Comments to the books taken from the excellent webpage https://www.fantasticfiction.com/h/mark-hodder/
Burton & Swinburne series:
- The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (2010) – Sir Richard Francis Burton–explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman; his reputation tarnished; his career in tatters; his former partner missing and probably dead. Algernon Charles Swinburne–unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade; for whom pain is pleasure, and brandy is ruin! They stand at a crossroads in their lives and are caught in the epicenter of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labor; Libertines oppose repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity; while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behavior to the limits with magic, drugs, and anarchy. The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London’s East End. Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age, and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn’t exist at all!
- The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (2011) – It is 1862, though not the 1862 it should be… Time has been altered, and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the king’s agent, is one of the few people who know that the world is now careening along a very different course from that which Destiny intended. When a clockwork-powered man of brass is found abandoned in Trafalgar Square, Burton and his assistant, the wayward poet Algernon Swinburne, find themselves on the trail of the stolen Garnier Collection–black diamonds rumored to be fragments of the Lemurian Eye of Naga, a meteorite that fell to Earth in prehistoric times. His investigation leads to involvement with the media sensation of the age: the Tichborne Claimant, a man who insists that he’s the long lost heir to the cursed Tichborne estate. Monstrous, bloated, and monosyllabic, he’s not the aristocratic Sir Roger Tichborne known to everyone, yet the working classes come out in force to support him. They are soon rioting through the streets of London, as mysterious steam wraiths incite all-out class warfare. From a haunted mansion to the Bedlam madhouse, from South America to Australia, from séances to a secret labyrinth, Burton struggles with shadowy opponents and his own inner demons, meeting along the way the philosopher Herbert Spencer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Florence Nightingale, and Charles Doyle (father of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle). Can the king’s agent expose a plot that threatens to rip the British Empire apart, leading to an international conflict the like of which the world has never seen? And what part does the clockwork man have to play? Burton and Swinburne’s second adventure–The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man–is filled with eccentric steam-driven technology, grotesque characters, and a deepening mystery that pushes forward the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack.
- Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (2012) – It is 1863, but not the one it should be… Time has veered wildly off course, and moves are being made that will lead to a devastating world war. Prime Minister Lord Palmerston believes that by possessing the three Eyes of Naga he’ll be able to manipulate events and avoid the war. He already has two of the stones, but he needs Sir Richard Francis Burton to recover the third. For the king’s agent, it’s a chance to return to the Mountains of the Moon to make a second attempt at locating the source of the Nile. But a rival expedition led by John Hanning Speke stands in his way, threatening a confrontation that could ignite the very war that Palmerston is trying to avoid! Caught in a tangled web of cause, effect, and inevitability, little does Burton realize that the stakes are far higher than even he suspects. A final confrontation comes in London, where, in the year 1840, Burton must face the man responsible for altering time – Spring Heeled Jack! Burton and Swinburne’s third adventure completes the three-volume story arc begun in The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack and The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man.
- The Secret of Abdu El-Yezdi (2013) – Burton and Swinburne return in a new series! The Beast is coming. History will be remade. Since the assassination of Queen Victoria in 1840, a cabal of prominent men – including King George V, HRH Prince Albert, Benjamin Disraeli, and Isambard Kingdom Brunel – has received guidance from the afterlife. The spirit of a dead mystic, Abdu El Yezdi, has helped them to steer the empire into a period of unprecedented peace and creativity. But on the eve of a groundbreaking alliance with the newly formed Greater German Confederation, scientists, surgeons, and engineers are being abducted – including Brunel! The government, in search of answers, turns to the afterlife, only to find that Abdu El Yezdi is now refusing to speak with the living. Enter the newly knighted Sir Richard Francis Burton, fresh from his discovery of the source of the Nile. Appointed the king’s agent, he must trace the missing luminaries and solve the mystery of Abdu El Yezdi’s silence. But the Beast has been summoned. How can the famous explorer fulfill his mission when his friends and loved ones are being picked off, one by one, by what appears to be a supernatural entity – by, perhaps, Abdu El Yezdi himself?
- The Return of the Discontinued Man (2012) – Explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton and poet Algernon Swinburne return in a new series of wildly imaginative steampunk adventures. Spring Heeled Jack is jumping back! It’s 9 p.m. on February 15, 1860, and Charles Babbage, the British Empire’s most brilliant scientist, performs an experiment. Within moments, bloodred 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!
- The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats (2015) – Sir Richard Francis Burton’s expedition has returned from the future, bringing with it knowledge of technologies that must remain secret if history is to proceed as it should. However, when one of his colleagues turns rogue, the secret falls into the hands of the very people most likely to misuse it. Betrayed, Burton and Swinburne watch in horror as the empire’s elite employ the technology to secure their positions of privilege. When London’s parks are transformed into concentration camps, artists and philosophers are declared enemies of the state, and propaganda proliferates, the king’s agent finds himself on the wrong side of – the king! Can Burton and his band of hunted revolutionaries overthrow an apparently indestructible and immortal autocrat…and if so, at what personal cost? The Spring Heeled Jack saga reaches its explosive conclusion!
Strange Affairs and Curious Cases (2016) – The first of three projected companions to the acclaimed Burton & Swinburne series of steampunk novels, this contains six brand new short stories featuring Burton and Swinburne and their various companions, plus short essays, two screenplays fragments, and other related material.
When Red Petals Fall (2017) – The second of three projected companions to the acclaimed Burton & Swinburne series of steampunk novels, this contains brand new short stories featuring Burton and Swinburne and their various companions, plus articles, fragments, and other related material. 47,500 words.
Macallister Fogg Series:
In the years before the incomparable Sherlock Holmes drove away the competition, and despite his arrogant claim to be the first of his kind, Baker Street was filled with consulting detectives. Among the investigators who worked out of that famous thoroughfare, none experienced such a capricious career as Mr Macallister Fogg. To judge Fogg against Holmes would be entirely unreasonable, for the two men couldn’t be more different in character. Where Holmes was driven and precise, Fogg was a feckless dabbler, concerned more with his mechanical inventions and chemical experiments than with the solving of his clients’ problems. Undoubtedly, had he not taken on Mrs Emma Boswell as his secretary, he’d have quickly gone out of business and there’d be no record of his eccentricities or the remarkable threats he encountered and somehow nullified. It is fair to say that Fogg, on more than one occasion, saved not just his clients but the Earth itself, and certainly could not have done so without the long suffering Mrs Boswell at his side. Mark Hodder, author of the Philip K. Dick Award winning BURTON & SWINBURNE series, introduces a new steampunk hero, a man who blunders from one weird adventure to another: Macallister Fogg, Consulting Detective!
- The Master Mummer’s Mummy (2013) – No, no spoilers! Just read it!
- Great Great Great (And So Forth) Uncle Dragoslav (2013) – In the second of their recorded adventures, Fogg and Boswell confront an ages old vampire, and Fogg finds a unique way of putting the ancient threat to rest!
- The Hetrodythermaline Highwayman (2013) – In their third recorded adventure, Macallister Fogg is overtaken by his criminal ancestor, and Mrs Boswell must save her employer!
Stand alone Novels
A Red Sun Also Rises (2012) – Transported to the alien world of Ptallaya by a strange and terrifying ritual, Victorian missionary Aiden Fleischer and his brilliant but damaged assistant Clarissa Stark are stranded. Befriended by the Yatsill, a race of bizarre telepathic alien mimics, the travellers watch in amazement as the society around them transforms into a parody of London. But as the dual yellow suns of this new world slowly set, a red sun is also rising, and with it come the Blood Gods, an ancient and indestructible evil…
The Cold Equations
Is a new projected series set in the far future. It has it´s own facebook page, www.facebook.com/the.cold.equations and can be read in exclusive excerpts on Mark Hodder´s Patreon account.