Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Aetheric Mechanics” as Want to Read:
Aetheric Mechanics
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Aetheric Mechanics

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  544 ratings  ·  58 reviews

The year is 1907, and Britain has entered into a terrifying war with Ruritania, whose strange metal planes darken the skies, and whose monstrous war engines cast looming shadows from across the channel. Doctor Robert Watcham, lately returned to London from the front, makes his homecoming to Dilke Street. There lives his old friend and England's greatest amateur detective,
Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 21st 2004 by Avatar Press
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Aetheric Mechanics, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Aetheric Mechanics

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 929)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Trust Warren Ellis to combine a murder mystery, steampunk, war stories, Sherlock Holmes, giant robots, quantum mechanics, and flying cars in just 40 pages. And make it good.
So. The story is chugging along, doing nothing special, but the art is great right? So I keep on reading. How does it end? It ends like this: *magic happens* and that is unacceptable. Too clumsy. Too assured that its cleverness will save it.
Shaun Duke
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 b
I picked this up because I’m a Warren Ellis junkie, and will read anything with his name on it. I’m particularly fond of his APPARAT publishing project, in which he writes comics that might have been if not for the comics code and the superhero takeover. Sort of.

Anyhow, Aetheric Mechanics is a steampunk alternate history London in which quantum mechanics are available to turn-of-the-century technologists, such that Britain has ships in space. It follows the story of a doctor returning home from
This felt more like a long teaser than a finished product. The art is really nice, and the ending is interesting but comes about way too suddenly.
Feb 01, 2014 David rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sherlock Holmes fans, Steampunk fans
Aetheric Mechanics fits in that broad category of Sherlock Holmes fan-fiction that adds sci-fi/fantasy elements (steampunky in this case). It was well-done, with interesting depth to the Holmes and Watson characters, and an unexpected twist in the character of Holmes.

That said, the whole climax of the story relied on some dubious science, and was too neatly resolved. (view spoiler)
An above-average Warren Ellis story with great black and white art. I was drawn in by the steampunk Sherlock Holmesy-ness, but was impressed and surprised by a way-out there conclusion that explains a lot more than you think it will but still leaves you dying to know what will happen to these characters next. Very short too.
Artur Coelho
As coisas estão um pouco confusas na Londres de final do século XIX. O poderoso império britânico está a perder uma sangrenta guerra contra a Ruritânia, e Londres desaba sob o peso das bombas trazidas pelas impunes aeronaves. A marinha espacial britânica é impotente face às violentas máquinas de guerra da Ruritânia. Ao lado de tudo isto, o meticuloso detective Sax Raker, acompanhado do seu fiel amigo, o médico militar Watcham, e da sua némesis e paixão, Innana Meyer, investiga o estranho caso de ...more
Neil McCrea
I greatly enjoy Warren Ellis' genre smashing one-offs, and the art here is fantastic as well. In Aetheric Mechanics we're presented with a Holmes pastiche set in an Edwardian Steam-punk world, but by the end of the story the whole world has been re-written. Clever stuff, and the details are marvelous, I particularly enjoyed the reference to Lesser Fenwick. It's such a short, sharp little piece that to reveal much more would be to reveal too much.
It has been ages since I've read a Sherlock Holmes and if I was better read in a few other classics, then maybe I wouldn't have been as irritated with this book as I was until the punch line four pages form the end. I bought it for the art, honestly. The art is great by the way. The whole time I am reading this book I was getting more and more frustrated -- too many ghost from other things I couldn't quite name (expect for Holmes) floating around. And too little steampunk expect for the art. The ...more
A really weird mashup of unconnected ideas: the Sherlock Holmes stories, steampunk London and WW1. I felt the story was rushed, the ending was unsatisfying, and the aetheric mechanics barely mentioned let alone explained. At least the art was good but if that was the only criteria then I would be reviewing on an art site and not here on goodreads.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So Warren Ellis dug some half-baked idea out of his notebook and wrote a graphic novel. It read like a Cliff's Notes version of some complete story he didn't feel like writing out. Great art wasted for a story fragment.
Combining the atmosphere of Bryan Talbot’s Luther Arkwright adventures, the temporal distortions of Moorcock’s Metatemporal Detective, and the ominous science fiction mystery of Charles Stross’s “Missile Gap”, this is a perfect short work by Ellis. The pastiche of Wells and Arthur Conan Doyle plus the reference to Prisoners of Zenda and other books, anime, and films seems part of the fun but is revealed as integral to the understanding of the work. The ending pulls the rug out and castes everyth ...more
Quite good but very short.

... which seems to be my complaint of a lot of graphic novels lately.
Enioyable short story, well spun with stylish monotone. worth a pick through.
Apr 03, 2009 Kira rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Steampunk turn of the century comic plays off of Sherlock Holmes, but is unfortunately terribly written -- pretentious and dull with no wit or charm. The twist at the end comes too abruptly and is just too out of place. It felt like a pilot to a longer series that I won't be interested in reading. The bought this and love it for the art though, which is spectacularly.. a clean, classic 1950s style that isn't necessarily suited to Steampunk (too clean?), but is so incredibly detailed that you cou ...more
míol mór
Ellis has a go at classic steampunk.

It feels a bit too crammed, but I think the problem with this work lies in its length, not in the content. Besides, if Ellis leaves something unresolved, I assume it was done on purpose.

The morale being, this is good steampunk & great fun.
Excellent drawings (although my partiality lies elsewhere, I must admit) by Gianluca Pagliarani, whom I should call a compatriot if I believed in countries, fatherlands &c.
No Books
Ellis has a go at classic steampunk.

It feels a bit too crammed, but I think the problem with this work lies in its length, not in the content. Besides, if Ellis leaves something unresolved, I should presume it was done on purpose.
The morale being, this is good steampunk & great fun.
Excellent drawings (although my partiality lies elsewhere, I must admit) by Gianluca Pagliarani, whom I should call a compatriot if I believed in countries, fatherlands &c.
This started off slowly but Ellis did a great job of building a believable yet startling world. It took turns I didn't expect, and morphed from a trifle into something that opens your mind to some interesting possibilities. The art is by Gianluca Pagliarani, which sounds like something Ellis made up, but he's on Facebook so I suppose he's real. In the more "mechanical" moments in the story, the art remind me of Geoff Darrow, which is high praise.
Thematically, this standalone story is something like a steampunk Planetary. At first, I figured this was a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. Nothing particularly original about that; there's dozens of them in books and on TV. But then the similarities between Holmes and Ellis' Sax Raker began to pile up until their nearly identical. Rest assured, Ellis knows what he's doing and all of this makes brilliant, twisted sense in the end.

The art is lovely - black and white line drawings with few blocks of black ink - it looks like a complicated colouring-in book, actually - and the steampunky Edwardian age plus airships is great fun. The story lets the art down. The characters are shamelessly Sherlockian - Doyle's immortals with the serial numbers filed off. However, the plot is weak. The resolution feels hasty. The story is not as good as the art that tells it.
i liked this quite a bit, and wish there had been more of it. it's a story within a story within a story, where literary characters have permeated an era and spun off into an alternate reality based on quantum physics. the dialogue's pretty sprightly, and the sense of everything being slightly... off, holds up throughout. i liked the drawings too, a neat way of entangling the altVictorian world with this one.
Fucking exquisite. Despite being criminally short, this brief Ellis steampunk tale would have made a fantastic Sherlock Holmes movie in some more intelligent, alternate universe. Gianluca Pagliarani does a great job with the detailed artwork. Worth reading for several fantastic lines including, "It juts from the perfect still pond of your life like the inappropriate arse of a walrus."
This was cool. I liked the art a lot and the setting was cool (futuristic london with WWII trappings) but I kept thinking it was kind of cliche. Then at the end I found out why. Unfortunately that made it less enjoyable because I kept saying to myself, "Are you serious? Really? Did Ellis really write this?" So not one of his best but worth reading if it's already on your shelf.
Another short one by Warren Ellis; a mish-mash of Steampunk and a Sherlock Holmes-type detective. By the time you actually get into the story, it's practically over, and then it just ends. Abruptly.
Meh. Some good ideas; maybe if they'd been explored more in depth, this could've been quite a book indeed. As it stands, however... not Ellis' best by far.
A great little graphic novella that acts as a pastiche of classic characters, most notably Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson (so perhaps my high rating is a bit slanted by personal bias). Warren Ellis, as ever, is clever and the art is great. It would have been five stars if not for the cheesy ending, which damn near ruined the experience.
Lewis Manalo
The illustration is great, but this is one of those science fiction stories where people talk a lot and there's one central idea. It's a cool central idea, but this story would've worked better for me as prose (or a STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION episode). I just don't read comics to look at pictures of people talking.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30 31 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Adventures of Luther Arkwright  (2nd ed.)
  • B.P.R.D., Vol. 4: The Dead (B.P.R.D., #4)
  • The Five Fists Of Science
  • Ex Machina: The Deluxe Edition, Vol. 5
  • Pax Romana
  • The Filth
  • Shade, the Changing Man, Vol. 2: Edge of Vision
  • PLUTO: Urasawa x Tezuka, Volume 004 (Pluto, #4)
  • A God Somewhere
  • Under the Knife (Witch Doctor, #1)
Has written comics & graphic novels, books, journalism, animation, tv, film, videogames and anything else that looks like it might pay a bill or buy whisky.

Second novel, GUN MACHINE, due from Mulholland Books in autumn of 2012.

First non-fiction book due from FSG in 2014.

Currently a weekly columnist for VICE UK.


More about Warren Ellis...
Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street (Transmetropolitan, #1) Transmetropolitan, Vol. 2: Lust for Life Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard (Transmetropolitan, #3) Planetary, Vol. 1: All Over the World and Other Stories Transmetropolitan, Vol. 5: Lonely City (Transmetropolitan, #5)

Share This Book

“You must remember that the common criminal will always join the armed forces for, if nothing else, regular meals and expert training in the use of guns.” 21 likes
More quotes…