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Aetheric Mechanics Paperback – November 6, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Warren Ellis is the award-winning British author of comic books, novels, and television, most often recognized for his sociocultural commentary and ground-breaking work in the genre of science fiction. His most recognizable works include Transmetropolitan, Planetary, and The Authority. He maintains a consistent online presence which includes the weekly delivery of the FREAKANGELS web comic to millions of fans. Ellis has published over 25 different creator-owned projects through Avatar Press (including BLACK SUMMER, IGNITION CITY, and GRAVEL, the last of which is in development as a film through Legendary Pictures), with many more planned.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Avatar Press (November 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592910483
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592910489
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #861,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE (being adapted for TV by Microsoft Xbox) and the "underground classic" novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His GRAVEL books are in development for film at Legendary Pictures. IRON MAN 3 is based on his Marvel Comics graphic novel IRON MAN: EXTREMIS. He's also written extensively for VICE, WIRED UK and Reuters on technological and cultural matters. Warren Ellis is currently working on a non-fiction book about the future of the city for Farrar Giroux Straus.

His newest publication is the digital short-story single DEAD PIG COLLECTOR, from FSG Originals. His next book will be the novella NORMAL, also from FSG.

A documentary about his work, CAPTURED GHOSTS, was released in 2012.

Recognitions include the NUIG Literary and Debating Society's President's Medal for service to freedom of speech, the EAGLE AWARDS Roll Of Honour for lifetime achievement in the field of comics & graphic novels, the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2010, the Sidewise Award for Alternate History and the International Horror Guild Award for illustrated narrative.

Warren Ellis lives outside London, on the south-east coast of England, in case he needs to make a quick getaway.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on November 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Aetheric Mechanics is one of the newest releases from Apparat, the independent line of Warren Ellis-dominated comics. As a vanity press, Apparat publications have a tendency to vary wildly in their quality of work. In Aetheric Mechanics, however, the creative team of Ellis and Pagliarani has produced something very close to perfect.

In Aetheric Mechanics, Doctor Richard Watcham reunites with his old friend, detective Sax Raker. Against a backdrop of zeppelin attacks and mysterious 'aetheric' technology, the pair chase down an elusive serial killer - one who flickers in and out of existence like a ghost.

Despite the short length (40something pages), Aetheric Mechanics manages to introduce a fantastic steampunk universe, craft an engaging mystery and then introduce a plot twist that successfully tossesevery other steampunk world into the backseat. If it sounds complicated, it actually isn't - thanks to the writing and the art, the story is so absorbing it is easy to follow from start to finish. In further testament to the creative team's skill, the clever narrative devices and plot twists are also all secondary to the characters. Although the reader is constantly rocked by fantastic revelations, the emphsis is always on the characters and never on self-congratulatory world building.

Gianluca Pagliarani is an inspired choice for an artist. Although black and white, Pagliarani manages to lever in the detail necessary to bring the world of Aetheric Mechnics to life. The layout - especially vital in a space this short - is neatly done, balancing small panels of minute detail with breath-taking city-scapes.

Aetheric Mechanics is clever, clearly experimental and very entertaining. It pushes the boundaries of a fledgling genre, challenges the reader and, above all, gives fans of the graphic novel another rare and must-have read. -- PORNOKITSCH
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Daniel V. Reilly VINE VOICE on October 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
AETHERIC MECHANICS is the latest stand-alone graphic novel in Avatar/Warren Ellis' Apparat line of comics, and it's a welcome addition to the line. Returning home to civilian life after two years on the front lines of Britan's war against Ruritania, Doctor Richard Watcham resumes his life as sidekick to the World's greatest Detective, Sax Raker. The duo are soon drawn into a strange mystery involving missing and murdered Scientists and a "Man who wasn't there"....The game is afoot!

On the surface, AETHERIC MECHANICS combines Alternate History and Steampunk with, what appears to be, a complete and total rip-off of Sherlock Holmes. Stick with it though, as Ellis uses the last few pages to completely turn the story upside-down, shaking up everything the reader was expecting from the book. The art, by Gianluca Pagliarani, fits the story perfectly, and the amount of detail he includes on each page is staggering. Graphic novel fans looking for something a bit different will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By S. Duke on December 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
It's not very often that I get to review a graphic novel, so when a friend let me borrow this, I was really excited to tell you all about it.

Aetheric Mechanics takes place in an alternate Earth in which Britain is at war with a place called Ruritania, whose powerful technology is quickly turning the tide of the war in their favor. Doctor Richard Watcham returns from the war front and, upon reuniting with Sax Raker, an old friend and renowned amateur detective, he embarks on an investigation of bizarre origins.

I'm not familiar with Warren Ellis' work, but if Aetheric Mechanics is any indication of his talent in coming up with weird stories, then I suspect I'll enjoy just about anything he writes. There's a lot going on here, and the brief instances that explain the current situation (the war with Ruritania, etc.) add some depth to the world Mr. Ellis is working with. Aetheric Mechanics is also generally visually gorgeous, with an exceptional amount of detail throughout the piece. Add to that a strange, steampunk-ish murder mystery and there's plenty here to keep you entertained.

The dialogue is particularly strong here, unlike a lot of comics/graphic novels that try to write in a pseudo-Victorian/WW2-analogous era (assuming, of course, that I got the representative periods correct). Raker, for instance, has a distinct voice that will remind some, for reasons that become obvious when you read the story, of other detective types we've come to know. The other characters, while not as distinct as far as attention grabbing is concerned, hold their own in a world that will immediately spark some of the "gosh wow" desperately needed in quasi-SF tales.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rory Coker on December 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
A number of authors lately have toyed with the concept of a Victorian world in which all the iconic characters of Victorian fiction simultaneously live and breathe. The most famous example is Allan Moore's LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Here is Warren Ellis's contribution to this new genre.

I picked up the book without reading the blurb on the rear cover, so it was a pleasant surprise a few pages into the story to find Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes (under slight disguises) tackling the case of a killer who fades in and out from invisibility to solidity. Irene Adler soon shows up as well.

My only complaint is that the story is much too short. It wraps up abruptly almost as soon as one has figured out what's really going on in the strange and war-torn parallel world that lies beyond Baker Street.

The artwork by Gianluca Pagliarani is staggeringly detailed and completely appropriate for the circa-1900 setting. I haven't seen anything like it since the heyday of Geof Darrow!

Recommended on all counts.
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