Serendipitous Find: Aurorama

Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat
Aurorarama by Jean-Christophe Valtat

Despite being a member of sff blogging community, spending more time then I probably should flipping around goodreads and (less frequently) librarything, the fact that I work in (and buy books for) a library, and that I occasionally moonlight on the sales floor of a major bookstore I still somehow manage to miss interesting titles before they hit the shelves.  Such is the case when, browinsing the new sff titles at the bookstore while on my 15 minute break at the bookstore I stumbled across Jean-Cristophe Valtat’s Aurorama tucked away out-of-sight on the bottom shelf.  Take a look at the blurb:

1908: New Venice—”the pearl of the Arctic”—a place of ice palaces and pneumatic tubes, of beautifully ornate carriage-sleds and elegant victorian garb, of long nights and vistas of ice.

But as the city prepares for spring, it feels more like qaartsiluni, “the time when something is about to explode in the dark.” Local “poletics” are wracked by tensions with the Eskimos circling the city, with suffragette riots led by an underground music star, with drug round-ups by the secret police force known as the Gentlemen of the Night. An ominous black airship hovers over the city, and the Gentlemen are hunting for the author of a radical pamphlet calling for revolt.

Their lead suspect is Brentford Orsini, one of the city’s most prominent figures. But as the Gentlemen of the Night tighten the net around him, Orsini receives a mysterious message from a long-lost love that compels him to act.

What transpires is a literary adventure novel unlike anything you’ve ever read before. Brilliant in its conception, masterful in its prose, thrilling in its plot twists, and laced with humor, suspense, and intelligence, it marks the beginning of a great new series of books set in New Venice-and the launch of an astonishing new writer.

Sounds neat right? Melville House did a pretty nifty job with the jacket design with some gorgeous cover (and a nice map, you’ve  gotta love maps).  Of course, there is no buzz whatsoever on the internet at the moment; at least so far as I can find.  Even LocusMag pointed towards only a single review over in The National.  This was a definite impulse by, though I ended up with the nook version rather than the print version.  I don’t know when I’ll get around to reading it but I’m certainly looking forward to doing so.  If it sounds like something you might be interested in go ahead and give it a try.

Note: Going along with the steampunk theme there will be a launch party at the Clover Club in Brooklyn on Sept. 24.

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