I was recently contacted by someone purporting to work for the marketing arm of Harper and Collins, the super size publishing house, stating that they would like to send me a new book titled "The Thakery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities" for my perusal and hopefully public review.
Whatever the source of my good fortune, I was very happy to find myself in the possesion of such a facinating collection of bizarre and very "steampunk" stories and odd Victorian Era science like reports.
The book is a beautiful diversion into the bizarre and a wonderful anomaly of anomalies. It is even stranger and more fascinating than the books about Ripley's Believe it or not museums I used to read as a child.
It really is a collection of stories...decide for yourself...fact or fiction, (but note that most of the writers are award winning fiction authors) about an English collector of antiquities by the name of Thakery T. Lambshead, and his most absurd, strange, and bizarre collection of inventions, oddities, and art from around the world. It describes, with lovely illustrations, a variety of gadgets, clockwork animals, strange magical objects, and some sort of tractor like device he calls a "clockroach" about the size of a super riding lawnmower that the Dr said had "a ridiculous habit of starting itself up and massacring his garden and occasionally a stone wall driving his gardener and housekeeper mad!"
In a later chapter it even details a functional and successfully marketed robotic Victorian nanny. Unfortunately the inventor had a few problems as, like in so many stories about the replacement of humans with seemingly superior robots, it had a few problems that are sometimes fatal. I think you will find this book well worth looking into if you find stories about strange inventions, discoveries, and objects as a good source of diversion as I do.
Well better go make sure the "clockroach" or some other contraption isn't tearing up our garden at present.
PS the author is listed only as "edited by Ann & Jeff Vandermeer" Thus the mystery continues.