Profile: Steampunk, Speculative Fiction, Alternate History
The only reason you can’t hear me giggling like a lifetime Bedlamite right now is because I accidentally corrupted the recording I made while I was finishing The Strange Affair. Hodder’s alternate history of the early years of Victorian England is the best iteration of the modern penny dreadful I’ve ever read. It doesn’t set out be funny, but the final product is so completely over the top that it’s hard not to laugh at the villainous caricatures and bizarre steampunk contraptions. At the same time, there’s a decent adventure story here, and some very interesting pseudoscience behind the crazy. And the history is just accurate enough to prompt further exploration, which is exactly what alternate history should be.