Monday, August 17, 2015

The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats - Mark Hodder

The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats
Mark Hodder
Pyr, Aug 11 2015, $18.00
ISBN: 9781633880528

After a journey to 2202 on the Orpheus, Sir Richard Burton, Algernon Swinburne and other survivors return to Victorian London knowing they must conceal what they learned.  However, crisscrossing through time leaves Sir Richard and his poet friend mentally confused; which they make worse when inadvertently they place consciousness into mechanized servants and compounded by one of their Orpheus allies selling out to the enemy.

As the gentlemen automatons attack humans, London has become a hellish nightmare.  Extremely depressed Burton gives up without a fight because he recognizes that their travel into the future and back was to prevent the unintended consequences they instead caused.  On the other hand ever optimistic Swinburne insists they need to try again and again if necessary to rectify what happened.

The sixth Burton and Swinburne steampunk Victorian (see The Return of the Discontinued Man and The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi) is a blistering finish to an awesome alternate historical series.  Fast-paced with non-stop action, the climatic Rise of the Automated Aristocrats uses the yin and yang friendship recurring theme to great use in this fabulous fable.

Harriet Klausner

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