Review: Hope, Tears, Steam, Gears by Gregory L. Norris

The short blurb bit: This is a steampunk-feeling short story with a M/M love interest. It’s a short piece of prose that is very well written. Norris’ writing is fluid and poetic.

The descriptive bit: When Donovan Tisdale goes to a presentation about trips to the moon and mechanical humans, he finds himself instantly drawn the presenter. Richard Sandominus Flynn, Minister of Steam-based Research and Technology catches Donovan’s eye across the room and there are sparks. They arrange to meet and Flynn offers Donovan a life-changing mission. Then things go awry. Donovan is kidnapped and suddenly finds himself in mortal danger.

My thoughts bit: This was far too short! My sense is that Norris is absolutely capable of the world-building it would take to make Hope, Tears, Steam, Gears into a novel. Norris packs this small piece of writing with a sense of intrigue, desire, and fear.

AROUND US, THE city steamed. The gears of the city’s giant clocks turned, their hands tolling the seconds and minutes of a long, moonless night. Most of my fellow Londoners slumbered, oblivious to the murder about to be committed. Mine.

SPOILER: The connection between Donovan and Flynn happens quickly and the progression is a bit quick, but it’s a short story. The description of the clockwork version of Flynn was beautiful. Again, I would love to read more from Norris on this story. I feel like there was a lot that was left unsaid.

The warnings bit: violence, attempted sexual assault, homophobia

I received an ARC of this book by Gregory L. Norris from NineStar Press via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

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