We’re very happy to report that Ian R. MacLeod‘s Aether Universe novels are available again in eBook! Published via the JABberwocky eBook Program, the books are available from most major eBook retailers. Read on for further details.
Pictured above, the series starts with THE LIGHT AGES, which was first published in 2003…
Aether is industry, industry is magic and the Great Guilds rule the known world.
Raised amid the smokestakes, terraced houses and endless subterranean pounding of the aether engines of the Yorkshire town of Bracebridge, Robert Borrows is nevertheless convinced that life holds a greater destiny than merely working endless shifts for one of the Lesser Guilds. Then, on a day out with his mother to the strange gardens and weirdly encrusted towers of a remote mansion, he encounters a wizened changeling, and the young girl in her charge called Anna, and glimpses a world of wonder, mystery and surprise.
From then on, as he flees to London in the hope of escape and advancement, and explores its wide streets and dark alleys, and all the tiers of society from the lowest to the highest, he comes to realize that he holds the keys to secrets far bigger than even he imagined.
A dazzling melange of Dickens and Peake, flavored with steampunk and magical realism, yet seen through a kaleidoscopically individual gaze, in The Light Ages, double World Fantasy Award winner Ian R MacLeod has created a novel for this and every age.
Here’s what critics had to say about the novel…
‘MacLeod is set to become a writer of the magnitude of Dickens or Tolkien.’ — Guardian
‘[T]his beautifully written, complex fantasy novel… With its strong character development and gritty, alternate London, this book won’t attract fans of Robert Jordan or Terry Goodkind, but should hold great appeal to readers who love the more sophisticated fantasy of Michael Swanwick, John Crowley or even China Miéville.’ — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
‘MacLeod’s descriptive powers are so effective that you can visualize every detail… [He] skillfully incorporates literary influences ranging from William Blake to Dickens to 1984 and the working class novels of the 1950s—and arrives at something original. Magical, visionary and enthralling, THE LIGHT AGES is award-winning stuff.’ — SFX
‘Totally convincing and vividly written, this book invests the dark streets of London with a magic the reader will never forget… a brilliant writer.’ — Tim Powers
‘A haunting fantasy version of Victorian England… brought to life with compassionate characters and lyrical writing.’ — Denver Post
‘The novel’s industrial alternative London echoes Dickens in its rich bleakness and M. John Harrison’s Viriconium in its inventive Gothic complexity. A gripping page-turner. A hearty read. Rising star Ian R MacLeod offers an original political fable rivaling in ambition and execution the very best of today’s new science fantasies.’ — Michael Moorcock
The second novel in the duology, THE HOUSE OF STORMS was first published in 2005…
In the ninety-ninth year of the Age of Light, Alice Meynell has fought her way up to Greatgrandmistress of the Guild of Telegraphers, and is determined not to let even the consumption which is ravaging her son stand in the way. What follows, through a long, hot summer in the great house of Invercombe overlooking the Bristol Channel, changes not only their lives but those of everyone in England, and perhaps the whole known world.
The House of Storms follows on from double World Fantasy Award-winner Ian R MacLeod’s The Light Ages in creating a vividly three-dimensional vision of a landscape and a society both very like, but also wonderfully different from, our own. Part fantasy and part history, and filled with compelling characters and a deep sense of place, the story he tells is uniquely powerful and strange.
Like its predecessor, the sequel was also widely praised…
‘Ian R MacLeod [is] a seasoned, gritty writer with a great depth of knowledge and understanding, who could teach us all a thing or two about writing a damn good tale… characters are well developed and interesting and, more importantly, highly believable and real. To me it was JG Ballard meets Robert Fripp. Intelligent and yet not pretentious, well written but not academic… It is a plot that is like a journey on British Rail – fraught with perils and dangers, but eventually getting you there… It is a monumental work of science fiction far superior to Asimov. MacLeod is set to become a writer of the magnitude of Dickens or Tolkien, yet I fear his work will not be truly appreciated for a generation to come.’ — Guardian
‘Ian MacLeod writes like an angel. It’s as simple as that. He strings together ideally chosen words into sentences that are variously lush, sparse, subtle, bold, joyous, mournful, comic or tragic. These sentences mount into perfectly balanced paragraphs, which in turn assemble themselves into poised and dramatically organic chapters. The reader is carried along effortlessly on the flow of MacLeod’s prose, internalizing his vision as if in a dream.’ — SciFi.com
‘MacLeod’s ability to tell a tale that blends history-in-the-making with the stories of men and women who make that history renders this chronicle of love, war, and human aspiration a strong addition to any fantasy collection.’ — Library Journal
‘In the end, as compelling as the plot may be, readers will find themselves slowing down, holding back, turning the pages with deliberate care. For the world MacLeod creates, the characters who live there, the schemes and terrors they find themselves involved in are so real, so beautifully rendered, that readers will not want to leave them behind.’ — Interzone
JABberwocky has also published five other books by Ian as eBooks: RED SNOW, WAKE UP AND DREAM, THE GREAT WHEEL, SONG OF TIME, and THE SUMMER ISLES.