Reviews and Blog Posts: steampunk

A conspiracy of alchemists : book one in the chronicles of light and shadow

by Liesel Schwarz

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A Conspiracy of Alchemists, the debut novel for author Liesel Schwarz, won the British Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Best debut novel for 2013.  Set in the Belle Époque, the novel is a genre defying blend of steampunk, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. 

Soulless, the manga. Vol. 1

by Gail Carriger

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This steampunk style paranormal romance graphic novel based on the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger is a fun, sexy little story about a feisty female in Victorian England who is unhappy with the restrictions placed on her gender.  Bursting with curiosity and especially interested in scientific discoveries and inventions,...

Soulless, the manga. Vol. 1

by Gail Carriger

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Lots of folks have raved about Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series, so I thought I'd try the manga version of the first book, Soulless. In it, we meet Miss Alexia Tarabotti, a preternatural, meaning that she can suck the supernatural out of werewolves, vampires, and the like. Her versioin of Victorian...

The native star

by M. K. Hobson

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Emily Edwards is a single women living in 1876 California, she is trying to take care of her father the only way she knows how, with witchcraft. Spells and potions that she sells to her neighbors, but the problem is, there’s a big wig wizard from the east coast (Dreadnought...

The Doomsday vault

by Steven (Steven Piziks) Harper

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This is a fun steampunk romp through Victorian England, though one that is filled with shambling zombies, mad genius scientists, and automata of all sorts. Gavin Ennock only ever wanted to be a sailor of the skies, and he was, until the sky pirates came and well now Gavin is stuck...

Detecting a Trend: 'Sherlock Holmes' @ DPL's Steampunk Film Series

Sherlock Holmes

Join us this week for the final installment of our Steampunk Film Series: Guy Ritchie's action-packed 2009 blockbuster, Sherlock Holmes.

Tuesday, June 25, 6:30-9 p.m.
Central Library, Level B2 Conference Center
Free admission

This brash, steampunk-flavored adventure features a fresh take on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's characters, fight choreography based on a real Victorian system of martial arts, and strong performances between stars Robert Downey, Jr. as Holmes and Jude Law as Watson.

Etiquette & espionage

by Gail Carriger

Sophronia is rather unpopular around her home. Instead of being interested in being a proper lady, she's more interested in taking things apart to see how they work, using the dumb waiter to spy on people, and generally anything that doesn't require a curtsy. When her mother sends her to...

Still Flying: 'Serenity' @ DPL's Steampunk Film Series

Serenity Movie Poster

With, Serenity (2005) -- the third installment of DPL's Steampunk Film Series -- Joss Whedon takes us 500 years into the future where the overpopulation of Earth has scattered humans across the universe. The crew of the spaceship Serenity must evade the totalitarian government and the assassin dispatched to hunt them down.

Whether you are a longtime fan of Joss Whedon, or are new to his work, Serenity is an action-packed film with elements from the Western, Science Fiction and Steampunk genres. It is also one of the few movies that I can think of that was developed after the TV show it was based on, Firefly, was canceled.

Prepare to be Astounded: 'The Prestige' @ DPL's Steampunk Film Series

The Professor and Olivia onstage

With The Prestige (2006) -- the second installment of DPL's Steampunk Film Series -- Christopher Nolan paints a vibrant portrait of magic and science in the Victorian era that brims with historical detail while remaining thoroughly modern in its tone and themes. It's a complex and visually striking film that begs to be viewed on the big screen.

Adapted from Christopher Priest's 1995 novel of the same name, The Prestige features the kind of multi-layered, time-shifting narrative that has become a Nolan signature. At its heart is the epic rivalry between two stage magicians, Borden (Christian Bale) and Angier (Hugh Jackman), that subtly echoes the real life power struggle between scientific wizards Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. In the figure of Tesla -- played by an otherworldly David Bowie -- the fragile boundaries between science and magic collapse.

Rust: Playful Steampunk with Heart (and Word Balloons)

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...

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