SF editor Mann (The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction) sets this leisurely mystery, published in the U.K. by Snowbooks in 2008, in an alternate 1901 London where steam-powered taxicabs fill the streets and brass automatons have begun to replace human labor. Sir Maurice Newbury, British Museum anthropologist and occult connoisseur, and his Watsonesque assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes, are summoned to investigate the crash of a cyborg-piloted helium zeppelin. Meanwhile, a plague is spreading through London's poorer quarters, turning everyday citizens into bloodthirsty, zombielike "revenants" and threatening the stability of the Empire. Mann's stiff-upper-lipped Victorians chat at great length over cups of Earl Grey and occasionally whack zombies and robots in arduous action passages, and the unnecessary details and painfully stilted dialogue bring nothing fresh to the steampunk subgenre. (July)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Affinity Bridge (Newbury & Hobbes Investigation #1)by George Mann
A massively entertaining steampunk detective tale from a preeminent force in British publishing
In this intriguingly bizarre version of 1901 London, Sir Maurice Newbury, ostensibly an academic, is a trusted agent of the Crown. The ailing Victoria charges him and his assistant, Veronica Hobbes, with discovering the cause of an airship crash, which may be linked to innovative automata now acting as servants all over London. Meanwhile, Scotland Yard is dealing with numerous strangulations perpetrated by a glowing policeman and an outbreak of a "revenant plague" that turns people into mindless, murderous zombies. Readers should not be put off by the introduction of several apparently unrelated investigative threads; Mann brings them together and ratchets up the action as the story progresses. VERDICT Although the imagery is occasionally repetitive and some loose ends are tied up rather abruptly, overall, this series launch by the editor of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction is a strong addition to the "steampunk" subgenre and one that creates a lively alternative world.Sara M. Schepis, East Fishkill Community Lib., Hopewell Jct., NY
Sara M. Schepis
“Steampunk is making a comeback, and with this novel Mann is leading the charge….An engaging melodrama that rattles along at a breakneck pace.” —The Guardian
“Mann is at the forefront of the new generation of UK movers and shakers.Tremendous fun. Mann writes great chase scenes! [The Affinity Bridge] marks George Mann as a writer of enormous promise.”—SFRevu
“Excellent world building; captures the Sherlock Holmes feel; never a boring passage.A hugely entertaining book.” —SFSignal
“An enormous pile of awesome.” —Chris Roberson, World Fantasy Award Finalist and Sideways Award Winner
Meet the Author
GEORGE MANN heads the editorial and production teams of two divisions of the UK-based Games Workshop: Solaris Books, a SF/Fantasy publisher, and Black Library, a publisher of game-related fiction. He is the editor of The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction anthology series and the author of a number of fiction and non-fiction books, including The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, The Human Abstract, and Time Hunter: The Severed Man.
GEORGE MANN is the author of the Newbury&Hobbes Investigations, beginning with The Affinity Bridge, and other works of fiction including Ghosts of Manhattan and official Doctor Who tie-in material. He edited the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction anthology series and The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.
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