steampunk

Review: Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess

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Review: Agatha H and the Clockwork Princess

How do you know when someone is a Spark?

The answer is when they create something too mad to ignore.

The adventures of Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius, continues! In this installment, Agatha finds herself on the run from the diabolical Baron Wulfenbach, and his lovelorn son, Prince Gilgamesh. Needing to travel unnoticed through the Wastelands, Agatha and her companion Krosp (The Emperor Of All Cats) join a traveling circus that specializes in Heterodyne shows – dramatizations of the exploits of Bill and Barry Heterodyne. Ironic, considering that Agatha is secretly the long-lost heir to the Heterodyne Family.

And if you think all of that sounds a little crazy, just wait until you get to the scientist who’s scientific breakthrough involves pies.

This is the second novelization of Phil and Kaja Foglio’s award-winning Girl Genius series. The first book was a pure madcap adventure, and the format gave the Foglio’s the opportunity to add tons of extra details and backstories, as well as plenty of clever comments, random trivia, and snarky asides. All in all it was a hell of a lot of fun to read.

The second book is, and I know this is a bold statement here, even better than the first.

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Review – The Steam Man #1

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Review – The Steam Man #1

I’ve seen what he does to his victims. It’s unspeakable. It’s why I’ve vowed to stop him, no matter the cost.
That and the sizeable reward, of course.

Dark Horse Comics’ much-anticipated Weird West, paranormal-steampunk adventure has finally hit stores. Does it stand up to the hype? Click the jump for a review and preview pages for The Steam Man #1.

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Review: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

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Review: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street

It wasn’t exactly a normal robbery. Whoever broke into Nathaniel Steepleton’s rented apartment left without taking anything; and exactly what kind of burglar washes the dishes and then leaves a beautiful gold pocket watch on the pillow? Thaniel felt ridiculous reporting it, and he almost couldn’t blame the police for laughing.

It was a lot less funny six months later when a perfectly timed alarm from the watch saves Thaniel from being killed in a bomb blast at Scotland Yard. With no idea of who gave him the watch, the still-dazed telegraphist looks for the watch’s maker instead, and finds a lonely but friendly Japanese immigrant with a stunning talent for watchmaking and a sock-stealing clockwork octopus for a pet.

Natasha Pulley’s debut novel features my favorite element of Steampunk – clockwork – and includes a cast of eccentric characters set in Victorian London, with a plot that’s never boring but becomes almost too clever towards the end.

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Review: Karen Memory

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Review: Karen Memory

Karen had to learn to do for herself years ago when her beloved Da died, leaving her orphaned and penniless. Working as a high-class prostitute isn’t exactly what her parents would have wanted, but she’s good at it, and she’s comfortably situated at the finest bordello in Rapid City, where the girls are well fed and protected from abuse; any man that tries to cross the line will face the wrath of the proprietress herself: Madame Damnable. The employees of the Hôtel Mon Cherie are even allowed to keep forty percent of their considerable wages; Karen plans in a few years to save up enough money to buy her own stable and become a respectable businesswoman.

And then one night the girls are startled by the arrival of the vigilante Merry Lee, badly-wounded after rescuing one of the many women kept prisoner in the dockside cribs for the sailors’ uses. Hot on their heels is the pimp, Peter Bantle, and his whole posse. Soon Karen’s mostly squared-away life is thrown into a chaos of sadistic flesh-peddlers, secret plots, a US Marshall and his Comanche partner hunting a mysterious figure killing streetwalkers, and most importantly Priya, the half-starved crib-worker Merry Lee rescued who just happens to be the loveliest woman Karen has seen in all her life.

The setting of Rapid City (a fantasy-version of Seattle or San Francisco) in the late 19th century technically puts this book in the Weird Western genre. But with the steam-powered automatons and airships and mind-controlling gauntlets, Elizabeth Bear’s latest novel Karen Memory is one of the most gloriously steampunk books I’ve ever read.

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Meet Professor Elemental

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Meet Professor Elemental

Greetings Ladies & Gents!

Out in the wonderful world of amazement and geekery there stands a man traveling against the current in a steamship of rhymes driven by an ape in spats.  From the land of tea and fog chap-hop superstar Professor Elemental has traveled the world bringing his unique brand of adventure and fun.  This year while at Comic-Con we were lucky enough to spend some time with the good Professor to talk about time travel, steampunk hip-hop, and Issue #2 of the misadventures of his own comic.

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Frankenstein’s Army is coming to BluRay/DVD 9/10/13

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Frankenstein’s Army is coming to BluRay/DVD 9/10/13

World War II, Steampunk, and Frankenstein… what else could anyone ask for?  Coming soon to home video after a short run in select theaters, this horror story set in the twilight of WWII from director/creator Richard Raaphorst is more than a just another zombie Nazi flick.  Perhaps the biggest thing to grab people’s attention has been the amazing design of the patchwork monsters by Art Director Milena Koubkova and crew.  Both truly terrifying and awe inspiring, Frankenstein’s Army is sure to be a fall favorite and just in time for Halloween.

Check out the trailer below and reserve a copy.  There won’t be enough of these to go around…

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Anime Ima: Now and Then, Here and There

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Anime Ima: Now and Then, Here and There

Steampunk! Almost anything with a steampunk aesthetic is awesome.  Throw in some dystopian society and militarism and you’ve got a great recipe for an anime.

There are quite a few series that take the route of a post-apocalyptic future, but none do it quite as well as Now and Then, Here and There (Ima, Soko ni iru Boku). Its mix of the horrors of war, child indoctrination, and futility leaves the viewer in awe and robs the viewer of all hope by the conclusion.  And this is exactly where this series’ genius lies.  For my full impressions, read on.

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