What Ho, Automaton!I received What Ho, Automaton! by Chris Dolley through the Early Reviewers program at LibraryThing (You can click the previous to gawk at my awesome library!). This e-book consisted of the titular novelette and a novella titled ” Something Rummy This Way Comes”.  As you might be able to tell from the titles, these stories take place in the world of “Jeeves & Wooster”, with some interesting changes. The action, for instance, takes place roughly 10 years earlier than the original stories. Stiffy, a woman in the stories/tv show is now a man (to make the joke that you are currently thinking of). Aunt Agatha is now Aunt Bertha. Bertie Wooster is now Reggie Worcester, and Reggie (Jeeves’ first name in the original, if you were wondering) is now a steam-powered valet.

The novelette follows the first meeting of Jeeves and our Bertie Reggie, and in classic Wodehousian style, Jeeves is immediately put upon to help Worcester extract his cousin from an engagement. Hilarity — involving prize pigs, monomaniacal country gents and accidental engagements  — ensues.

The novella begins with Reggie under the stern eye of his indomitable aunt once more. She’s decided that Reggie must marry, and has gotten him a standing invitation to every ball that season. He learns that several débutantes have gone missing, and with the aid of Jeeves and a deb who is immune to his betrothal avoidance system (6 or 7 cloves of garlic before each ball), Reggie puts on the deer-stalker and acts the private investigator.

Both of these stories were entertaining, and adhered well to the spirit of Wodehouse. Jeeves was cucumber-like in his coolness, and his prodigious brain always came up with a solution, even though it might not be one that Reggie would enjoy. Reggie was affable, and extremely silly, as he should.  The steam-punk mods are well done, and important to the story, though I have a feeling the 10 year bump in time-line was merely to get Reggie into a Stanley Steamer.

All in all a quite a bit of fun, especially for the Wodehouse fan, and well worth the 2.99 you have to drop for it.