Saturday, January 30, 2010

Steampunk - What is It?

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of "the path not taken" of such technology as dirigibles, analog computers, or digital mechanical computers (such as Charles Babbage's Analytical engine); these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.

Steampunk is often associated with cyberpunk and shares a similar fanbase and theme of rebellion, but developed as a separate movement (though both have considerable influence on each other). Apart from time period and level of technological development, the main difference between cyberpunk and steampunk is that steampunk settings usually tend to be less obviously dystopian than cyberpunk, or lack dystopian elements entirely.

Various modern utilitarian objects have been modded by individual artisans into a pseudo-Victorian mechanical "steampunk" style, and a number of visual and musical artists have been described as steampunk. Wikopedia

Leviathan by Scott Westerfield Steampunk at its Best

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, who disguises as a boy to serve in what she loves to do, the British Air Service. Her father taught her well, and she is among the best airman. But she is in constant peril because her secret could be discovered. Alek is the son of Archduke Ferdinand and his wife Sophie. When they are murdered, Alek becomes an orphan and Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way.

The book takes place in the summer of 1914. Europe is on the brink of war. When Aleks parents are murdered he has to run from his own people. Although he is not in line for the monarchy because his mother was a commoner, his very existence becomes an issue. The chapters alternate between Alek's story and Deryns, until they converge in the most unlikely place.

Leviathan is an alternate history, which makes World War I a war of technologies and ideologies based on those technologies. The Clankers (Germans) use huge machines which are in the realm of possibility. But the Darwinists, have turned living creations through the maniupulation of DNA into amazing genetic creations. The Leviathan is a huge, crewed, flying Whale fueled by hydrogen-farting bacteria living in its stomach.

This book definitely is a cliffhanger, with the sequel not due out until October 2010.

: Amazing story which I would recommend to YA and adults alike who enjoy science fiction.

: 10

Reading Next:
Gone by Michael Grant

The Book Thief by Zusak

The Book Thief tells the story of Liesel Meminger, a young German foster child living in a small town during the late 1930s and early 1940s. The Holocaust makes a powerful enough story, but this novel is narrated by Death, himself.
Death is developed into an interesting character as narrator of the novel. His personality is believable as told from the point of view of his job, as one who has to carry away the dead souls. Death is sensitive and wise and lays the story out for his readers trying as much as possible to spare everyone emotional pain.
Rudy becomes one of Liesel’s best friends, as well as her neighbor. Hans is her stepfather, who guides her through life with his caring. Rosa is her mother, who pretends to be gruff and unbending. Zusak is an excellent writer who makes each one of these characters come alive, with the telling of their story.
This is a powerful book which everyone should read. The format is unique, the
foreshadowing and narration powerful.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie Trailer

Based on Jeff Kinney's best selling series Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Opens April 2nd

Chloe Moretz appears in both films. Also starring Zachary Gordon, Rachael Harris, Steve Zahn, and Robert Capron.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Comment Moderation has been updated, sorry for the delay.

I would love to have Book Reviews by readers.

Anyone who wants to post a book review, email it to me at and I will post it for you giving you
full credit.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Last Chance

Deadline to enter the Bookmark Contest and win $2,000 for your library and a trip for two to Wrestlemania is JANUARY 19TH

Learn how to start a blog and turn it into a profitable exercise. Join
The Budget Babe, Saturday, January 16th at 2:30
for some practical advice.

We also now have a monthly Chess Club (Gr K-12), Anime Club and Book Club for Grades

All programs are held at New Milford Public Library.

Hope to see you soon.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why is a shocking book which deals about an uncomfortable subject, teenage suicide. One day Clay, the main character comes home to find a box full of audio tapes. He's shocked to discover that the tapes were made by Hannah Baker, a girl in his class who killed herself not long ago. As he listens, he learns that these tapes were made for the people who Hannah considers responsible for driving her to give up on a means to explain why she did it. We hear Hannah's voice on the tape, and then Clay's reaction.
I think it will hit home for a lot of teens – too many kids are bullied, sexually harassed (which was an unfortunate theme in the book – way too many high school girls deal with this on a daily basis), and are unjustly ridiculed in school.
This book powerfully brings home the truth that the way you treat people matters.

This passage from the book sums up the message:

"You don't know what goes on in anyone's life but your own. And when you mess with one part of a person's life, you're not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you can't be that precise and selective. When you mess with one part of a person's life, you mess with their whole life. Everything....affects everything."

I think this is an important book for everyone to read.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Reality Show or Science Fiction

This book is about regular kids that are forced to fight to the death by their government.
Time—some time in the Future. Something has happened in the world so that North America is now made up of thirteen districts presided over by one government. . The districts don’t like how the government runs things and so revolt. Twelve of the districts are defeated and the thirteenth is destroyed and held as an example that the government is in charge. To remind these districts each year that the government is the boss, each district is required to choose one girl and one boy between the ages of 12 and 18 to participate in The Hunger Games held each year. The games are broadcast on TV and each person in each district is required to watch.

Katniss Everdeen is a sixteen year old who lives in District 12. After her father dies, she feeds her family by sneaking into the forbidden woods with her friend Gale. The two hunt game, fish, and glean fruit, veggies, and herbs. They eat the food but they also use it to barter for basic necessities. When the reaping, which is the choosing of candidates for the hunger games takes place, Katniss’s younger sister is chosen. Horrified, Katniss volunteers to take her place. The second candidate from District 12 is Peeta. He is the baker's son. Peeta is not Katniss's friend, but after her father died, he was very kind to her. Imagine her conflict, when she now faces having to kill him in the competitions.Will either one of them survive long enough to have to kill their District’s candidate?

I can't wait to read the second exciting book in this trilogy.

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott

This book leaves you on your own! Did she die or did she redeem herself by living?
What did you think of the ending? Does it bother you to read such a disturbing book? If you knew ahead of time, would you have picked this book?

Living Dead Girl is a short book. I read it in one evening. It is a book that will stay with you for a very long time.. It is written in sparse prose. Elizabeth Scott tastefully, if that is possible with such a subject, yet starkly portrays Alice’s life from when she was abducted at age ten by Ray until age fifteen when she tells the story. Ray starves her so she will stay skinny and childlike, and physically and mentally abuses her. He promises to kill her entire family if she leaves him or tells anyone. She lives this entire portion of her life waiting to die in misery.

It is a riveting book that you can’t put down once you start to read and once you have read it, the story never leaves your mind. The paperback cover with the single hair ribbon is much less gripping than the original hardback cover.

Let me know what you think?