Steampunk pioneer James Blaylock grew up in Anaheim, and all 28 of his books take place in the O.C. or in Victorian England. His first novel in 21 years (Titan Books, 440 pages, $15) follows professor Langdon St. Ives as he hunts his son’s kidnapper, hunchbacked vivisectionist Dr. Ignacio Narbondo. Populated by pirates, elves, and leviathans, the book is no mere battle of good versus evil; it’s a triumph of imagination over greed.
Photograph courtesy of titanbooks.com