[DWJ] OT: Steampunk

Elizabeth Parks henx19 at gmail.com
Thu May 26 11:40:12 EDT 2011

That Cassandra Clare book I've actually read--the first one at least--and
while I finished it, I finished it with the same feeling I had after reading
the other trilogy she wrote that I'm blanking on the name of right
now--Mortal Instruments?--that I'm a little frustrated with where it went
and how predictably it went there, that I have already forgotten half of the
specifics, and that I have a sneaking suspicion she did all her research on
Wikipedia.  I like wikipedia, but it does basically democratize information:
the most common and popular facts win out over the stranger, stronger
pieces.  And yet I keep checking her new books out of the library, despite
not being particularly excited about them, and I'm not sure why.  So yeah, I
have read that one, but I didn't even realize it was steampunk.  I've also
read Larklight, now that I look it up, right after it came out, and I really
liked it, but then I forgot who wrote it and to pick up the sequel :)

as a contrast to Clare, I would say that both DWJ, in ways we've talked
about recently, and Megan Whalen Turner have an obvious breadth of knowledge
that shows up in small ways throughout their prose.  Connie Willis has this,
too, and my best example of this is actually one I recognized in large part
because of Connie Willis: there's a line in Nabokov's poem at the start of
"Pale Fire" where a child is quoted saying "Here Pappa pisses."  It's a
total one-off tip of the hat to Browning's Pippa Passes, and I find little
textual gems like that in rereadings of DWJ all the time, things that I have
just learned and just noticed but that were always there.  Which is a high
standard, and one apparently not required for mass popularity.  But that's
how I will content myself waiting for MWT to finish those two books in the
next dozen years or so I'm assuming that will take--by reminding myself that
those two books are at least the equal of the thirty or so Cassandra Clare
will finish in the meantime.

Has anyone read anything by Paolo Bacigalupi?  I see he's one of the
nominees for the novella Nebula, and his work keeps coming up as

I very much appreciate the recommendations, and am very happy to hear that
the Thief will continue.


On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 6:40 AM, <deborah.dwj at suberic.net> wrote:

> Cassandra Clare has started a steampunk series (CLOCKWORK ANGEL) but I
> can't really recommend it except for the diehard Cassandra Clare fans. It's
> got all of the downsides of her writing style (e.g. mediocre purple prose)
> and none of the upsides (e.g. gleeful exuberance).
> -deborah
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