the Kindle edition for $2.99; and
2) The book description includes the magic word “steampunk”.
So far I would not, in fact, label the book “Steampunk”, although it does postulate technology more advanced than what was actually available in the time period (the late 1800s). In fact it feels more like fantasy and less like steampunk than, say, Perdido Street Station. But I am quite enjoying it nevertheless. It includes lots of choice little morsels, like this one:
“Apparently he had the bad luck to survive, if you can call that survival. He was picked up off the mountainside where he should have died and transported through various hospitals, where apparently no one had the good sense to just stop feeding him.”
Oh boy, removing the feeding tube? They’re going to need a court order for that. While that gets litigated, here’s this week’s excerpt from The War of the Ravels, where, it seems, our heroes are finally making some progress against the mysterious and putatively deadly Daras-Drûm.
Mercy sensed it recoiling from the Illata as she approached, felt it shrivel in the radiance like a slug sprinkled with salt. Thus encouraged, she unwrapped the stone from the obscuring fabric so the gathered defenders could see it, that they, too, might be emboldened, and stop shrinking back in fear.
True story: I once saw Tucker the Other Vizsla pee on a slug back in New York. Tucker didn’t even know it was there, but that slug shriveled up just like Daras-Drûm. I would say it pretty much ruined the rest of the slug’s day. Will Daras-Drûm fare better? Hmm …