1

(495 replies, posted in Startling Stories)

I do love Simon R. Green to pieces... but I promised to try to keep it small (yes, that was a small book post for me.) for my posts.

Mieville definitely finds the darker, grittier side of steampunk... he revels in dystopia and manages to tell his stories from the darker side of the human psyche.  And King Rat is nice enough for a single read, but I ever so highly recommend that if you're going to pick up just one of his books, let it be Perdito Street Station.  It was enough to entrance me... (that's an inside joke for those of you who have read it!! hee!)

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2

(495 replies, posted in Startling Stories)

Ah, books.  My dear sweet home.

I will do my best to not drown y'all in book-goodness by keeping it to my current and related readings.

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n37/n185852.jpg

I am currently reading the newest offering by one of my favorites, China Mieville.  It's a 'young adult' book called Un Lun Dun, which follows a premise not unlike 'Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman (which I HIGHLY recommend), of an alternate London stumbled upon by an unwitting savior who doesn't even know that there's something to save!  I'm enjouing it so far, but it doesn't have the usual gritty and dystopic realism I've come to love of him... granted, it's a kids book, so I'm okay with it, but it was a bit of a shock to expect his usual style in some form, and get something completely different... but it's very enjoyable so far, and his plot and characters have more than made up for my startled discovery.

I've always loved his writing style, and his adult books are quite simply amazing.  I discovered him with his book Perdito Street Station, which was actually the second offering from his darkly rich world of Bas-lag, though the first that actually showed us the twisted city of New Croubizon.  Illicit drugs, fantastic science, huge amounts of steampunk, amazing races, dystopic society...  I can say no more, other than GO READ IT!!!

http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/images/perdido.jpg

His next book that I found was King Rat, which was his debut novel.  He took the story of the 'Pied Piper of Hamelin' and made it oh so pretty.  Set in the darker side of London, he does what John Gardner did with 'Grendel', and tells the story from the point of view of the Son of the King of Rats.  Makes for quite an interesting conflict...

http://www.fantasybookspot.com/images/node/108_summ.jpg

He's also written The Scar (a novel set in New Croubizon talking about the struggle of the Remade criminals which is an amazing commentary on social dynamic)...
http://www.infinityplus.co.uk/images/scar.jpg

And Iron Council (which takes place out in the wilds of Bas-Lag and touches on some pretty interesting thoughts and philosophies regarding the human condition).
http://www.fantasybookspot.com/files/ironcouncil.jpeg

Needless to say, I'm quite a large fan.

3

(107 replies, posted in The Diogenes Club)

Serenity was the best episode of Firefly, hands down.

(You'll understand after you watch it.)

A friend who is a fellow browncoat,an uninitiated friend, and myself all sat down for a marathon viewing of the whole series.  It took us only 13 hours, I think, and the... err... crew roster changes were all the more emotionally impacting, I think.

And, Mr. Ottens, I disagree.  I'm a hardcore Trekkie (as in, I have my own uniform... that's right.  I admit it.)  and I absolutely LOVE Firefly... I think my love of all the Trek series has given me a deeper appreciation of Firefly.  Maybe it gives you more insight into the pioneer spirit... or a better understanding of the complexity of the personalities you come to love.  Either way, a deep seated love of Roddenberry does not excuse you from Whedon's genius.

Going back to the Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, it most certainly did smack of Steampunk.  I've been scouring the internet for it to no avail, but I'm ever hopeful that with the recent trend of "Hey, let's put this show out on DVD and see how many people buy it because they plain old forgot about it", I'm ever hopeful that such a Steampunk classic will soon be available to us once more.

And now, on to Johnny Depp.

The man is ridiculously and brilliantly versatile.  Seeing him going from tender, loving, understanding, and eccentric (Benny and Joon) to having such a capacity for mental instability with a touch of sinister (Willy Wonka), and then round the whole thing off with a barking mad personality with a touch of hot sauce, grog, and hallucinogens (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas/Pirates of the Carribean) makes the whole teenage-girls-having-crushes-on-a-forty-something understandable.  Yes.  I admit it.  I'm jealous.

As for Robert Rodriguez, as much as I love Sin City and From Dusk 'til Dawn (which is a whoooooooooooole bunch), I love his children's movies just as much.  The Spy Kids series were pretty darn good... and anyone who lets his son co-author a movie (The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl) gets my vote for "Awesome Human Being"... not to mention that he turned it into a rather good flick!

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4

(2 replies, posted in Ætherscope)

So, here's an odd question... like I have any other kind.

What are your favorite elements of Steampunk Design?

Say, if one were to decorate a house or apartment (like my newly acquired digs) or was trying to figure out a way to decorate a pretty darn big party, what elements smack of Steampunk?

I've been stairing mostly at the Steampunk Treehouse, which you can find herehere and here (I highly recommend watching the first video), but I'm not really sure exactly what elements I want to include.

Yes, brass and copper gears and cogs.  Yes, deep rich jewel tone colors.  Yes, fancy scrollwork that borders more on Art Deco than Victoriana...

But after that, I'm stumped.

I'm pretty interested to see your thoughts on it regardless.

Talk to me, o steamy fellows.  I am quite intrigued to hear your responses.

-Chesh

5

(279 replies, posted in Café Metropole)

Even if you're not a fan of musicals, go watch 'My Fair Lady' with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn.  It's fantastic.

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6

(279 replies, posted in Café Metropole)

Oh, my, darlings.  Speaking of Audrey brings to mind this brilliant man:

Rex Harrison!
http://www.mccarter.org/Education/myfairlady/harrison-hepburn.jpg

And, Dick Van Dyke.
http://barfblog.foodsafety.ksu.edu/dick.van.dyke.poppins.jpg

But the best of all...

Danny Kaye.  Oh, however could you forget Danny Kaye?
http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/P/079215519X.01._SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg

7

(458 replies, posted in The Diogenes Club)

The person above me has a point of view not unlike my own, and prays that she will forgive the curiosity of the person above her.

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8

(112 replies, posted in Café Metropole)

Returning to the subject of images you've probably seen before, but simply must be included, I've always been a huge fan of what those in my household call:

"World War II Giant Robot Fighting Time:  The Way It Should Have Been Done."

...which is not the clip's original title.  Unfortunately.  (Edit:  The name is actually C.O.D.E. Guardian, as found on the creator's website www.ceegee.net)

As far as I know, this movie was nothing more than an exercise in graphic design, and, unfortunately, no game or movie is forthcoming.

Though it most certainly should be.

I could honestly watch this thing again and again... in fact, I think I'm going to.

-Chesh

9

(113 replies, posted in Café Metropole)

I worry when they put more than one "supervillan" in a comic book movie... Granted, Scarecrow is really one of those sidekick supervillans, who can team up with just about anybody, but I worry that it'll just turn into another Spiderman 3... which had lots of great elements from the comic, but far too many for just one movie.

Regardless, I'm pretty darn excited.  Two Face is one of my favorites.  Ever.

If you're still chomping on the bit for some Batman goodness, may I recommend running out and picking up the graphic novel 'Batman: No Man's Land'?  It's a post-apocalyptic Gotham, and the Dark Knight is no where to be found.  People have turned feral, and gangs rule the night.  It's so very good that it gives me shivers every time I read it.  Even my Mister, who never cared much for comics, thinks it's pretty amazing.

-Chesh

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10

(5 replies, posted in Ætherscope)

No, this isn't a hue-and-cry for lost kids.  It's another Steampunk-esque band.

They're a bit... screamy at times, but their sense of whimsy is certainly sure to delight... especially the illustrations they've managed to procure from the ever delightful Crab Scrambly.

They sound like what you would get if Tim Burton's "The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy' could sing.

Click here for their myspace, as their website seems to be down.

I particularly enjoy the music video on their page for "Push Button".  I highly recommend them.

-Chesh