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    • Flesh of my Flesh: The Follow-up Interview September 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, I know… it has been a while. This year has been a trying one for me and I have been dealing with some “real life” stuff…  scarier than anything I post here. I apologize for our absence. But it was brief this time. Now that “real life” is levelling out, we are […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Now available: The Lovecraft eZine 2014 Megapack! August 10, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, So for the brief week off. But I had a case of life. I was on a bit of a mission and it went quite swimmingly. But fear not wicked ones. I am still here to bring you the strange and spooky! Today we have some news from a wonderful ezine […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • A Conversation With Craig Yoe August 1, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Today I was fortunate enough to sit and have a chat with the wonderfully fascinating creative genius, Craig Yoe. Craig and I met at HeroesCon this summer when he accepted an award at The Inkwells on Steve Ditko‘s behalf (sort of). I was beyond thrilled when this incredible talent agreed to […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh —- The Review! July 29, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day seven of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: Interview (/Happy-Hour) With Actress Tara Walker July 28, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day six of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director –Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean Strauss – […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh: An Interview With Director of Photography Ryan K. Johnson July 27, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day five of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin II – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and Thursday’s interview with Sean […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – Zombies Need Love Too July 25, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day four of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director – Edward Martin III – of the film, Wednesday’s article written by yours truly, and yesterday’s interview […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – An Interview With Documentarian and Location Manager Sean Strauss July 24, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, It is day three of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out Tuesday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film and yesterday’s article written by yours truly!  Today we will be talking with […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – Through The Eyes of the 2nd Assistant Director – Madness, Mayhem, and Love July 23, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Welcome to day two of Flesh of my Flesh week! FomF was a zombie movie filmed here in Portland, OR. Please check out yesterday’s interview to hear about it’s inception and long awaited release from the Writer/Director of the film.  Today you get to hear me ramble on about my time on the set. […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt
    • Flesh of my Flesh – An Interview With Writer/Director Edward Martin III July 21, 2015
      Hello Ghouls and Boils, Those of you who know me personally and professionally have probably at one time or another been regaled with the stories of my time on the Flesh of my Flesh movie set. For those who are not aware, I was 2nd Assistant Director (amongst other things) of a feature film shot […]
      Sarah L. Gerhardt

Lord Kelvin’s Machine: A Tale of Langdon St. Ives

http://dyn4.media.titanbooks.com/products/6168/lordkelvinsmachine.jpg

Lord Kelvin’s Machine: A Tale of Langdon St. Ives

Written by: James P. Blaylock
Published by: Titan Books
Page Count: 277
ISBN-10: 0857689843
ISBN-13: 978-0857689849

Where to buy: Titan Books, Amazon, and other fine book retailers.

Publisher’s Comments:
Within the magical gears of Lord Kelvin’s incredible machine lies the secret of time. The deadly Dr. Ignacio Narbondo would murder to possess it and scientist and explorer Professor Langdon St. Ives would do anything to use it. For the doctor it means mastery of the world and for the professor it means saving his beloved wife from death. A daring race against time begins…

Greetings to ill and sun-dried,

Today our own Alanna Quinn brings us a review of steampunk pioneer James P. Blaylock’s novel Lord Kelvin’s Machine. Enjoy!

Signed in human blood,
Sean Lee Levin

I am pleased to have a new (to me) genre of reading material to pick up, I wondered what authors were doing in the science fiction realm that could breathe new life into vintage territory Jules Verne and others have mapped into posterity. My favorite devices of this genre are the technology, properly described processes and machinery that can create a vivid narrative that suspends disbelief, keeping a story from becoming a period potboiler/melodrama. In addition to mechanics time-travel, early cryogenics and “controlled vulcanology” or causing volcanoes to activate made for interesting reading.

James B. Blaylock’s Lord Kelvin’s Machine was first published in 1992, not long after his previous novel Homunculus (which will be reviewed next.) Curious as to the moniker “Steampunk Legend” following his name I did a search through Wikipedia and found that in 1987, author K.W. Jeter originated or used “steam-punks” in a submission letter to Locus magazine, naming Homunculus and Tim Powers’ works under the term: it is an honest and legitimate tag.

The themes in Lord Kelvin’s Machine are classic: love, revenge, ambition, and a life’s work. Connecting these elements is Lord Kelvin’s time traveler, a machine that allows scientist/explorer Langdon St. Ives to jump through time in order to change the future, in addition to discovering things about himself that return to him his humanity, rather than his default setting as a to-the-bone scientist. The story goes through three major parts, with the final goosing up the action after the substantial build up of character and motives, notably of St. Ives and the obsessions that plague him. I enjoyed the density of the development; it engaged me visually with the story and allowed me to have more empathy even for the villains. With his manservant Hasbro and partners Jack Owlesby and Bill Kraken, St. Ives pursues his nemesis Dr. Narbondo and endeavors to prevent the doctor and his confederates from attempting to destroy the world through seismic manipulations, among other criminal pursuits. In the vernacular, a ripping yarn.

Final Thoughts:This book would be enjoyed greatly by fans of science fiction and those interested in the steampunk genre with more of an emphasis on science. I enjoyed the story immensely and am pleased to discover how far back the steampunk genre’s origins went. It is very good that Titan Books has reprinted and re-released Blaylock’s titles. He is worthy of rediscovery. I give this most enjoyable book four and a half out of five tentacles.

Four and a Half Tentacles

Alanna Quinn – Reviewer/Columnist

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