Mark Hodder

Mark Hodder is the author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning novel THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF SPRING HEELED JACK and its seven sequels, and of the first officially sanctioned Sexton Blake novel to have been published in nearly half a century.

Mark created and maintains BLAKIANA: The Sexton Blake Resource, and also writes short stories, flash fiction and vignettes. Find out more on his Patreon page.

Mark was born in the UK. He has worked as a commercial radio scriptwriter, a freelance copywriter, and as a web content producer for the BBC. Since 2009, he has lived in Valencia, Spain, where he writes full-time. He and his partner have twins, Luca and Iris.

Find Mark on his website, or follow him on Twitter @MarkHodderBooks.

Bibliography

  • Standalone
    A Red Sun Also Rises
    Mark Hodder
  • Philip K. Dick Award Winner

    The Burton & Swinburne Adventures
    The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (#1)
    Mark Hodder
  • The Burton & Swinburne Adventures
    The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (#2)
    Mark Hodder
  • The Burton & Swinburne Adventures
    Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (#3)
    Mark Hodder
  • The Burton & Swinburne Adventures
    The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi (#4)
    Mark Hodder
  • The Burton & Swinburne Adventures
    The Return of the Discontinued Man (#5)
    Mark Hodder
  • The Burton & Swinburne Adventures
    The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats (#6)
    Mark Hodder
     

Reviews

Standalone

A Red Sun Also Rises
“The author of the Philip K. Dick Award-winning Burton & Swinburne series […] launches a new series that features a pair of uncommon-and uncommonly appealing-protagonists and blends the fantastic with elements of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and H.P. Lovecraft. Hodder once again excels in his ability to blend Victorian steampunk, psychological thriller, and ‘sword and planet’ fantasy into an intriguing and entertaining adventure.”

Library Journal

“Hodder has crafted a loving homage to the 19th-century novel with the barest tweaks for a 21st-century sensibility, perfectly capturing the device of the narrator’s diary (with hand-off to present-day editor), natural-philosophy preoccupations, and the struggle between divine and scientific views of creation […] The pacing is as vintage as the vividly imagined grotesqueries of alien life, but the rewards for acclimating to the style are well worth the effort.”

Publishers Weekly

“A Red Sun Also Rises somehow also manages to be an incredibly entertaining, fast-paced page turner […] This strange, surprising novel combines elements of steampunk and planetary adventure in ways I just hadn’t seen done before, and that alone makes it more than worth a look.”

Tor.com

“Utterly authentic and effective, delivering a story that, while it harks back to a vanished era, also incorporates the sensibilities and perspectives of twenty-first-century SF.”

Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

“Mr. Hodder’s unique take on Victorian sci-fi/horror is at once reminiscent of the past and strikingly modern. It might feature distant planets and bug-eyed monsters, but the plot’s fascinating twists and revelations defy cliche. A layer of philosophical and scientific sophistication underlies the narrative throughout as the true nature of this beautifully intricate alien environment slowly unfolds.”

Florida Weekly

The Burton & Swinburne Adventures

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (#1)
“If you’re looking for a cold night’s entertainment, this high-spirited mix of fact and fancy will do quite nicely, quite nicely indeed.”

The Washington Post

“Remarkable [...] A rollicking ride through the underbelly of the steampunk world.”

Portland Book Review

“Worthy of any science fiction library.”

Wired

“The usual superlatives for really clever fantasy (imaginative, mind-bending, phantasmagorical) aren’t nearly big enough for this debut novel. With this one book, Hodder has put himself on the genre map […] The book is incredibly ambitious, and the author pulls it off like an old pro: not only is the setting exciting and fresh, the story is thrilling and full of surprises. Hodder’s only problem now is to find a way to follow up this exhilarating debut, which will appeal not only to sf/fantasy readers but also to mystery and historical-fiction fans.”

Booklist, Starred Review

“Fans of steampunk will be intrigued by the alternate history setting, in which the queen dies mid-century; they will also enjoy following Burton and his sidekick, poet Algernon Swinburne, as they investigate the dark secrets of 19th-century England and recall Burton’s legendary expedition to find the source of the Nile.”

Publishers Weekly

“Hodder’s first novel delivers an exquisitely fleshed-out blend of steam-punk and gothic horror that should have broad appeal.”

Library Journal

“Mark Hodder’s debut novel, THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF SPRING HEELED JACK, is a remarkably sophisticated and well-executed manifestation of the [steampunk] sub-genre […] He has created a compulsively readable romp that recalls the best of Tim Powers and James Blaylock.”

Barnes & Noble Newsletter

“A phenomenal first novel deserving of the recently won Philip K. Dick Award […] If this is the “punk” Hodder wants to see steampunk look like, then I say with Oliver Twist, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

Tor.com

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (#2)
”An utterly delicious helter-skelter romp through a mind-blowing steampunk diorama […] Highly recommended for any steampunk fan and for any reader who’s looking for an out-of-the-norm read.”

Sacramento Book Review

“Hodder knows Victorian history well enough to take delightful liberties in a darkly humorous adventure that should appeal to genre fans as well as those interested in alternate histories.”

Library Journal

“Hodder blends gonzo gadgetry with humor, strong character voice, social commentary, and a comprehensive awareness of the historical implications of his ideas […] Imagine Gail Carriger’s humor and Cherie Priest’s kick-ass adventure wrapped up in one book, and you get Hodder’s CLOCKWORK MAN.”

Tor.com

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (#3)
“This isn’t just a book for steampunk enthusiasts, though they will certainly enjoy this work [...] It will also entertain anyone interested in a pair of characters as fun as Sherlock and Watson.”

Portland Book Review

“Hodder, with an encyclopedic grasp of period detail, tellingly brings these disparate, oddly familiar yet eerily different worlds to fecund life. Enthralling, dizzying and as impressive as they come.”

Kirkus, starred review

“The […] cognitive dissonance, relativism, and rapid obsolescence feel more slipstream than steampunk. Hard SF fans may get impatient, but everyone else will be well entertained.”

Publishers Weekly

The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi (#4)
“Intricate worldbuilding.”

Publishers Weekly

“Steampunk aficionados and series fans should enjoy this.”

Library Journal

“Those new to steampunk, wondering what all the goggles and airships are about, or steampunk superfans, make sure to read this. [So should] those simply looking for a fun read with solid characters, rip roaring plot, and explorations of Victorian occultism.”

Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

“Serious literary fun as Mark Hodder vaults to the front of the new steampunk writers pack […] Hard to imagine any lover of alternate British empires not being thoroughly amazed and entertained.”

K. W. Jeter, author of MORLOCK NIGHT and INFERNAL DEVICES

The Return of the Discontinued Man (#5)
“There’s more than enough adventure, intrigue, invention, fun and engagement to satisfy everybody.”

Kirkus

“Hodder puts his knack for tall-tale spinning on full display, with such Victorian England celebrities as Herbert Spencer and H. G. Wells rubbing elbows with each other in one imaginative and enthralling scenario after another. Hodder’s growing legion of fans won’t be disappointed.“

Booklist

“[Readers] will be riveted by Hodder’s ingenious reinventing of both history and recent present, while quailing at what that reimagining does to the future.”

Publishers Weekly

The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats (#6)
“Remarkable [...] The settings are marvelously realized – literally so – from the crimson jungle-choked London of the year 2202, to the bizarre steam-powered ‘ornithopters’ of an 1861.”

Daily Mail (UK)

“A fitting and fiery conclusion [...] Comic absurdity blends with bone-cracking brutality as [...] Victorian-era London [is reduced] to the dystopian wretchedness that Burton and Swinburne previously averted. This luridly realized vision of brutality, and Burton’s corresponding descent into despondency, add a layer of gloom. But Swinburne’s yelping, twitching buoyancy is a surprisingly effective tonic and a reminder of why the pairing of these two mismatched figures has been such a success.“

Publishers Weekly

“An action-packed finale that delves deep into the backstory and personal history of heroes Burton and Swinburne as they explore alternate pasts and futures [...] The entire series will be welcomed by readers who also enjoy the adventures of Books and Braun in Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris’s 'Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences' series.“

Library Journal

Awards & Accolades

Standalone

The Burton & Swinburne Adventures

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (#1)
USA

Winner 2010 Philip K. Dick Award

The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man (#2)
USA

Forbidden Planet: “Top 25 of 2011”

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon (#3)
USA

Sidewise Award Finalist: “Alternate History”