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"Dogless" dogsleds and airship pirates are just the type of futuristic things H.G. Well's might have envisioned in the closing days of the 19th century, the days when big steam-powered machines were the height of technology. Wells, besides being credited as the first Sci Fi author, qualifies as the first Steampunk author. Steampunk is a unique sub-genre of science fiction and/or fantasy that envisions what futurists of the late 1800s might imagine as fantastical devices. To immerse yourself in a bit of Steampunk, enjoy Lindsay Buroker's novella, which crosses the fuzzy line between Young Adult and Adult lit.
By Lindsay Buroker
4.5 Stars - 2 Reviews
Kindle Price: $0.99
Here's the set-up:
Eighteen-year-old Kali McAlister enters her steam-powered "dogless sled" in a race, intending to win the thousand-dollar prize and escape remote Moose Hollow forever. The problem? Fortune seekers and airship pirates are after her for the secret to flash gold, her late father's alchemical masterpiece.
With her modified rifle and a pocketful of home-made smoke bombs, Kali wouldn't normally hide from a confrontation, but taking on a whole airship single-handedly is a daunting task. Unfortunately, the other racers won't assist her--they're too busy scheming ways to sabotage her unorthodox sled.
When a sword-slinging stranger shows up, wanting to hire on as her protector, she's sure he has ulterior motives, but he's the only one interested in helping her. The question is...why?
An 18,000-word (80 page) novella
From Reviewer Amber Miller:
Though it's a stand alone adventure that takes place over a 3 day dog sled race, it feels like the pilot of a television series in that I could see it setting up lots of future adventures. The flash gold especially is more introduced than explored in full here, and I am curious to learn more about it as well as the background of the two main characters.
The main female lead, Kali, is smart and tough while still being vulnerable and easy to identify with. I like that the story opens with her tinkering on her steam sled, one of her many inventions, and she's holding a wrench and covered in grease when our mysterious stranger (Cedar) walks in. My kind of lady.
The story was fast-paced with enough going on to keep my interest. I think steampunk fans will find enough steam-ish inventions to satisfy them, though I've noticed the author isn't one to throw in a lot of extraneous gadgets and gizmos just to add steampunk flair.
I'm tagging this young adult since the main character is eighteen, and there's nothing too racy in the story, but I liked it fine as an adult reader too. A fun fantasy adventure in a setting that will be familiar to those who read Jack London as kids.
About the Author:
I've been writing fantasy novels and short stories since I was seven. I've been finishing them since... well, that's a more recent development.
I'm a professional blogger for my day job, and I live in the Seattle area ("area" is code for 'I couldn't afford a house within twenty miles of the city limits and my neighbors have alpacas'). I have two vizslas who are as spoiled as most people's kids. Occasionally they let me leave the house to play tennis, go to the coffee shop, or take a yoga class.
My "Goblin Brothers" short stories are available on Amazon, and the first novel featuring those characters will be out in 2011. I have two more fantasy novels coming for the Kindle. Check back!
Visit the author's blog at http://www.lindsayburoker.com/