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Joined 8 months, 4 weeks ago

I read a lot, mostly sci-fi and fantasy. Currently re-reading some of Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar novels. I also enjoy Jasper Fforde's surrealist humor. And I somehow bored my way through the first book of "The Realmgate Wars".. not bothering with the rest of that series.

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reviewed Newton's Cannon by J. Gregory Keyes

Newton's Cannon (Paperback, 1999, Del Rey) 3 stars

Clockpunk with a touch of horror... and a few famous people too many.

3 stars

An interesting alternate history based on the premise that Isaac Newton's experiments in alchemy had borne as much fruit as his investigation of physics.

The book roughly consists of two parallel stories: that of Benjamin Franklin in the New World and England, and of a woman named Adrienne in France. Their stories are told in alternating chapters.

Newton's discoveries have opened the door to a whole slew of new inventions, most important of which is called an "aetherscreiber". The basic idea is that two attuned crystals can copy each other's vibrations even if they are literally on the other side of the world - making one-on-one communication possible worldwide. However, they only work in pairs: each screiber can only be attuned to one other, so mass media is not yet possible.
Nonetheless, it is through these ingenuous alchemical devices that the two storylines are linked together, as people in both …