April 14, 2013
April 2, 2013
Foreword by Tome Wilson
Tome is the founder of the web’s largest and most active dieselpunk community. The dieselpunks website provides a home for most anyone with an artistic bent that enjoy working the era between the world wars.
Tales of the Aether Age
by Grant Gardner
This is an all-too-short ride through an alternate history where the Great Depression triggered a rather nasty breakup of the United States. Rather than the simplicity of the civil war, a new series of alliances and power brokers established a half-dozen industrial city-states.
The tale is told from the viewpoint of a pair of minor gangster who run in a film noir Chicago of prohibition and flappers. It’s a fun ride and I’m looking forward to more from Mr. Gardner’s keyboard.
Pandora Driver: Who are the People in Your Neighborhood
Created by John Picha
A beautiful woman hiding behind a mask and driving an indestructable car. A midwestern city in nineteen forty provides the backdrop and John Picha’s knack of filling his tales with the speech and mannerisms of a forgotten time.
The world of Pandora Driver gets better with each new read.
Me? I love the cars.
The Troubleshooter: What the Wise Man Says
Created by Bard Constantine
“After the Cataclysm nearly wiped out humanity, the remnants of mankind survived in Havens: city-sized constructs built to reboot society and usher in a new age of mankind.”
That is how the Bard starts this tale. As the story unfolds, the reader comes to understand this isn’t so much a pre-WWII world as the current day, complete with computers and modern radios. The difference is the corruption and dark under belly of the Haven. Mick Trubble is a man who has lost his memory and becomes The Troubleshooter.
The World of Mañana: A Friend of Spirits
by Jack Philpott
Mr. Philpott has taken notes from various native American tribes as well as current political intrigue to weave a masterful tale of dedication and betrayal. This glimpse of the world of Mañana promises other dark tales. It is well worth the read.
November 30, 2012
Beginner Mind is a collection of six short stories and some free-form poetry by a new author. It opens with a tale that leaves the reader with vivid imagery of a string of post-pubescent mistakes and just gets better.
The following story is called “Pistol Grip” and it blurs the line between murder and mistake.
I really enjoyed tale number three, “Evan’s Dilemma”, tale four, “Mending Fences”, and tale six, “The Unfiltered Spectra of the Deep”. Any one of them is well worth savouring and leaves the reader with some wonderful scenes.
And finally, I can’t help but think the poetry is like a fine desert offered after a satisfying meal.
Pick up a copy of this fine work. You’ll thank me.
July 16, 2012
August 11, 2011
Genesis of an Iron Angel
Book One of the Iron Angel Series
by Robert C. Roman
A tightly written steampunk tale
Well-defined lead characters
An occasional bit of head-hopping
I would prefer a bit more world-building
I’m reading an action-packed television thriller! That thought occurred to me about half way into Bob Roman’s new tale.
Don’t get me wrong now, I know that a lot of stories start out with instant adrenaline and impossible situations, but very few are able to sustain the rush and still maintain the reader’s interest. The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones is one of them.
The first few paragraphs established an exciting scene with a strong female character. Then, the scene shifted to another classic lady. This time, she’s somewhere in the middle of the sort of first world war where legendary heroes fight alongside semi-autonomous mechanised warriors.
After reading The Strange Fate of Capricious Jones, I found myself going back the following day to reread some of the scenes just for the marvellous imagery. Steampunk, dieselpunk and alternate history cosplayers will find plenty of fodder for their creations in this series.
Don’t worry. I’ll not provide any spoilers, but this tale is pure steampunk crunchy with a side order of subtle horror. Read it. Roll in it. Relish the colours and textures and take heart that the sequel is already out. I’m treating myself to book two of the Iron Angel, this coming weekend.
Thank you Robert C. Roman, for a fine ride!
July 8, 2011
The Nuclear Method might sound like an odd title for a how-to book, but once read, you will appreciate it.
The Nuclear Method by Emma Wayne Porter is only ninety nine cents at Smashwords, but if you are preparing a document to sell as an eBook, it will save a ton of time.
It’s written in a lighthearted style that is easy to follow and yet manages to cram a lot of useful information into a step-by-step guide for the eBook publisher. I had known a couple of things from earlier experience, but there were a lot of new tips and everything is laid out in an easy-to-read, logical, step-by-step process.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using an antique Windows XP, Windows7, a Mac or the latest Linux desktop, the tools, methods and reasoning are immediately understandable.
Go ahead! Spend less than a buck and learn from a pro.
Thank you, Emma!
May 29, 2011
Raw dieselpunk noire excitement and flavor! That is what comes to mind when I think of what I’ve just read.
Pandora Driver is a wonderful view of a vanished age that might have been.
Without spoilers, let me say John Picha delivers a tale of Betsy, a young woman tested at every turn and apparently doomed.
Detailed, vivid action sequences are balanced with bitter sweet episodes of torment and degradation. Through it all, our realistically portrayed heroine never surrenders.
Little touches, such as mentioning Converse Jack Purcell sneakers and a boxing gym, show research into the 1930s. The cover art and a snappy graphic at each chapter heading add to the flavor of this interesting volume.
If you’re a dieselpunk fan, there are scenes in Pandora Driver that will make you want to cheer.
Thanks, John. I’m looking forward to a sequel.