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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     
BookJumper

Where to start with Steampunk?

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Our minds must follow the same tracks - when I was doing my own preliminary Steampunk research, Alchemy of Stone is one of the first titles I took note of :lol: do let me know what you think of it if you get to it before I do, which you probably will.

 

Good to hear! Okies will do, need to buy it first :D

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Let me know how you find it - the reviews I've read of this weren't very inspiring.

 

I've just looked up The Windup Girl' and the 'decadent whims' of the man who finds the girl of the title don't bode well... I'll look up the others, thank your friend for me.

 

As I loathe Meyer with every fibe of my being, I should hope so :lol: that said, I never thought Rowling's writing was exactly earth-shattering either, just that the story (up to The Goblet of Fire IMGO) was genius enough to make up for it. Is the story of Mariah Mundi also genius?

Genius could be a word for it. Weird certainly and I found the last book of his 'Ship of Fools' very scary. There is a steamship which has a ventriloquist and lots of murder. There is one really amazing charter called Biba. She is cool beyond cool. Very disturbing book. Not to be read at night or on a ship.

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Great article, thanks BigWords! I'm going to make a note of most (probably all) of these titles. :lol:

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Thank you - several titles duly noted; Soulless sounds particularly awesome, they had me at 'A novel of vampires, werewolves, and parasols' :lol:!

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The reviews for both Boneshaker and Soulless are pretty dire though, that makes me sad.

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In Oxford yesterday I saw a large poster with the word 'Steampunk' written on it and thought of you! I went to investigate to see what it was all about - it was actually an art exhibition which has finished now - I thought it might be about books!

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Yes, from the website it looked quite good. We wouldn't have had enough time anyway, so it's probably just as well! :smile2:

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Was it at the Museum of the History of Science? I read they had one and it was the worlds first exhibition of steampunk art - ah wish I heard about it when it was on for those 5 months I would have tried to go, its always the case tho :D

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I've just read about a book that is described as a 'Far-Fetched Fictional steampunk sequel to 'The War of the Worlds' .. which is due out later this year called 'The Japanese Devil Fish Girl and Other Unnatural Attractions' by Robert Rankin.

 

The blurb I've got says ...

 

It's 1985; nearly a decade since the failed Martian invasion of Earth, chronicled in The War of the Worlds. Mars is now part of the ever expanding British Empire. And the quest of one man to find a new attraction for his show is about to cause considerable friction on other planets. Enough to spark an interplanetary war. Robert Rankin's new novel fizzes with his archetypal imagination and humour.

 

Amazon says ...

 

The pickled Martian's tentacles are fraying at the ends and Professor Coffin's Most Meritorious Unnatural Attraction (the remains of the original alien autopsy, performed by Sir Frederick Treves at the London Hospital) is no longer drawing the crowds. It's 1895; nearly a decade since Mars invaded Earth, chronicled by H.G. Wells in THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. Wrecked Martian spaceships, back-engineered by Charles Babbage and Nikola Tesla, have carried the Queen's Own Electric Fusiliers to the red planet, and Mars is now part of the ever-expanding British Empire. The less-than-scrupulous sideshow proprietor likes Off-worlders' cash, so he needs a sensational new attraction. Word has reached him of the Japanese Devil Fish Girl; nothing quite like her has ever existed before. But Professor Coffin's quest to possess the ultimate showman's exhibit is about to cause considerable friction amongst the folk of other planets. Sufficient, in fact, to spark off Worlds War Two.

 

I'm not a big fan of sequels .. especially those written by different authors to the original .. but you never know.

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Oooh, thanks for the heads up Poppy - I quite like Rankin, I don't find him quite as consistent as Pratchett but he's one author I always look out for nonetheless. Chances are he'll be signing this at Forbidden Planet whenever it comes out, I need to investigate...!

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There was an article in the Guardian yesterday - a short introduction to Steampunk ahead of a festival in Lincoln next month:

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/aug/08/steampunk-lincoln

 

I know understand a bit more about it, and the comments below the article include some recommendations (although I generally hate the comments section on their site as it ends up being like the light bulb forum joke posted yesterday - too early in the morning to explain, die hard BCFers will know what I mean).

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I saw that article earlier today. Some of the comments made on the Guardian are so pretentious and snobby! And people get very argumentative don't they? Still, I can't help but read them. :rolleyes:

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I don't know why anyone would post a comment on that site, virtually every time I read the comments I shake my head in disbelief :lol: There's so much disagreement and misunderstanding, and it just descends into he said, she said, I'm right, you're wrong type of discussion. Much better to come somewhere friendly like this to discuss rationally, I think ;)

 

But having said that, like with this article, there's usually some gems of information in the comments, and some of the recommendations for this article seem interesting, and I don't think all of them have been mentioned here, so might provide some more food for thought.

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One book I read recently and really enjoyed was "Terminal World" by Alistar Reynolds. It's set in the far future were after a disaster certain technologies can only function within certain zones. Most of the zones explored in the book would come under the umbrella of "steampunk" (one is actually called steamville)

 

Ian

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I thought fans of steampunk might like to know about a new book that has been published on the subject: The Steampunk Bible: An Illustrated Guide to the World of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists and Strange Literature by Jeff VanderMeer. I found about it on Goodreads recently and added it to my wishlist straight away; it looks gorgeous and sounds great. :)

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It's taken me this long to stumble upon a definition of this (according to Wiki, 'works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy'), the idea rocks my socks but I have no idea what's good and what's faff... please help!

 

I'm starting "Boneshaker" by Cherie Priest then "Dreadnaught", the sequel. Look them up!

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