A fantastical reimagining of the American West which draws its influence from steampunk, the American western tradition, and magical realism.Felix Gilman's The Half-Made World is his attempt at a Steampunk/Weird West novel, which seems to be the next trend developing in Speculative Fiction. The cover is a tad sedate when compared to other steampunk covers, but I quite like the da Vinci-like illustration and in this case the simplicity is working. It is a far cry and improvement from what Spectra did for Gilman's debut Thunderer a couple years back, which was a bit off the mark in my estimation.
The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared—the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they’re just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.
To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.
The Half-Made World certainly seems promising though and will be released this October from Tor.
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