7. The Dream of Perpetual Motion
By Dexter Palmer ($24.99, St. Martin's Press)
In the steampunk tradition comes this debut novel about a greeting card writer imprisoned aboard a zeppelin who must confront a genius inventor and a perpetual motion machine. In creating his world, Palmer borrowed from archival source materials that predicted life how life would be in the year 2000, then retro-designed modern gadgets that use turn-of-the-19th-century technology. A kind of Shakespeare's "The Tempest" as Jules Verne might have envisioned it and a great, richly-imagined read.