Publishers Carb the fuck up helicopters

Aurorarama Audible –

A Startling, Seductive Literary Novel That Entwines Suspense, Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance And History Into An Intoxicating New Genre 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 IceBut As The City Prepares For Spring, It Feels 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 RevoltTheir 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 ActWhat 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

10 thoughts on “Aurorarama

  1. says:

    enough time has passed that i feel okay about linking to the review i wrote for this over at the brooklyn rail i do not feel okay about those comma typos that SOMEONE ELSE must have inserted i wrote a review for this, already, for another source michael isn t the only one who can cuckold a website but so i haven t really wanted to write a whole new review, but i didn t think it was seemly to cut and paste the one i already wrote and that blank spot has been tormenting me with its blanknessso i gotta write a physical object, this book is gorgeous and like anything gorgeous, it isn t going to give you its number at the end of the night not unless you work little for it first.but it can be exhausting i am not a reader of science fiction, and the exhaustively detailed world building elements just rattled me i went in thinking, oh, polar bears, cool and it was just a barrage of information that i felt the book expected me to know already it was like one of those anxiety dreams where you are taking a test in a subject you know nothing about.this book just kind of hucks you into a world that is kind of like our world, but when and how and huh it is arctic and quasi steampunk but also not at the same time confused yeah, me too and eventually some of the mythology is exposed but slooooowly but in the meantime there are foppish men and polar greenhouses, indigenous inuits and white interlopers, sexified nightclubs and menacing airships and a polar kangaroo and a caste of waste management workers in plague masks also shamans and commercial magicians and revolutionaries and a corrupt council and snow and drugs and a freaking duke and a conjoined, hermaphroditic love object ghosts and zombies round out the cast just for good measure i mean, wow this ain t your momma s robert, i will probably read the other two books when they come out, because i am very attracted to the pretty covers, i just hope i can get to second base this time.hey, pictures come to my blog

  2. says:

    The bookgods are sometimes so good to me I found this book which I ve been wanting to read forever in a box on the curb near my apartment a box which was otherwise full of computer coding manuals and broken picture frames and ugly shoes I sometimes think that Brooklyn really wants me to read good things Maybe that s an overly charitable view, but I don t care optimism is my superpower.So anyway, Aurorarama This book was nothing like I expected It s a plot that would absolutely laugh at synopsizing, but it takes place at the turn of the century in New Venice, a sprawling city in Antarctica that is on the brink of total social revolution This is in part because of relations between the whites and the Inuits, in part because of a very well dressed but quite repressive government, in part because of a series of bizarre prophesies on which the city was founded and which are about to come true or not in very strange ways, in part because drugs, in part because anarchists, in part because or decadence and classism and puritanism Here are some of the things you ll find in these 500 pages Russian anarchists in a zeppelin dropping in like some kind of Deus ex machina zombies maybe sex with hermaphrodite Siamese twins a song so powerful it can structurally destroy a building a prophetic ghost who makes the men who find her brush her hair before she will prophess a trip to the North Pole gone hideously awry an orgy teepee where you do it on ice blocks a whole class of scavengers who wear beaked, beaded masks at all times some incredible, incredibly intense descriptions of hallucinogens a sexy pop singer reborn as a political agitator a polar kangaroo god like thing that saves people s lives mystically Oh, I could go on And on.The strongest similarity I can come up with is with Against the Day and believe me, I do not make a Pynchon comparison lightly But this book really has the same feel, that 19th century strangeness told through vivid detailing, plus the same enmeshed fullness, where plot strands have been so deftly connected and exhaustively compiled that you know you are in the presence of sheer genius, plus the same scope, where you meet and learn about so so so many characters, and not just their name and one of their outfits, but their lineage and some identifying childhood stories and their vernacular and who they last had sex with Plus it has the same soaring sense of brilliant glee that I feel with Pynchon, where random characters break into song for five pages, or a magic act is described in the most exaggerated minutia for an entire chapter, or a gibbering band of marauding maniacs decide to put on a play just for the sheer hilarity of it Plus, plus, plus I don t mean to make this sound derivative, because it is definitely not It s just a very very brilliant book.

  3. says:

    Aurorarama is set in the city of New Venice, a marvel of architecture built in the Arctic in which steampunk technology prevails, crazy mind altering drugs are tolerated and enjoyed by many, and dreams are sold as commodities to citizens in search of escapism and good times At first blush, one might think that all is well in this Utopia on Ice, that nothing untoward could possibly happen Not so Revolution is afoot and, as far as I m concerned, what shape this revolution will take is anybody s guess How so Well, I m sorry but this is a DNF for me After reaching the halfway mark, I threw it down in disgust I won t go into detail here, but there is only so much sexism and political proselytism one person can take, and I think I ve reached my limit Which is a shame, because the world building in this book is pretty amazing and I really wanted to explore of New Venice That s not gonna happen, though.

  4. says:

    Described as Jules Verne on drugs with some justification, the book takes place in the fictional city of New Venice 450 miles from the N Pole putting ice back in Ven ice is one of the many wonderful plays on language in the book literate, funny, a sort of icepunk alt history with sex and drugs Will add the full review tbd soon, but for now I would say that this is the best sf I ve read in 2010 full FBC rv below INTRODUCTION 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 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 Despite our monthly spotlights in which we try to showcase the most interesting sff, I would have missed Aurorarama , if not for its inclusion in Jeff Vandermeer extended list about which I have talked recently After the exciting blurb above and the extended excerpt available from , this was a buy read on the spot and it turned out to be even better than I expected and it s possibly the best sf I ve read so far in 2010, though it should appeal to both fantasy and literary readers for its wealth of material and beautiful style.FORMAT CLASSIFICATION Aurorarama stands at about 415 pages and is divided into three parts and 30 chapters, all interestingly named which adds value to the novel There is a prologue which bears rereading later once you understand its meaning and an epilogue that nicely concludes the tale, though the way is clear for books in this superb milieu imagined by the author.Each chapter starts with appropriate quotes related to the Arctic and the novels has several pictures that are both beautiful and illustrate well scenes from the novel in true Vernian spirit Aurorarama is modern speculative fiction at its best an ice punk adventure in an alt history setting While a standalone that concludes perfectly its threads, Aurorarama is intended to kick start a series based on New Venice and based on the quality of this one, any new volume will be a top anticipated book of mine.OVERVIEW ANALYSIS Aurorarama alternates by chapters POV s from its two main heroes Duke Brentford Orsini is a scion of New Venice articocracy with a leading position in the Administration of the City as the Gardner General of the Greenhouses Glass Gardens New Venice is under the real control of the Council of Seven established by the founding fathers, the Seven Sleepers whose bodies are supposedly cryogenically preserved to return in case of dire need And the Council is moving toward autocracy and ignoring the Utopian roots of New Venice there are even rumors that the Council intends to crack hard on the Inuit and get into the export drug trade Whereas the Council was supposed to keep intact the utopian ideals of the Seven Sleepers who had founded the city, it was now than ever involved in all matters of business with the Friends who funded it, and these Friends had themselves increasingly turned from philanthropists into shareholders who wanted a return on their investments The Administration, which had originally been devoted to the practicalities of running a city at a latitude that was anything but reasonable, had meanwhile and Brentford was one of the main actors in this conversion evolved toward a faithfulness to the first principles that was at times somewhat fanatical Earl Gabriel Lancelot dAllier de St Antoine is also a member of the articocracy and friend of Brentford since college, but in contrast to the still rich and important Orsinis, he inherited mostly debts from his father Needing a paycheck, he moonlights as literature professor at the local Doges College with an interest in recreational drugs, weird music and younger girls like some of his students whom he prefers to bed than corrupt in his own memorable words from later in the book.Alas, the Council s new puritanical direction for a long time drugs were regarded as vital in New Venice both as survival tools and in the Transpherence process the articocracy used to preserve memories between generations, while casual sex was encouraged in places like the in famous Ingersarvik swapping den based on Eskimo customs means that Gabriel is vulnerable to blackmail from the secret policeAll because a seditious pamphlet that the Council says it calls for revolution and its overturn A Blast on the Barren Land has just been published and pretty much everyone in the know believes Brentford wrote it, while Gabriel contributed too Since Brentford is too important and well connected he is even respected by Captain General Frank Mason, the New Venice 2000 strong army commander, not to speak of his ties with the powerful Scavenger guild, the middle class shopkeepers, the bohemian artists and the native Inuits the Council cannot charge him without hard proof, so the Gentlemen of the Night in the person of obnoxious Sealtiel Wynne and sidekicks are dispatched to put pressure on Gabriel to confess and rat on Brentford.To top it all, a mysterious black airship has been hovering above New Venice for a while, a sled with an elderly dead woman holding a mirror that spells Lancelot has just been found, Brentford is busy planning his upcoming wedding with singer performer Sybil Springfield while receiving a prophetic dream from former presumed dead flame Sandy Lake for a North Pole rendezvous on March 1st that may portend great changes and Gabriel is busy falling for troubled student Phoebe and later magician assistant StellaSo, why would you read Aurorarama For me the answer started with the blurb very interesting setting and great story potential and continued with the excerpt since I really liked the author style literate, full of language plays as well as of literary allusions and showing the author s command of the English language and both of Arctic expeditions and their novelistic renderings But also clear and a page turner once you get in the flow of the action, so Aurorarama was relatively a fast read, though I felt compelled to read it again twice both to fully appreciate its finer points and because I wanted to spend time in its wonderful milieu.What made it so memorable though were the characters of Brentford and Gabriel as well as the many supporting ones that come out vividly and enrich the novel The idealistic Brentford and the jaded, but still somewhat naive Gabriel come alive from the first chapters and the reader cannot help but care for them even when things seem to be at their bleakest.The atmosphere of the novel is exquisite and I use atmosphere rather than world building since Aurorarama is definitely not hard sf, so things are hinted and there are mentions of various aspects that make New Venice and generally year round life on the N 80th parallel possible, but nothing is spelled out in say Baxterian detail So in that sense Aurorarama is a clear Vernian successor, rather than a Wellsian one.There is intrigue, action, ice travels, prophetic dreams, occasionally somewhat explicit sex and drugs and just pure fun there is a scene in which Gabriel is interrogated under supposedly infallible hypnosis that epitomizes the pure fun part of the novel and made me laugh out loud even of third read Here is Gabriel mocking the secret policeman and his henchmen who supposedly have him under hypnotic control Mr d Allier, there is one thing we would like to know above all others Would you please tell us what or whom A Blast on the Barren Land evokes for you A flurry of images gushed forth in his brain Whatever they were, they would have to do Flap, said Gabriel, after a pause, not without surprise Who Flap Who is Flap, Mr d Allier Flap is a friend Where did you meet him Her I met her in the Greenhouse in Gr nland Gardens I took a path that I thought would take me out of the hothouse but did not It kept on, it seemed forever At some point, I fell asleep under a tree And after a while, I woke up, feeling a fresh sensation below the waist, and Flap was over me Over you said Wynne, in a faltering voice Over me Yes I opened my eyes, and I saw her She was rather cute but a bit on the chubby side, with little dragonfly wings on her back I asked her who she was and what she thought she was doing I m Flap the Fat Fairy, she said, and human is like honey to me Then she spat something on my belly and flew away I reached to see what she had spat and it was a little heart shaped ice crystal she had kept in her mouth all the time It immediately attracted two little elves or fairies on my belly, who were commenting on my withering snowdrop Aurorarama A and possibly best sf of 2010 for me is fun, compelling and full of gems the biggest positive surprise for me in sf for 2010 though as noted above, the novel should appeal to both fantasy and literary fans for its many aspects and superb style.

  5. says:

    A Victorian, almost steampunk ice crusted Viriconium, an frigid Gormenghast New Venice is lodged somewhere in the Arctic Circle, surrounded by an elaborate Air Architecture which warms the city to a tolerable degree of frigidity, populated by elaborate architectural fancies and a mythological history So many ideas are packed into this volume, many of them incorporating, contrasting, and clashing with Inuit philosophies which might as well be alien The fact that people took the time to build such a city in one of the most inhospitable places on earth and populated it with enough people for a thriving economy seems like something out of the mind of a mad Frenchman Oh, wait, it is Aurorarama also introduces us to some beautiful Inuit words Like qarrtsiluni which means waiting in the dark for something to burst This is a beautiful thing because to the Westerner the qallunaat, the Inuit analogue of foreigner which distills down to the inevitable white man there is no place in our vocabulary for this kind of verb The cultural difference is significant No qallunaat sits in the dark waiting for something to burst No, the qallunaat goes in search of something to burst Which, to the Inuit, is pillortq, another pretty word which is also my favorite, meaning insane How strange our ways must have been to a people perfectly accustomed to sparse living in a world of almost perpetual darkness I found it funny how Valtat put in a disclaimer at the final page of the novel, a quote by Margaret Cavendish, which boils down to this Like my story, like it If you don t like it, shut up and mind your business Ha ha

  6. says:

    Non steam steampunk I believe Valtat calls his genre Teslapunk perhaps because so much depends on early and revolutionary use of electricity.Would it be too gauche to suggest that the emperor has no clothes Valtat is an award winning French science fiction author This story, written in English, is praised by all the right and right minded people, but all I can think is I can t believe I read the whole thing Did they Undoubtedly Valat had fun twisting the words and ideas If he couldn t find an obscure word or alliteration, he invented one The plots are lost among the world building until last hundred pages Many readers won t survive the frozen first hundred The principal antagonists inner voices sound alike You can only tell them apart because one was always indulging in this or that drug or sexual liaison No point in identifying technical errors it s all fantasy.Quibble Does Valtat realize that at longitude 90 degrees north latitude becomes irrelevant Why not one star Because it is a great concept And Valtat has his funny moments Some people apparently like it But they probably insist the emperor was clothed.

  7. says:

    So there was this bit on BBC World this morning about sexism in France.Explains the fact that female characters are cyphers in this book.Intersting idea and world building But needs character and plot.

  8. says:

    Gave up I not only stopped caring about the characters and the plot, I started actively rooting for everyone involved to be eaten by a polar bear, beginning with the author, s il vous plait et merci beaucoup It was time to stop reading.

  9. says:

    The reason people are having trouble reading this is because it isn t very good It was okay for a fun novel of weird things happening, but this was sold to us as a literary adventure I think it aspired to be one, what with all it s quotes of uncertain origin and fancy Inuit words all over the place, but it didn t quite make it.The characters are a little too wooden for me to get behind, especially the women and the men s relationships to them There are not one, but two amazingly unbelievable musey sylphs running about New Venice One each for our protagonists to fall inadvisedly, irrationally,and hopelessly in love with They are different from another in that one has a tattoo That makes her bohemian, you know.As our tale begins, we are presented with an anything goes winter wonderland whose laissez faire debauchery is at risk from the shadowy cabal of profit minded usurpers currently in office Our heroes are, apparently, a bureaucratic gardener and a drug addled academic womaniser.They are about as effective as you might think.Anyway, a lot of veiled, and not so veiled, threats get thrown around and then there s a magician and a ghost or something The book gets mired in the sad impossibility of defeating the rigged political machine harshing everyone s buzz.Then, there s a blimp Plot unstuck.The end.I did like the parts where characters allude to things that have gone on previous to our meeting them The gardener is obsessed with this Helen person I thought it was great that, while we find out who she is, by the end of the book, we still don t know what her relationship is to him I think it gives the book a little life Then, as I sat down to write this, I saw this was number one in a series which means that it will probably not be permitted to remain a mystery for long Oh, well.Also, what is the deal with Iceland spar I read Pynchon s Against the Day and I assumed he made up the super weirdness of the stuff That, plus the addition of the blimp and its contents kind of lead me to believe this guy read that book and thought all the crap in it would make a nice spin off But I don t know much about either of these dudes so if you d like to fill me in, I can take it.P.S Happy ending brought to you by really, really white dudes, as if you didn t know.

  10. says:

    Enjoyed it, but I wouldn t term it a favorite, though there were some clever things or wording in there that I quite enjoyed, lots of nice historical touches too Love, love the look feel of the cover endpapers a little artistic beauty in of itself Leah, here on GR, posted a review added a link to her blog w some fascinating info about the cover art Check it out Thanks, Leah Overall, I d rate this book 3.5 stars.I guess I d say it s a fantasy w dystopian overtones, set in an Arctic environment I enjoyed the environment part of it the descriptions of the ice, the cold, the sky Fantasy is not my favorite genre nor do I dislike it , so that part was fine, the dystopian parts were fine also not too heavy handed or depressing which, imo, is good A little bit of a steampunk flavor, but not a book that overall I would call steampunk There was a lot in there many people, factions, events, making me wonder if the story couldn t have been a little tighter had the author cut back just a little bit Enjoyable I d probably recommend it most for people who like fantasy, but want a somewhat different than the stereotypical norm fantasy world.