- May 31 - King Library Opens at 1:00 PM
Review written by volunteer Robert D.
The final book in Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan Trilogy is out! Goliath picks up where the last book, Behemoth, left off. Deryn and Alek have left Constantinople in the Leviathan, a British airship made from a genetically engineered whale with a weaponized ecosystem at the crew's command. They begin making their way towards Russia, which is England's ally and one of the great Darwenist powers of Europe in this this alternate World War I setting. In Russia, they meet a certain Clanker (technology-user) scientist who claims to have a weapon that will end all wars.
For those who have read the first two books, picking this one up is a foregone conclusion. For those who haven't yet checked out the now complete Leviathan Trilogy, do so! Westerfeld has done a great job in adapting the events of World War I for this alternate universe. For people interested in Steampunk, Dieselpunk, and Biopunk this is a great introductory novel!
Author Caitlin Kittredge created a very interesting world in her novel, The Iron Thorn. 15-year-old Aoife (pronounced "Ee-fah") Grayson is a mathematically gifted student at the prestigious School of Engines of Lovecraft Academy, in the steampunkish city of Lovecraft. One day, Aoife receives a mysterious letter from her brother Conrad. Worried about her brother's safety, Aoife enlists the help of her friend Cal, to try to find Conrad.
Part fantasy, part science fiction, part steampunk, part alternate history, this novel has many twists, turns and surprises. High school students, middle school students and even adults who like science fiction and fantasy are likely to enjoy The Iron Thorn. This book is available in print format and audio cd format.
To find out more about Caitlin Kittredge, please visit her website.
Steampunk. What is it? It is a subgenre of Science Fiction, a place where the past and the future come together. Imagine the technology that powered the Nautilus in Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In 1987, in a letter to Locus Magazine, the author J.K. Heter coined the term Steampunk to describe the "gonzo-historical" fiction that he and several other authors had been writing. But Steampunk has grown in the 20+ years since then to encompass so much more. It is a fashion style, an aesthetic, even musical groups have formed based on this idea of the future that never was. This is a rabbit hole, make no mistake, but if you wish to investigate further, strap on your goggles and top hat and jump in with me!
Music: Abney Park is *the* name when it comes to Steampunk music. They've been playing as a steampunk band since 2006 and I am told put on quite a show. They all created steampunk personas which they portray in their concerts and this video of Airship Pirates gives you a look/feel for the group.
Dr. Steel also puts on a great show and has an evil mastermind sort of persona. He is embarking on a world domination plan involving YOU if you decide to become one of his "Toy Soldiers". Weird and Fun, all in one!
The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing produced a collection of music available for download, CD and on a limited edition recorded wax cylinder! If you give them a listen, you'll find they put the emphasis on PUNK in Steampunk!
Rasputina's albums are all available for download on Freegal. I downloaded How We Quit the Forest and Sister Sleep. They feature prominent strings and vocals that reminded me of Kate Bush.
Movies: You have probably seen a few of these titles and if you haven't you can pick them up at the Library. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen brings a collection of famous characters ranging from Dorian Grey to Captain Nemo together to save the world.
The Golden Compass, based on the novel by Philip Pullman, takes on many steampunk themes from airships to an alithiometer - a device which allows you to tell the real truth on any situation.
Books: A really compelling read in the genre is The Glass Books of the Dream-Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist. A young woman stumbles upon a cabal of evil socialites bent on taking over the world using a technology that allows them to steal memories and store them within books made of glass and a mysterious blue clay. From a dissolute prince to an assassin named Cardinal Chang for the red leather great coat he wears, the cast of characters never ceases to amaze and amuse. The intrigue and suspense keep you on the edge of your seat and make it hard to put this book down!
Steampunk is definitely a DIY aesthetic and the library has a couple of titles that might help you get started in creating your own steampunk outfit. Steampunk-style Jewelry: Victorian, Fantasy and Mechanical Necklaces, Bracelets and Earrings by Jean Campbell shows several one of a kind pieces and gives you a head-start on how to create your own.
For the past few years, a group of steampunkers have been publishing an online magazine titled, Steampunk Magazine. This magazine is available for download and features fiction, poetry, commentary, DIY instructions and patterns. If you are looking for a place to start, Steampunk magazine is your go-to.
Why would you be creating a costume? To create your own steampunk persona! There are groups of folks who meet-up in costume and in character and have a grand old time together! There are conventions and other events where Steampunk reigns supreme. In the Bay area, look for the big steampunk convention, Wild Wild East on March 25, 26 and 27. The San Jose Steampunk group is the St. Clair Aeronauts whose personas include a crew of an airship that delivers letters.
Who knows? The newest Steampunker could be you!
Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy is an excellent YA series for fans of alternate history or the steampunk genre. Taking place during World War I, the books pit the British Darwinists (who use fabricated animals as their weapons and vehicles) against the German Clankers (with futuristic machines). At the center of the story are two young people: Deryn Sharp, a midshipman in the British service who has been forced to disguise her identity and present herself as a boy, and Prince Aleksandar Ferdinand, an Austrian royal on the run from the very same people that murdered his father, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, at the start of the war. When the Darwinists' new flying whale ship, the Leviathan, crash lands near Aleksandar's hideout, Deryn and Alek meet for the first time and their stories become intertwined.
Westerfeld, who also wrote the popular YA series Uglies, has created a unique alternate history and through his well written characters he keeps the story fascinating and engaging. The first book Leviathan was recently followed up by the sequel Behemoth, and according to Westerfeld's website, a third book titled Goliath should be released in October 2011.