The Black Locomotive

The Black Locomotive

3.71 (187 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
3.71 (187 ratings by Goodreads)

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'The equivalent of London's brand-new Elizabeth line . . . vast, shiny and very, very deep' - The Times, 'Best Summer Reads'

'Utterly unique . . . A masterpiece' - The Daily Mail

'Stunning . . . Brilliantly original' - The Guardian

London is built from concrete, steel and the creative urge.

Old technology gives way to the new. Progress is inevitable - but is it more fragile than its inhabitants realise?

A strange anomaly is uncovered in the new top-secret Crossrail extension being built under Buckingham Palace. It is an archeological puzzle, one that may transform our understanding of history - and the origins of London itself.

And if our modern world falls, we may have to turn to the technology of the past in order to save our future.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 400 pages
  • 163 x 241 x 41mm | 628g
  • Picador
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1529074428
  • 9781529074420
  • 345,210

Review quote

Hughes is an undeniably unique wordsmith . . . [The Black Locomotive] manages to communicate an excited and passionate vision while holding fast to a nostalgic affinity that warms the bones of any would-be industrial revolutionary. * Sci Fi Now * What? A gigantic spaceship from prehistory discovered under London and the only way in is with a pre-war steam engine, hidden in secret government tunnels? The problem is knotty but the solution worthy of a Boy's Own comic in this conceptually complex, graphically gorgeous, full-steam-ahead masterpiece. * The Daily Mail * Rian Hughes's graphic-design extravaganza hits the rails screeching, wailing and showering sparks . . . Part a callback to science fiction's New Wave, part architect's coffee-table must-have, part ripping yarn. * The Times * What's to be said about a book that blends boys' own adventures with semiotics, complex sci-fi with steam engines, conspiracy theory with discourses on urban planning? Only that something so cleverly conceptual, ridiculously romantic and utterly unique must be the new Rian Hughes. * The Daily Mail * The genius of Hughes is that he pulls off wild flights of fancy with a swagger and confidence that are utterly convincing . . . If only all fiction was this adventurous and original. * The Big Issue * A brilliantly original novel of literary SF from the acclaimed author of XX, The Black Locomotive weaves steam trains, the history and architecture of London, and a mysterious alien artefact below the city into a work of stunning inventiveness and originality. * The Guardian *
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About Rian Hughes

Rian Hughes is a graphic designer, illustrator, comic artist, writer and type designer who has worked extensively for the British and American advertising, music and comic book industries.

He has written and drawn comics for 2000AD and Batman: Black and White, and designed logos for The Avengers, The X-Men, Superman, record label Hedkandi, MTV and James Bond. He has edited books on mid-century lifestyle illustration and custom typography, and written on semiotics, culture, and collecting vintage science fiction pulps and paperbacks.

He lives in London.
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Rating details

3.71 out of 5 stars
- 187 ratings
5 21% (40)
4 38% (71)
3 32% (59)
2 8% (15)
1 1% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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