Evermore: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Evermore by Alyson NoelEver Bloom used to be your average sixteen-year-old girl. She was head cheerleader. She was vain about her long blonde hair. She had parents, a little sister named Riley, and a puppy named Buttercup. She even had a boyfriend.

She doesn’t have any of those things now. And she isn’t your average sixteen-year-old girl. Not anymore.

Ever had what they call a near death experience. Except there was nothing near about it. Ever was dead along with the rest of her family. They all crossed a threshold, and Ever meant to as well. But she was too late.

Now instead of a normal life, Ever has psychic abilities. She can see people’s auras, read their thoughts, and learn their life stories with a casual touch. It’s too much.

Ever can’t get rid of her new abilities, but she can ignore them by withdrawing into herself, blasting her music, and hanging out with the school misfits instead of the popular crowd. Which is fine since everyone thinks she’s a freak anyway.

Gorgeous, exotic, and apparently rich the new student Damen Auguste is a shot of adrenaline to the entire school. Which Ever knows without even looking at him. He is also the only person who can quiet the noise in her head; the only person whose aura is invisible to her.

The more Ever learns about Damen, the more questions she has about who he is and what exactly he is. Nothing about the new guy makes sense. Especially not the fact that Ever might be falling for him in Evermore (2009) by Alyson Noël.

The first book in Noël’s The Immortals series, Evermore has all the markings of a being a popular paranormal romance. The plot follows one that will be familiar to Twilight fans right from the outsider girl and the gorgeous, mysterious new guy to the narrative that is strangely depopulated of peripheral characters and the passive aggressive jealous best friend.

Noël’s writing is interesting. At times the prose is very sharp with sweeping sentences detailing the types of minutiae Ever is subjected to about her classmates and teachers. At others the story drags with awkwardly worded sentences, weird vernacular choices and dated pop culture references (were teens still watching “Friends” in 2009?).

If you can get past the erratic writing, the story is intriguing. Even though the plot itself will feel familiar, the premise is unique as far as modern teen fantasies go. The book also spends a lot of time explaining the nuances of Ever’s abilities although most of the references are poorly integrated and read more like research notes than actual parts of the story. Ever is likable enough as a character but in her efforts to create unique side characters Noël managed to make Ever’s best friends pretty annoying.

At the same time, Ever and Damen sizzle. While readers might get the gist of things before Ever does, Evermore is mysterious and romantic and sure to excite readers looking for a new paranormal romance fix.

On Diopters and Eye Surgery

Greetings dear readers. As some of you might have noticed, it’s been a while since I have written up anything that was not a book review. That was due partly to WordPress’s handy auto-post feature which allowed me to create a month-long buffer for Chick Lit Wednesday reviews and also because I was really busy.

What follows probably won’t be interesting to anyone who doesn’t care about vision problems, but otherwise it will be very informative.

My mom just had eye surgery to remove her cataracts and to get her lenses replaced (I could tell you about how the surgery actually works but I won’t because it’s kind of horrifying–or maybe I’m just squeamish. You can read more about it here and there are probably horrible videos of it somewhere but I’m not looking.)

Anyway, during all of the prep and the post-op follow ups we both learned a lot about vision prescriptions and I thought I’d share my knowledge with you all because I’m an information professional now and that’s kind of what we do.

So my mom had myopia and astigmatism which basically means she was profoundly nearsighted and had really terrible vision. Recently, because of her cataracts, her vision was really bad even with the glasses.

When you’re nearsighted it means that your eye is longer than normal from front to back (incidentally, if you are farsighted your eye is shorter from front to back which is a lot more difficult to work with in eye surgeries because there is less room to work in the eyeball). My mom had one bad eye and one extremely bad eye. The really bad was a full centimeter longer than an average eye.

Over the course of her examinations I also learned what her diopters were in each eye.

Now, when I was growing up my friends used to ask each other what power their glasses were (all of my friends wore glasses, true story) and I never took part because I never knew what they were talking about. It turns out they were discussing diopters which are the units of measurements used to determine what shape a lens (for glasses or contacts) should be to bring your vision closer to 20/20 (perfect) vision.

For farsighted people diopters are positive (+1, +2, etc) and for nearsighted people they are negative (-1, -2, etc) because concave and convex lenses are used respectively to correct vision. (Doesn’t make sense? Check out this site–scroll down to the “How a Lens Works” section.) In terms of diopters, zero is perfect vision.

Anyway, that’s well and good but it doesn’t really mean anything in terms of what a person’s vision actually is. I did a quick search online and found this conversion chart (scroll down to “How to Convert Diopters to 20/20 Vision”). I don’t know about anything else the site had to say but the chart looked good.

So, if you have your glasses prescription handy or your contact lens box nearby you can figure out your vision. My mom’s vision was horrendous: -7 in her “good” eye and -15 in the other–those aren’t even listed on the chart I found (don’t worry though her vision is almost 20/20 now).

My vision is around 20/400. When I first saw this, the same as when I was first told I had astigmatism, it was a real jolt and I was kind of horrified. At the same time, it was validating because my family (who all have really bad vision like my mom) finally believed me when I told them I had terrible vision. It also confirmed my suspicion that when my friends and I would talk about bad vision none of them really understood what truly bad vision was. (I always have friends who say they have bad vision but later tell me that they just choose to not wear their glasses because they’re annoying. I couldn’t navigate safely on the street without my glasses.) A bittersweet victory if there ever was one.

Since this has been my life for the last couple of months, it was all really interesting to me. If you’ve made it this far, maybe it was interesting to you too. If you want to give me a thrill, chime in with your own vision. I will give a PRIZE of some sort (not yet sure what) to the first person who can prove (with photographic evidence) that they have worse vision than me.

Sea Change: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Sea Change by Aimee FriedmanMany are drawn to Selkie Island. Few know why.

The whirlwind of events that brought sixteen-year-old Miranda Merchant to the island, away from her sensible summer plans in New York City, are unlikely but they make enough sense. Her mother has inherited a house that needs to be gone through and emptied. Logical enough. And so much more realistic than any fairytale happy ending.

But Selkie Island is a messy place that quickly blurs the lines between past and present and, more startling for Miranda, between reality and legend. Lore about mythical creatures and her own family’s past pervade the island filling the dense air with mystery and a charge Miranda’s logical mind can’t grasp. Soon enough everything Miranda thought she knew about her own family, her basic reality, and love is turned upside down when she meets Leo, a local boy with his own breezy, otherworldly charm.

Miranda will have to sort through the facts, and the myths, to find the truth and maybe even her own happy ending in Sea Change (2009) by Aimee Friedman.

Find it on Bookshop.

Sea Change is subtle and exquisite. Thoroughly grounded in Miranda’s scientific, logical head the story practically vibrates with tension as she works to reconcile what her mind knows to be impossible with what her heart might already know to be true. Friedman has already written a lot of great books, some of them bestsellers, but this one might be her best to date.

Friedman seamlessly integrates scientific references, seaside lore, and family to create a clever, romantic book with delightful characters and a setting evocative enough that some readers might finish this book only to find sand between their toes.

On top of all that, Miranda is a smart, grounded heroine who has a strong sense of self even at her lowest. No vampire’s here, but anyone looking for a thinking girl’s answer to Twilight need look no further.

Possible Pairings: Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley, Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson, Scarlett Fever by Maureen Johnson, Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter, Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt, How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford

Exclusive Bonus Content (where I actually have content): If, like me, you love the cover of this book be sure to stop by the readergirlz blog to hear the awesome story behind the cover from the author herself.

A Conspiracy of Kings: A Review

It takes a certain kind of person to rule a country. Few men manage to make themselves into successful kings. Fewer still are born to be kings.

A lover of what his father calls intellectual pretension, Sophos knows a great many things. He has a firm knowledge of botany, poetry, languages, and even diplomacy. He also knows, with certainty, that he does not want to be king of Sounis. A disgrace to his father and his uncle, the current king, Sophos has always known that he was too fond of scholarly pursuits instead of fighting, too eager to write poetry instead of study battle plans.

Really, it’s no surprise that he has been exiled to the island of Letnos since parting ways with the magus and a thief who proved too clever for his own good. Exile isn’t such a terrible thing. It’s better surely to spend his days reading poetry and contemplating philosophy even if it is in the company of an odious tutor.

For all of his life, Sophos has been told what he should and should not do. When an end to his exile is finally in sight, Sophos is given an unlikely choice. Attacked and abducted, hidden away and rendered unrecognizable, Sophos finally seems to have a chance to get away from his future as a king.

It is not easy to become a king. But it turns out it’s even harder to forsake your own country. Navigating the murky waters of friendship and sovereignty, Sophos will have to decide if old friends can become new allies and whether or not honor, or for that matter freedom, have anything to do with ruling a country in A Conspiracy of Kings (2010) by Megan Whalen Turner.

Find it on Bookshop.

A Conspiracy of Kings is the fourth book in Turner’s series about Eugenides, the former Thief of Eddis, his friends, and his world. (The series began withTurner’s Newbery honor book The Thief followed by The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. Readers of Turner’s earlier books might be well advised to re-read the earlier titles to get a better sense of the big picture of the series.)

Sounis isn’t a real country any more than Eddis or Attolia are, but there is something inordinately compelling about these countries and the struggles of their monarchs. Despite the incongruity with the lives of readers, A Conspiracy of Kings–liked Turner’s other books–remains relevant and arresting with evocative prose and characters that are guaranteed to resonate.

This latest installment is particularly engrossing thanks to its second person narrative structure that gives readers full insight into Sophos’ situation as well as his internal struggles as he tries to reconcile his understanding that he is nothing like an ideal king to the reality that, regardless of that fact, he is a king and responsible for a country. If the earlier books in the series showed Eugenides’ journey from boy to man (and by extension from man to king), A Conspiracy of Kings shows a young man acknowledging not only that he is a king but also that he was meant to be a king all along.

Turner fans need not fret, all of the old favorites in the series make return appearances here even though Sophos’ story remains the lens through which everything is viewed. Gen, Attolia, and Eddis all play their part among others to make A Conspiracy of Kings another satisfying story filled with wit, intrigue, stories, and even some romance with more than a few twists and turns along the way for good measure.

Possible Pairings: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad, Plain Kate by Erin Bow, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton, The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers,Soundless by Richelle Mead, Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The King of Attolia: A Review

It is not easy to become the king of a country already fond of its queen, especially for a foreigner who kidnapped that queen and may or may not have forced her hand in the matter of their marriage. How can any man truly become a king when no one sees him as a sovereign? Not that it matters. With such tenuous foundations, sovereignty is not enough to ensure loyalty anyway.

Being the Thief of Eddis was always enough for Eugenides. He didn’t want to become King of Attolia. He didn’t want the crown at all. He wanted the queen. Even more wondrous, Attolia wanted him. But one cannot marry a queen without becoming a king.

The union requires a careful dance of shadows and unsubstance, but under it all, there is still a marriage of two people. But there is also more. An unlikely pair and, for Gen at least, unlikely monarchs, their marriage will not be an easy one. Each move will require careful calculation. Especially when a rash young guard is dragged into the middle of the kingdom’s political machinations.

Much like Gen himself, Costis wants nothing to do with the royal court or Eugenides’ efforts to avoid all royal responsibility. And yet the more time he spends with the young king the more Costis understands all that Gen has lost in his pursuit of the throne–and what made the sacrifice worthwhile. Together these unlikely allies might even teach the Attolian court a thing or two about what it takes to be a true king in The King of Attolia (2006) by Megan Whalen Turner.

Find it on Bookshop.

The King of Attolia is the sequel to Turner’s Newbery honor book The Thief which first introduced readers to Eugenides and his world and its followup The Queen of Attolia. Readers of Turner’s earlier books will quickly recognize references to characters from other volumes and past events (others might be well advised to re-read the earlier titles to get a better sense of the big picture of the series).

Written with shifting viewpoints, readers learn about Gen’s changed circumstances through Costis’ eyes. In this way, it is easy to see how little the country thinks of their new king and also, thanks to moments from Gen and Attolia’s perspectives, how greatly they underestimate his cunning and his ingenuity.

As much a coming of age story as the story of a man learning to be king, The King of Attolia is another fine installment about the inimitable Thief of Eddis. Somewhat lighter on action and war-making than the first two books in the series, this one makes up for it by providing more insight into the ways of Attolia and her relationship with Gen. Richly told and expertly written, this story  lays fine groundwork for the next installment in Turner’s wonderful series A Conspiracy of Kings.

Possible Pairings: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad, Plain Kate by Erin Bow, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton, The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers,Soundless by Richelle Mead, Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

The Queen of Attolia: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (original cover)It is not easy to be the queen of a country anxious to have a king, especially when sovereignty is not enough to ensure obedience let alone loyalty. It is no secret that the queen of Attolia is more beautiful, by far, than the queen of Eddis. Beauty is a useful weapon in Attolia’s limited arsenal; one that leaves little room for kindness.

Eddis is no great beauty but, as everyone knows but would not dare say, she is more kind. After stealing repeatedly from her kingdom and abandoning discretion to speak truth, Eugenides has angered Attolia beyond all reason. The queen is desperate for revenge at any price.

What draws Eugenides back to Attolia is anyone’s guess, but return he does. When the two come face to face, the sacrifice will be great on both sides. Attolia is a ruthless ruler hardened, through her hard-won and harder-kept reign, almost to stone. Eugenides is the Thief of Eddis and he can steal anything. But as both sides seek justice, the fate of Eddis, Attolia, The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (paperback cover)and even Sounis will hang in the balance as Eugenides tries to steal peace and also, perhaps, salvation for Attolia and himself in The Queen of Attolia (2000) by Megan Whalen Turner. (Find it on Bookshop.)

The Queen of Attolia is the sequel to Turner’s Newbery honor book The Thief which first introduced readers to Eugenides and his world.

When Eugenides is caught one too many times stealing from Attolia, he pays the ultimate price. Finding himself caught in the middle of a war he wants no part of, Eugenides does what he always does: he steals what he needs to remedy the situation. What follows is a compelling story of political intrigue, old gods,  and cunning. At the same time, The Queen of Attolia is a haunting tale of broken people trying to understand what it means to be whole when the damage has already been done and, no matter what else might follow, completely irreparable.

Like later books in the series, The Queen of Attolia is written with shifting perspectives. Turner follows Eugenides and Attolia, of course, but also other characters who play minor and major roles in the plot. It’s rare to see a complete shift in narrative style for a series, but like most of Turner’s writing decisions it makes perfect sense. After the disastrous events at the beginning of this book it’s unlikely anyone, even Eugenides, would want to spend too much time in his head. The ability to shift between characters also gives the story more liberty in how events unfold for the reader and the characters.

I hate having to say books need to be read in order, but these really do. Years ago my mom snagged an ARC of this book which I read before The Thief. I later read the first book and the two worked fine, but only in rereading them in the correct order did I see how much I missed. The Queen of Attolia completely blew my mind when I first read it and continues to dazzle me as do the rest of Turner’s books about Gen. Hopefully this review will pique your interest but the book is so much more than anything I can say here that it is impossible to understand how brilliant it (and the series in general) is without reading it. So, go and read it. Right away.

Eugenides’ adventures continue in The King of Attolia.

Possible Pairings: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad, Plain Kate by Erin Bow, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton, The Shadow Behind the Stars by Rebecca Hahn, Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, A Thousand Nights by E. K. Johnston, Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers,Soundless by Richelle Mead, Sabriel by Garth Nix, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Exclusive Bonus Content: I have two cover images here. The top one is the original cover, the one I read the book with, and the one I chose to have on a discarded copy I rescued from my place of employ. The second cover is the newer version and the direction the rest of the series is going in with its repackaging. I only recently absorbed the true nature of the new cover and both give me chills. I couldn’t decide which to include here so, dear readers, you get both.

Blog Book Giveaway: The Alpha Bet[CLOSED]

I have in my possession a signed copy of The Alpha Bet by Stephanie Hale to give away to a lucky reader in the US.

The book will either go to the first person to post or a randomly selected entrant (depending on if I get more than one entry in this giveaway). You can enter between now and June 19. The winner will be determined (and contacted) on June 20.

TO ENTER: Leave a comment on this post (with a valid email address where requested) with your favorite letter (and why if you want to entertain me at the same time).

If you cannot choose you may instead post your favorite punctuation mark but since that’s a really contentious area I must ask that you post why.

The winner, as selected by the random number generator on Maple the Palm Pre, is *drum roll* . . . . christine–Congratulations!

The Alpha Bet: A Review

The Alpha Bet by Stephanie HaleSixteen-year-old Grace Kelly Cook is so ready to start college where she can ditch her geeky high school image and finally get away from her overbearing, overprotective, over the top mother. After graduating early and earning a free ride to her dream college, it seems like all of Grace Kelly’s dreams are coming true.

But starting fresh is going to take a lot more than some strategic online searches.

At the behest of her breezy, free spirit roommate, Grace Kelly agrees to rush the Alphas–the elite, friendly sorority that values academics more than good looks. It sounds like a match made in heaven and, much to her surprise, Grace Kelly finds that she’s prepared to do anything it takes to become an Alpha–even if it means telling a major lie and jeopardizing her other friendships.

On top of all that, Grace Kelly will have to complete the Alpha Bet–a secret set of alphabetical tasks–to prove her loyalty to the sisters and her dedication to the sorority. Between being a pledge, college classes, and navigating the murky waters of her first college crush Grace Kelly is in for quite a year in The Alpha Bet (2010) by Stephanie Hale.

The Alpha Bet is a cute book about a girl facing the triple threat of college life, growing up, and understanding her family. All at the same time. While she’s sixteen. That might sound like an unlikely scenario which, basically, sums up the overall feel of the book: improbable.

While Grace Kelly was an adorable heroine, a lot of her personality never felt real. Even the fact that she went by the name “Grace Kelly” seemed odd–why not Grace? Why not Kelly? Why is her nickname when she gets one GK? (The names in the book in general were over the top for reasons that remain unknown.)

The premise was interesting, but a lot of the actual Alpha Bet tasks were glossed over in favor of other aspects of the plot. It would have been fun to know more about all of the tasks, but it was not meant to be. The book also makes a big production of Grace Kelly’s being a science geek only to unceremoniously drop that thread by the end of the story.

While everyone loves a light read with a happy ending, The Alpha Bet was too saccharin and too simple; the “nice” characters were unerringly sweet and could do no wrong while the “bad” characters were awful. Although it was often overly simplified, Hale has created an interesting story that will pique the interest of any readers who find Greek life intriguing.

Exclusive Bonus Content: I entered a sweepstakes on goodreads to win this book not thinking much about it. Much to my surprise, I received an email a few weeks later telling me I had won a copy of the book. It was a lot of fun to win it and receive it in the mail even it, to be fair, I really did not need another book. In the spirit of that moment, I am now giving away the signed copy I received. Visit my post about the giveaway to enter for your chance to win (if I haven’t already scared you off with my middling review).

Fire: A Chick Lit Wednesday Review

Fire by Kristin CashoreWar is coming to the Dells, a land already rife with lawlessness and trouble. Fire, the last remaining human monster, knows this better than most.

Part monster, Fire’s beauty is enough to strike a man (and some women) dumb. Sometimes her flame red hair and striking eyes are too much. Sometimes those who behold her are driven to violence in their efforts to possess her while monster animals are just as drawn to her hair and blood. It was easier for Fire’s monster father. Cansrel loved the attention, loved using his beauty and his mind to control people and get whatever he wanted. Cansrel loved being the monster advisor to King Nax and helping the weak man drive the Dells to the brink of ruin.

Fire doesn’t want that kind of depravity and the danger of her powers is frightening. She is content to lead a quiet life in the north away from the intrigue and machinations of King’s City where Nax’s children struggle to hold the kingdom together.

Unfortunately events soon conspire to draw Fire away from her home. Mysterious archers seem to be hunting her. The royal family seems to want her help; something Fire is unwilling to give lest she turn into the monster her father was. But war, and maybe something else, is coming to the Dells and Fire has a role to play whether she likes it or not in Fire (2009) by Kristin Cashore.

Find it on Bookshop.

Fire is a companion to Cashore’s popular debut novel Graceling and the second book in her Seven Kingdoms Trilogy. It is set about thirty years before Graceling and further east beyond the seven kingdoms that readers of the first book would recognize. The two books could easily stand alone though they do share one very important common character.

Though Cashore returns to familiar territory here, she has created new characters and a new story that stands apart from her earlier novel. Fire lacks some of the flash bang action that made Graceling so gripping but it does have an abundance of political intrigue, character development and romance.

Fire is a complex heroine and, perhaps as its title suggests, Fire is very much a study of her character. Fire often felt fully realized and compelling, but other times it felt too much like Fire was being pushed toward  certain decisions by Cashore which made parts of the story  clumsy and incongruous.

It is at times frustrating because Fire as a character seems to fall into many of the same patterns as Katsa (Graceling‘s heroine) even though the two women are really nothing alike. Self-sacrifice and just plain old sacrifice play big roles in Fire–something else that was bothersome about the story. There is a line between creating conflict or tension in a story and creating needless suffering in a story. Fire crossed that line several times.

Fire is a subtle, charming book that will quickly draw in many readers. Unfortunately, it might push away just as many.

Possible Pairings: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh, Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard, Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust, White Cat by Holly Black, Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake, The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan, The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Scarlet by A. C. Gaughen, The Lost Sun by Tessa Gratton, A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn, Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers, Furyborn by Claire Legrand, Proxy by Alex London, Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, The Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley, Soundless by Richelle Mead, There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool, The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff, This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab, The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner

Some Steampunk Links

I think everyone knows by now that I love Steampunk in all of its shiny, clanky glory. Consequently I have several links to articles regarding that most distinguished of genres. (I actually have a real live friend who is currently planning a steampunk themed wedding which blows my mind because it’s so cool.) Here they are for your reading enjoyment (if you know of other articles about Steampunk, please let me know in the comments!):

The same way punk took back music, steampunk reclaims technology for the masses. It substitutes metal gears for silicon, pneumatic tubes for 3G and wi-fi. It maximizes what was miniaturized and makes visible what was hidden.

Why steampunk is back is hard to say. Perhaps it offers what SF could be starting to lose – a sense of wonder and, more importantly, the opportunity for a bit of fun.

Goggles, gaslights and gears, oh my! Steampunk is a steadily growing subgenre of speculative fiction. We review four current and forthcoming books that have been affixed with that label… in an elegant copperplate hand, naturally.

Hooked yet? Here are some links to help you enjoy your new steampunk lifestyle to the fullest:

  • Steampunk Emporium for all of your clothing needs. (I’m keeping my eye on this Frock Coat. And this is neither here nor there but there is also, among others, a Western Emporium.)
  • SteamPunk Magazine for the latest news and events.
  • Brass Goggles: A blog and forum devoted to the lighter side of all things Steampunk.
  • The Steampunk Tribune: Reporting on Steampunk since 2007
  • For me it’s not really a steampunk discussion without Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. So here’s a review of it from Steampunk Scholar.