Felix Gilman's new novel The Half-Made World came out late last month, and its a powerful reimagining of the West with amoral characters and a hard-edged Steampunk feel that puts the "punk" back into the subgenre with a vengeance. It also features a strong and compelling female main character in the person of Lyvset Alverhuysen, tons of mad invention, and an ingenious plot. The evocations of landscape, the conflict between the servants of the Gun and the servants of the Line, both of which involve either the supernatural or super-advance science, the interactions between the characters are all masterfully written.
Mike Perschon recently posted an interesting review of The Half-Made World on Tor.com, in which he said in part, "When I began my study of steampunk by reading Thomas Pynchon’s Against the Day, I wondered if its theme of the loss of frontier, of unexplored and untamed spaces, was also a theme evoked by the steampunk aesthetic. It’s clearly a major theme in The Half-Made World, which Gilman explores with a page-turning narrative, engagingly complex characters, and deftly descriptive prose."
Advance praise has been equally effusive:
“Vivid and accurate prose, a gripping, imaginative story, a terrifically inventive setting, a hard-bitten, indestructible hero, and an intelligent, fully adult heroine---we haven’t had a science-fiction novel like this for a long time.” ---Ursula K. Le Guin, National Book Award--winning author of The Farthest Shore and The Left Hand of Darkness
"The Half-Made World is refreshingly unlike any other novel I've read. Felix Gilman writes like a modern-day Dickens drunk on rich invention and insane war."---Stephen R. Donaldson, New York Times bestselling author of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant
“Felix Gilman’s The Half-Made World takes the brutality of the Wild West and twists it into an epic fantasy that left me staggered. It brings the sense of wonder back to fantasy by creating a complex and visceral world unlike anything I’ve read. This is a stunning novel.” ---Mary Robinette Kowal
This novel is a major release for Gilman, so I asked him how he would be promoting the book. His answer, since Gilman the person is slightly less serious than Gilman the writer, was as follows...