BOOK RADAR: European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss

European Travel for the Monstrous Gentlewoman, the second novel in the Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club series, was released this week.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Theodora Goss about the first novel in the series last year for the Washington Independent Review of Books. (You can read it here). I’m looking forward to reading this sequel. The first one was a rollicking mixture of mystery, adventure, and meta-textual feminist fun.

Monstrous Gentlewoman

From the back cover copy:

In the sequel to the critically acclaimed The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter, Mary Jekyll and the rest of the daughters of literature’s mad scientists embark on a madcap adventure across Europe to rescue another monstrous girl and stop the Alchemical Society’s nefarious plans once and for all.

Mary Jekyll’s life has been peaceful since she helped Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson solve the Whitechapel Murders. Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, Justine Frankenstein, and Mary’s sister Diana Hyde have settled into the Jekyll household in London, and although they sometimes quarrel, the members of the Athena Club get along as well as any five young women with very different personalities. At least they can always rely on Mrs. Poole.

But when Mary receives a telegram that Lucinda Van Helsing has been kidnapped, the Athena Club must travel to the Austro-Hungarian Empire to rescue yet another young woman who has been subjected to horrific experimentation. Where is Lucinda, and what has Professor Van Helsing been doing to his daughter? Can Mary, Diana, Beatrice, and Justine reach her in time?

Racing against the clock to save Lucinda from certain doom, the Athena Club embarks on a madcap journey across Europe. From Paris to Vienna to Budapest, Mary and her friends must make new allies, face old enemies, and finally confront the fearsome, secretive Alchemical Society. It’s time for these monstrous gentlewomen to overcome the past and create their own destinies.

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK RADAR: “Until the Last Dog Dies” by Robert Guffey

I meet Robert Guffey over 20 years ago at the Clarion West Workshop in Seattle. His fiction is…. Take a little Pynchon, a pinch of Vonnegut, add a dash or two of Hunter S. Thompson, filter it through the aesthetic of surrealist painter Dali…and you have a Guffey story. Guffey was Bizarro before Bizarro was a thing.

His new absurdist novel, UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES is out today. He probably wrote by hand, in his impeccable script.

Guffey

From the cover copy:

A young stand-up comedian must adapt to an apocalyptic virus affecting people’s sense of humor in this darkly satirical debut novel.

What happens when all humor is wiped off the face of the Earth?

Around the world, an unusual viral plague is striking the population. The virus attacks only one particular section of the brain. It isn’t fatal, but it results in the victim’s sense of humor being obliterated. No one is immune.

Elliot Greeley, a young stand-up comedian starving his way through alternative comedy clubs in Los Angeles, isn’t even certain the virus is real at first. But as the pandemic begins to eat away at the very heart of civilization itself, the virus affects Elliot and his close knit group of comedian friends in increasingly personal ways. What would you consider the end of the world?

Until the Last Dog Dies is a sharp, cutting satire, both a clever twist on apocalyptic fiction and a poignant look at the things that make us human.

BOOK RADAR: “Creatures of Will & Temper” by Molly Tanzer

Molly Tanzer’s new novel Creatures of Will & Temper (John Joseph Adams Books) is out this week. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Tanzer at the World Horror Convention a couple of years ago. I dipped into the book — it’s written with lush, decadent prose that recalls my muse, the late Tanith Lee.

Tanzer_CREATURES_OF_WILL_AND_TEMPER

From the Back Copy:

Victorian London is a place of fluid social roles, vibrant arts culture, fin-de-siècle wonders … and dangerous underground diabolic cults. Fencer Evadne Gray cares for none of the former and knows nothing of the latter when she’s sent to London to chaperone her younger sister Dorina, an aspiring art critic.

At loose ends after Dorina becomes enamored with their uncle’s friend, Lady Henrietta “Henry” Wotton, a local aristocrat and aesthete, Evadne enrolls in a fencing school. There she meets George Cantrell, the kind of experienced fencing master she’s always dreamed of studying under. But soon, George shows her something more than fancy footwork—he reveals to Evadne a secret, hidden world of devilish demons and their obedient servants. George has dedicated himself to eradicating demon and diabolist alike, and now he needs Evadne’s help. But as she learns more, Evadne begins to believe that Lady Henry might actually be a diabolist … and even worse, she suspects Dorina might have become one too.

Combining swordplay, the supernatural, and Victorian high society, Creatures of Will and Temper reveals a familiar but strange London in a riff on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray that readers won’t soon forget.

Book Radar: Light Both Foreign and Domestic by Darin Bradley

My colleague Darin Bradley has a new collection of short fiction out this week– intriguingly entitled Light Both Foreign and Domestic (Underland Press). Bradley writes intellectually rigorous speculative fiction, informed by acute sociopolitical analysis and his background in literary theory. I interviewed him a few years ago.

LBFandD_full_cv

BACK COVER COPY:

Over the last decade, Darin Bradley has been dissecting the future—from the prophetic Book that heralded the arrival of Salvage Country in Noise, to the impending repossession of our education in Chimpanzee, to the harrowing world of voyeuristic terrorism in Totem. Now, with Light Both Foreign and Domestic, he presents a collection of stories that reveal the persistent light of the human spirit, no matter the harrowing darkness that presses down on us.