Monday, August 27, 2012

Weekly Update #69

Editor's Note


Cough. Sorry about that. Had to get the immaturity out of my system. I apologize to my new readers from Bangladesh and Lebanon for having to see that. Please don't stop reading Weekly Update.

So it looks like we are on track again to beat the monthly record. Thank you to all my fans and don't forget to continue to show your support by voting for us at the Battle of the Book Review Blogs. Also please vote in the poll to your right so I can get a better idea on how you follow Weekly Update. If the vote continues as it is I will have to stop advertising on Reddit.

Chicon 7 is this weekend. I know a few readers are going there so hopefully we will have a chance to meet face to face this weekend. I will be the one dressed as a young attorney who went straight from work to a science fiction convention. Very original.

This week we have New Releases, updates from Chicon 7 and lots of steampunk.

And now the news...

Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson

In June I talked about how SF author Kevin J. Anderson and the rock band Rush were teaming up to produce a steampunk book and album. Since then I haven't talked about the project much, but last week Anderson was busy promoting the novel by doing an interview with Phil Simon at The Huffington Post and Sue Carter Flinn at Quill & Quire where he discusses collaborating with Rush, steampunk and other topics. Those wondering if the book is any good should check out Larry Ketchersid's review over at SF Signal. He gave it 4 out of 5 stars and said "[n]ot just for Rush and KJA fans, but enjoyable for those who like different worlds and allegorical fables."

The Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams

Two weeks ago I discussed The Army of Dr. Moreau by Guy Adams. Well a couple more reviews of the book were published last week. Marleen at More Than a Reading Journal said that the novel is "very well written and smooth to read. The pages almost turn themselves as the story shifts between investigation, deduction and action. It is easy for the reader to get drawn into this story, get immersed in Victorian London and the sewers underneath it. And, as always, the readers will find themselves, like Watson, trailing behind the great detective when it comes to solving the mystery." Falcata Times posted a review as well saying "Its witty, it’s clever and of course brings the full flavour of the time period which when added to solid action, great pace and no nonsense combat all in makes for a very satisfactory read."

Thieftaker by D. B. Jackson

One last book to talk about before I move on to other topics and that is the historical fantasy called Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson. Bookworm Blues posted a review of the novel giving it 4 out of 5 stars and said that "[i]t’s a tricky thing to blend history and fantasy so seamlessly, especially when it’s a piece of history that many people are very passionate and (somewhat) well informed about. It’s hard for an author to take this event and add fantasy without making readers pause, and D.B. Jackson does it wonderfully. Fantasy and reality blend naturally under his well-practiced hand."  Those wanting to learn more can listen to episode 175 of AISFP where Jackson is a guest and discusses "real life thieftakers from times long past, complicated magic systems, the accessibility of dialogue in epic fantasy, urban fantasy VS epic fantasy, how a Ph.D. has helped him create political and economic systems, and his work as David B. Coe."

Arcane Empires

People who enjoy playing games on their smart phones should check out the fantasy/steampunk strategy game Arcane Empires by Kabam. The game involves you leading a civilization through a war-ravaged world. You can build steampunk-themed weapons to defeat your enemies such as flying submarines, mechanical attack elephants and mechagriffs. And it is free as well, so I might have to check it out since I stopped playing Words with Friends.

Here is the trailer if you want to learn more:

Where in the world is S.M. Stirling?

With his new novel Lord of Mountains coming out on September 4th, S. M. Stirling is out and about the US of A marketing the crap out of it. If you are going to Dragon*Con, here is where you can find him from Aug 31st to Sept 2nd:

Title: The Abundant World of Alternate History: An Overview
Description: Not just "Steampunk 101" this panel will survey it all: Speculative Fiction, Steampunk, Dieselpunk, Post-Apocalypse, and much more!
Time: Fri 01:00 pm Location: International BC - Westin (Length: 1 Hour) 
Title: Autograph Session
Time: Fri 05:30 pm Location: M301 - M304 - Marriott (Length: 1 Hour) 
Title: 101 Fascinating Ways to Kill a Character
Description: From blood and guts to more subtle ways to knock of characters...Writers tell all.
Time: Fri 10:00 pm Location: Embassy D-F - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour) 
Title: Meet the Authors of Alternate History
Description: A wide array of Steampunk authors as they discuss their various Steampunk worlds and what to consider when writing your own.
Time: Sat 02:30 pm Location: Augusta 1-2 - Westin (Length: 1 Hour) 
Title: Reading: S. M. Stirling
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Marietta - Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour) 
Title: Alternate Apocalypse: How Many Ways Can The World End?
Description: Will impending doom come from zombies, asteroids, or Elder Gods? Come discuss these and more fantastical ways it could all end.
Time: Sat 08:30 pm Location: International BC - Westin (Length: 1 Hour) 
Title: Emberverse and Other Worlds With S.M. Sterling
Description: Spend an hour with S.M. Stirling. Bring your questions about his take on Alt. History, morality and collaborative writing.
Time: Sun 04:00 pm Location: International A - Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Not going to be in Atlanta this weekend? Neither am I, but other parts of the country will be hosting appearances by Stirling. On Sept 5th Stirling will be at Powell's Books in Beaverton, OR and on Sept 6th he will be at Books & Co. in Beavercreek, OH. At this rate, other towns named after the prolific dam builders should also be on the lookout for a wild Stirling coming to their town!

Submissions Wanted

Aspiring authors have another chance to get published. The Masquerade Crew is looking for 5k to 10k short stories involving time travel to the future. Deadline is the end of September and while you can send them a character driven story, they are more interested in the actual setting. More details can be found here.

As always, good luck!

Links to the Multiverse


Changing gears and a shiny new cover by Cindy Spencer Pape at Steamed!

The Economic Record of the McCain Presidency by Justin Fox by Harvard Business Review.

Forthcoming Steampunk (and a bit free to read) by Rachael Acks at 4.5 Billion Years of Wonder.

A Northern (or Maybe Bronx?) Cheer for the South’s Independence by Janet Maslin at The New York Times.

Review of The Harry Houdini Mysteries: The Houdini Specter by Daniel Stashower at David Marshall at Thinking about books.

Review of The Rift Walker by Clay and Susan Griffith done by Suzanne Lazear at Steamed!


The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: 1996 would include Dana Scully and Zack Morris by Cyriaque Lamar at io9.


Alternate History Films by Steve at Deadly Computer.


New Dishonored Screenshots Show Creepy Baby Hat-Mask by Greg Tito at The Escapist.


Geoffrey Wilson done by Mihir Wanchoo at Fantasy Book Critic.


Flatwater Forever: Protect and Survive Middle America Podcast #1 by Chipperback.

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Matt Mitrovich is the founder and editor of Alternate History Weekly Update, a volunteer editor for Alt Hist and a contributor to Just Below the Law. His fiction can be found at Echelon PressJake's Monthly and his own writing blog. When not writing he works as an attorney and enjoys life with his beautiful wife Alana.

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