Of Mechanics and Alchemists

After a weekend of reading Poe’s poems and short stories, I picked up my next novel, one that has been sitting on my shelf for a while now.  I had a hard time picking what I wanted to read next; there seemed to be too many good choices.  So, I solicited some advice from a message board I follow and one person said that whenever they are confronted with that problem, they try to knock out a few of the shorter books that have been sitting there a while, rather than jump into a dense, long or otherwise heavy endeavor.  Finding that sound advice, I picked up Ekaterina Sedia’s The Alchemy of Stone.  It is an urban steampunk fantasy about an automaton with a clockwork heart in a city rife with political strife.  The two main parties are the Mechanics and the Alchemists.  A mythical race of Gargoyle’s watches over the city, but remains aloof and uninvolved in politics.  So far it is an interesting, if not stellar, story.  And it’s both short and a quick read.  I’m enjoying it, but there’s nothing really revolutionary for the steampunk genre to be found here.  It’s more of a card-carrying, law abiding citizen of steampunk-ville.  But still, worth a look if you like that genre.


One thought on “Of Mechanics and Alchemists

  1. I’ll admit steampunk’s not a genre I read on a regular basis, but I’m familiar enough with the tropes.

    Which lead, in my coffee-poor, uncaffeinated, morning-fogged stream of consciousness to the last thing I read that’s remotely steampunk…which was really more Victorianish. Or maybe not. It’s British and set in the early 1800s, which is basically what I associate with steampunk.

    The other train of association was my thought through most of it that “hey, Whitley would probably enjoy this.”

    Er…Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell was the book (Susanna Clarke), before I forget to mention it.

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