The Conscientious Objector

Stephen Palmer

author of novels
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1914.
With the outbreak of war on the Continent, Erasmus Darwin finds himself caught up in a jingoistic fervour for which he feels no sympathy. Yet soon he is on the Western Front: frightened, appalled, and alone apart from a few pals who don't understand his pacifism.
Soon however he finds himself entangled in a secret mission the like of which has never been attempted, one which stretches his pacifism to the limit...
 

Foxbat

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A little bit of constructive criticism on your short film where you explain the plot. It's not easy to hear your explanation because of the continuing background music. Although the music level drops when you speak, it could do with being mixed down a little more - or perhaps some EQ-ing to put some space between the frequency of your voice and the music a bit more.
 

Foxbat

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Busy reading my way through it now. Most enjoyable. Deals with some interesting themes. Not least, the treatment of women (which, by today's standards is just ridiculous).

Although it's not absolutely necessary, I'd advise any potential reader to read the Factory Girl trilogy first. To do so, I think, gives a better insight into Erasmus Darwin's character:)
 

Hugh

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Good review in today's Guardian:


Here's the relevant extract:
A sequel to the Factory Girl trilogy, Stephen Palmer’s The Conscientious Objector (Infinity Plus, £11.99) is a thought-provoking and thoroughly offbeat alternative history of the first world war. The action takes place on a very different western front, featuring armies supported by legions of clockwork automata and watched over by the enigmatic golden angels of Mons. Among other weird and wonderful elements we find a magical race of Amazon-like women living on a remote European mountaintop, a team of eccentric German scientists using robot eugenics to develop the next super-race of automata, and an alternative Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Stunningly inventive, and striking a delicate balance between outre fantasy and a respectful exploration of its source material, the novel charts the poignant relationship between young lovers thrown together in the thick of an awful war, where loyalties are never clearcut and fates are in doubt until the final pages.
 

Foxbat

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Finished this and throughly enjoyed it.
Stuck a review on Amazon but apparently it takes a few days to go through so here's the blurb.

Stephem Palmer’s latest literary offering expands the steampunk universe of the Factory Girl trilogy and the life of our hero Erasmus Darwin who, like so many of his generation, finds himself embroiled in The Great War of 1914. But, of course, this is a different war to the one that history teaches us. This is a war in which the opposing cultures are supported by clockwork automata, not least of which are the Duloids – mechanisms that not only resemble humans in form but believe themselves to be human at least in spirit. It is within this setting that Erasmus and his companions take part in an adventure that will lead them far behind enemy lines and where they will learn as much about themselves as the secret world they unearth.

Of course, this being a Stephen Palmer novel, there’s a little more to it than that. As is his style, he employs his imaginary world to explore themes that resonate with us today. It is well written with a language in a manner befitting the Edwardian/Georgian eras, but not so much as to make it unreadable. It also has a reasonable mixture of exciting exploits and moments of revelation.

If you fancy something a little different in terms of fantasy, you could do a lot worse than give this book a try. It’s refreshingly unusual and, in that sense, Palmer is probably closer in mindset to Lewis Carroll than GRR Martin.

Note: It’s not absolutely necessary to read the Factory Girl trilogy before reading The Conscientious Objector but I would advise it for the greater clarity it would bring to the reader.
 
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