Historical Fantasy

Jon Noble jon_p_noble at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 16 00:46:48 EDT 2004

--- Judith Ridge <Judith.Ridge at det.nsw.edu.au> wrote:

> On 16/9/04 12:46 PM, "Jon Noble"
> <jon_p_noble at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > 
> > --- Judith Ridge <Judith.Ridge at det.nsw.edu.au>
> wrote:
> > 
> >> Where does steampunk fit into this? I've recently
> >> read an Aussie steampunk
> >> novel (well, to be honest, I read half of an
> Aussie
> >> steampunk novel... More
> >> a reflection of my staying power than on the
> book,
> >> which was good) called
> >> Ichabod Hart and the Lighthouse Mystery by James
> >> Roy. I suppose it's
> >> technically an alternative history because the
> turn
> >> of the last century
> >> Australia it is set in is half colonised by the
> >> French (which damn near
> >> happened in real history).
> >> 
> >> Judith
> > 
> > There is no fantasy in that one.
> Hhhmm. But it's in fantasy mode, isn't it? Doesn't
> it have those fabulous
> inventions; does that count as fantasy? It's been
> ages since I half read
> it--but isn't steampunk as a genre considered a
> subset of fantasy?
> Just asking.
> Judith 

I definitely regard this as sf. The hero's uncle is an
inventor, with three inventions that are significant
to the story, the ornithocycle, a flying bicycle which
in our world was something that was often attempted in
the time the book was set (start of the 20th century)
The stirling engine (in our world invented in the
early 19th century) and Babbage type Difference
Engine. I didn't get any of the feeling of a fantasy
story from the book (as I do from Mary Gentle's books
that are also arguably SF) James Roy said that the
sequel will involve airships.


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