Saturday, 8 September 2007

Steampunk Reviews: Shikari in Galveston.

For those of you who are familiar with, and crave more of, the adventures of the dashing young cavalry officer Athelstane King and his man Ranjit of the Peshawar Lancers, - look no farther than the novella Shikari in Galveston by S.M. Stirling, featured in Worlds That Weren't (Published by RoC 2002. ISBN 0451458869).

The coal smoke of the Empire's industrialized towns and cities, with their heaving throngs of people, is left far behind for the swamps and dense woodlands and jungles of Texas. A place full of diverting possibilities for our young hero's derring-do.

The locals are good clean folk, etching out a fledgeling civilization from this frontier land in the aftermath of their ancestors. They are noting the use of vulcanized rubber, binoculars, the latest rifles, Steamships and other modern marvels of the Empire.

On leave from his duties in India, King is free to hunt for big game, Man-eaters have been reported and he hopes to bag some trophies. Athelstane's character is one which suffers no fools, believes in fair play and sportsmanship and, as a representative of the British Empire, comports himself impeccably, - winning-over the natives with his innate confidence and charm.

The novella is set in the post Steampunk world and does not disappoint with its turn of events. The author's confessional at the end serves to re-enforce one's fervour for this genre, and the love of adventure.

A darn good yarn of the highest order !

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