In 1870s London, a city of contradictions and improbabilities, a dead man pilots an airship and living men are willing to risk all to steal a carp. Here, a night of bangers and ale at the local pub can result in an eternity at the Blood Pudding with the rest of the reanimated dead.... A comic science-fiction novel first published in 1986. It took the Philip K Dick award that year, and was the second book in Blaylock's loose steampunk trilogy, following The Digging Leviathan (1984) and preceding Lord Kelvin's Machine (1992).
"Over the top in the right kind of way"
Trading with the elves used to be so simple. Every year Master Cheeser Jonathan Bing would send his very best cheeses downriver to traders who would eventually return with Elfin wonders for the people of Twombly Town. But no more. First the trading post at Willowood Station was mysteriously destroyed. Then a magical elfin airship began making forays overhead; Jonathan knew something was definitely amiss. So he set off downriver to deliver the cheeses himself, accompanied by the amazing Professor Wurzle, the irrepressible Dooly, and his faithful dog Ahab.
"Charming, light-hearted, funny fantasy"
Life as a man of leisure was becoming a bit dull for Jonathan Bing, Master Cheeser, so he welcomed Professor Wurzle's invitation to visit the empty castle of Selznak, the Evil Dwarf. There they chanced upon a treasure map. Soon Jonathan, his wonderpooch Ahab, the Professor, and Miles the magician set off by boat for the location of the treasure - the unknown city called Landsend.
In Victorian London, Alice, the wife of scientist-explorer Langdon St. Ives, is murdered by his arch-nemesis, the hunchback Dr. Ignacio Narbondo. St. Ives and his valet, Hasbro, pursue Narbondo across Norway, contesting Narbondo's plot to destroy the earth and, later, efforts to revivify Narbondo's apparently frozen corpse. In the process, St. Ives gains access to a powerful device created by Lord Kelvin, which allows St. Ives to travel through time.
"A steampunk adventure with time paradoxes"
Two thousand years ago there lived a man who sold some valuable information for a fee of 30 silver coins. His name was Judas Iscariot, and he is no longer with us. The coins, however, still exist - and still hold an elusive power over all who claim them. Like Andrew, whose attempts at innkeeping bring in stranger business than he ever expected. And Aunt Naomi, whose most-prized family heirloom is a silver spoon - with a curiously ancient-looking engraving.
"Read this if you love Fawlty Towers"
A skeletal hand clutching an iron key lies hidden within a mermaid's wooden sarcophagus; a hand-drawn map is stolen from beneath the floorboards an old museum. All while an eccentric inventor - he Sleeper - dreams of a passage to the centre of the hollow earth. And by dreaming, brings the passage into being....
"Absurd steampunk with a subtle wit"
The collapse of the Victoria Embankment uncovers a passage to an unknown realm beneath the city. Langdon St. Ives sets out to explore it, not knowing that a brilliant and wealthy psychopathic murderer is working to keep the underworld s secrets hidden for reasons of his own.
Doughnuts, family tensions, relatives who arrive in a Winnebago, Christmas decorations, business worries, Uncle Henry's womanizing, and pyramid schemes wrap Walt Stebbins in layers of detail and distraction. Walt runs a small catalogue business out of his garage, and he has no notion of a demonic presence in his town until a package is mistakenly delivered to him.
"Paranormal fiction with bells on"
The 12-year solstice has come. And with it, a sinister carnival brings a new sense of terror and wonder to a small coastal town. An enormous shoe is washed up on the shore...a tiny man disguises himself as a mouse...a crow provides eyes for a blind innkeeper...and three curious adventures discover the gateway to the Land of Dreams - where you don't always get what you want, you get what you deserve....
Howard Barton comes to the remote northern coast of California in search of a folded scrap of paper rumoured to bear a sketch by the legendary Japanese artist Hokusai. Unfortunately, there are plenty of others in search of the Paper Grail.… Mrs Lamey, who waters her garden with blood, among other strange and noxious substances; the enigmatic Mr Jimmers, whose garden shed conceals a bizarre invention designed to raise the dead; Uncle Roy, founder of The Museum of Modern Mysteries and builder of haunted houses.
Southern California - sunny days, blue skies, neighbours on flying bicycles ... ghostly submarines ... mermen off the Catalina coast ... and a vast underground sea stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Inland Empire where Chinese junks ply an illicit trade and enormous creatures from ages past still survive. It is a place of wonder... and dark conspiracies. A place rife with adventure - if one knows where to look for it. Two such seekers are the teenagers Jim Hastings and his friend, Giles Peach.
"Dreamy, peculiar, sweet"
A flaming meteor over the Yorkshire Dales, a long-lost map drawn by the lunatic Bill 'Cuttle' Kraken, and the discovery of a secret subterranean shipyard beneath the River Thames lead Professor Langdon St. Ives and his intrepid friend Jack Owlesby into the treacherous environs of Morecambe Bay, with its dangerous tides and vast quicksand pits. They descend beneath the sands of the Bay itself, into a dark, unknown ocean littered with human bones and the remnants of human dreams.
Grieving over his wife's death, Phil Ainsworth is further shaken by his sister's death and the arrival of his niece Betsy, a child who hears the voices of the dead and sees the forces closing in around the old house he has inherited from his mother.
Theophile Escargot, cast out of Twombly Town for the crime of stealing his own pie, bade a midnight farewell to his unfeeling neighbours and set out on a journey to fabled Balumnia. There he would clash with the master of an elfin airship and a conniving, marble-stealing dwarf; battle to save Leta, a beautiful maid possessed by a malevolent witch; discover magical powers that could make him a hero; and unearth secrets of the legendary land itself.
An outbreak of violent madness at the Explorers Club, the coincidental murders of a recluse scientist in North Kent and a lighthouse keeper on the chalk cliffs below Brighton, and the mysterious disappearance of Alice St. Ives, lead Langdon St. Ives, Jack Owlesby, and their resolute friend Tubby Frobisher into the very heart of danger, where they discover the great secret of the chalk cliffs at Beachy Head and a looming threat to the collective sanity of mankind.
A skeletal hand clutching an iron key lies hidden within a mermaid's wooden sarcophagus; a hand-drawn map is stolen from beneath the floorboards an old museum. All while an eccentric inventor - the Sleeper - dreams of a passage to the centre of the hollow earth. And by dreaming, brings the passage into being....
Fifteen years after saving only one of two drowning identical twin girls, Dave Quinn meets Anne, a struggling Canadian artist and the woman he had rescued as a child, who is drawn back to the scene of the old tragedy by the specter of her dead sister, who is out to avenge her missed chances and live.
Calvin Bryson has hidden himself away from the world, losing himself in his work and his collection of rare and quirky books. He never meant to let so much time go by without visiting his aunt and uncle in the tiny town of New Cyprus, California. When he gets there, he'll discover the town's strange secrets and a mysterious group dedicated to preserving and protecting holy relics - a modern-day incarnation of the legendary Knights Templar.
"Blaylock at his best"
The first short story collection from Philip K. Dick Award-winning author James Blaylock features sixteen thought-provoking forays into the fantastic-from a tale of alien influence on an ordinary neighborhood to the story of one man's self-destructive obsession with a dragon.
A suddenly appearing curiosity shop owned by a small man who might, or might not, be the Man in the Moon; a pair of strange spectacles buried in a fishbowl full of marbles; an old window glazed with sea-green glass found beneath a suburban house; and two adventurous boys who but the spectacles and climb through the window into a land of goblins, ghosts and rope ladders that reach to the moon.