The prolific Tidhar provides another tongue-in-cheek story with a few digs at SF writers and SF fandom – similar to his ‘Whaliens‘ from Analog’s April 2014 issue.
This is a story, we are told, in the same milieu as his Bookman Histories trilogy, and is a steampunk/lizardpunk story set in a Victorian England where Queen Victoria rules the Lizardine Empire.
This story features a man with the name Orphan, leaving behind a London which has been the recipient of a terrorist attack which has impacted him personally, and his mission, given to him by the Bookman, is to head to France en route to rescuing his girlfriend.
The plot progresses nicely enough, but it is the setting, a Paris hotel which is hosting an SF convention, with Orphan meeting up with one Herbert George Wells that is the best part of it, with Tidhar getting in some subtle (or not that subtle!) digs. My favourite dig being the mining of a dead parent’s milieu.