London 1888. His Majesty s airships troll the sky powered by antigrav liftwood as a cabal of Iron Lords tightens its hold on a Britain choked by the fumes of industry. Mars has been colonized, and clockwork assassins stalk the European corridors of power. And somewhere far to the east, the Old Man of the Mountains plots the end of the world with his Forever Engine.
Enter Jack Fargo. Scholar. Former special forces operator in Afghanistan. A man from our own near future thrust back in time or to wherever it is that this Brave Victorian World actually exists. Aided only by an elderly Scottish physicist, a young British officer of questionable courage, and a beautiful but mysterious spy for the French Commune, Fargo is a man on a mission: save the future from irrevocable destruction when the Forever Engine is brought to full power and blows this universe, and our own, to smithereens.
About "The Forever Engine"
Chadwick balances scientific theory, steampunk imagery, and memorable characters with flair . .. "Publishers Weekly"
"An alternate universe story full of action and political intrigue in the great tradition of Keith Laumer's "Worlds of the Imperium." It'll probably be labeled "steampunk," but this is the all-too-rare kind of steampunk where the coal dust is black and gritty, engines run hot and stink, steam boilers are dangerous, and blood-spilling isn't the least bit Victorian." Eric Flint, "New York Times "best-selling alternate history master, creator of the Ring of Fire series
From 1973 through 1996, Chadwick] was a game designer . . . His designs include Space: 1889, a game that created the Steampunk genre. Chadwick borrows . . . from the world of Space: 1889 in the "The Forever Engine." The result is a fast-paced action novel with an engaging cast of character. It combines hard science-fiction with steampunk in an entertaining story. "Daily News of Galveston County"
About Frank Chadwick's "How Dark the World Becomes"
"How Dark the World Becomes "is a crackling debut novel that speaks of great things to come It's whip-smart, lightning-fast and character-driven in short it has everything required to be totally satisfying. Highly recommended." Jonathan Maberry, "New York Times" best-selling author of "Assassin s Code""
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-11-04
- Reviewer: Staff
Legendary game designer Chadwick taps into his popular Space: 1889 steampunk setting with this exciting prequel novel, which sees soldier-turned-historian Jack Fargo catapulted from 2018 to an alternate 1888 by a mysterious, explosive event. Though alternately amazed and baffled by a world that features airships, interplanetary travel, America split into the Confederate States and the United States, and Europe laid out along different political lines, Fargo just wants to go home. Unfortunately, the one man who might be able to help—the infamous inventor Nikola Tesla—is likely to destroy the world with his terrifying new technology. Though some of the temporal mechanics are grounded in technobabble, the worldbuilding is rock solid, the plot fast paced, the action visceral, and the stakes high. Chadwick balances scientific theory, steampunk imagery, and memorable characters with flair, delivering an entertaining story that serves well as an introduction to the game. (Jan.)