Novel novel books, y’all installment 2

Okay, so! Another book I read on vacation is Cherie Priest’s Ganymede. All of the clockwork century books are fun–they have great characters, they crossover with one another to some extent but not so much that they’re direct sequels, and they’re an interesting alternate history take on the Civil War era. I have been having Zombie Fatigue for a while, but if the zombies aren’t the focus, I usually still find them enjoyable, and that is the case with this title. (Of the clockwork century, the zombies are only a major focus in Boneshaker and a minor focus in Dreadnought. (I haven’t read Clementine, yet.) They are a minor feature in Ganymede, but in all of these novels, the story is so compelling that my ZF isn’t triggered. This installment takes place mostly in Louisiana (with some bits in Seattle), and involves a steampunk submarine. As a Navy brat and daughter of a retired sub captain and someone who wanted to captain her own sub, I dug Ganymede a lot. My dad doesn’t do steampunk or zombies in his reading, but I was really tempted to suggest he try this one out. The mechanics of the Ganymede, the ‘punked sub, are similar to those of the airships that feature in all the clockwork century books, and I’d love his perspective on the operability of one of these “fish.”

There is also a transgender character in this novel, which I loved for two reasons: 1) there is no way that transgender people didn’t exist before, say, 1970, and 2) the discovery of the trans-nature of this character covers maybe 2 pages and while a character is taken aback, there is no “oh my god, gross!”ness at all. It’s noted, and then we move on. Not a big deal. More works need to be this way! It’s gonna be a while, I suspect, though, since it’s still a pleasant surprise when gay and lesbian characters are treated this way (rather than being 100% defined by their gayness or with a great focus on it throughout the story.) Still: good sign! Thanks, Cherie.


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