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Grim Expectations

by: K W Jeter


A mind-boggling new novel in Jeter’s iconic steampunk series, to celebrate thirty years of Steampunk. A death-bed gift leads a man into a mysterious quest for a missing person when a puzzle box opens to reveal letters from an unknown acquaintance. But they’re not love letters. They’re clues.

File Under: Steampunk [ Technical Intrigue | It’s About Time | A Musical Interlude | The World’s End ]

The third book in the George Dower trilogy


Some time after the events of Fiendish Schemes, George Dower finds himself a widower, of sorts. On her deathbed, Miss McThane entrusts Dower with a small, ticking clockwork box. The box is mysteriously linked to her. When she breathes her last, the box stops ticking and Dower is able to open it, to find hundreds of letters – written in an unknown hand, signed only with the initial S. They’re not love letters, but refer instead to the letter-writer’s ongoing search for some other person. The last is a simple note, reading “Found him”…  

George Dower Trilogy

Cover Art

John Coulthart ;

Release Date


Grim Expectations

Paperback, Ebook

Paperback ISBN




K W Jeter attended college at California State University, Fullerton where he became friends with James P Blaylock and Tim Powers, and through them, Philip K Dick. K W Jeter’s debut novel, Dr Adder, was praised by Dick as “A masterpiece… a truly wonderful novel”. Jeter was also the first to coin the term “steampunk,” in a letter to Locus magazine in April 1987. He currently lives in the US with his wife, Geri.

“Its warped humor, digs at steampunk literature, and sheer tonnage of weirdness conveyed through Dower’s polite Victorian speech combine to create an unnerving tale that is also, at turns, incisive and deliciously twisted. It’s a horror novel in which the monster is, in fact, the whole world, and the inevitable march of steam-powered progress, issuing both a brutal epitaph to the genre Jeter helped bring to prominence, and a challenge for others to push it into stranger waters. From one of the masters of the form, we should expect nothing less.”
Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog

“At times morbidly hilarious and at others thought provoking as to the role of scientific advancement in our society, Grim Expectations is a worthy successor to Mr Dower’s earlier adventures and promises a wild ride for the audience. 5/5 stars”
San Franciso Book Review

Praise for the George Dower Trilogy

“Jeter’s sequel proves well worth the wait, and sets a new high bar for that ever-evolving style of speculative fiction whose Frankensteinian form he first galvanically jolted into life.”

Fiendish Schemes is a darkly humored portrayal of Victorian London written in the style of the period and is not for the faint of heart.”
Historical Novel Society

“Jeter’s vision of a Victorian world transformed by steam power is fascinating and funny, populated by ambulatory lighthouses, grain-disdaining meatpunks, anarchist coalpunks, and depraved ‘fex’ addicts obsessed with ‘valve girls’. He thoroughly entertains readers with brilliant speculation and a charmingly reluctant hero.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“K W Jeter has created quite a marvelous world in Infernal Devices. Sometimes rather weird and alien but always consistent.”
The Traveler’s Steampunk Blog

“This is the real thing – a mad inventor, curious coins, murky London alleys and windblown Scottish Isles… A wild and extravagant plot that turns up new mysteries with each succeeding page.”
James P Blaylock, author of Homunculus and Under London

“What we see in Infernal Devices is not just the presage of what steampunk is, but what it could have been, a marvelously self-aware and inventive attack on the obsessions and degradations of the present.”
Strange Horizons

“Goddamn, what a book. This is like H G Wells with H P Lovecraft’s descriptions of darkness run through the mind of Sherlock Holmes writer Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s about as screwy as it gets, complete steampunkery, with a duo who are scamming their way across the land through an entirely different set of devices. Must read… Pure joy. I couldn’t set it down.”

“Suddenly I can see exactly what the whole fascination with Steampunk is all about. Jeter sets the Victorian scene here so skilfully, it’s absolutely perfect. I could easily have been reading a novel written in 1840. He’s impressively deft and accurate in his language of the time, making the novel completely believable, and yet he still writes in a style that is effortlessly readable. His Victorian London is dark, menacing, and compelling.”
Fantasy Nibbles

“A delicious and quite insane romp through the gas-lit streets of London. Absolute must-read!”

“I’ll save you the trouble of reading this entire review by simply saying that K W Jeter’s Infernal Devices is one of the best executed novels I’ve read in a long time, and I easily expect it to be one of my top reads for the year. I guarantee you will enjoy it.”
The Little Red Reviewer

“A truly fantastical journey that requires a suspension of disbelief – but makes you all the happier for it.”
My Shelf Confessions

“A skillfully handled, wonderfully inventive, and agreeably witty adventure.”
Kirkus Reviews

Infernal Devices is a ripsnorting, grandly comical Victorian-era potboiler that is far more entertaining than the most recent Indiana Jones movie; indeed it is more exciting than any big budget Hollywood blockbuster that I have seen in the past five years. It is that rare book that is both literary and cinematic. You can’t help but pine for a movie version even as you realize that it could never be as good as the book. It’s full of crazy, clockwork automatons, cliffhanger chapter endings, sinister conspiracies, and gloriously impossible super-science. It is a book which will transport you to another reality.”
Tetsuo Broker

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