Mark Hodder (author); A RED SUN ALSO RISES; Pyr (Fiction: Science Fiction) 17.95 ISBN: 9781616146948
Byline: Bradley A. Scott
Mark Hodder, author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning steampunk series featuring Burton & Swinburne, takes a somewhat different tack in this stand-alone novel.
The framing story should seem familiar enough to any fan of Lovecraft: a mysterious manuscript salvaged from a shipwreck seems to hint at Dark Rites through which sinister savages open menacing gateways to Worlds Beyond the Sky (but only when the Stars Are Right.)
Once past this construct, we find ourselves in the mind (and journal) of a character who fits comfortably into steampunk's alternate-Victorian setting. Aiden Fleischer, an English clergyman suffering from a crisis of faith, intellect, and boredom, meets a physically disfigured but intellectually brilliant young lady with an advanced technical education. After sundry domestic misadventures, including a close encounter with an infamous murderer, they embark on a missionary expedition to the far side of the world. Stationed on a remote Pacific island, they find that the natives have some mighty strange religious beliefs, and that weather and electrical fields behave in very odd ways. For a time it seems we are in the Cthulhu Mythos after all.
But where Lovecraft famously left his monsters unseen, with their shrieking victims spirited away to a horrible fate that no narrator could perceive and afterward remain coherent, Hodder takes...