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April - June 2013     VOLUME 17 ISSUE 2
 
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In a funk? Try steampunk!

Ray guns, dirigibles, corsets, and gears, oh my!
Crystal Osborne

The Oxford English Dictionary defines steampunk as "a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advance technology". Think Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas or H.G. Wells The Time Machine. Or the Wild Wild West movie featuring Will Smith and Salma Hayek. Even the new Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr have a steampunk vibe. 

While steampunk started as a sub-genre of literature it has grown into an entire sub-culture movement that influences art, music and fashion. There are steampunk conventions, fairs and all sorts of events where people cosplay. They dress up in some of the most elaborate costumes, with ray guns, googles, corsets and even robotic arms. You never know what you will see. A google image search for steampunk cosplay will reveal some awesome cosplay outfits. 

Steampunk crafting is lots of fun. A google or pinterest search for steampunk crafts will keep you busy for quite some time. It doesn't need to be expensive. With just paper, cardboard, glue, plaster, wood shapes, plastic cups, paint, random trinkets and time you can create neat things, like this airship. 

 

 




Or with a wooden bead, some polymer clay, paint and a bit of chain you could make a mini ray gun.
  Bits and pieces of random stuff with a little imagination can make awesome  crafting possiblities


For some inspiration check out the steampunk titles available in the Lake County Library system:

The Half-Made World by Felix Gilman
 

The world is still only half-made. Between the wild shores of uncreation, and the ancient lands of the East lies the vast expanse of the West---young, chaotic, magnificent, war-torn.

Thirty years ago, the Red Republic fought to remake the West---fought gloriously, and failed. The world that now exists has been carved out amid a war between two rival factions: the Line, enslaving the world with industry, and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence. The Republic is now history, and the last of its generals sits forgotten and nameless in a madhouse on the edge of creation. But locked in his memories is a secret that could change the West forever, and the world’s warring powers would do anything to take it from him.

Now Liv Alverhuysen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels west, hoping to heal the general’s shattered mind. John Creedmoor, reluctant Agent of the Gun and would-be gentleman of leisure, travels west, too, looking to steal the secret or die trying. And the servants of the Line are on the march.

Dreadnought by Charlie Priest

Nurse Mercy Lynch is elbows deep in bloody laundry at a war hospital in Richmond, Virginia, when Clara Barton comes bearing bad news: Mercy’s husband has died in a POW camp. On top of that, a telegram from the west coast declares that her estranged father is gravely injured, and he wishes to see her. Mercy sets out toward the Mississippi River. Once there, she’ll catch a train over the Rockies and—if the telegram can be believed—be greeted in Washington Territory by the sheriff, who will take her to see her father in Seattle.

Reaching the Mississippi is a harrowing adventure by dirigible and rail through war-torn border states. When Mercy finally arrives in St. Louis, the only Tacoma-bound train is pulled by a terrifying Union-operated steam engine called the Dreadnought. Reluctantly, Mercy buys a ticket and climbs aboard.

What ought to be a quiet trip turns deadly when the train is beset by bushwhackers, then vigorously attacked by a band of Rebel soldiers. The train is moving away from battle lines into the vast, unincorporated west, so Mercy can’t imagine why they’re so interested. Perhaps the mysterious cargo secreted in the second and last train cars has something to do with it?

Mercy is just a frustrated nurse who wants to see her father before he dies. But she’ll have to survive both Union intrigue and Confederate opposition if she wants to make it off the Dreadnought alive.

 
Corsets & Clockwork edited by Trisha Telep
 

Dark, urban fantasies come to life in the newest collection of Steampunk stories, Corsets & Clockwork. Young heroes and heroines battle evils with the help of supernatural or super-technological powers, each individual story perfectly balancing historical and fantastical elements. Throw in epic romances that transcend time, and this trendy, engrossing anthology is sure to become another hit for the fast-growing Steampunk genre!

This collection features some of the hottest writers in the teen genre, including: Ann Aguirre, Jaclyn Dolamore, Tessa Gratton, Frewin Jones, Caitlin Kittredge, Adrienne Kress, Lesley Livingston, Dru Pagliassotti, Dia Reeves, Michael Scott, Maria V. Snyder, Tiffany Trent, and Kiersten White.

 

 

 

 

 
Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine
 

Come inside and take a seat, the show is about to begin...


Outside any city still standing, the Mechanical Circus Tresaulti sets up its tents. Crowds pack the benches to gawk at the brass-and-copper troupe and their impossible feats: Ayar the Strong Man, the acrobatic Grimaldi Brothers, fearless Elena and her aerialists who perform on living trapezes. War is everywhere, but while the Circus is performing, the world is magic.

That magic is no accident: Boss builds her circus from the bones out, molding a mechanical company that will survive the unforgiving landscape. But even a careful ringmaster can make mistakes.

Two of Tresaulti's performers are entangled in a secret standoff that threatens to tear the circus apart just as the war lands on their doorstep. Now the Circus must fight a war on two fronts: one from the outside, and a more dangerous one from within.



Clockwork Angels by Kevin J. Anderson

A remarkable collaboration that is unprecedented in its scope and realization, this exquisitely wrought novel represents an artistic project between the bestselling science fiction author Kevin J. Anderson and the multiplatinum rock band Rush. The newest album by Rush, Clockwork Angels, sets forth a story in Neil Peart’s lyrics that has been expanded by him and Anderson into this epic novel. In a young man’s quest to follow his dreams, he is caught between the grandiose forces of order and chaos. He travels across a lavish and colorful world of steampunk and alchemy with lost cities, pirates, anarchists, exotic carnivals, and a rigid Watchmaker who imposes precision on every aspect of daily life. The mind-bending story is complemented with rich paintings by the five-time Juno Award winner for Best Album Design, Hugh Syme.


The Falling Machine
by Andrew P. Mayer


1000 Steampunk Creations byDr. Grymm

 

Steampunk is a burgeoning counter-cultural movement; a genre, community, and artform. The Steampunk movement seeks to recapture the spirit of invention, adventure, and craftsmanship reminiscent of early-nineteenth-century industrialization, in part to restore a sense of wonder to a technology-jaded world.

Packed with 1,000 full-color photographs, 1,000 Steampunk Creations features a stunning and mind-boggling showcase of modified technology, art and sculpture, home décor, fashion and haberdashery, jewelry and accessories, and curious weapons, vehicles, and contraptions.


The Art of Steampunk byArt Donovan


The Art of Steampunk seeks to celebrate the world of Steampunk: a world filled with beauty and innovation.  A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but unique and striking.  

 Inside, you will find the fantastical and stunning artwork of Steampunk artists from around the world.  The 17 artists featured on these pages, among the frontrunners of the Steampunk genre, have had their work displayed at an exhibition at The Museum of History of Science at the University of Oxford, UK and have attracted the media attention of BoingBoing, one of the world’s largest blogs.  Their artwork consists of everything from clocks and watches to light fixtures and jewelry, but every piece demonstrates hours of painstaking work and devotion from its creator.  You will find that the artists themselves are just as unique and colorful as their masterpieces.  Fully embracing Steampunk ideology, many have adopted a Victorian alter ego—a mad scientist persona to match the complicated intricacies of their artwork.

    The Art of Steampunk brings the vision of the Steampunk artist alive on the page, providing a unique insight into the captivating and dynamic world of a vastly underground genre.


Steampunk: Gear, Gadgets and Gizmos by Thomas Willeford

Unleash Your Inner Mechanical Mastermind

Welcome to the wondrous world of Thomas Willeford, aka Lord Archibald "Feathers" Featherstone, in which he shares his closely guarded secrets of Steampunkery. Filled with do-it-yourself projects, Steampunk Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos: A Maker's Guide to Creating Modern Artifacts shows you how to build exquisite, ingenious contraptions on a budget.

Learn from Lord Featherstone as he distills his wealth of hard-learned skills, describes how to use the readily available tools of the modern mad scientist, and expounds on the art and philosophy of scavenging unique components and raw materials. The perfect companion for the hobbyist and advanced machinist alike, this inventive volume will guide you through the creation of your very own infernal devices.

Get steamed with these provocative projects:

  • Aetheric ray deflector solid brass goggles
  • Calibrated indicator gauges
  • Ferromagnetic self-scribing automated encyclopedia (or, the Steampunk book drive)
  • High voltage electro-static cannon (or, the lamp gun)
  • Tesla-pod chrono-static insulating field generator (or, the mobile device enclosure)
  • Altitude mask with integrated respiratory augmentation
  • Armoured pith helmet
  • Mark I superior replacement arm with integrated Gatling gun attachment


Have fun!
 

 

In 1880 women aren't allowed to vote, much less dress up in a costume and fight crime...

But twenty-year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming a hero. Her opportunity arrives in tragedy when the leader of the Society of Paragons, New York's greatest team of gentlemen adventurers, is murdered right before her eyes. To uncover the truth behind the assassination, Sarah joins forces with the amazing mechanical man known as The Automaton. Together they unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the Paragons that reveals the world of heroes and high-society is built on a crumbling foundation of greed and lies. When Sarah comes face to face with the megalomaniacal villain behind the murder, she must discover if she has the courage to sacrifice her life of privilege and save her clockwork friend.

The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, Book One) takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities, and grant powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.