Science Fiction
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Fiendish Schemes by KW Jeter (Infernal Devices #2)

fiendish-schemesIn 1987, K.W. Jeter coined the term “steam-punks” to refer to the cyberpunk variant of literature that he, and others, had begun to write, novels set in an alternate Victorian England with advanced steam technology. Considered one of the founding fathers of steampunk, it is only now that Jeter has returned to the genre, picking up the threads from Infernal Devices.

London is a world much-changed since we left George Dower, son of a mad inventor of all things gadgetry. The advent of steam has created a craze for the application of its technology and the aesthetic, a commentary on the vibrant counterculture which has emerged in the twenty-first century. Dower’s financial woes may be solved if he can help a man from his past find and fix one of his father’s technologies, the Vox Universalis. When Dower agrees to help, we are swept into the bizarreness of Jeter’s invention, a world where a lighthouse can uproot itself, specialized brothels cater to London’s steam-obsessed haut monde and sentient Cetaceans are proselytized.

Fiendish Schemes is a darkly humored portrayal of Victorian London written in the style of the period and is not for the faint of heart.

This review first appeared in the February 2014 issue of Historical Novel Review. I was provided with a copy of this book for the purposes of a review.

This entry was posted in: Science Fiction


Lauren Miller is a Midwestern born writer with a passion for Jesus, the written word, and dogs. She has seventeen years of experience in the library field and reviews books for the Historical Novels Review (UK). Lauren is the Managing Web Editor and writer for The Scribe, a web publication of the St. Louis Writers Guild, where she also serves as their Director of Communications. She likes to spend her free time enjoying period films, discovering new reads, and being surrounded by other people’s pets. Lauren, her husband, and their wily Maine Coon (who isn’t quite a dog) live in Missouri. You can learn more about Lauren’s writing at

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