To celebrate the 30 years since the term ‘steampunk’ was coined by author K.W. Jeter, Angry Robot is bringing his George Dower trilogy back, with two re-releases—one for the first time outside of the US—plus a brand new novel. Artist John Coulthart has provided three stunning new covers for Infernal Devices, Fiendish Schemes, and the all new novel Grim Expectations—we’re excited to share them all below!
Author K.W. Jeter shares his thoughts on the new “spiffed-up” editions:
I was considerably elated—nay, overjoyed—when the wise Angry Robot editors informed me that the artist & designer John Coulthart had been engaged to create the cover artwork for my new novel Grim Expectations, the concluding instalment in what I refer to as the George Dower trilogy. I was a fan of Mr. Coulthart’s work even before he did the covers for the previous two novels in the series, Infernal Devices and Fiendish Schemes, both now available as well from Angry Robot. Those covers, with their rich period detail and antic complications—as well as some genuinely spooky bits, to my mind perfectly captured the tone that I had attempted to create in the books. Plus the volumes they adorn look really impressive sitting on the shelf.
Imagine my surprise then, when the images of the new covers were first transmitted to me, and I saw that Mr. Coulthart had been commissioned to not just create a cover for Grim Expectations in the style of the previous books’ covers, but actually to design a new look for all three books together—and that he had done so in a manner exceeding his earlier accomplishments. As much as I thought of the covers he had already done for Infernal Devices and Fiendish Schemes, I like the new ones even better, especially when viewed all together as a completed trilogy. For one thing, my name is even bigger on them—writers always like that. But the overall design for the series covers is even more stylish than before, with just as much visual wit and inventiveness. A certain grace and charm is thereby bestowed on all the books, which I hope readers will agree that they deserve. So my hat is off once again to the artist John Coulthart, and to the behind-the-scenes editors and art directors who have been smart enough to keep him on the Jeter watch.
That these remarkably spiffed-up books, including the absolutely new one, are appearing in connection with what appears to be the 30th anniversary of my coining of the word “steampunk”—that’s even more frosting on the birthday cake. It’s a truism that nothing is really real until it’s been given a name; that’s why the first job God gave Adam was to hang appropriate monikers on all the animals. If my jocular creation of the label in any way enabled what was become an impressive army of steampunk writers, with all their sometimes dismayingly prodigious talent and creativity, to build a box in which to fit their stories and then use that box to find their readers—well then, hurrah for me; I accept a breathless world’s gratitude. If my own small contributions to this rackety and eccentric genre are still enjoyed, then the world—or at least the remaining literate part of it—has my gratitude. I probably won’t be around long enough to see all of the next thirty years of steampunkish achievement, but I look forward to it, nevertheless—I’m certain it will be both entertaining and somewhat terrifying.
The trilogy begins with Infernal Devices, originally published in 1987. The re-release hits bookshelves in the US, Canada, and the UK/Commonwealth in February 2017. From the catalog copy:
When George Dower’s father died, he left George his watchmaker’s shop—and more. But George has little talent for watches and other infernal devices. When someone tries to steal an old device from the premises, George finds himself embroiled in a mystery of time travel, music and sexual intrigue.
Fiendish Schemes, book two in the series, will be re-released in April 2017, marking its first publication outside the US. From the catalog copy:
The world George Dower left when he went into hiding was significantly simpler than the new, steam-powered Victorian London. Dower is enticed into a web of intrigue with ominously mysterious players who have nefarious plans of which he can only guess. If he can locate and make his father’s Vox Universalis work as it was intended, his future is assured.
But his efforts are confounded by the strange Vicar Stonebrake. Drugged, arrested, and interrogated Dower is trapped in a maelstrom of secrets, corruption, and schemes that threaten to drown him in the chaos of this mad new world.
K.W. Jeter closes out the George Dower trilogy with the new novel Grim Expectations, publishing June 2017. From the catalog copy:
Some time after the events of Fiendish Schemes, George Dower finds himself a widower, of sorts. On her deathbed, Miss McThane entrusts Dower with a small, ticking clockwork box. The box is mysteriously linked to her.
When she breathes her last, the box stops ticking and Dower is able to open it, to find hundreds of letters—written in an unknown hand, signed only with the initial S. They’re not love letters, but refer instead to the letter-writer’s ongoing search for some other person. The last is a simple note, reading “Found him”…