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Category Archives: Steampunk

No Fooling: The Diary returns!

After many adventures across the aether that include getting involved with fire spinners, taking up the media editor reins at Steampunk Chronicle, zipping all over the east coast with The Extraordinary Contraptions, and the general tiredness that comes from that, I’m happy to announce that starting today, The Diary of a Dimension Hopper is back in business!

Did you miss me, friends? Because I missed you. And with all the fun that’s coming out this year in movies and music, I’d be remiss to stop writing the Diary. Plus, you might be hearing me on a podcast or two soon, but more on that when it happens.

I’m hoping to be on a MWF schedule, but I’ll be at least posting once a week on one of those designated days.

We’ll truly resume on Wednesday where I’ll reflect on the life of the recently broken up My Chemical Romance, but for now, let me give you the six songs I’m currently listening to over and over again.

1.) ‘The Phoenix’ by Fall Out Boy – The second single/opening song from their upcoming album Save Rock and Roll, Fall Out Boy is proving that they’re back with a vengeance. With intense instrumentation, Patrick Stump dialing it up on the vocals, and production from Butch Walker that brings out the best of it all, ‘The Phoenix’ is a driving track that has me foaming at the mouth to hear it live (which I will on June 2nd). Plus, the video for it brings back the weirdness I didn’t realize I missed during their four year hiatus mixed in with a fandom kink meme for good measure.

2.) ‘My Simple Pop Song’ by Professor Shyguy – I’ve known Professor Shyguy for almost two years through his band The Aeronauts, but I hadn’t had a chance to see his chiptune solo project live until this past weekend. Now my brain is filled with 8-bit music and his extremely clever and catchy lyrics. ‘My Simple Pop Song’ has been the main offender, with a precise breakdown of how a simple pop song that burrows its way into your head is composed. Kind of ironic, but I don’t mind. Mixed with some excellent dance moves, I can see why he calls himself “The poor nerd’s Justin Timberlake.”

3.) ‘Mirrors’ by Justin Timberlake – Speaking of Justin Timberlake! Now, I’ve been very bad in the fact I haven’t actually gotten a chance to listen to The 20/20 Experience yet. Sorry Justin! But the second single ‘Mirrors’ definitely surpassed ‘Suit and Tie’. ‘Suit and Tie’ is a little bit catchier, but ‘Mirrors’ just pulls at the heartstrings and shows why Justin Timberlake is one of the best voices in pop music right now. Plus, the video Target released of him performing the song with fans is really adorable.

4.) ‘Transgender Dysphoria Blues’ by Against Me! – Back on Election Day, I made a trip down to Athens with my friends BFT and Little Spoon to see Against Me! perform at the 40 Watt. It was an amazing show that opened with this song and just unleashed fury in the pit that I had to spend a few days recovering from. It’s been consistently stuck in my head since then, but there is sadly no recorded version out yet. I await patiently, opening guitar loop stuck in my head, and a review will happen when it does.

5.) ‘Slut Like You’ by Pink – A month ago, I had the chance to see Pink perform at Philips Arena with The Truth About Love tour. And to quote Rona Thorne, it was AMAZIIIIIING. The Truth About Love is already an amazing album, but getting to hear many of the songs live mixed with her theatrics was certainly a treat. While I may not have tickets yet, I know I’m going to see her again in December. There were plenty of catchy songs during that show that have been in rotation on my iPod, but the dirty  feminist power anthem ‘Slut Like You’ has been up there the most. Especially after the weekend I just had.

6.) ‘Bone China Cup’ by The Extraordinary Contraptions – Okay, I had to slip ONE April Fool in here. This was all Teodore’s idea! See what kind of Steampunk silliness you can spot here!

Until Wednesday, my friends…

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Posted by on April 1, 2013 in General, Internet, Music, Steampunk

 

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52 books in 52 weeks, part 2: Steampunk Benders and Paper Towns

So my weekend was a bit hectic. Between hosting Birdeatsbaby, going to the Red Bull Soapbox Race, and watching the Tonys, every moment of downtime between them was welcome. I’m currently trying to figure out a way to catch up, but for now, I’ll be back on schedule with the second part of my 52 in 52 review. This one has a lot of Graphic Novels, but also some Steampunk goodies. Starting with…

14.) Mechanique: A Tale of the Circus Tresaulti by Genevieve Valentine – This was a peculiar, but very interesting book. Set in a steampunk circus that’s surrounded by a bleak dystopia, the tale of the Circus Tresaulti is filled with plenty of contradictions and mystery. By the end of the novel, I’m not sure if anything was clearer than it was at the beginning, but it was an enjoyable ride nonetheless. It’s like the reader is one of the people who only briefly joins the circus. You enjoy your time there, but you’ll never truly know anyone who’s in it for life.

15.) The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins – My re-read took longer than I thought, but re-reading the book before and after the movie’s release gave me a better idea of what was changed in the film, and how the film stayed true to the book nonetheless. I need to start my reread of Catching Fire soon.

16.) Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America by Leslie Knope (The writers of Parks and Recreation) – If this book seemed massively entertaining in the episode ‘Born and Raised’, it’s because it is. A complete history of everyone’s favorite fictional and ridiculous Indiana town, Leslie’s book is just as hilarious and spirited as the town itself. Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America is an episode of Parks and Recreation set to paper, as evidenced by the huge smile on my face while reading it.

17.) Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise, Part 1 by Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru – I don’t think I hate this book as much as some Avatar fans, but The Promise seems to be missing something that made the series so great. I like the set up for the reason Republic City will be built, and Sokka being grossed out by Aang and Katara is great. Will report back for Part 2 when I get it.

18.) Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Lost Adventures by Various Authors and Artists – The comics in here range in art and length, but provide wonderful little insights into what the Gaang is doing when we can’t see them. Gym coach Kyoshi might be my favorite though.

19-21.) Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volumes 2-4 by Naoko Takeuchi – As I said in my previous post, reading these books is like visiting old friends in different dimensions. Everything is familiar, and I have vague memories of how they were before, but things are just different enough to differentiate it. At some point during Vol. 4 though, I realized I was approaching the end of what I knew. I was close to resolving the cliffhanger that’s been with me for almost 10 years.

22.) Paper Towns by John Green – I bought this book on a whim, and couldn’t stop reading it until I was done. I had previously read An Abundance of Katherines, but it was nowhere near as entertaining and wonderful as Paper Towns is. Even with the strange things happening to Quentin Jacobsen, the events of the book seem so realistic and are beautifully written. John Green has a gift, and I’m glad he’s sharing it with the world.

23.) Clementine by Cherie Priest – This is the least known entry into Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century, but it’s probably my favorite. Telling the story of Captain Croggon Hainey on the chase for the Free Crow after the events of Boneshaker, it’s another Priest novel with two protagonists. The other being the tough-as-nails Maria Isabella Boyd, a former spy for the Confederate army. Boyd might be my favorite of all of Priest’s protagonists, and it’s so much fun to see two extremes like Boyd and Hainey work together. It makes me sad that this is the shortest of all of Priest’s novels in the Clockwork Century.

24.) I’m Good Enough, I’m Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me! by Stuart Smalley (Al Franken) – I found this book completely by chance, but I’m glad I did. A daily affirmation book written by the hapless Saturday Night Live character, the book quickly turns from a daily affirmation book to a story of a broken man trying to make it through life. It’s very entertaining, and sometimes true to life.

25.) Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Volume 5 by Naoko Takeuchi – This is where I’m picking up where I originally left off. It’s as exciting as I thought, and I can’t wait for the Outer Senshi to appear in Volume 6.

26.) Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions by Neil Gaiman – It took me a long time to finally read this, but I’m glad I did. While it’s not a good collection overall as Fragile Things, it’s still plenty entertaining with stories such as ‘Snow, Glass, Apples’ and ‘We Can Get Them For You Wholesale’ within it’s pages. My favorite quote in the whole thing though had to be in the introduction about Alan Moore. “One day the good burghers and honest townsfolk of Northampton will burn Alan as a warlock, and it will be a great loss to the world.”

Next post will be my review of Prometheus, and how it falls parallel with Alien.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2012 in Books, Steampunk

 

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Reversing retrofuturistic technology tropes with The Legend of Korra

Good Monday, readers. I’m going to have to apologize again for the delay on my review of The Avengers. Getting prepared for and attending Steampunk World’s Fair made writing blogs a bit difficult. Plus, watching my new favorite television show made me want to change my next topic.

Earlier this year, I decided that I was finally going to start watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. Mostly because I have been hearing about the series for years and wanted to finally see what everyone was talking about, but partially because I REALLY wanted to see The Legend of Korra and the completionist that I am wouldn’t let me watch the new series without seeing the old.

Desire to see The Legend of Korra aside, I massively enjoyed Avatar: The Last Airbender. It was great example of the power of animation. It was emotional and heavy, but it still managed to include a lot of life’s natural humor within it’s books as well. The action was well done, and getting to know the characters was like getting to know a group of friends. Aang’s journey to becoming a fully realized Avatar wasn’t just a story for children. It was a story that was timeless at any age.

It didn’t hurt for me that the series was a little bit Steampunk as well. It wasn’t as overt as some series. Most of the world of Avatar had been set back technology wise due to the Hundred Year War, but there was still a nice range of technological advancements that benefited benders and non-benders alike. My favorite example of this was ‘The Northern Air Temple’, where Aang returns to one of the air temples to see that a group of refugees with flying machines has taken over living there. This is the beginning of the Gaang’s  relationship with The Mechanist as well as an interesting take on adapting technology in a world based on bending of the elements and how to use said technology against those who would use it to destroy. It’s a common trope in Steampunk and Retrofuturistic works that the antagonists are at the technological advantage and it’s up to the protagonists to use their skills to defeat them, be it their own inventions, wits, or powers. But it’s a trope that works if it’s done right, and I think Avatar: The Last Airbender managed to balance that question of advancing technology fairly well.

(WARNING: What follows will include some SPOILERS for the two most recent episodes of The Legend of Korra. Proceed at your own risk.)

Flash-forward 70 years to The Legend of Korra. After the Hundred Year War, the world is less divided. So much so that the United Republic of Nations was formed as a place that the world could live in harmony. This causes a spike in the technology that was used by the Fire Nation and the Resistance to create a world where bending and technology have come to co-exist completely. Firebenders work lightening in the power plants, metalbenders help enforce the laws of Republic City, and the world’s main sport is a confluence of bending and tech. This, of course, leads to a technological have and have not situation between Avatar Korra and the battles she has to fight. Except this time, the ones that have the technology are the ones that have been repressed by the bending co-dependence.

You see, a large part of the “Antagonists Have the Technology” trope in Retrofuturistic fiction is that it’s mostly in the hands of the repressors. It happened in The Hunger Games with the Capitol keeping the Districts away from the technology they had as much as possible, and it definitely happened during Aang’s time as the Avatar. How often did we see Aang and his friends have to fight off a Fire Nation tank, War Balloon, or Drill? We even saw Sokka, Suki and Toph take out a whole fleet of flying war machines that were going to help Ozai destroy the Earth Kingdom in the final episode.

But here in The Legend of Korra, it’s especially emphasized that the ones with the technology that could cause danger to the city are the rebels who want to take out the bending piece of the equation. While ‘The Aftermath’ showed that this technology was being provided by Hiroshi Sato, the richest man in Republic City, it’s still being dispersed to rebels of all classes. It’s being given to people who aren’t seen as valuable by some people in the city due to their lack of bending, and are willing to put the balance of the city and others in danger in order to put everyone on the same level. Basically, for once, the antagonists are regular people who just happen to have access to electric gauntlets and platinum mechs that can’t be bent by the police.

The fact that Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino decided to reverse the common trope in this way just emphasizes a certain point in the war between Republic City and the Equalists. That there is a certain discrepancy between benders and non-benders in the world of Avatar and it’s only emphasized by the fact that so much of the jobs and technology in the world depend on benders to use it. While not all benders are like this, there are certain benders that will abuse their powers and abilities to get what they want and it has only been made worse in the years between Aang’s death and Korra’s arrival in Republic City. Now it’s Korra’s job to fight against those who want all benders taken out of the equation for the actions of few. Coexistence is not an option for these people any more, despite the fact that taking benders away from Republic City will upset the balance of it. It opens the door to how Korra has to consider her fight, how she will recognize the privilege she has as the Avatar, and how she will find a way to bring peace back to the city that has desperately needed its Avatar since the death of Aang.

Sadly, we have two weeks in between this episode and the next episode, but hopefully we’ll begin to see how Korra will begin to approach this fight and carry on the legacy that Aang left behind.

My Avengers review will come this week, but I’ll also be looking at the ladies of the Avatar universe as well. Why? Because why not.

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Steampunk, Television

 

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Hunger Games Month: Six Reasons Retrofuturists need to pay attention to The Hunger Games

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, readers! You get a special today due to the fact my own personal schedule made it impossible to do my blog on time this week. Instead of one blog post, I’ll be posting two!

First off, I just wanted to share my recent Backing Steam column, in which I interview Professor Elemental. Lovely chap, the Professor. I’d love to speak with him more in the future. Even more lovely is that he has since reached his goal on Crowdfunder! Splendid!

Anyway, to what I promised to post.

You know how they teach you in school that every rectangle is a square, but not every square is a rectangle?

That’s how I feel about Retrofuturism and Steampunk.

Steampunk is Retrofuturism. There’s no doubt about that. It’s what happens when the Victorians get a hold of our technology, or when we have to depend on advanced steam technology to get things done.

However, people tend to forget that not all Retrofuturism is Steampunk. Retrofuturism is a blending of old and new technologies and concepts. This can be Dieselpunk, Da Vinci’s technology advancing the Renaissance, or, in today’s case, a dystopian future where most of the world is in desperate poverty.

The Hunger Games is one of the best examples of Retrofuturism in mainstream media. However, I haven’t seen many people who share the same opinion. I can get enough opinions about the love triangle or the battle to the death (more on that next week), but I’ve only known one other person who’s recognized the Retrofuture elements of The Hunger Games.

Well, that’s what I’m here to do. Here are my six reasons that Retrofuturists need to pay attention to The Hunger Games. Spoilers follow!

1.) The setting dichotomy – The Hunger Games deals a lot with the settings of the District 12  and the Capitol and how different they are. The Capitol is pure luxury and technology that we only dream of today. District 12, however, is extremely poverty stricken and feels like it’s mostly out of place. Most of the districts from the reader’s understanding are. Their technologies are no where near as advanced as The Capitol’s. They live a life that doesn’t feel like a future society, so the Capitol lifestyle sticks out like a sore thumb.

It’s not just the setting though…

2.) The District 12 lifestyle – Getting to know life in District 12 feels like what would happen if people from the Coal Mining South held onto their traditions while the rest of the world collapsed and rebuilt around them. Life in 12 revolves around the mine and it’s very much set up like a mining town. The differences in culture definitely stand out in Mockingjay during the wedding scene in District 13. Where 13 is probably what many sci-fi writers had in mind when they came up with a militaristic utopia, for a brief moment, they get a shock of 12 culture when they celebrate with folk dancing and a fiddle player.

3.) The fashion – As I mentioned in my Effie post, Capitol fashion takes well after Neo-Victorian fashion with big hats, big bustles, big ruffles, and sleek suits. However, the clothes of the other districts, while simple, do have a twist of the old. Take Katniss’ Reaping dress compared to Effie’s for example. It’s such a similar vein of time at two different ends of the spectrum. If you hadn’t told me that The Hunger Games was set in the future, I wouldn’t have known any better.

4.) The technological imbalance and dystopia – From my personal experience, while many Retrofuturists believe in utopianism, they LOVE some dystopia. Especially when there’s a certain technological imbalance with who has access to what, who can make something out of nothing, and how the technology is used to keep those who can’t access it down. This happens a LOT in The Hunger Games, the biggest example being Lavinia’s capture in the woods of District 12 and subsequent punishment. Also, the main character in this science fiction series hunts with a bow and arrow. That’s about as archaic/anachronistic as you can get in a society such as Panem’s.

5.) The music – I’m reviewing the soundtrack next week, but oh man, I nearly jumped for joy when I saw the tracklisting. Seriously. Look at it. I don’t want to know any Steampunk/Retrofuturist who doesn’t want to hear most of that. Plus, along with their contributions to the soundtrack, Arcade Fire and The Carolina Chocolate Drops have also contributed to James Newton Howard’s score, which is sure to incorporate many of the retrofuturistic elements, but I cannot stop thinking about the fact that Arcade Fire wrote The Capitol anthem.

6.) The anachronistic elements help tell a timeless story – This one is sort of self explanatory. While science fiction is used as a way to tell stories of the fantastic that somehow relate back to our current society, it’s my personal belief that these stories are more effective if there’s something about it that is not quite current. This is part of the reason why Firefly was such a great series. Even though it was set in space, the more anachronistic elements of the show helped tell a very timeless, human story about survival and family. The Hunger Games does a lot of this as well. Through Katniss and what she experiences, we get a very intense story about survival, poverty, and (in the later books) dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s made even more real by the fact Katniss isn’t living with the colorful Capitol beings or surrounded by the highest technology when we initially meet her.

My fellow Retrofuturists, I hope that my list had convinced you. If it did, I will see you at the Games. If not, well, I guess the odds (and my writing) weren’t in my favor.

Stay tuned to this blog today. Later, I will be talking about the brilliant irony of Lionsgate’s marketing for the film.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2012 in Books, Film, Steampunk

 

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Hunger Games Month: Effie Trinket is my Style Icon

When I read the first book about a year ago, I never expected to like Effie Trinket as much as I do now. I saw her exactly the way Katniss sees her within those first few chapters. Obnoxious, oblivious, and overly polite. I also saw her as Kristin Chenoweth, but less Olive Snook and more Galinda Upland.

As I read the series further though, I felt an odd liking to the District 12 escort. Yes, she could be oblivious and very particular about how she wants things, but she was kind and she does legitimately care about her District 12 charges. She’s fond of them and she wants them to succeed/live. It actually made me a bit sad that we only briefly saw her in Mockingjay, but it was a comfort to know that she made it. Now she was that magic mix between Olive Snook and Glinda the Good Witch.

Now, a year on, it’s hard for me to see Chenoweth as Effie. Elizabeth Banks, who is one of my very favorite comedic actresses, seems just as natural for the role.

That wasn’t the only thing that came with the movie proliferation though. As the images from the film have increased as we get closer to the release date, the more I have realized that Effie Trinket is my new style icon.

As I said in a post a long time ago, so much of Capitol fashion takes from Victoriana fashion. The dapper, clean suits for men and ruffles, bustles, fascinators and hats for women. It made me feel quite justified in all my guesses that elements of Steampunk and Victoriana were taking over.

It’s not just that though… It’s the color.

In this dimension, I’ve become quite fond of jeans and t-shirts and outside of it, I’m often more about long skirts, button down shirts, and vests for easy wear and travel. However, I love color. I love fluffy skirts and fabulous heels that would break my neck. I love wigs, appropriate hair accessories and hats. And Effie Trinket rocks them all!

Early this year, I made a resolution to be a more colorful Steampunk. While I do like my dark colors, I am absolutely tired of this belief that Steampunks can only wear brown. Brown can be nice, but Victorians did enjoy a splash of color. I especially enjoy purple and blue myself. So with inspiration from Effie Trinket (and a little from Nicki Minaj), I set out to make a splash at AnachroCon with a very colorful outfit that Effie would approve of, even without the Capitol budget.

I sadly don’t have a picture of the full outfit, but here was the result:

The wig once belonged to a friend of my mother’s, the striped tie-on bustle is Leg Avenue purchased from Sock Dreams (as well as the unseen bright pink and black stockings). Everything else had been obtained at conventions or thrift stores over the past year. Overall, it was my take on the crossroad between Capitol Couture and Steampunk, and it’s something I plan to continue doing this year and beyond.

So thank you, Effie Trinket (and Hunger Games costume designer Judianna Makovsky) for proving that being fabulous doesn’t always have to be brown.

Wednesday, I plan to continue this thought by talking about why my fellow Retrofuturists need to pay attention to The Hunger Games.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2012 in Books, Film, Steampunk

 

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I’ll be at AnachroCon! And other various things…

February has been rather busy. And fast. I swear I had just posted the review for Her Majesty’s Explorer and BAM! It’s a week later. Perhaps Sephora is messing with the Temporal Bi-Resonator again. Perhaps I should have ranted about the Grammys, but they were just so dreadfully boring this year. It just wasn’t worth it, even with Adele’s success.

Anyway, I’m here to let everyone know that I will be at AnachroCon this weekend! I won’t be on any panels, but I will be working for The Extraordinary Contraptions for the two days I will be there. Feel free to swing by the table to chat and perhaps pre-order The Time Traveler’s Constant for $12. That is, if you didn’t already back the album on Kickstarter.

If I’m not at the table on Friday or Saturday, I will either be chatting with the other bands (or attending their shows), visiting Dim Horizon’s photobooth ($5 for one session, $10 for the weekend!), partaking of Emilie Bush’s Men Without Pants party or reading of Her Majesty’s Explorer (two vast ends of the spectrum there), or attending the Music of a Time That Never Was panel at 3 PM on Saturday. Or just wandering the con and visiting with friends. I’m good at that. I hope to see you there!

After that, I will be hopping out of this dimension for a week to visit a man and his mouse down in Orlando. My internet use will be short, but I will be back on schedule soon after that!

As for upcoming blogs, I will probably do an overview of AnachroCon and my Orlando trip. For pop culture stuff, I will soon be finishing up Avatar: The Last Airbender and starting Game of Thrones, so I will be offering my views on those series for sure. I’m also planning on doing an overview of the first 13 books I’ve read this year as part of my personal attempt of reading at least 52 books this year. And the lead up to The Hunger Games will be an absolute blitz. Stay tuned!

For now though, I will be leaving this blog off with six songs I’m digging right now.

  1. ‘No Church In The Wild’ – Jay-Z and Kanye West – The amazing opener of Watch The Throne. Consider this album my #7 of my top albums from 2011.
  2. ‘Used To Love U’ – John Legend – From Legend’s 2004 debut album Get Lifted. Might seem a bit inappropriate now due to it’s reference to Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, but it has been stuck in my head since seeing John Legend perform at Georgia State University.
  3. ‘Synthesizers’ – Butch Walker and the Black Widows – Click the link to see the band perform the song on the Late Show with David Letterman. There were tears of pride.
  4. ‘All Warmed Up Inside’ – Rebecca Sugar – From the Season 3 finale of Adventure Time. Rebecca Sugar songs have a way of getting in my head, and Jake’s Finn-proxy serenade to the Flame Princess is just so wonderfully cute. John DiMaggio’s performance is just as great as Rebecca Sugar’s demo.
  5. ‘Barton Hollow’ – Civil Wars – Performed for 60 seconds at the Grammys, the duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White managed to be more impressive than most of the “big name” performers. Country music the way it’s supposed to be.
  6. ‘Starships’ – Nicki Minaj – A fun and lovely piece of pop from one of the most controversial names in popular music today. I wouldn’t be surprised if this song becomes bigger than ‘Super Bass’.

-Liesel

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2012 in General, Music, Steampunk

 

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Three cheers for Her Majesty’s Explorer!

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers! I hope that you all snuggle up with something you love today, be it a special someone, a movie, a good book, or enough chocolate to stock Buckingham Palace. My friends and I have decided to partake of Thor and Steampunk Chronicle released my first feature on fundraising, which I also love.

Instead of reviewing something related to romance, I’d like to focus on something that I was asked to review that loops back around to something I’ve loved since I was young: bedtime stories. Ever since my parents would read Dr. Seuss and Judy Blume to me before I went to sleep, I’ve loved a good book to read before going to bed. Eventually, I would start reading by myself and would keep a huge stack of books beside my bed that usually included J.K. Rowling, Meg Cabot, and any other book I could get my hands on.

Still, no matter how old I get, I still get a certain joy out of going through the pictures in storybooks and reading Young Adult novels. So I was excited to get an Advanced Reader Copy of Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk Bedtime Story by Emilie P. Bush and William Kevin Petty. I have not had a chance to read Emilie’s other books (soon, hopefully!), but Emilie is a wonderful lady in the Atlanta Steampunk scene who is always a joy, even if she’s calling me by an unfortunate nickname that happened after I accidentally walked into a tree…

But yes! Her Majesty’s Explorer! To put it simply, it is lovely and wonderful!

Following automaton St. John Murphy Alexander as he comes back from a long journey of adventuring and prepares the long and arduous journey of just going to bed. Through Petty’s colorful and whimsical  illustrations and Bush’s charming prose, Her Majesty’s Explorer is a sweet children’s storybook that is perfect for winding down at the end of the day. Even if I wasn’t into Steampunk, the story of St. John trying to get to bed is a great little bedtime story that is especially relatable for anyone who’s been very tired, but has to do a million things before bed.

Along with the main story, there’s an extra bonus story titled “Three Cheers for Steamduck”. Telling the story of St. John’s mechanical duck, the poem tells of the amazing adventures that the cute little duckie goes on. It’s like a sugar toothache: it hurts by how sweet and cute it was, but it’s a good kind of ache. If the soda fueled duckie wasn’t cute enough, there’s one page that features a STEAMPUNK OTTER! If I wasn’t already sold on the book, that would have been the page would have done it. I am that obnoxious girl who coos at the otters at the Aquarium, and a Steampunk Otter made it worse. I may have even been inspired to purchase goggles for my own stuffed otter…

Overall, after reading Her Majesty’s Explorer, I’m even more excited for it to be unleashed at the world at large. It’s a story that kids of all ages will find joy in. I especially look forward to sharing this book with those close to me. As I said in my last post, I’m not generally a fan of children, but I have two cousins, Tea and Linn, that are 5 and 9 years old. Tea is sure to be the next funny one in my family and Linn is brilliant and creative. They may not be Steampunk kids, but I have a feeling that they’ll love St. John and Steamduck more than I did.

And that’s what excites me about this book coming out the most.

Her Majesty’s Explorer: a Steampunk Bedtime Story will be released through Amazon on February 28. For now, you can RSVP the date on Facebook and follow Emilie’s blog up to the release.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in Books, Steampunk

 

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