Synopses & Reviews
Mark Hodder is the author of The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack--winner of the Philip K. Dick Award 2010--and its sequel, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man. He's the creator and caretaker of the Blakiana website (http://www.sextonblake.co.uk), which he designed to celebrate, record, and revive Sexton Blake, the most written-about fictional detective in English publishing history. A former BBC writer, editor, journalist, and Web producer, Mark has worked in all the new and traditional medias and was based in London for most of his working life until 2008, when he relocated to Valencia in Spain to de-stress and write novels. He has a degree in cultural studies and loves British history (1850 to 1950, in particular), good food, cutting-edge gadgets, cult TV (ITC forever!), Tom Waits, and a vast assortment of oddities.
"The third adventure featuring investigators Burton and Swinburne (after 2011's The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man) takes them back to Africa to seek the source of the Nile, a magic gem, and a way to fix history. The adventurers and their supporters display their eccentricities as they chase their opponents across the continent. Substantive engagement is left to the last minute, but a twist ending delivers a surprising punch. Hodder's 'biopunk' Victorian trappings include genetic engineering of animals and plants, and mysticism from an extinct race of reptiles. The high stakes derive from the notion of a universe of limited resilience, which can only handle so many time line changes before it cracks. The subsequent cognitive dissonance, relativism, and rapid obsolescence feel more slipstream than steampunk. Hard SF fans may get impatient, but everyone else will be well entertained." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
It is 1863, but not the one it should be. Time has veered wildly off course, and now the first moves are being made that will lead to a devastating world war and the fall of the British Empire. Caught in a tangled web of cause, effect, and inevitability, little does Burton realize that the stakes are far higher than even he suspects. A final confrontation comes in the mist-shrouded Mountains of the Moon, in war- torn Africa of 1914, and in Green Park, London, where, in the year 1840, Burton must face the man responsible for altering time: Spring Heeled Jack! Burton and Swinburne's third adventure is filled with eccentric steam-driven technology, grotesque characters, and bizarre events, completing the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack and The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man.