Fiendish Schemes: Book summary and reviews of Fiendish Schemes by K. W. Jeter

Fiendish Schemes

By K. W. Jeter

Fiendish Schemes
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2013,
    352 pages.

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Book Summary

In 1986 K. W. Jeter coined the term "steampunk," applying it to his first Victorian-era science fiction alternate-history adventure. At last he has returned with Fiendish Schemes, a tale of George Dower, son of the inventor of Infernal Devices, who has been in new self-imposed exile…accumulating debts.

The world Dower left when he went into hiding was significantly simpler than the new, steam-powered Victorian London, a mad whirl of civilization filled with gadgets and gears in the least expected places. After accepting congratulations for his late father's grandest invention - a walking, steam-powered lighthouse - Dower is enticed by the prospect of financial gain into a web of intrigue with ominously mysterious players who have nefarious plans of which he can only guess.

If he can locate and make his father's Vox Universalis work as it was intended, his future, he is promised, is assured. But his efforts are confounded by the strange Vicar Stonebrake, who promises him aid, but is more interested in converting sentient whales to Christianity - and making money - than in helping George. Drugged, arrested, and interrogated by men, women, and the steam-powered Prime Minister, Dower is trapped in a maelstrom of secrets, corruption, and schemes that threaten to drown him in the chaos of this mad new world.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"He thoroughly entertains readers with brilliant speculation and a charmingly reluctant hero." - Publishers Weekly

"Though the plot - improbable, even by steampunk standards - of this intricate yarn runs out of, er, steam, about three-quarters of the way through, there's plenty of humor to keep things churning...An impressive enterprise that moves very, very slowly." - Kirkus

"To my mind this is Jeter's best book, with more than enough cool Steampunk ingredients to make me jealous." - James P. Blaylock, author of the Langdon St. Ives novels

"Gorgeous grotesquerie - Fellini by way of Tim Burton!" - Tim Powers, author of Hide Me Among the Graves

"Welcome to K.W. Jeter's London, a London where technology is out of control and ruled by the upper class...Each turn of the page unfolds the mystery; and the deeper you descend with Dower, the deeper you are drawn into Jeter's work." - Tee Morris, author of The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series

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K. W. Jeter, known as the "godfather of steampunk" for first inventing the term over 20 years ago, is the author of Infernal Devices, Morlock Night, the cyberpunk novel Dr. Adder, noir sequels to Blade Runner as well as dark fantasy and other visionary science fiction. A native of California, he currently lives in Ecuador.

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