Twofer Teaser Tuesday

So in the past few weeks I’ve read a couple of books where I decided to snip things for a Teaser Tuesday, even though, technically, on Teaser Tuesday, you’re supposed to take two sentences from whatever book you’re reading on that very day and use that as your teaser. But hey, you know how it is …

Now this first Teaser is from a book called The Watchmaker of Filigree Street, by Natasha Pulley:

Not a book about Cthulhu.

He inspected the gentleman’s card before saying, ‘What does this say?’

‘Fanshaw,’ said Thaniel.

‘How does Featheringstonehough spell Fanshaw?’

‘The upper classes accumulate unnecessary letters. There are other names like that. Risley is spelt Wriothsley. Villers is Villiers. It makes them look old and important.’

Natasha Pulley, The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

Hmm, I think I suddenly have a deeper appreciation of this classic “Monty Python” sketch:

“It’s spelt ‘Luxury Yacht’ but it’s pronounced ‘Throatwobbler Mangrove’.”

I categorized The Watchmaker of Filigree Street as “steampunk”, but it’s not really steampunk. It runs on clockwork, æther, and magnets*. But I haven’t got a category for “clockwork” and “magnets” and I’m not planning to add one, so steampunk it will remain. (Although, hmm, I do like the sound of a new category called “clockpunk” … Hmm …)

The second Teaser of the week comes from a book called The King’s Own, by Frederick Marryat:

Nope nope nope nope nope.

As you can perhaps tell by that cover, this is an old book; it was originally written in the 1830s, and that probably explains why it has passages like this:

The mutiny at Spithead was soon followed up by that at the Nore; and the ringleader, Parker, like a meteor darting through the firmament, sprung from nothing, corruscated, dazzled, and disappeared. The Texel fleet joined, except a few ships, which the courage and conduct of the gallant old Admiral Duncan preserved from the contagion. Let me here digress a little, to introduce to my readers the speech made by this officer to his ship’s company on the first symptoms of disaffection. It is supposed that sailors are not eloquent. I assert that, with the exception of the North American Indians, who have to perfection the art of saying much in few words, there are few people more eloquent than sailors. The general object looked for, in this world, is to obtain the greatest possible effect with the smallest power; if so, the more simple the language, the more matter is condensed, the nearer we approach to perfection. Flourishes and flowers of rhetoric may be compared to extra wheels applied to a carriage, increasing the rattling and complexity of the machine, without adding to either the strength of its fabric or the rapidity of its course.

Frederick Marryat, The King’s Own

Good thing there are no flourishes and flowers of rhetoric and rattling complexity in that paragraph. 🤷‍♂️

I have no idea where I got this book or how it ended up on my reader; being in the public domain, it could have come from literally anywhere. I suspect it was pre-loaded on one of my devices and has since been migrating from reader to reader until it finally reached the top of the pile. The author was actually an officer in the British Royal Navy, so I assume that when we actually shove off from shore and start firing cannons at stuff, this book will deliver the goods. Otherwise I’ll probably put it aside, since it reads a lot like an H.P. Lovecraft story, only without the inevitable payoff of everyone getting stomped by a 600-foot squamous and rugose eldritch abomination with a face like an octopus sucking on a lemon.

Meanwhile, work continues on whatever this fictionalization of The Event may or may not turn into:

The nurse watches you swallow the pills, then asks how your head feels. “Scale of one to ten,” she reminds you, “where zero is no pain and ten is the worst pain you’ve ever experienced.” Rating pain like a movie. Maybe you can throw in a capsule review: Not much of a plot; scenery never changes; lots of pointless suffering inflicted on the main character.

Hmm, I think I have seen a few movies like that, actually. Often they also inflict pointless suffering on the viewer (AKA my wife). Working on this new project, so far, I’ve been relatively successful in hitting my goal of 500 words a day, for the most part; but I hit that goal for a while with Blue Roses and The Apprentice, too, so we’ll see if I can keep this one going …

* Magnets, Donnie!

5 thoughts on “Twofer Teaser Tuesday

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