The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack

The word is finally out: the winner of this year’s Philip K. Dick Award (judged by yours truly, with a panel of other worthies) is a delightful debut novel by Mark Hodder, called The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack.  Full of manic, inventive energy, bizarre villains, a whirling plot as mad as some of the characters, it nevertheless delivers a complete and satisfying conclusion that wraps up every loose end.  The alternate Victorian world is rich with detail and betrays a deep knowledge of the true history of our world, even as Hodder twists it almost to the breaking point to tell his tale.  The characters are motivated by all kinds of unusual passions, but are both believable and sympathetic, even as the world around them goes mad.  Ambitious, full of surprises, and very satisfying.


David is a science fiction and fantasy author, which gives him the freedom to explore far beyond the limits of real life and the everyday. His books explores themes that skirt the edges of science and religion, such as human origins, the nature of truth, the certainty of death, and the nature of the soul. He does all his writing at home, where he lives with his wife and seven children. It’s a lively and clamorous place, full of fun, love, and chaos. His latest novel is SUPERPOSITION, a quantum physics murder mystery with the same mind-bending, breathless action as films like INCEPTION and MINORITY REPORT. His other works include the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel TERMINAL MIND, the historical fantasy QUINTESSENCE (Tor, 2013) and its sequel, QUINTESSENCE SKY.

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