Giveaway Week Begins! First up: The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man

Posted by 9th May 2011

It's Giveaway Contest Week here at the Steampunk Librarian! We'll be posting several reviews and giveaway contests this week, which means there's a good chance that you, the reader, may win a book of your very own and/or may be mocked by a Victorian puppet. We're kind of unpredictable that way. Let's begin!


Burton & Swinburne in The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man by Mark Hodder (Pyr)


Burton and Swinburne are back! Time is still out of joint, and they wouldn't have it any other way.

When last seen, explorer Richard Burton and poet Algernon Swinburne had resolved the matter of Spring-Heeled Jack, and were official agents of King Albert. (Why Albert and not Victoria is appointing agents is one of the many reasons it's probably best to read the previous book before tackling this one; it's not completely necessary, but does answer many questions a reader might encounter.) In this sequel, author Mark Hodder introduces Burton and Swinburne to the mysterious Tichborne affair, and sets them investigating. They are aided by their allies at Scotland Yard, and also by an itinerant philosopher by the name of Herbert Spencer. Their discoveries lead to one shocking revelation after another, and finally addresses the mystery of this alternate history in which the characters find themselves.

If you can't tell by now, I am a huge fan of the Burton & Swinburne series. The books reinvent history while keeping true to the characters of the real-life people who appear in the narrative, which is no small feat. As a librarian and history geek, I love the references to Victorian people and places. My father, a former English teacher with a philosophy degree or two, also likes the books, and the appearance of Spencer has led to many a discussion between us. (Burton & Swinburne: educating the populace while simultaneously entertaining them and bringing families together! Well, strange families, perhaps.)


I'd pre-ordered a copy of The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man before it was published, and then Pyr was good enough to send another copy my way, so on to the contest! In the comments below, post a thought or two on your favorite Victorian-era poet, explorer, or philosopher, depending on your particular bent. The entries will be put into a top hat and the winning entry will be drawn at random (perhaps by a puppet, if I can convince Sir Reginald to participate). The deadline for entering the giveaway contest is 11:59 pm EST Friday, May 27; we'll hold the drawing sometime over Memorial Day weekend and post the winner straight away!

(More information on The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man is available at Pyr's website; Mark Hodder twitters away as The Dissuader.)


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