MtSnow reviews ‘A Matter of Disagreement(Mechanical Universe #1) by E.E. Ottoman, published by Less Than Three Press, released on Audio Sept. 28th, 2015
Why MtSnow listened to this story: When I saw this book come through my audiobook feed as a new release I couldn’t believe I didn’t already have this little series of novellas on my ‘to-be-read’ list! I have read this author in the past and always been pleasantly surprised by the fresh and creative approach to varied questions about sexual identity. The author always finds a way to make me think outside my tidy little box. And really! A steampunk *trans story!
The rise of mechanical animation, and its popularity at court, is threatening to end Andrea’s scholarly pursuits of spell craft and literature—and force him to let go of his assistants, who depend on him to support their families In retaliation against the field that is ruining his life, Andrea begins to campaign against it. The efforts gain him notoriety, but do not solve his financial dilemmas.
When he is dragged to a party by his brother, he comes face to face with the man who pioneered mechanical animation: Leon Gregory de la Marche VI, Marquis de la Marche. And he is not at all what Andrea expected.
A very nice surprise! Michael Stellman’s narration makes this story even better. I love the description of the delicate little messenger bird, made to look realistic, created of silver and wood, yet internally intricate with movement gears. The ‘battle’ between spellcraft and mechanical animation is a fascinating subject, and the mix of Edwardian or Victorian era with the magic and mechanical arts makes this a very interesting read.
As to the basis of the story, the polar opposites they seem to be in scientific belief systems makes me very much get the feeling of people that are opposites in politics, and their attempts to mediate and moderate give new hope that even people with strong differences can still open themselves up to others ideas and thoughts, thereby creating a great environment for positive debate vice confrontational conflict.
I’m very much looking forward to more in this series, and would be even happier if the author was able to get the rest of them released to audio. And the personal story that each shares with the other is dealt with so kindly and explained quite matter of factly, with it being comfortable minus ‘self-deprecation’, sensationalism or drama. In fact, it caught me by surprise how ‘everyday normal’ the discussion sounded and left me thinking.
I loved this story, and being introduced to this ‘universe’.
10 of 10 pots of gold
E.E. Ottoman is a geek and a gentleman. They spends their time mostly in libraries doing research, and sometimes, when there is no one else there, dancing in the aisles. E. has always adored speculative fiction, especially paperback fantasy and science fiction. They loves a good ghost story and thinks every story becomes automatically better if you add tentacles. Overall, though, they just loves a story that is fun to read. E. is especially fond of writing and reading stories with geeky, queer people doing awesome and sexy things.
They grew up in the woods, farmlands and mountains of upstate New York and has spent most of their adult life trying to spend as much time as possible back there. They are the oldest of four and can often be found actively engaged in hijinks with their three other siblings. E.E. Ottoman has two degrees in history, another one in law, and one very spoiled princess cat. E. would like to be a history professor or maybe just a professional author one day, only time will tell.
When not writing, E. loves to cook and looking dapper in menswear. E. is an avid powerlifter and can often be found at the gym trying to hit a new max weight.
E. identifies as a queer, nonbinary, trans dude and is actively trying to change the world (and maybe the past) one novel and work of history at a time.
E.E. Ottoman’s pronouns are:
And may be contacted here: