StarShipSofa, the British online audio science fiction anthology magazine, has released a novella by Lawrence Santaro called “Lord Dickens’s Declaration.” You can listen to it for free — that’s what they do, after all; present audio presentations of top science fiction by authors such as Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, Michael Bishop, Tad Williams, Charles Stross and many more — but for a limited time you can buy a limited edition ebook and the proceeds will go towards helping Jeanne and Spider Robinson’s bills as Jeanne fights off a rare biliary cancer that’s taking everything they’ve got.
I’ve mentioned here before my love of Jeanne and Spider’s work, and any chance to help out (while getting new stuff to read at the same time) is a Good Thing. You can read about her ongoing battle (and her fight to continue producing a Stardancer movie) at http://stardancemovie.blogspot.com.
What’s “Lord Dickens’s Declaration” about? Think “steampunk/time travel/alternatehistory” and you won’t be too far off. There are gentlemen and ladies and intrigue and SCIENCE and steamships and long discourses on the nature of time itself. Also, cavemen. Santaro usually writes horror fiction but he rises to the challenge here. The book is also beautifully designed and illustrated to look like an old and treasured book, which just adds to the steampunk feel. Nicely done.
While you’re in the area, check out the StarShipSofa’s podcasts. They’re free, professionally done, and a welcome addition to your portable library.