dwj-digest (Diana Wynne Jones) V1 #757

Sarah sarah-neko at dove.gen.nz
Wed Dec 3 19:30:53 EST 2003

> Okay, so I got a little education this past couple of days, because I 
> had
> no idea what Steam Punk was. I feel very iggy. Now I want to know if 
> any of
> you smart dwjers have read any good Steam Punk? Recommendations?
> Robyn

The only steampunk I know anything much about is in anime and manga... 
and even THEN I don't know much because my preference is so strongly 
for shoujo fantasy and romance. (thinks) There's a long-running and 
highly popular series called 'Steam Detectives.'

> deborah:  . The graphic novel _League of Extraordinary Gentlemen_, by 
> Alan Moore.

O yes! definitely.

>  . The Miyazaki movie _Castle in the Sky_ (also called _Laputa, Castle
>  in the Sky_, in countries where they don't speak Spanish.  Was Swift
>  making the double entendre when he named his Laputa (after which
>  Miyazaki's is named)?)

Almost certainly, knowing Swift.
(For non-Spanish speakers, the double entendre is with the word for 

> Charlie: It's generally assumed that he was, I believe (putting the 
> punk into
> steampunk, no less!)

I always love telling people what 'punk' used to mean.
(Yes, 'whore' again.)
(but I expect most everyone here knew that)

> - -deborah
> - --
> I get all my ideas in Switzerland near the Forka Pass. There is
> a little town called Gletch, and two thousand feet up above
> Gletch there is a smaller hamlet called Uber Gletch. I go there
> on the fourth of August every summer to get my cuckoo clock
> repaired. While the cuckoo is in the hospital, I wander around
> and talk to the people in the streets. They are very strange
> people, and I get my ideas from them.  -- Dr. Seuss

What a wonderful .sig quote.

> Well, I'm still confused about what steampunk is.  It doesn't help that
> I
> don't seem to have read most of the books you all are referring to.

I found myself thinking 'not quite' at the earlier mention of Jules 
Verne and H.G. Wells because steampunk as a genre has always seemed 
more postmodern to me - the postmodern response to Verne and Wells, 
perhaps. It's usually a style of science fiction that draws on a gothic 
Industrial Revolution look and feel yet is futuristic in its 
contraptions. Steam-powered robots; that type of thing.

> Also, I think for some readers this *is* the most desired end--like 
> it's the
> whole point of reading books, and if they don't identify with a 
> character
> they don't like the book.  Or something like that.
> Melissa Proffitt

I generally need *someone* with whom to identify or sympathise, or the 
book is a spiky, unpleasant experience. A lack of sympathetic 
characters is why I hated 'A Wizard of Earthsea' and could barely make 
a start on Stephen King's 'Dark Tower' books, although the number of 
hints he drops about their plots in his other novels is driving me 
I don't absolutely require a character of whom I *approve* to enjoy the 
book. Part of why 'Lolita' is such a clever book, and why it makes 
people so uncomfortable, is the way the reader must identify with 
Humbert Humbert.

E you later,
(the artist formerly known as Sarah-neko)

Air and Angels Anime Shrines

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