Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What is Steampunk?

Steampunk is an emerging genre that has been around for a couple of decades but is now bursting out of the underground. Steampunk has many trailblazing predecessors, like Jules Verne and H.P. Lovecraft. Today's Steampunk authors write books that are often set in an alternative version of the Victorian era, or have a Victorian feel. In the Steampunk world, emerging technologies are not smart phones and GPS devices, but steam powered airships and mutli-spectrum binoculars. There is often an element of the supernatural, as in Gail Carriger's books, and/or some past historical event that caused the loss of technology as we know it today, as in Phillip Reeve's Fever Crumb.

Basically, Steampunk is costumes with corsets, top hats, and poison darts hidden in parasols. It's dystopic worlds where the government keeps big secrets and engineers contemplate "ancient" technologies. It's steam power used creatively to win wars, escape prisons and see the world. It's a whole lot of fun, which would explain Steampunks huge cult following of people who like to dress up, create art and, of course, LARP.

Come to the Steampunk Stravaganza on Thursday, April 14 from 4:30-6:30 to make your own jewelry, masks and boxes out of Steampunky ingredients like watch parts, wire and chain. There are two free copies of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan ( the art above, by Keith Thompson, is from the book) remaining. Stop by the Children's Reference Desk to sign up for BookTRON and get your copy of the book. In the mean time, become a fan! Try reading some of these fabulous books: http://goo.gl/5IopC

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