The Mechanical Messiah

by Robert Rankin (Gollancz) ISBN: 9780575086371

 

Ever wondered what life would be like if Mr Holmes had a ray gun and Moriarty was literally the devil? No, me neither, but it makes for damn good reading.

 

This book harks but to a time when men were men and women had magic powers and aliens roamed the tundra of mars. Ah! The old days…

 

Besides the silly nature of this work, it is wonderfully easy to read. It has the action and pace to keep you up late and make you call in sick the next morning because you “just have to know!”.

 

Does the devil like music hall? Can the people of Jupiter and Venus be trusted and just how big can the British Empire get? To know all this and less, you must read this magical steam-punk space thriller. There are some who say you should stick to one genre. I don’t know of anyone by name, but they tend to be boring smelly and wrong most of the time.

 

So strap on your phazers, polish your cane and wax your moustache because you’re in for the ride of life, and for the Queen’s sake remember to bring your top hat!

 

Christopher Dean

4.5/5

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The Japanese Devil Fish Girl

by Robert Rankin (Orion) ISBN: 9780575088542

 

If you think this book has anything to do with Japanese devils or fish, then boy will you be in for a surprise.

 

If anyone reading this knows what the term Steampunk means then buy this book it contains all your nerdy requirements for the month.

 

The story is what makes this book good. The writing, while not without humour, is bland but very smooth and readable. The pacing is just not an issue because there is none.

 

This is an example. “London imminently threatened by invasion. Let’s have a wedding. Build up to wedding. More boring stuff about weddings. And then oh crap I forgot about the invasion… they’re here now. Wait? Oh right that I’d forgotten.”

 

But it’s not boring. There is a total disregard for anything resembling a plot but it manages alright without one. It’s like having a really angry bull on your high school debating team. You don’t need to make a meaningful point so long as the other team knows Big Red is ready to trample them if you lose.

 

It’s a bumbling stumbling mess through jungles of a mad man’s mind. And I can’t wait to read the next instalment

 

Christopher Dean

4/5

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