cover image Flaming London

Flaming London

Joe R. Lansdale, . . Subterranean, $40 (177pp) ISBN 978-1-59606-025-8

Against the backdrop of a Martian invasion à la The War of the Worlds , Lansdale's ripsnorting sequel to Zeppelins West (2001) chronicles the fantastic adventures of two elderly authors, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (aka Mark Twain) and Jules Verne. Other members of the madcap cast include a young H.G. Wells, Sitting Bull, a Martian ape, a steam-powered robot and an intelligent seal (and future dime novelist), whose diary and journal entries form the bulk of the narrative. All must deal with the havoc caused by Wells's dang time traveler, the hero of The Time Machine , who has opened multiplying cracks in the time continuum. Seasoned with earthy, down-home humor, Lansdale's homage to Twain, Verne and Wells is sci-fi fun at its boisterous, silly best. Timothy Truman's delightful cover art and interior illustrations perfectly complement the text. (Dec.)