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A Red Sun Also Rises Paperback – 16 Jan 2014

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A Red Sun Also Rises + Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (Burton Swinburne) + The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi: The Burton & Swinburne Adventures (Burton & Swinburne 4)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (16 Jan. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091950643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091950644
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 1.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 650,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"The usual superlatives for really clever fantasy (imaginative, mind-bending, phantasmagorical) aren't nearly big enough for this debut novel. With this one book, Hodder has put himself on the genre map..." (Booklist)

"This is an exhilarating romp through a witty combination of nineteenth-century English fact and fiction. Mark Hodder definitely knows his stuff and has given us steam opera at its finest... A great, increasingly complex, plot, some fine characters, and invention that never flags! It gets better and better, offering clues to some of Victorian London's strangest mysteries. This is the best debut novel I have read in ages." (Michael Moorcock)

"Hodder has crafted a loving homage to the 19th-century novel with the barest tweaks for a 21st-century sensibility ... [A] fascinating adventure ... The pacing is as vintage as the vividly imagined grotesqueries of alien life, but the rewards for acclimating to the style are well worth the effort." (Publishers Weekly)

"There are some great imaginative flourishes and excellent setpieces ... a steampunk fan favourite in the making" (Damien Walter SFX)

Book Description

A thrilling, action-packed Victorian Science Fiction adventure.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By J. Mcdonald TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Mark Hodder`s name is one that appears in just about every reference book about the Steampunk genre; this was my introduction to his work and what a marvellous novel it is...

Hodder takes a very mischievous, tongue-in-cheek approach to the Steampunk elements of his tale, sending up the conventions to a degree and soft-pedalling on some of the genre's excesses. Though leavened with humour, the novel has at It`s heart a pretty serious, well thought-out plot concept - as one would expect of any good science fiction novel. He has a particular gift for description, conjuring up landscapes evoking Roger Dean-like vistas inhabited by creatures straight out of the illustrations of Frank R. Paul; that he has been able to combine such strands of fantasy with the Steampunk slant is impressive indeed, raising it above the current conventions of that genre; this is - I think - a book that should appeal to a broader base of science fiction/fantasy readers, not just the author`s Steampunk followers - which is probably Hodder`s intention - I shall have to read his Burton and Swinburne novels to make a fair judgement on that. There are little touches of satire, references that perhaps evoke Wells, Burroughs and Moorcock here and there and a rattling good adventure story into the bargain.

An entertaining, at times subtle and thought-provoking novel; well-paced, gloriously imaginative and deserving of a wide readership.
Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Enquirer VINE VOICE on 10 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If this novel came out in 1900 it would have been a sensation! It's faster paced than HG Wells and contains better ideas than Jules Verne. However..... in 2013 it's a bit of a mishmash. In many ways the author plays it straight. The book is not full of ironic commentary, knowing winks to the modern world, deliberate anachronisms, etc. That is to be welcomed and allows a reader to get really involved in the adventure.

I found the first half really well-done in a Gothic 'steam-punk' kind of way. It was atmospheric, drew the characters well, and gave some meaningful motivation for their coming behaviour. There is some kind of choice in what happens to them. They are not like say, 'John Carter of Mars', just flung from one event to another, having the adventure done to him rather than by him. The early encounters with the cultures of Mars are well-drawn and show Mark Hodder at his best. I can see why he previously won the Philip K Dick award.

The second half is a different matter. The 3 stars above are based on 4 for the first half - and 2 for the second. First half is steeped in what has gone before in early Sci Fi, but is still fresh. Second half is derivative pastiche. The hero, Aiden Fleischer, even ends up in exactly the same bind as John Carter! First half has a disciplined plot development. Second half is all over the place. As a film it might work, since the second half lurches from set-piece spectacle to set-piece spectacle, followed by the messy Edgar Rice Burroughs style ending.

If you are already a fan you will not be put off. If you are unfamiliar with early Science Fiction and its sub-genres you may just take it as it comes. If you have spent most of your life on a diet of the best, you will be left slightly hungry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By marcoscu TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love Mark Hodder and this might be my favourite of his to date. I was expecting another steampunk tale, but this is high Victorianesque, inter-planetary SF. It has more in common with HG Wells than Burton & Swinburn.

A Red Sun Also Rises is a first-person narrative, told by Aiden Fleischer, a weak and hopeless sort; a failed vicar turned useless missionary, who becomes a true and selfless hero on an alien world - A world whose civilisation has been, accidentally and unwittingly, completely re-modelled by his companion and former servant, the terribly crippled Clarissa.

It's a terrific story; unique and completely, wonderfully bonkers. The world-building is especially good, complete and well-imagined. The characterisation is superb, the aliens especially, with their caricature Bertie Wooster speech and absurd, Dickensian names - Colonel Momentous Spearjab, Mademoiselle Crockery Clattersmash, Lady Falldown Bruisebad - the good humour and likeability of all the characters is what sets this above others in this genre for me. There are deeper themes, too, a dose of subtle philosophy as Fleischer's questions his faith, his quest for good in an evil world as he searches for God in the evil around him.

I loved the smooth, neat, completely surprising ending - leading into a sequel? I hope so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Skudder TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Feb. 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Despite this being almost exactly what steampunk isn't, for some reason this has a very steampunk feel to it, possibly the mental picture of the Clarrissa Stark character in her thick goggles. Instead of the idea of a Victorian Britain having made some scientific advances early, what we have here is a story with no real anachronisms, just a normal Victorian missionary finding himself somehow transported to a strange alien planet and trying to make sense of it.

This is an old-fashioned adventure in a couple of ways. Firstly it concentrates on making a world that is self-consistant rather than one that is entirely plausible in strict scientific terms and is no less enjoyable for that. So it is a bit like a classic SF story from Wallace or Wells.

The other way it is old-fashioned is that it is framed as the discovered journal of the hero, and therefore entirely written in the first person. This sort of device, with its little preamble about how the document found its way to the author can be annoying if done badly, but in this case it works very well.

I have to confess that I hadn't heard of Mark Hodder before, but after this I will certainly be downloading a few of his other books.
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