I have read very little Steampunk and find the genre a bit peculiar, but after having read Ganymede, I will definitely have to explore the genre a little further in particular Priest's Clockwork Century series. Cherie Priest managed to weave a fascinating tale mixing in real, historical events and characters along with fictionalized elements to suit her needs. Set in an alternate prolonged Civil War timeline, the story centers around a prototype submarine called the Ganymede, that Josephine Early, a woman of color, is trying to get into the hands of the Union forces. She hopes that in so doing it will turn the tide of the war to the Union's side. The only problem is that she has to get someone to get the Ganymede out of the lake it's in and to the union, so she turns to an ex-lover, Adnan Cly, who flies planes, to do the job.
The novel was well-written, something that I can respect as a fellow writer. It was also very colorful, both in terms of the characters and the world that was created. Not just Adnan Cly and Josephine, but even many of the side characters come to life. Priest's vision of the South in a war that ensues long after the actual Civil War did presents interesting possibilities. The transport of the Ganymede also provided some good drama. My only complaints was that I did not see the need to have zombies in the novel. It seems like zombies are everywhere these days, and if you got rid of them, the novel would not lose anything. Also, I never got a real sense of danger for the characters in the climactic scene. Things were too under the control. All in all a good read. If you haven't given steampunk a try, I would give Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century series a try.
Carl Alves - author of Two For Eternity