In my enthusiasm at starting a bookish blog, I began by bookmarking a whole bunch of other blogs in hopes that they would give me some ideas and things to think about adding to mine. What a great idea, because I already have topic!
Jacket Copy, the LA Times Book News and Information Blog, just posted about Steampunk — a subgenre of science fiction and fantasy that is generally set in a world that still relies on steam power, but includes a lot of scientific or fantastical elements (Wikipedia). Steampunk is linked both chronologically and thematically to the Cyberpunk movement, another genre I just got interested in because of a class on science fiction I just finished. The biggest difference between the two is that steampunk has fewer of the dystopian elements that often characterize cyberpunk.
Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series is a great example of steampunk — zepplins, gadgets, and the golden compass are great examples of fantastical technology making its way into the Victorian Era . And how appropriate for my posting time, Random House just came out with a prequel to the series titled Once Upon a Time in the North that focuses on then 24-year-old Lee Scorsby and how he first comes to the North and befriends Iorek Byrnison. This is a series I’ve loved since I first grabbed them back in the eighth grade — it’s cool to go back to them now with a greater appreciation of themes and literary context. I may look into read the prequel once it’s out in paperback (poor grad students like me can’t often afford hardcover books…)