The Return of the Discontinued Man: The Burton & Swinburne Adventures

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9780091950651: The Return of the Discontinued Man: The Burton & Swinburne Adventures

Explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton and poet Algernon Swinburne return in a new series of wildly imaginative steampunk adventures.


It's 9 p.m. on February 15, 1860, and Charles Babbage, the British Empire's most brilliant scientist, performs an experiment. Within moments, blood red snow falls from the sky and Spring Heeled Jack pops out of thin air in London's Leicester Square. Though utterly disoriented and apparently insane, the strange creature is intent on one thing: hunting Sir Richard Francis Burton!

Spring Heeled Jack isn't alone in his mental confusion. Burton can hardly function; he's experiencing one hallucination after another--visions of parallel realities and future history. Someone, or something, is trying to tell him about ... what? 

When the revelation comes, it sends Burton and his companions on an expedition even the great explorer could never have imagined--a voyage through time itself into a twisted future where steam technology has made a resurgence and a despotic intelligence rules over the British Empire!

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About the Author:

Mark Hodder is the author of A Red Sun Also Rises and the Burton & Swinburne novels The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon, and The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi. A former BBC writer, editor, journalist, and web producer, Mark left London, England, for Valencia, Spain, to de-stress and write novels. He has a degree in cultural studies and loves British history, good food, cutting-edge gadgets, Tom Waits, and a vast assortment of oddities. He's the creator and caretaker of the Blakiana website celebrating Sexton Blake, the most written-about fictional detective in English publishing history.

From Booklist:

In this fifth installment of his popular Burton and Swinburne steampunk alternate-history series, Hodder brings back the titular antihero of his award-winning novel The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010). This time the mythical leaping phantom plays an entirely different role for notorious explorer Richard Burton and his sidekick, the famous poet Algernon Swinburne, acting here as a messenger with a warning about a catastrophic rift in time. After red snow begins falling from the sky and Burton experiences a series of hallucinations involving parallel universes, the pair traces these disruptions to an experiment conducted by brilliant inventor Charles Babbage. Before they know it, Burton and Swinburne find themselves jumping into the future in 54-year increments, with their ultimate destination a radically transformed England in 2202. As in the previous novels, Hodder puts his knack for tall-tale spinning on full display, with such Victorian England celebrities as Herbert Spencer and H. G. Wells rubbing elbows with each other in one imaginative and enthralling scenario after another. Hodder’s growing legion of fans won’t be disappointed. --Carl Hays

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