Greetings! We’re sending out books, drawing names for books, and getting our books in order, generally speaking. (We’re also dodging rain and snow and ice – nice weather here.) While we get organized, check out the amazing Automata Blog.
As we get ready to do the drawing for Rise of Ransom City, we are reminded that we still have winners out there who haven't claimed their books from previous drawings! Laura Morrigan (Lazarus Machine) and JP Carney (Steam Mole), email your shipping addresses to jinnet (at) gmail.com so we can send out your prizes. If we do not hear from you within the week, we shall have to resort to drastic measures...like giving them to someone else. Muhahahaha!
Thanks to everyone who entered the contest for The Steam Mole – check back soon for the giveaway drawing video!
This week’s giveaway is a real treat: The Rise of Ransom City by Felix Gilman.
In October 2010, we gave away a copy of Felix Gilman’s The Half-Made World, an intense and sprawling tale (see the review hereand the giveaway here). The Rise of Ransom Cityis not so much a sequel as a parallel tale set in the same world. Framed as a collection of autobiographical scraps put together by a newspaper editor, the book tells the story of Harry Ransom, a fast-talking charmer who creates the Ransom Process, an inexplicable (and often unpredictable) means of generating light. Liv Alverhuysen and John Creedmore from The Half-Made World make a brief appearance as Ransom details his adventures attempting to make his fortune with the Process. Also prevalent in Ransom’s story is the ongoing war between the Gun and the Line, which threatens to swallow up the country as it expands ever westward.
The Rise of the Ransom City, while quite different than The Half-Made World, is just as dense and layered a book as its predecessor. Harry Ransom may not be the most reliable narrator, and readers may wish for some more mentions of what went on in the previous book, but Gilman’s latest is another fascinating look at the weirder western edge of this literary country.
We have one copy of The Rise of Ransom City to give away, and it’s a lovely hardback copy at that! To enter the giveaway, post a comment below and tell us your favorite invention of the 19th or 20th century. (This means that “the wheel” doesn’t count, but “Coca-Cola” does, for instance.) The deadline for entries is Sunday, February 24th. Good luck!
More information on The Rise of Ransom City, including an excerpt, can be found on Tor’s website.
Stay tuned for the video giveaway of A Red Sun Also Rises, which should be up in the next day or so!
We’re not stopping the giveaways until the shelf is clear, and this week’s giveaway is The Steam Mole by Dave Freer.
The Steam Mole follows the adventures of Tim Barnabas and Clara Calland through a world ravaged by climate change and political intrigue. In Cuttlefish, the first book in the series, Clara and her mother escaped the British imperial forces by means of the submersible Cuttlefish, which took them from a drowned London and, after several escapades, to Australia. Here, the people are nocturnal due to the intense heat and travel by underground machines called steam moles.
With the imperial forces still in hot pursuit and internal factions fighting within the continent, The Steam Mole takes readers all over Australia as well as the society in which Tim and Clara live. The characters do battle not only with political forces but also racism, sexism, and the searing desert environment. There’s romance, machinery, and standout characters – a perfect recipe for young adult steampunk!
We have two copies of The Steam Mole to give away! To enter the contest, post a comment below and tell us what you would bring if you had to cross a desert – but only what you can carry (i.e. no “air-conditioned cars” or “unlimited gallons of water”). The deadline for entries is Sunday, February 17th. Good luck!
Congratulations to our winners Matt and Seanna! And to Laura Morrigan, who won our copy of The Lazarus Machine. If you send me your mailing addresses at jinnet AT gmail.com, I’ll send the books to their new homes.
This week’s giveaway: A Red Sun Also Rises by Mark Hodder
Mark Hodder has been featured on this site before as the author of the brilliant Burton & Swinburne series, but A Red Sun Also Rises stands apart from those adventures. It tells the tale of reluctant reverend Aidan Fleischer and disabled genius Clarissa Stark, whose paths cross in a small English town in the 1880s. From there they go to London, then to a small island in the South Pacific, and then…to another world altogether. As they adapt to their new home, they find the world around them is adapting to them in turn…and that there are many secrets and patterns to discover.
When I looked at other reviews and posts about A Red Sun Also Rises, I found it described as a “planetary romance” – also as a story of the “sword and planet” genre, which I really like. It’s both of those, with nods to H.G. Wells and Edgar Rice Burroughs as well as Jules Verne…but it’s also, in parts, a meditation on the concepts of good and evil, the interdependence of living creatures, and the capability for change. It’s quite unlike the Burton and Swinburne series (although those who read the last book, Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon, may see some similar themes in A Red Sun Also Rises), but Hodder’s storytelling creates a world that lingers.
We have two copies of A Red Sun Also Rises to give away! We’re making this one easy. To enter the contest, post a comment below and tell us your favorite place in the world (or outside this world, if you’re so inclined). The deadline for entries is this Sunday, February 10th. Good luck!