Steampunk is kind of silly. It's hard not to smirk at someone in 19th century garb, complete with top hat and coattails, who also has goggles and a raygun. But the silliness of steampunk is part of the charm. And just because something is silly, doesn't mean it can't be great.
Case in point: Royden Lepp's wonderful graphic novel RUST.
Rust is an imaginative adventure story set in the prairie lands of an unknown time. It has all the hallmarks of steampunk: goggles, jet packs, big clunky robots with lots of gears. It's even colored in shades of sepia (it doesn't get more steampunky than that!). But it's also touching, funny, and intriguing. The graphic novel is drawn in an engaging, playful style that's reminiscent of both Calvin and Hobbs and Manga. The story centers around a mysterious boy with a jet pack who crash lands on a struggling family's farm. Then the big robots show up...
An intimate but enthusiastic group gathered to hear excerpts from Dean Fetzer's newest novel, Dead Silent.
The author, visiting from London, chatted with the audience and then read passages from the finale in his Jaared Sen Quartet. Dean took questions from the audience, and then signed copies of his books for excited collectors.
Welcome, welcome, welcome ladies and gentlemen to the weird and wonderful world of steampunk. What is steampunk you ask? Why, it is many things, but let's call it an aesthetic sensibility. Gears, corsets, dirigibles, and don't forget your goggles. There is steampunk music, fashion, art, and of course books!
Steampunk has its roots in the scientific romances of the mid-19th century but really took flight (steam powered of course!) in the 1980s and most recently in the aught-aughts. A group of writers (Jeter, Blaylock, Powers) working in southern California would meet up at their local watering hole and realized they were all writing similar works, as a joke they called it "Steampunk".
Colorado author Gregory Hill joins the Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series lineup at the Ross-Cherry Creek Branch on Wednesday, May 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Hill's novel, East of Denver, won the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, is a Colorado Book Award finalist in the Literary Fiction category, and was named "one of the year's best crime novels" by Booklist. East of Denver combines going home, family, misfit friends, a plane, a farm, humor, and a bank robbery to create a unique reading experience.
The winners of both the Edgar Awards and the Agatha Awards were recently announced, so if you're looking to add a bit of mystery to your summer reading, look no further!
The Edgars, named after Edgar Allan Poe, honor the best in mystery fiction, nonfiction, and television. The Agathas, named after Agatha Christie, honor the "traditional" mystery as exemplified by Christie's works. This is the award for you if you're looking for mysteries with no explicit sex, gratuitous violence, or gore. No "hard boiled" mysteries here. Check out these lists, and maybe discover a new favorite mystery author!
A well-crafted first line in a novel has a big job. Whether it's mysterious, romantic, enigmatic, funny or atmospheric, it must grab and entice the reader.
In the case of local writer Jennifer Kincheloe's debut novel, "The Secret Life of Anna Blanc," the opening words bring you into a very special world: "Anna Blanc wore a six-inch hairpiece made from the tresses of a yak."
As a youth nearly everyone goes through an Egyptology phase, right?
Well, mine never really went away, though it did morph into something a bit different. No longer intrigued by pictographic writing, or ceremonies dedicated to sun gods, now I'm just fascinated with human fruit leathers, people pickled in bogs, or dehydrated on steppes, MUMMIES! There is a touring exhibition going around the US right now called Mummies of the World. Currently the exhibition is in Salt Lake City, UT until the end of May and I am keeping my fingers crossed that it comes to Denver!
The Greek myth of Icarus, who tried to escape from Crete by flying on wings made of feathers and wax, is often used as an example of hubris and failed ambition. Icarus is warned by his father not to fly too close to the sun. He disregards this and the wings collapse and he falls back to earth. But the lesson from this myth might be about taking chances and following your heart in spite of the risks.
I started thinking about the story a lot while I was in Paris last December. I thought perhaps I'd seen a painting of Icarus in one of my museum visits -- and somehow it had crept into my waking dreams. Then I went through my photos of the trip and found this image (top photo), from a ceiling in the Louvre museum. It depicts Icarus at the moment of his fall. But the part of the story I started to ponder most was his flight before the fall.
A good friend of mine recently complained to me that her two children were fighting constantly. She did not know why it was happening, but she wanted it to stop. She was desperate for help. My first question for her was: What are they reading?
If you think that was a silly question, read on. In the child development book Nutureshock, authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman devote an entire chapter to sibling relationships – and directly tie the way brothers and sisters treat each other to the books they read and the media they consume.