The film of The Golden Compass/His Dark Materials (again with the changing of British book titles for stoopid Americans) is flawed, but I’m damn sorry they wouldn’t finish the whole series.
I like the girl playing Lyra. Kidman is weak as Mrs. Coulter, but Daniel Craig is great as Lord Asriel. And Sir Ian as a great fighting bear? Yes and yes.
I just stared The Affinity Bridge by George Mann. Thus far, it’s a little too derivative of Doyle, though Mann changes Watson into Emma Peel, but he has a good, flowing style.
More zombies, however. I think I’m done with zombies for a loooong while after this.
Thanks—I have a guy, independent book seller here in town who has a book that I do want. Well, he has many books I do want. So I’ll probably trade with him.
This is like Sophie’s Choice!
Sorry Stephen Hunt, but your steampunk is not my steampunk. Out you go.
It was good—I will definitely look for the next in the series. The premise is basically Holmes and Watson in a steampunk setting, but the characters work well off of each other, and Mann has a great twist in the epilogue.
Apparently it’s been reblog FindingSherlock night for me … sorry about that. You all must be getting sick of it by now.
I actually have read The Affinity Bridge, and though I won’t deny it was entertaining, I wasn’t overly impressed with it, myself. It was very superficial and mostly felt like a…
Excellent review—says all that I wanted to and much more. I still recommend Mann, but yes, ‘superficial’ is apt.
Started book 2 of Cherie Priest’s Steampunk US Civil War series, Dreadnought. Good stuff on the whole so far—better writing than book 1, Boneshaker.
Interestingly, in her alternative history, by 1872 the War is on-going, but almost all the Confederate states have freed their slaves and Texas (independent republic) and Florida are offering homesteading deals to the freemen.
Priest seems to be making the case that the War was about States’ Rights, not slavery. Not a position I’d endorse, but a very compelling plot-device.
Paul Thomas Anderson and Robert Downey doing Pynchon’s Inherent Vice? This appeals to my interests.
Finished Dreadnought, and while I have skipped the middle book in her steampunk trilogy Clementine, I feel like I’m finished with the Clockwork Century.
Not sure why, exactly, as I like Priest’s writing style for the most part. She certainly got more confident in her writing and her overall creation as Boneshaker progressed into Dreadnought, and I appreciate how much research went into her descriptions of Civil War-era Seattle, Richmond, Chattanooga, the railroad system, etc.
But taste is taste, and I like a more playful verbal style I think—I’ve stared Nick Harkway’s The Gone-Away World, and man, does his style appeal to my ear. Layers of words—a compost pile of images and descriptions and sly word play that dances on the page.
I’ve been turning and turning in the widening gyre of a proposed book on the theory and praxis of steampunk. I’m sure there’s a book here. Probably many books.
I’m deeply intrigued by the use of Victorian settings—the debts to Arthur Conan Doyle and especially the many adaptations of Holmes and Watson give a visual noir feel to much of steampunk, and the brass and hyper-stylized accoutrements of much of steampunk are clearly fun to play with. But the mores of the 19th Century, the lure of ‘Empire’ and imperialism, the sweeping industrial, economic, and martial changes going on also give steampunk a rich tapestry to weave into and out of. But the central question of why look to Victorian clothes, styles, customs, and settings should probably be the focus of this book. I need to think on this.
But for now, I’m diving into The Gone-Away World; I liked Dreadnought and recommend it, but can’t say I’m going to follow Priest’s career that much more closely than say George Mann’s.
Diving into some theory this morning. Because why not? How often does one get to read sentences like:
Everything is metamorphosed into its opposite to perpetuate itself in its expurgated form. All the powers, all the institutions speak of themselves through denial, in order to attempt, by simulating death, to escape their real death throes. Power can stage its own murder to rediscover a glimmer of existence and legitimacy. (Simulation and Simulacra 19)
Stuff like this, and Baudrillard’s contention that the Gulf War wasn’t ‘real,’ sound like complete nonsense. And maybe it is. But when Sarah Palin claims that the 1st Amendment is being abrogated by the Supreme Court supporting the Westboro Baptist Church’s heinous (but rightly protected) protests, Baudrillard may just be the voice of reason.