124 Followers
127 Following
DanSchwent

Dantastic Book Reviews

Part of the growing Dantastic Empire

The Nomad of Time - Michael Moorcock Warlord of the Air:
Oswald Bastable is trapped in a cave-in in 1903 and wakes up in 1973, a 1973 with a strong British Empire and it's navy of airships. Oswald struggles to belong and runs afoul of The Warlord of the Air. Can Oswald find his way back to 1903?

As I've said before with Dancers at the End of Time and Gloriana, Moorcock's non-Elric stuff is what enchants me as I get older. Warlord of the Air is a good alternate history novel and is widely regarded as one of the forerunners of steampunk. You've got airships, a British empire, and Lenin, Ronald Reagan, Mick Jagger, and Che Guevara in roles other than what you'd normally see them in. Bastable's a good lead character and the fish out of water angle keeps the story moving. The Warlord of the Air was far from the supervillain I thought he'd be based on the title.

The Land Leviathan:
Bastable emerges from the ruins of the Temple of the Future Buddha in a 1904 that is not his own, where the world became a utopia due to the intellect of one Chilean boy, then plunged into another dark age, where the Black Attila has aspirations of freeing the black and conquering the world. Will he oppose the Attila or join him?

The second Bastable story is similar to the first. Once again, Moorcock creates a multi-dimensional villain and has Bastable join up with him for a time. Una Perrson and the captain from the previous book make appearances, as do Al Capone and Gandhi, although in roles other than the ones they had in our world. Cicero Hood, the Black Attila, is the most interesting member of the cast, even more interesting than Bastable. The tech in this book is even better than in the last. You get giant tanks, air ships, and drilling machines. Not bad for a story told in the 70's.

The Steel Tsar:
Bastable winds up in a world where the Japanese have aspirations of world conquest and Britain, Russia, and Germany have banded together to oppose them. Will Bastable stop the Steel Tsar or join him?

I'll be honest. While the Steel Tsar has all the charm of the first two books, there weren't a lot of surprises. By the third book, I could pretty much predict the plot twists. To top it off, I already knew how it was going to end based on Bastable's appearances in later Moorcock works. Not a bad book but not revolutionary, especially after the first two.

All in all, I enjoyed the Nomad of Time. It was full of proto-steampunk goodness and should appear to fans of Michael Moorcock as well as those of Jules Verne.