Steeldriver is a contemporized version of the classic "man vs. machine" struggles common at the introduction of the Industrial Revolution. Jon Hundred must burrow through an enormous mountain before his computer adversary in order to win a wager. However, his own past and compassion catches up with him. Debrandt creates an effective tale, without the usual stereotypical branding found in the neo-folk tale (i.e., the "evil", soulless AI isn't played that way at all). He means to make a story that is supposed to stand out as archtypal for the time, with his larger than life Jon Hundred and MEL characters. Unfortunately though, the characters end up a bit too idealized, and you'll probably cringe through the ending (which I won't reveal here). However, if you like this sort of neo-frontier setting you should check out the (in my opinion) definitive work on the topic Mike Resnick's "Santiago"