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Aetheric Mechanics

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3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  650 Ratings  ·  60 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,
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Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 21st 2004 by Avatar Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Matthew
Dec 25, 2008 Matthew rated it liked it
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.
Joanna
Nov 14, 2010 Joanna rated it it was ok
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
Dec 23, 2009 Shaun Duke rated it really liked it
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
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Brendan
Oct 19, 2010 Brendan rated it really liked it
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
...more
Ben
Dec 10, 2008 Ben rated it it was amazing
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.
Josh
Jun 12, 2015 Josh rated it it was ok
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.
Travis Mueller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David
Feb 01, 2014 David rated it liked it
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)
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Artur Coelho
Jun 12, 2010 Artur Coelho rated it it was amazing
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
AM
Aug 23, 2009 AM rated it liked it
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
Jacob
Dec 06, 2011 Jacob rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam
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
Kira
Apr 03, 2009 Kira rated it liked it
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
No Books
May 29, 2011 No Books rated it liked it
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.
Macha
May 26, 2012 Macha rated it really liked 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.
míol mór
Jul 06, 2012 míol mór rated it liked it
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.
Loyd
Oct 26, 2008 Loyd rated it really liked it
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.
Barry Hammock
Oct 11, 2016 Barry Hammock rated it it was amazing
An interesting take on the steampunk genre and quantum mechanics. It is a science fiction story cleverly disguised as a mystery novel full of plot twists and a clever detective, as well as spaceships, a cold and logical Ruritanian menace, airplanes, and giant fighting robots. You'll never see the ending coming, and neither does the detective. An exercise in existentialism and the nature of reality itself.
Ness
Sep 05, 2011 Ness rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebook, fantasy

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.
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.
Lewis Manalo
Jan 03, 2013 Lewis Manalo rated it liked it
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.
Martin
Sep 28, 2011 Martin rated it it was ok
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.
Pturingan
Pretty good! Would have wanted it to be a bit longer, or maybe explore the world some more, but I guess Ellis had said everything he wanted to already. Still, at only $7, it's a great deal for a Warren Ellis story with very nice, detailed art by Gianluca Pagliarini (whose work I'd never seen before this).
Juju
Jan 15, 2010 Juju rated it really liked it
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."
Amanda
May 25, 2010 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk, comics
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.
Shane
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.
Elle Kay
Apr 26, 2015 Elle Kay rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-book
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.
Aaron
Feb 20, 2013 Aaron rated it it was amazing
The most elemental ideas of science, fueled by the mysterious powers of narrative fiction, rendered with generous detail. Ellis and Pagliarani elegantly turn the first world in on itself to produce a lovely Moebius strip of a tale.
Allison
Mar 03, 2009 Allison rated it liked it
A nice little story which, I think, could have been explored in more depth. I like the Sherlock Holmes-ness of it, and I especially enjoyed the explanation for the world/events..the ending was a little unsatisfying but it really couldn't have ended any other way.
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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 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 graphic novel GLOBAL FREQUENCY is in development at Jerry ...more
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