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Infernal Devices: A Mad Victorian Fantasy by K.W. Jeter September Book Discussion at the Burton Library


Where: R.F.Burton Library, Babbage Canals

When: Saturday, September 21 at 2 pm slt

“This is the real thing – a mad inventor, curious coins, murky London alleys and windblown Scottish Isles … a wild and extravagant plot that turns up new mysteries with each succeeding page.”
– James P Blaylock

Dower’s father was a watchmaker, but he didn’t just make watches. Some of his
special customers knew he was a genius with all sorts of gear work. When his
father died, George inherited the watch shop. Unfortunately, he didn’t inherit
his father’s genius. He can sometimes manage to fix a customer’s watch if he
sees that a part has worn out, or something else obvious is wrong, but that’s
about it. He’s completely flummoxed when a strange brown man brings in
something he’s never seen before — something George’s father made. George has
no idea what this infernal device does, but when he agrees to help, he’s soon
embroiled in a wild adventure that involves a secret London district with
fishy-looking citizens, the Royal Anti-Society, the formidable woman who heads
up the Ladies Union for the Suppression of Carnal Vice, a robot doppelganger,
and a man and woman who speak 20th century American slang. George is starting
to realize that his father may have been involved in some rather shady

Jeter’s Infernal Devices: A Mad Victorian Fantasy, first published in 1987, has
been reprinted by Angry Robot because of the recent resurgence of Victorian
literature. In fact, K.W. Jeter was the man who actually coined the term
“Steampunk.” As he explains in the forward, he meant it as a joke
(referring to the term “cyberpunk”) but it stuck.

promised, Infernal Devices is indeed a mad steampunk fantasy; it’s filled with
flying machines and other mechanical devices, Victorian moral and scientific
societies, 19th century fashion and music, anachronistic technologies, and even
some Lovecraftian monsters. The prose, dialogue and humor also feel
appropriately Victorian, and Jeter’s London atmosphere, with its clean shop
fronts and grimy back alleys, feels authentic. (review by Kat Hooper)


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  1. Serafina Puchkina Serafina Puchkina July 21, 2013

    Pay no attention to start date time. It’s 2 PM slt.  



  2. Maku Ibn-Selat Maku Ibn-Selat August 11, 2013

    Hmm. Miss Flood is in possession of an audio-book version that comes on eight disks. Would anyone be interested in a recital of same over the following weeks?

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