Title: A Matter of Disagreement (Mechanical Universe #1)
Author Name & Publisher: E.E. Ottoman (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 26, 2014 – 74 pgs
The rise of mechanical animation, and its popularity at court, is threatening to end Andrea’s scholarly pursuits of spell craft and literature—and force him to let go of his assistants, who depend on him to support their families In retaliation against the field that is ruining his life, Andrea begins to campaign against it. The efforts gain him notoriety, but do not solve his financial dilemmas.
When he is dragged to a party by his brother, he comes face to face with the man who pioneered mechanical animation: Leon Gregory de la Marche VI, Marquis de la Marche. And he is not at all what Andrea expected.
One of my favorite literary tropes is enemies to lovers, and this was a classic and wonderful example of that theme. It’s set in a world where older style magic and mechanics are in some degree of competition for public use and preference, which I thought was a delightful metaphor.
Andrea is a scholar who opposes widespread use of mechanics; Gregory is a pioneer in the field of mechanics. They spend a good deal of the book arguing, neither of them wanting to give in on their position. However, they are also (possibly inexplicably) drawn to each other. Both are smart and stubborn, and their banter is terrific. It was obvious fairly quickly that they also were both reluctant to admit that they were enjoying the sparring rather than simply being angry.
The resolution to their circumstances is terrific, but I won’t spoil it here. This is a fun story with many layers, and it’s worth reading more than once to pick up on the finer points—particularly the jabs at our own modern-day, non-magical social conventions. Mx. Ottoman is a wonderful writer, and I look forward to reading more of zeir work.
E.E. Ottoman is a geek and a gentleman. They spends their time mostly in libraries doing research, and sometimes, when there is no one else there, dancing in the aisles. E. has always adored speculative fiction, especially paperback fantasy and science fiction. They loves a good ghost story and thinks every story becomes automatically better if you add tentacles. Overall, though, they just loves a story that is fun to read. E. is especially fond of writing and reading stories with geeky, queer people doing awesome and sexy things.
They grew up in the woods, farmlands and mountains of upstate New York and has spent most of their adult life trying to spend as much time as possible back there. They are the oldest of four and can often be found actively engaged in hijinks with their three other siblings. E.E. Ottoman has two degrees in history, another one in law, and one very spoiled princess cat. E. would like to be a history professor or maybe just a professional author one day, only time will tell.
When not writing, E. loves to cook and looking dapper in menswear. E. is an avid powerlifter and can often be found at the gym trying to hit a new max weight.
E. identifies as a queer, nonbinary, trans dude and is actively trying to change the world (and maybe the past) one novel and work of history at a time.