William Preston. Clockworks. (Asimovs, April/May 2011).

Preston’s ‘Helping Them Take the Old Man Down’ from Asimovs in March 2010, impressed me (click here for that review).

It also garnered, and has continued to do, quite a high number of hits on Best SF via Google. Clearly a lot of people were intrigued/confused about the story. Preston has taken the opportunity to revisit his character (killing the character off in the first story didn’t leave much in the way of an opportunity for the continuing adventures of his protagonist).

Here he delves back into the earlier days of this pulp hero, more of a Doc Savage than a Superman, in his halcyon days. He’s clearly in his pomp, intellect the size of a planet, artic HQ in fine fettle, and a team of dedicated assistants who will follow him to the end of the Earth. And, indeed, avoidance of that fate is what the story is about. But whilst the story progresses more than nicely through an eldritch threat to humanity, with a memorable struggle, it weaves in thoughtful consideration of ethics and moral judgments about crime and ciminality and responsibility for actions. Marvellous.

One thought on “William Preston. Clockworks. (Asimovs, April/May 2011).

  1. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed the story. Thanks for your comments.

    But you should know: I didn’t kill off “the Old Man” in the earlier story. (At least, I sure hope I didn’t, since I’ve got sequels in mind as well!)



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