August 20th, 2012


Sleep and books

Sleep: That thing you don't get when you have a new Bujold book :)

Okay, technically i got about two hours of sleep, and then spent about another hour and a half hitting snooze =P Almost halfway through the book now.
Steampunk girl with backpack

Cherie Priest - Boneshaker

I didn't bring my Nook with me to work so i can't read during lunch, so instead i'm going to post about a book that i finished fairly recently, Cherie Priest's "Boneshaker"

I'm starting this post while i'm only halfway through the book.

Boneshaker is a kind of steampunk zombie apocalypse. It's set in an alternate history Seattle in the late 19th century or very early 20th century where a mad engineer created a giant steam powered excavation machine for mining in the Klondike, but on the initial "test" run it levels a large section of the city and breaks open some underground source of noxious "blight" gas which kills anyone who breathes it very long and then usually turns them into zombies. The city is evacuated and a giant wall is built around the city to contain the gas and keep it from spreading. Of course it wouldn't be much of a story if some people hadn't refused to leave and instead figured out how to live with the blight gas and the zombies.

(The confusion about the date is because the Civil War is still going on at the same time. It's mentioned that the war has been going on quite awhile, but i don't think an exact timespan was given. So either the Klondike rush happened a lot earlier, or the Civil War got started later and ran long, or the Civil War started on schedule and has been dragging on for about 50 years.)

As usual in a SF setting i have numerous thermodynamic issues with the zombies. However that is _always_ the case. Seanan McGuire did a far better job than most at rationalizing them but even she couldn't address all my concerns. It's just one of those things, if you're going to have a zombie story where the zombies stick around for awhile there are certain issues you're just going to have to ignore as a "gimmie."

However one plot point was handled exceptionally well i thought. I'm writing this before i've even finished half of the book just so i can honestly say i don't know the answer to this question so it isn't really a spoiler in my mind, but i'll put a cut just in case you don't want to know that the question is raised.

Collapse )

But anyways there's steampunk and zombies and airships and pirates (yes airship pirates, no zombie pirates or airship zombies, at least not yet) and a well done plot, what's not to like? (I will of course add an addendum to this when i've finished to confirm whether or not there is anything not to like =)

Non-spoilery addendum: The book continued to be good in the second half, but i'm not going to say anything about how the identity issue was resolved or how close my guesses were :)