sadly ignorant

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Thu Dec 4 18:38:33 EST 2003

Deborah said...

> On Tue, 2 Dec 2003, Robyn Starkey wrote:
> |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
> |you smart dwjers have read any good Steam Punk? Recommendations?
>  . I've not yet read it, but boyfriend recs China Mieville's _Perdido
>  Street Station_ as dark adult steampunk.

I weigh in on the other side to say that I thought that book was terrible!
I found the writing highly self-conscious; it seemed always to be saying
"look, look, isn't this sentence beautiful, isn't this phrasing elegant?"
It felt like it was trying to be Barbara Hambly (a writer whose work I
admire for many things, only one of which is her beautiful phrasings) but
not quite getting there.  I also found myself unable to engage with any of
the characters, which is probably what killed it dead for me; I'll forgive a
lot of other faults if I can care about a character.  In this one, I
couldn't.  I gave up about 150 pages in.  (However, many of my friends loved
it, engaged totally with the characters, and don't see what my problem is.
::shrug::  Try it and see.)

>  . Diane Duane's second cat wizard book has some steampunk elements, but
>  it's kinda bad.

Why do you think it's bad?  I like that book a lot, personally (though I'm
not sure I'd have identified it with steampunk...or maybe, upon second
thoughts, I would).  But I love the characters, the setting is great, the
writing is transparent...I'm curious about why you didn't like it.

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"[My rule] for keeping my temper in order, is never to leave it too long
with another person."
- Horace Walpole

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