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The Constantine Affliction

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  716 ratings  ·  119 reviews
1864. London is a city in transition. The Constantine Affliction - strange malady that kills some of its victims and physically transforms others into the opposite sex - has spread scandal and upheaval throughout society. Scientific marvels and disasters, such as clockwork courtesans, the alchemical fires of Whitechapel, electric carriages, and acidic monsters lurking in t ...more
Hardcover, 279 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Night Shade
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3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  716 ratings  ·  119 reviews

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Dec 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
“Why privilege the natural? We can do so much better than that.”

It’s 1864 and London is a city of transformation and change, where scientific marvels coexist with disasters and maladies. The Constantine Affliction is one of the latter, a mysterious “disease” that physically transforms its surviving victims into the opposite gender effectively altering the very fabric of society and its gender-related expectations forever.

Nobody knows how it all started but an intrepid duo of protagonists—Pimm, a
Book Club Buddie D. and I strapped in for another adventure laden steampunk extravaganza with The Constantine Affliction. Author Tim Pratt thought up a highly imaginative plot where this mysterious illness (see title) transforms men into women and women into men. What I found encouraging was that the change of sex did not change the sexual orientation because that would have been intolerable.

All the great Steampunk ingredients are there: the city of London in all its grimy Victorian splendor, a
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
If this is what T. Aaron Payton can offer, I can't wait to get my hands on more of his books! The Constantine Affliction is a witty, imaginative new offering that will please fans of steampunk and historical mysteries - it is well-written, has delightful characters and is altogether fun.

The Victorian London of The Constantine Affliction is not quite the one we're used to reading about; people are still coming to terms with the spread of a sexually-transmitted disease that changes the gender of i
Michael Fierce
Addictively wonderful!

Fingers crossed that T. Aaron Payton aka Tim Pratt writes more Pimm & Skye Adventures!

I hope to write a full review someday.

Jason Pettus
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

It's true: just as some people always love them some Scandinavian crime fiction, I always love me some steampunk! And in fact, this is what has directly led to me taking it easier recently on fans of subgenres I find silly, precisely from realizing that I'm a big fan of a subgenre that a lot of others find
Jessie  (Ageless Pages Reviews)
Two stars? Two and a half? Maybe three? I don't even know. There were some quite inventive parts (The Affliction, the various creative uses of steampunk), and a few engaging characters (WiniFred, Ellie, Pimm), but so much of this was flat, dry, or just uninvolving. The aspects of The Constantine Affliction that I liked, I really liked, but the bad was so. damn. bad. I don't even know. I'm just glad to be done.

Review to come.
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
This book was a pleasant surprise.

I read only the description of the book, not reviews.

The story takes place in an alternative Victorian London. Three years before the events in the book, a strange affliction started spreading among the people, rich and poor alike. They called it the Constantine Affliction shortening the name from Constantinopolitan, its alleged origin. It killed a lot of people, but those who survived transformed into the opposite sex. I loved this idea. People acted the way y
Oct 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Above Victorian England, the sky is lit up by a strange phenomenon known as the aurora anglais, Whitechapel has been walled off as alchemical fires rage inside, and London is trying to come to grips with the Constantine Affliction, a seemingly sexually transmitted disease which transforms its victims into the opposite sex, that is, if they survive the transformation. Men now frequent clockwork brothels which use automatons as prostitutes to avoid the disease.

However, someone is killing human pro
Stephen Ormsby
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love steampunk and I love mystery, and this book is a great mix of both thrown into a historical version of London. A disease, called the Constantine Affliction, has ravaged society with some very unusual side affects, like turning women into men and vice versa.

In fact, one of our main characters has been afflicted. Freddie was once the best friend of Pimm but, with the Affliction, turned into a female. Pimm does the honourable thing, which is of course to marry her. Pimm saw this as the only
N.K. Layne
Mar 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
The first 150 pages were engaging because there is a real creative premise to this book. Sadly, an interesting premise isn't an interesting novel, as the last 150 pages indicated.

Three things:

1) Marysues. Every character here was flat as hell, acting on no reason at all, and though they all were human they all had super powers that fixed all their problems. I mean like fucking immortality, super strength, super speed, engineering genius, fame and wealth, blablablablabla-- stop! Be human! Most c
Jaclyn Hogan
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It's really a shame that this book hasn't gotten more publicity, as it's some of the most fun I've had playing in the steam-punk genre in ages. Like most steampunk, it takes place in Victorian London. This version of London, however, has been transformed, not only by new steam driven technology, but by a mysterious disease - the titular Constatine Affliction. The Affliction is primarily sexually transmitted, causing Prince Albert to fall from grace when he succumbs to it. However, its effects ar ...more
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
I requested THE CONSTANTINE AFFLICTION from Netgalley because I just couldn't pass up the blurb. It sounded too absurd, but it was there for the reading, so I gave it a chance, and I'm glad I did. Even though there's such a strange premise--a gender-swapping disease?--the novel didn't delve into the stupid or the perverse. The book instead asks the question "what happens when gender roles don't mean what they used to? Are they necessary at all?" and makes you think, an oddity in the steampunk ge ...more
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I really liked this steampunk mystery by T. Aaron Payton. In some ways it is formulaic...detective meets beautiful woman in trouble and together they have adventures and save the world. But there are some very interesting themes in it as well. The Constantine Affliction is the name for a sexually transmitted virus created by a mad scientist who wanted to overthrow society's gender stereotypes, quite extreme in that London society. Payton has a lot of fun predicting how Victorian society might ha ...more
Fantasy Literature
Jun 14, 2013 rated it liked it
T. Aaron Payton’s The Constantine Affliction is a witty gender-bending romp through Victorian London as it never was. Most of us will call this “steampunk.” Payton prefers “gonzo-history.” I say, “whatever works.”

Ellie Skyler, who is assumed to be male, makes her living as a journalist using the pen name “E. Skye.” She plans to go in male attire into one of the city’s clockwork brothels, where the prostitutes are nearly perfect simulacra of human women, to write an expose. Clockwork “comfort hou
Jan 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, for-the-eyes, ebook
This was ridiculous from the beginning but at around 85% it completely lost its shit. I'll say only one thing: alien tentacle gods from another dimension.

Romance: barely existent.
(I'm always on the lookout for books without romance and I know there are others like me. From now on I'll make a note in my "reviews" so expectations can be adjusted or the book can be skipped.)
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My god do the villains love their exposition. One villain who loves to ramble about his greatness is more than enough; did there really have to be two? And multiple speeches for one of them?

And that's the only reason why I didn't mark this as five stars.
If someone asks me, hey Justin, show me how to do Urban Fantasy and/or Steampunk well. I'd show them this novel. Link for full review.
Rosalind M
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
3.75 stars. I have to admit that I did not expect that ending. That said, with so many themes being explored, the storyline felt at times as if it were spread thin.
Offering up an interesting mix of genres (with an abrupt change of course in the last act), The Constantine Affliction is a fun, engaging, imaginative read that manages to succeed despite the relative blandness of its main character. That's not to say Pimm isn't an interesting character on his own, but he lacks the quirks and personality traits that make the other characters leap off the page.

T. Aaron Payton (better known as T.A. Pratt), has put together a story here that's equal parts thriller,
The Constantine Affliction (2012) by T. Aaron Payton (Tim Pratt) is a steampunk mystery meets fantasy meets science fiction meets a few literary allusions along the way. You'll find nods to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mary Shelley, and Virginia Woolf among the clockwork automatons, alchemical science, and bizarre 1950s-B-movie monsters lurking in the Thames River. I particularly enjoyed discovering the real identity of Adams, the man who does autopsies (and other work) when a murder needs investigat ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
3 to 3.5 stars for me.

I'm always on the lookout for great Steampunk, but usually only find mediocrity, which is a shame. The Constantine Affliction was an entertaining, quick read but that's all that it was. Some elements, including the title-giving affliction were just a touch too weird for me.

The Constantine Affliction is set in Victorian London where alchemy and experiments with other steampunk technology have heralded in a new life. However, in recent months, an STD called the Constantine Af
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
The setting and Constantine affliction, which changes people's genders, is an amazing background for the story, but kind of stays in the background and isn't a huge part of the story, which could have improved this book. The main character, Pimm, is an alcoholic and not very interesting overall. Throughout the book he makes no attempt to do anything about the drinking and just excuses it to himself despite others disapproval. Freddy could have been such an interesting character if she had more d ...more
Sandy Schmidt
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Agatha Christie meets Frankenstein - and then some. Lord Pembroke's lifelong friend is a victim of Constantine Affliction and, hiding from society, is posing as Pimm's wife. Criminal Abel Value threatens to expose their secret unless Pimm discovers who is murdering Value's prostitutes Similar to all STDs in its transmission but different in its effects, the disease causes sexual transmutations. The idea may have been taken from recent studies showing bisphenol A, phthalates and other chemicals c ...more
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Constantine Affliction is a marvelous tale full of fully drawn out and real characters that holds within it really three novels worth of stuff. The namesake of the novel, a particularly nasty plague that changes men into women and visa versa never gets the treatment it deserves. A rich side plot too featuring the monster, Adam, from Mary Shelly's Frankenstein book also could be fleshed out more. And finally the monsters of the tale, reminiscent of Lovecraft also deserve their own tale. With ...more
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was so much fun! Part murder mystery, all steampunk, with plenty of action, plot twists and just a dash of romance. With a sex-flipping plague, mad scientists and criminal masterminds, talking brains and interdemensional aliens our band of fearless hero(ine)s has their hands full and it's such a fun ride.
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had my doubts when I selected this book, but it proved to be pretty enjoyable.
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written and great fun. Disappointed to see that there isn't a second.
Juliet Johnson
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an odd idea, that became a very interesting read! Filled with concepts that bring to mind steam punk ideas. Splendid travel book, as it takes you into another line of thought altogether.
Jul 19, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5. This was a fun one.
The Constantine Affliction is a steampunk mystery set in Victorian London. Lord Pembroke “Pimm” Halliday is an alcoholic aristocrat who dabbles in detective work. Pimm is blackmailed into using his investigative skills by Able Value, the notorious crime lord, to discover who has been leaving corpses on the steps of Value’s clockwork brothels. In the course of his investigation, Pimm joins forces with the reporter, Ellie Skyler, who is investigating the goings on in the exclusive brothels. Togeth ...more
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T. Aaron Payton is the pseudonym of Tim Pratt.
“Something about the house seemed vaguely Germanic, or perhaps it just looked like something that belonged in a fairy tale—the residence of a witch, or a more-than-usually genteel ogre. Pimm rapped on the door with the head of his cane. After a few moments, a dolorous voice on the other side said, “Well?” 0 likes
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