Cherie Priest - Boneshaker

Embed Size (px)

Text of Cherie Priest - Boneshaker

BoneshakerCherie Priest




Boneshaker Cherie Priest wove a story so convincing, so evocative, so terrifying that I read this book with the doors locked and a gun on my lap. Boneshaker is a steampunk menagerie of thrills and horror. Mario Acevedo, bestselling author of Jailbait Zombie Everything youd want in such a volume and much more Its full of buckle and has swash to spare, and the

characters are likable and the prose is fun. This is a hoot from start to finish, pure mad adventure. Cory Doctorow, bestselling author of Little Brother A gorgeously grim world of deadly gases, mysterious machines, Zeppelin pirates, and a relentless plague of zombies. With Boneshaker, Priest is geared up to begin her reign as the Queen of Steampunk. Mark Henry, author of Road Trip

of the Living Dead A rip-snorting adventure in the best tradition of a penny dreadful. Priest has crafted a novel of exquisite prose and thrilling twists, populated by folk heroes and dastardly villains, zombies and air pirates, incredible machines, and a heroine wholl have you cheering. Boneshaker is the definitive steampunk story, absolutely unique and one hell of a fun read. Caitlin

Kittredge, author of the Nocturne City novels If Wild, Wild West had been written by Mark Twain with the assistance of Jules Verne and Bram Stoker, it still couldnt be as fabulous and fantastical as Boneshaker. Cherie Priest has penned a rousing adventure tale that breathes a roaring soul and thundering heart into the glittering skin of steampunk. Stylish, taut, and wonderful, its a literary ride

you must not miss! Kat Richardson, bestselling author of Greywalker Its awesome. I loved everything about it, and I cant wait for it to come out so the rest of the world can read it and understand why I loved it as much as I did. Wil Wheat on, author of Just a Geek Tor Books by Cherie Priest THE EDEN MOORE

BOOKS Four and Twenty Blackbirds Wings to the Kingdom Not Flesh Nor Feathers Fathom Boneshaker This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, and events portrayed in this novel are either products of the authors imagination or are used fictitiously.

BONESHAKER Copyright 2009 by Cherie Priest All rights reserved. Map by Hanover A Tor Book Published Doherty LLC by Tom Associates, Jennifer

173 Fifth Avenue New York, NY 10010 Tor is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC. Library of Congress Cataloging-inPublication Data Priest, Cherie. Boneshaker / Cherie Priest.1st ed. p. cm. A Tom Doherty Associates book. ISBN 978-0-7653-

1841-1 1. Mothers and sonsFiction. 2. ZombiesFiction. 3. Northwest, PacificFiction. I. Title. PS3616.R537 2009 813'.6dc22 Printed in the United States of America This ones B66

for Team Seattle Mark Henry, Caitlin Kittredge, Richelle Mead, and Kat Richardson for they are the heart and soul of this place. Acknowledgments

This many one requires rounds of

thanks, so please allow me to make a list. Thanks to my editor, Liz Gorinsky, for her superlative skills, astonishing patience, and unparalleled determination; thanks to the publicity team at Tor, specifically Dot Lin and Patty Garcia, both of whom rock quite thoroughly; thanks to my everencouraging and unrelenting agent, Jennifer Jackson. And thanks to the home team, tooin particular, my

husband, Aric Annear, who is subjected to most of these stories in excruciating detail and for dissection before theyre ever finished; to my sister Becky Priest, for helping to scan all my proofs and passes; to Jerry and Donna Priest, for being my number-one cheerleaders; and to my mother, Sharon Priest, for keeping me humble. Thanks go out to the aforementioned Team Seattle, and to our friends Duane Wilkins at the

University of Washington bookstore and the incomparable Synde Korman at the downtown Barnes & Noble. Speaking of Barnes & Noble, I also send love and thanks to Paul Goat Allen. He knows why. Yet further thanks must be showered upon my favorite lycanthrope, Amanda Gannon, for letting me use her Livejournal handle as the name of a dirigible (shes the original Naamah Darling); to the guides of the Seattle Underground tour, who

keep offering me a job because Ive taken the tour so many times; and to my old friend Andrea Jones and her Usual Suspects, because shes always got my historical backand she provides me with the best lead-in quotes. Thanks also to Talia Kaye, the amazingly helpful speculativefiction-loving librarian at the Seattle Public Librarys Seattle Room; to Greg WildSmith, my intrepid webmaster; to Warren Ellis and everyone in

the clubhouse; and to Ellen Milne, for all the cookies. In this age of invention the science of arms has made great progress. In fact, the most remarkable inventions have been made since the prolonged wars of Europe in the early part of the century, and the

short Italian campaign of France in 1859 served to illustrate how great a power the engines of destruction can exert. THOMAS P. KETTELL, History of the Great Rebellion. From its commencement to its close, giving an account of its origin, The Secession of the Southern States, and the

Formation of the Confederate Government, the concentration of the Military and Financial resources of the federal government, the development of its vast power, the raising, organizing, and equipping of the contending armies and navies; lucid, vivid, and accurate descriptions of battles and bombardments,

sieges and surrender of forts, captured batteries, etc., etc.; the immense financial resources and comprehensive measures of the government, the enthusiasm and patriotic contributions of the people, together with sketches of the lives of all the eminent statesmen and military and naval

commanders, with a full and complete index. From Official Sources (1862) Fro m Unlikely Episodes in Western History CHAPTER 7: Seattles Walled and Peculiar State Work progress, in by

Hale Quarter (1880) Unpaved, uneven trails pretended to be roads; they tied the nations coasts together like laces holding a boot, binding it with crossed strings and crossed fingers. And over the great river, across the plains, between the mountain passes, the settlers pushed from east to west. They trickled over the Rockies in dribs and drabs, in wagons and coaches. Or this is how it

began. In California there were nuggets the size of walnuts lying on the groundor so it was said, and truth travels slowly when rumors have wings of gold. The trickle of humanity became a magnificent flow. The glittering western shores swarmed with prospectors, pushing their luck and pushing their pans into the gravelly streams, praying for fortunes. In time, the earth grew crowded, and claims became more

tenuous. Gold came out of the ground in dust so fine that the men who mined it couldve inhaled it. In 1850 another rumor, winged and sparkling, came swiftly from the north. The Klondike, it said. Come and cut your way through the ice you find there. A fortune in gold awaits a determined enough man. The tide shifted, and looked to the northern latitudes. This meant very, very good things for the

last frontier stop before the Canadian bordera backwater mill town on Puget Sound called Seattle after the native chief of the local tribes. The muddy village became a tiny empire nearly overnight as explorers and prospectors paused to trade and stock up on supplies. While American legislators argued over whether or not to buy the Alaska territory, Russia hedged its bets and considered its asking price. If the land really was pocked with gold deposits,

the game would absolutely change; but even if a steady supply of gold could be located, could it be retrieved? A potential vein, spotted intermittently but mostly buried beneath a hundred feet of permanent ice, would make for an ideal testing ground. In 1860, the Russians announced a contest, offering a 100,000 ruble prize to the inventor who could produce or propose a machine that could mine through ice in search of gold. And in

this way, a scientific arms race began despite a budding civil war. Across the Pacific Northwest, big machines and small machines were tinkered into existence. They were tricky affairs designed to withstand bitter cold and tear through turf that was frozen diamond-hard. They were powered by steam and coal, and lubricated with special solutions that protected their mechanisms from the elements. These

machines were made for men to drive like stagecoaches, or designed to dig on their own, controlled by clockwork and ingenious guiding devices. But none of them were rugged enough to tackle the buried vein, and the Russians were on the verge of selling the land to America for a relative pittance when a Seattle inventor approached them with plans for an amazing machine. It would be the greatest mining vehicle ever

constructed: fifty feet long and fully mechanized, powered by compressed steam. It would boast three primary drilling and cutting heads, positioned at the front of the craft; and a system of spiral shoveling devices mounted along the back and sides would scoop the boredthrough ice, rocks, or earth back out of the drilling path. Carefully weighted and meticulously reinforced, this machine could drill in an almost perfect

vertical or horizontal path, depending on the whims of the man in the drivers seat. Its precision would be unprecedented, and its power would set the standard for all such devices to come. But it had not yet been built. The inventor, a man named Leviticus Blue, convinced the Russians to advance him a sum great enough to gather the parts and fund the labor on Dr. Blues Incredible Bone-

Shaking Drill Engine. He asked for six months, and promised a public test dis