Lemme tell you why this book is so awesome.
I mean, yes, there is a black bisexual hero. And a mad lesbian governess. And a half-Chinese genderqueer sky pirate. THERE IS ALSO A KRAKEN (which may or may not be queer). And an aethership. But the narrative is the real star of this show. Look at this blurb. Look at it.
A breathtaking tale of passion and adventure in the untamed skies!
Prosperity, 1863: a lawless skytown where varlets, chancers, and ne’er-do-wells risk everything to chase a fortune in the clouds, and where a Gaslight guttersnipe named Piccadilly is about to cheat the wrong man. This mistake will endanger his life … and his heart.
Thrill! As our hero battles dreadful kraken above Prosperity. Gasp! As the miracles of clockwork engineering allow a dead man to wreak his vengeance upon the living. Marvel! At the aerial escapades of the aethership, Shadowless.
Beware! The licentious and unchristian example set by the opium-addled navigatress, Miss Grey. Disapprove Strongly! Of the utter moral iniquity of the dastardly crime prince, Milord. Swoon! At the dashing skycaptain, Byron Kae. Swoon Again! At the tormented clergyman, Ruben Crowe.
This volume (available in print, and for the first time on mechanical book-reading devices) contains the complete original text of Piccadilly’s memoirs as first serialised in All the Year Round. Some passages may prove unsettling to unmarried gentlemen of a sensitive disposition.
Plus it’s only the first in a series! (Early next year there’ll be a whole collection of novelettes set in this world.) And it was written by the hilarious, brilliant, Lambda Literary Award nominated Alexis Hall (of Glitterland and Kate Kane: Paranormal Investigator fame)! And it’s on pre-sale for only $4.99 (or $13.59 if you prefer a paper copy with that gorgeous full jacket, or $16.79 if you want both)! Whaaaaaaat is not to love? :D
Story time. This was actually the very first manuscript Alexis ever subbed us. He sent it in for a steampunk call, and originally it was full of footnotes, Good Omens style. They were hilarious, but presented something of an enormous problem for an e-first publisher two years ago, so despite me being more excited about this manuscript than I had been about just about any other slush in the history of space and time, I regretfully had to reject. Alexis was actually the first author I have ever scheduled a call with to reject over the phone because I felt the story was so stunningly brilliant that I wanted to gush at him while I let him down gently. I also wanted to beg him for anything else he’d ever written or was considering writing. We got Glitterland, Iron & Velvet, and Shadows & Dreams out of that exchange :D
So, fast forward a couple years, and imagine my unrestrained delight (okay, he probably heard me squeeing across the pond in England) when he re-subbed the manuscript with no footnotes. Suddenly we had a book we could format for easy consumption on an e-reader. Boy did we sign that contract fast :D
So, yeah. If you feel even the teeniest, tiniest bit inclined to trust my taste, you’re gonna want to check this one out <3
So apparently this isn’t out yet, or I’d have already added it to my list of books to request from the library next time I’m filling out the purchase order website. BUT HEY, LOOK.