I remember that the bad guy had resurrected some kind of zombie and had pinned one of the main characters in a basement then stuck the boy's hand in a flask of liquid nitrogen. All of his fingers except the index and thumb were frozen off. Then one of the girls comes in and throws a ton of beads on the floor and the zombie starts obsessively counting them, letting the two escape.

He goes back to a pawn shop from earlier in the book and buys this steampunk prosthetic glove thing with removable fingers that he then wears.

I remember the front cover was him with his metal hand and steampunk goggles.

There was also a bit where he gets a candle made from the hand of a murderer. A woman gave it to him because she read his tarot cards and they seemed bad.

Edit: more information, I'm 70% sure the cover had a pale blue background. Also it was a children's/teens book with a definite steampunk theme all the way through.

Also the city it's set in uses a weird way to measure time. They have various strange words to describe how far though a day they are.

Edit 2: of the two girls one was wealthy and very bookish. She's the one that tips out the bag of beads to distract the zombie, she read it in a book. The other one is a bit younger, she's a bit wild and a bit of a thief. At the end of the book girl1 works out that the zombie is girl2s brother. Allowing girl2 to control it and force it to kill itself.

  • Welcome to SFF:SE. We recommend having a look at the tour, which contains helpful hints for using the site, including tips on story identification questions. – Politank-Z Sep 1 '17 at 0:12
  • A woman gave "urban" to him because she read his "terror" cards? What does "urban" mean here, and what are "terror cards"? Does the girl who "throws a ton of beads" have super strength? – user14111 Sep 1 '17 at 0:15
  • 1
    s/terror/tarot/ but still trying to figure out "urban" – James McLeod Sep 1 '17 at 0:28
  • 1
    "urban"/"turban"? – Blackwood Sep 1 '17 at 4:32
  • Urban was meant to be 'it'. Terror=tarot. – Ankoku_Teion Sep 1 '17 at 9:05

If I had to take a guess at this time, it would be Doctor Adder by K.W. Jeter based solely on your description of the cover. I read the book ages ago and have not looked at it again since.

Set in a future where the United States has largely broken down into reluctantly cooperating enclaves run by a wide variety of strongmen and warlords, with a veneer of government control that seems largely interested in controlling technology. Dr. Adder is an artist-surgeon, who modifies sexual organs of his patients to satisfy the weirdest of perversion; he is clearly depicted as a partly criminal, partly countercultural figure in a future Los Angeles.

This pic shows glowing eyes, not "steaming goggles"

enter image description here

  • It was meant to be steampunk, not steaming. My phone autocorrects everything – Ankoku_Teion Sep 1 '17 at 9:08
  • I have the book Dr. Adder (I've been a K. W. Jeter fan ever since I read Farewell Horizontal as a teen) and I don't think there is anything like the liquid nitrogen or zombie/beads scenes described in the question. – John Rennie Sep 1 '17 at 9:44
  • Like I said, based solely on the cover description. Don't recall too many details of the book itself, other than that it read like an amalgam of Phillip K. Dick, William Gibson, and the Penthouse Forum, tossed into a blender, set on puree, with the lid of the blender left off. Of course, it's a collectors item now. – Emsley Wyatt Sep 1 '17 at 14:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.