Last week I had a sad and didn’t do a post, but this week I’m back with a teaser from my current read, The Lady Astronomer, by Katy O’Dowd.
So far I would characterize this book as steampunk, but it’s steampunk that’s sort of been filtered through a Hayao Miyazaki “Kiki’s Delivery Service” meets “Howl’s Moving Castle” kind of sensibility. It’s cute, but don’t go in expecting something like The Difference Engine.
Lucretia was pulling some monster-like weeds that held a death grip on a pretty climbing rose when Mr. Trotters came belching and bellowing steam in her direction.
She sat back on her heels and regarded the steam-pig.
The steam-pig regarded her back.
“Lost your pipe again, Mr. Trotters?”
The steam-pig burped smoke and she sighed. “Come along then, we had better find it before you blow up.”
Mr. Trotters is, literally, a steam-powered mechanical pig. There’s also a miniature clockwork animal orchestra, a lemur (pictured on the cover), an owl (also pictured on the cover). It’s a veritable menagerie of natural and artificial creatures! And speaking of menageries, our old friend Bob seems to have encountered one, over in the world of Television Man …
Once Bob fired the shotgun, it was pretty much pandemonium. A half-dozen of the little monsters went down, but the rest of them rushed him in a mass. He blasted them again, sending black blood and umber fragments flying in every direction, but the next time he pulled the trigger it just clicked. Empty. He hadn’t even thought to look and see how many shells the gun could hold, let alone how many it contained.
Oops. Always remember to check your ammo, Bob.