Book Review – “Out of the London Mist” by Lyssa Medana

Review: My favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction, yet I am also a long time lover of gothics, and the rise of steampunk writing is the perfect opportunity to enjoy them all. In “Out of the London Mist”, an even greater, insidious mystery unfolds as John Farnley searches for his brother’s killer, and finds a string of murders all interconnected and which must be solved… or more people surely will die.  He is assisted by others in his search for the Truth, most notably by his sister-in-law Clara, and a known colleague Sylvia Armley.

The effort to create atmospheric, believable settings on the streets and in the townhomes of London past is noticeable from the very first page, and continues throughout. I also particularly liked that the dialogue was well-done, a skill some writers do not seem to understand. You can have extended conversations that provide important clues, move the story along and give insight into your characters personalities, yet still creatively goes beyond, “He said/She said”. I felt Medana did so effectively in the novel, as well as describing action scenes in a way readers could easily visualize them.

I would have enjoyed more backstory on how the new Lord Farnley knew Sylvia, what their previous adventures may have entailed, as well as more information on the nature of Aether, a worldbuilding expansion that could more firmly root readers in how this London was uniquely different than that of our reality’s past. Yet overall, I felt it was a solid, very enjoyable novel that progresses naturally and smoothly, and a bar a couple of personal questions about terminology for non-English characters, I would definitely recommend “Out of the London Mist”. It lends itself well to a sequel or possible series.


Description: “When news of his brother’s murder reached him, aether pilot John Farnley raced back to his old family home.

While he comforts his bereaved sister-in-law, and tries to sort the family business and holdings, he also wonders why his brother, Lord Nicholas Farnley, had ventured into the cramped streets of the East End of London where he had met his violent end. The slums are a deadly place where life was cheap and murderous thugs preyed on the weak and lost.

Now, in the midst of a thick, London fog, something even more monstrous is waiting in the mist-shrouded shadows. Something that has been brought to life by the refugees crowding Bethnal Green and Mile End. Something his brother might have had a hand in creating.

Aided by his friend, the resourceful Miss Sylvia Armley, his own understanding of the aether lines that flow above London, and guided by the erudite advice of Professor Entwistle, John is forced to find his way through the darkest part of London to avenge his brother and stop whatever aether powered monster is lurking there.”

    • Genre: Steampunk
    • Publisher: Three Furies Press, LLC
    • Published on 23 July 2020
    • Available online Amazon, in print Barnes & Nobles
    • Source: Author

 

Author Profile

Lyssa Medana is a 51 year old author living in West Yorkshire, UK. Her works include The Forgotten Village, Digging up the Past, Cats in the Bible, Dinner at Dark and Tales from the White Hart. Lyssa also regularly publishes poems and short stories on her blog, Always Another Chapter.

Lyssa is fascinated by the odd, the quirky and the unusual and enjoys dipping in to old folklore and English social history, which she shamelessly uses for her writing. Her hobbies include knitting, reading and heckling history documentaries.

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29 September – “Playing Indian” a Day of Discussions & Workshops at MARKK in Hamburg


On September 29, I’ll be joining Harmut Lutz (in our documentary, too) and others on the topic of “Playing Indian” at the Museum am Rothenbaum in Hamburg. I’ll be giving a workshop in the afternoon, which will include select scenes from Forget Winnetou- Loving in the Wrong Way. There is a full-day of discussions and events, please visit the webpage for the current list of participants and check back for updates in August!

Our focus, as ever, is on providing up-to-date, accurate information to help create and inspire positive change in society regarding representation and treatment of Indigenous and other POC, which aids in confronting and ending ableism, sexism and other discriminatory practices in western society.

Here’s a short description from the website, original German below.

“The work of educators, culture/museum mediators, teachers and educators in the German-speaking world is still touched by stereotypical ideas about Native Americans / First Nations: Be it the costumes at carnival times in kindergartens and schools, older literary works such as “Lederstrumpf” and the Winnetou books, current media productions such as the Yakari cartoons or visits to the Karl May Festival: All these practices and ideas leave their mark on educational work. In recent years, the clichés associated with them have been increasingly questioned and criticized – and with the social discourses that have emerged in this way, new challenges for educational work in museums, but also in kindergartens and schools, have arisen.

Under the title “Playing Indian”, borrowed from the classic book of the same name by the US-American author and Dakota Philip J. Deloria, a symposium is offered which is aimed at educators, teachers, museum mediators and educators. The event has three specific objectives: It explains the roots of the “Indian enthusiasm” in Germany in order to better understand phenomena such as today’s carnival costumes. The participants are introduced to diversity-oriented perspectives in the sense of decolonial pedagogy and can design new, contemporary options for action for their work practice under expert guidance.”


Die Arbeit von Erzieher*innen, Kultur/Museumsvermittler*innen, Lehrer*innen und Pädagog*innen im deutschsprachigen Raum wird nach wie vor von stereotypen Vorstellungen über Native Americans / First Nations berührt wird: Seien es die Kostümierungen zu Karnevalszeiten in Kindergärten und Schulen, ältere literarische Werke wie „Lederstrumpf“ und die Winnetou-Bücher, gegenwärtige Medienproduktionen wie die Yakari-Trickfilme oder Besuche der Karl-May-Festspiele: All diese Praktiken und Vorstellungen hinterlassen Spuren in der Bildungsarbeit. Damit verbundene Klischees werden in den letzten Jahren vermehrt hinterfragt und kritisiert – und mit den so aufkommenden gesellschaftlichen Diskursen entstehen neue Herausforderungen für die Bildungsarbeit in Museum, aber auch in den Kindergärten und Schulen.

Unter dem Titel „Playing Indian“ („Indianer spielen“), entliehen von dem gleichnamigen Buchklassiker des US-amerikanischen Autors und Dakota Philip J. Deloria , wird ein Fachtag angeboten, der sich an Pädagog*innen, Lehrer*innen, Museumsvermittler*innen und Erzieher*innen richtet. Der Termin verfolgt drei konkrete Zielsetzungen: Er klärt über die Wurzeln der „Indianerbegeisterung“ in Deutschland auf, um Phänomene wie die heutige Karnevalskostümierung besser einordnen zu können. Die Teilnehmenden werden an diversitätssensible Perspektiven im Sinne einer dekolonialen Pädagogik herangeführt und können unter fachkundiger Anleitung neue, zeitgemäße Handlungsmöglichkeiten für ihre Arbeitspraxis entwerfen.

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#Documentary Now Available at #Vtape, Canada’s Leading Artist-Run Not-for-profit Distributor

Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way

Request a copy of “Forget Winnetou! Loving in the Wrong Way” for your university, organization or screening event today!

Summary: “The same mentality that ignores indigenous rights to self-representation are often those who also stereotype and gaslight GLBTIIQ people, women, the disabled or economically challenged, especially people of color just for desiring change and equality. It is basically saying, “My gratification is more important than your dignity, your rights or even your life.” This is a main facet of rape culture. It is intersecting oppression.

Most films about Natives concentrate on European narratives or indigenous experience in North America but there are Natives abroad and being “loved in the wrong way” in “Indian crazy” Germany has many forms. Germany is a microcosm of struggles taking place across the world both against and for decolonization; for correcting white privilege and supremacy that’s divided and helped destroy our world. We explore the…

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“When I Think About #America” – A Personal & Societal Perspective on #Politics #History #Racism from a #BIPOC

At Medium. com…. with hastags #politics #immigration #UShistory #equality.

Red Haircrow

FULL ARTICLE AT MEDIUM:
“When I think about America, I think of the multi-millions of Indigenous peoples who were killed, who were raped, who had their children ripped from their arms or who died from diseases deliberately introduced. I think of the African peoples torn from their lands, their cultures, their professions and histories, drowning in the ocean, suffocating in a press of bodies, beaten bloody beneath a burning sun, being sold and treated worse than animals. These are my ancestors.

When I think about America, I think of the incoming immigrants, the settlers, the European peoples who were abused, misused, demeaned and struggling in their own homelands, who heard the promise of land and a better life and came….”

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Screening on Oct. 14th at the 16th Annual #Indigenous Film & Art in #Denver

Red Haircrow

We’re pleased to finally make it public, we’ll be screening in Denver, Colorado on October 14th at the Indigenous Film & Art Festival! It’s organized by the International Institute for Indigenous Resource Management, and the host organization is History Colorado Center. I very much appreciate having our documentary screened by a Native group in the USA, who recognizes that stories and situations like these for Native North Americans are important, too, even when they are happening abroad. The event itself takes place over several days, with many great films and discussions planned, which are largely open to the public and free of charge.  Please do visit their websites, and try to help support them in the important work.

Please check out their event pages at their site and on FACEBOOK to see the full line up of great films, speakers and presentations.

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