Thursday, February 25, 2010

What Steampunk Is to Me

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll find the statement that I enjoy Steampunk a little obvious, but I learned as I read Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi that I have a very clear sense of what Steampunk is to me.

I have devoured the current Steampunk trend, delighting in the innovative designs and the literary analysis of the phenomenon. I can’t tell you how many attempts to define Steampunk I’ve read over the past couple of years. A recent one stuck with me, though, because it was a tirade against Steampunk design, a rather articulate analysis of how changing your laptop, etc. to look Victorian with a mechanical brass edge actually goes against everything Steampunk stands for. I didn’t blog it because I prefer positive over negative, and have now lost the link, but it clearly had more of an impact with me than I’d expected (had I known, I would have blogged it, negative or not).

So why, you might ask, do I feel the need–nay, the urge–to offer up my own definition of Steampunk? Well, because I’m curious about whether others feel as I do, and because, having thought it out, I want to share.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Interesting Links for 02-19-2010

What I’m Reading

I’m still enjoying The Windup Girl. It’s not a candy book and so I’m taking some time in the read, but I’d say it’s definitely worth the effort.

I haven’t had the chance to read any online short fiction this week. Have you read anything wonderful lately? Link it in the comments to share.


A good explanation of how to use setting description well:


Dragonfly by Frederic S. Durbin

Note: Extracted from an older Friday’s Interesting Links Post

Dragonfly by Frederic S. Durbin is a modern fairytale adventure written by an author I met at World Fantasy. I picked up the book out of curiosity and in support. There are no regrets. If I had to classify this book, I’d say it’s a little like Nightmare Before Christmas crossed with Narnia, with a good dose of unique elements.

A young girl is drawn into a world of vampires, werewolves, and monsters from other dimensions when she ignores the warning of her uncle and a mysterious character named Mothkin. Rather than condemning her for following Mothkin when he goes to prevent the break-in between the two worlds, Mothkin’s attitude is more that if she was there, she was supposed to be. (more…)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Ultimate Brown Paper Packaging

During my vacation, I enjoyed an eBook called Price of Passion by Susan Napier on my Sony Reader. Why I started this one when I was already in the middle of a paperback and an audiobook is simple: I am not able to focus on the audio unless I’m doing something mechanical, and I didn’t have the paperback with me. My Sony fits nicely into my purse and so when I had a moment where I had nothing else to do, I pulled it out.

Usually, I read writing books when I have those spare moments, but I put books on my Sony for a reason, right? And if I wait until I’m not reading anything else, I’ll never read them. Interestingly, of the three books, the first I finished was the electronic one, both because it was shorter and because it suited my mood at the time, so I kept reading that one even when I wasn’t left at a loose end.

What all this is leading up to is the possibility that I’ve made a transition so that eBooks have become part of my natural cycle of reading rather than something strange I have to think about before I pick one up. However, this led me to think of another aspect to this question of eBook vs. paper that I haven’t seen talked about much. (more…)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Interesting Links for Friday 2-12-2010

What I’m Reading

I finished How to Teach Physics to Your Dog this week and reviewed it here:

I read a short story on Strange Horizons that is a mellow mood piece with a real kicker ending. You know it’s coming, and you start to guess just what the big secret is. You probably won’t get it. I didn’t, and I’m quite good at that process. But it’s still a gut-punch. After We Got Back the Lights by Eric Del Carlo:

And a fun tale about a scallywag by a writer I’ve enjoyed for years up at Subterranean Press. Harboring Pearls: A Lucifer Jones Story by Mike Resnick –


Why writing advice should not be taken as gospel, no matter what the source:

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday's Interesting Links

What I’m Reading

* Finished The Cardinal Rule and posted a review:

* Almost finished with How to Teach Physics to Your Dog.

* Started The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi.

I also read an interesting story on Strange Horizons. It doesn’t meet any traditional story standards, but it has a compelling voice and when you get to the end, it’s said something. Go read it yourself and see what you think: Cory’s Father



Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Cardinal Rule by Cate Dermody

I feel a little guilty putting up a review of The Cardinal Rule because it is a Silhouette Bombshell that was published in December of 2005, so it’s not that easy to get a hold of.  I, myself, went through some trouble to collect this and the two sequels, but I’ve read pretty much all of C.E. Murphy’s writing (Cate Dermody is a pseudonym) and she hasn’t let me down yet.

First of all, let me state that I’d forgotten the style of a Bombshell, or this is a non-traditional one.  When I was looking at my available books, I hesitated, then reached past a Suzanne Brockmann because I felt like something just a little lighter.  For those who haven’t read my earlier reviews, Brockmann writes military adventures with a touch of romance.  Little did I remember that Bombshell is along almost the same lines.