Jar of fools by jason lutes. Story about a conjuror on the verge of a breakdown, his senile mentor, estranged girlfriend and the homeless father and daughter con artists they befriend. It's a brave attempt at a Harry Crews style cavalcade of freaks story that almost succeeds. It's let down only by the slightly contrived and rushed feel to the ending. the art is clan, clear and concise. Not my preferred style (i like a more scratchy look to my art (Eddie Campbell is the man as far as I'm concerned)) but it flows nicely and suits the tale very much. A good read and one that I think warrants a re-read but probably not for a while.
The Difference Engine - William Gibson and Bruce Sterling - Gosh! So very good. Never read any Sterling before but I'm a long time fan of Gibson. This, their collaborative steampunk novel (probably more correctly described as inter-connected novellas) was an absolute corker from start to almost finish. The picture they paint of a London (indeed a world) changed before it's time by the genius of Charles Babbage is simply awe-inspiring. You can taste the smog and feel the starched collars.
At it's heart there is a relatively straight forward spy vs revolutionary storyline but orbiting this is a bewildering array of subplots and narratives that occasionally impact upon the main in ways that are not always immediately apparent.