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Gwendolyn Clare Books In Order

Publication Order of Ink, Iron, and Glass Books

Ink, Iron, and Glass (2018) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Gwendolyn Clare is an American Author that writes fantasy and science fiction. Clare has a thing for adult-oriented steampunk.

+Biography

Gwendolyn Clare was born in New England. She spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania before moving on to Chicago and North Carolina. Clare’s literary career did not take off until the mid-2010s.

However, the author was writing and publishing long before that. She had the opportunity to present her short fiction to audiences via resources like Clarkesworld and Asimov’s Analogy to mention but a few.

Gwendolyn has also written poetry, earning a nomination for the Rhysling Award in the process.

Before Gwendolyn Clare was an author, she was a scientist. She has degrees in Ecology and Geophysics. Her resume also includes a Ph.D. in Mycology. For all the academic accolades she has earned over the years, Gwendolyn has never shown any signs of stopping her scholarly pursuits.

The author loves science. She is especially enamored by the fieldwork aspect. Her work has allowed her to traverse the world, visiting places like Australia, Costa Rica, and Italy.

Gwendolyn practices martial arts in her spare time. And when the opportunity presents, she will adopt feral cats. The author has a garden where she cultivates vegetables some of which are quite poisonous.

Most of her writing gets done in local coffee shops.

+Ink, Iron, and Glass

Scriptology is a branch of science that explores the art of creating entire worlds using pen and paper. Elsa’s world did not exist before a certain scriptologist wrote it into being.

That scriptologist was her mother. The same mother that is abducted after her home is attacked. To set things right, Elsa leaves behind everything she knows, masters her scriptology gifts and crosses to the real world.

Finding herself in Italy in the 19th Century, Elsa is surprised to learn about the secret society of Pazzerellones which brings together young people that excel in the areas of Alchemy, Scriptology, and Mechanics.

She meets Leo and learns that, for all his wisecracks, the mechanist has a pretty tragic past. The pair must gather a host of geniuses to face off against the threat that has determined to rip their world apart.

Ink, Iron, and Glass is Gwendolyn Clare’s debut novel. The book is a blend of fantasy and science fiction that takes place in a world where certain people have the power to create new lands using so-called scriptology.

Elsa takes center stage as the protagonist. Her story begins on Veldena, a world that was written into existence by Elsa’s mother. The master scriptologist fought hard to ensure the autonomy of the people in her world, eventually emerging as its caretaker.

At 16-years of age, Elsa is following in the footsteps of her mother. Her scriptology skills are growing by leaps and bounds as she prepares to take upon herself the responsibility of caretaker.

Elsa’s dreams are threatened when her mother is abducted. To find her, Elsa crosses over to Earth, which is the real world. She needs help in her quest to save her mother.

Elsa’s journey leads her to Italy in the years before it was unified. There she becomes a member of a sentience residence designed to play host to mad scientists.

The children in the residence are called mad scientists because they practice alchemy, mechanics, or scriptology, collectively known as the three madnesses.

The setting is the perfect location for Elsa to find new allies which eventually come to include Leo, Porzia, and Faraz.

It will take every skill these four have to find Elsa’s mother. As their investigation unravels the conspiracies surrounding their objective, it becomes clear to them that an entity is working behind the scenes to harness the power of scriptology with the intention of editing the Earth.

Of course, Elsa and her friends won’t be having any of that.

Gwendolyn Clare’s first novel takes readers to an alternate history that makes effective use of 19th Century Italian politics to craft a steampunk fantasy story full of intrigue.

The author writes Elsa as quite the haughty and snobby teenage girl. When she’s first introduced to readers, Elsa isn’t used to the concept of making friends. She doesn’t know how to compromise and prioritize the needs of others above her own.

As such, when she is taken from her home and deposited on earth, she struggles to find and bond with the allies that she so desperately needs to achieve her goals. This novel is primarily her journey as she undergoes a transformation to become the leader her world needs to survive.

Elsa needs to carve out a new identity for herself. Once upon a time, she was just a character. Then she came to life, gained sentience and found that she had a grand destiny.

Once that destiny is ripped from her, she needs to figure out a way back home and she must learn to do so in the company of friends. She also needs to understand the new world in which she finds herself.

Because the book is categorized as young adult, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Elsa meets and instantly falls for a boy when she comes to the real world. Though, Gwendolyn Clare elevates this novel above its counterparts in the genre by making the romance a side story.

While Elsa’s struggles to understand her passionate emotions for her crush are peppered throughout the story, they rarely take center stage. Rather, Gwendolyn spends most of this book fleshing out the steampunk alternate history of Italy.

+Galactic Empires

This is an anthology that was published in 2017. The anthology features stories that were published between 2003 and 2014 and which try to explore the concept of a Galactic Empire.

Even though each story features a galactic empire, the anthology is quite wide-ranging in the themes it tackles and styles it utilizes.

Gwendolyn Clare was responsible for contributing ‘All the Painted Stars’ to the anthology. The story follows the exploits of a Sheekah Pilot who interfaces with technology and attempts to save the lives of a group of humans struggling to control an unfamiliar spaceship.

The story’s protagonist is struggling to live a life with no purpose.

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