Tag Archives: steampunk

Mind Meld at SF Signal

Image from Arthur's Bookshelf.

I was asked to participate in a recent Mind Meld over at the science fiction blog SF Signal. The question was “What book did you last read that you would recommend to a friend.” I love the answers — it’s always great hearing what other readers are enjoying. In keeping with my recent Steampunk reading (though I don’t know if source materials can be steampunk, at least the first time around…), here’s part of mine:

Currently I’m formulating some ideas about a character who writes Victorian science fiction, so the last book I read is one I’ve read before and totally love: The Huge Hunter, or The Steam Man of the Prairies by Edward Sylvester Ellis. It is one of the first examples of the boy inventor genre, a genre that John Clute (well after the fact) called the “Edisonade,” although the main character of The Huge Hunter is actually not a boy — he’s a little person…

Read the rest at SF Signal.



Time Travel Kitchen

I’ll tell you what: If we must label it, let’s call it “Neo-Victorian” from the start, since there’s nothing punk about these steamy dishes.

But whatever you call it, if you’ve a taste for scrumptious historical cooking, Time Travel Kitchen is about the best damn thing ever.

Author Gail Carriger tipped me off to this one when she bubbled over about the Kitch’s assault on “Vermicelli Soup, Jugged Hare, Vegetables, Bread and Butter Pudding,” taken from the esteemed Ms. Carriger’s favorite cookbook, 1876’s Things a Lady Would Like to Know.

As if cooking up comestibles from the Allan Quatermain era wasn’t enough…


Party Like It’s…

You lookin' at me?Before the Fat Daddy in red finishes making his list and checking it twice, you know you need to get your ass in gear to start loading up your wish list at Rave Ready.

Come on: do you really wanna be standing there wearing jodhpurs, riding boots and a top hat with clocks, waving your howdah pistol like a douchebag and spouting By Jove‘s and Full Steam Ahead‘s when Doctor Who shows up to jack your ass back to Christmas, 1992 to help him score some wicked E without that speedy 1996 edge to it?

I mean, forget this let’s-just-slingshot-around-the-sun shit; this is real time travel. By the time you’ve strapped on the Cryoflesh UV Tube Monocle, you’ll already be conducting covert surveillance on your ear, from what I can tell. It doesn’t seem to come with a schematic, so I’m meeting the manufacturer more than halfway, here.

Once you know what your pesky ear has been up to, of course, you just might start your own chain reaction that, sooner or later, spells Total Disintegration of the MyndStreams, you know what I’m saying?


The Pitcairn Autogiro

Image of the world's only airworthy Pitcairn Autogiro by Flyermedia. Reprinted with permission of General Aviation News.

There’s a great article by Meg Godlewski at General Aviation News about the Pitcairn PAA-1, an autogiro marketed to private pilots in the early 1930s. The article includes a glorious set of photos by Flickr user FlyerMedia of the Pitcairn at an airshow in April, 2010, but not any of it going off into the wild blue yonder. That’s cool; you can check it out in flight in the videos below.

You might recognize the Pitcairn from The Rocketeer, in which Howard Hughes flies one, or the concept of the autogiro in general from The Road Warrior. Thirty years before that, autogiros were popular in comic books and pulp fiction in the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s because of their exotic look.