TOR Dot Com didn’t do a full month of Steampunk this year, but they are doing a Steampunk Fortnight. Besides the many articles they have posted in the 42 or so hours since they started, they have also posted two excellent stories: Clockwork Fairies by Cat Rambo, and The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder. And if you can’t get enough Steampunk there, consider becoming a part of the project to Build the Charles Babbage Analytical Engine, as posted by the BBC. As someone who has ranted about Ada and Charlie, inventor of computer programming and the computer respectively back in the 1830’s, you probably already know I am supporting this one!
It has been a while since I have posted about reading, mostly because all the flashy visuals kick me into “Shiny, Pretty…” mode, and I get distracted. But two of my favorite authors, Rudy Rucker and Bruce Sterling, have written a story together that you can read online: Good Night Moon. This is a tasty little story that the two of them obviously had a good time writing, and they do poke more than a little fun at themselves in the course of it. Thanks to the authors and to TOR books for making it a free online read.
A book series I have been enjoying recently is the Parasol Protectorate, a Steampunk treat that has a field day turning the classic Victorian era Gothic novel on its ear, and presenting us with a world that should have been. The creation of Gail Carriger, I tend to think of them as the Less group, since the titles are Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless, with Heartless and Timeless coming soon. The writing is wonderful, the humor is intense, and the attitude is spot on. The description I have read that fits the best to me: They are either Jane Austen doing urban fantasy, or PG Wodehouse doing steampunk. The first novel in the series, Soulless, has already been turned into an Audio Book (you can listen to the first chapter here), and is now in production to become a graphic novel. I would love to see this become a miniseries in the UK; I have seen what they have done with Terry Pratchett, I know they would do these stories justice. You can find out more at Gail’s Blog, or at any of her many online interviews.
The Hugo Award nominees for this year have been announced, and you can find the full list at Tor Dot Com. You can also find links there to read a number of the stories online, including Charles Stross’s Overtime, another tale of the Laundry that so far has only been published online.
What could be better than a new Harry Turtledove story? A new Harry Turtledove story you can read online for free thanks to TOR and the author. Another in the online series of science fiction they continue to present there. For more free reading, swing by Peggy’s Free Science Fiction with Biology Directory. For years her Biology in Science Fiction blog has been a great place to learn and be entertained, and it looks like she has been working on the directory for a while now.
I enjoy all Variations of Steampunk, from Clockpunk to Gaslamp Fantasy, and what could be more steampunk than H.G. Wells War of the Worlds as performed by Trek stars? You can hear it stream online for another few days yet only, so don’t wait to listen. I also thought a song might be fun to share, and Abney Park just uploaded a remastered MUCH higher quality version of Airship Pirates at the beginning of the month. The Gatehouse Gazette has a good article this week about Victorian Halloween and another on the Steampunk variations of H. P. Lovecraft, and MTV has a video you might want to check out as well.
TOR has set up their very own Steampunk Month. October is a great month for it, since the SteamCon happens towards the end of it on the left coast, while the Steampunk Fashion and Design Event happens on the other. There are already a lot of great Steampunk links, articles, and stories on the TOR site, and this is only the second day of the month! Then there is this wonderful tribute to Carl Sagan and Steven Hawking…