New Avalon, by Neal F. Litherland is a steampunk short story collection of the small, desperate moments and the great, cataclysmic changes taking place in New Avalon, the City of Steam.
The collection features a number of short stories, tied together in loose continuity, about the tiny tragedies taking place in every nook and cranny of 1920’s inspired New Avalon. There is considerable variety in the stories, ranging from treasure hunts for arcane clockwork, down to the hunt for dragons’ hoards in the grimy darkness in the shadow of miles-high smokestacks, but the dreary, depressing method of prose is probably not for everyone.
The cover by Tais Teng and Jerry Langdon, is sufficiently grim and claustrophobic, even if it leaves something to be desired. Perhaps the minimal, depressing shot is enough to establish the tone, but falls short when it comes to the richness of the setting.
If you have a soft spot for well-written steampunk fiction that isn’t just a re-invention of human history and you’ve had your fill of blimp-battles over Victorian-era London, then the weird grimness of New Avalon might be just the thing for you.
New Avalon is published by James Ward Kirk Fiction.