Steampunk: An Illustrated History of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film and Other Victorian Visions Hardcover – 8 Nov 2012
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'Authoritative and in-depth compendium of all things clockwork. It’s a well-researched and wordy volume, and one that sheds light on the mysterious and amorphous cultural phenomenon. An essential addition to any retro-futurist bookcase.’(Imagine FX)
‘As an introduction to the genre this book is highly recommended.’(SFX)
'Failing to leave a single steampunk stone unturned, this illustrated history traces the genre's evolution from the works of HG Wells to Gail's Carriger's Alexia Tarabotti novels. Miles from being a coffee table decoration, it's a steampunk bible. This guide demands dedicated reading time in order to be enjoyed to its fullest extent.'(SciFi Now)
‘A lavishly designed and illustrated book about the origins and permutations of the literary subgenre famous for goggles, airships, and other trappings of a stylized Victorian era. Whether you’re a Steampunk fan interested in learning more of its history or are a newcomer looking for a way to find out what all the fuss is about, Steampunk is an enjoyable read.’(Sci-Fi Bulletin)
‘Gracious tips of the bowler to Steampunk's founding trio, Powers, Blaycock and Jeter, a decent bit on graphic novels, a nice tribute to Michael Moorcock, whose Nomad of the Time Streams trilogy is a much-loved genre wellspring, and some fun pictures, including one of a rather sad Steampunked Dalek with a brass funnel poking out of its rear (the indignity!). Also, Robb enthuses engagingly over several easy-to-overlook TV shows, such as the original Wild Wild West, CBC's Secret Adventures of Jules Verne and its sequel The Infinite Worlds of H.G. Wells (both of which have jumped to the top of this reviewer's must-see list)’(Starburst Magazine)
'As comprehensive as its voluminous subtitle suggests... a lively exploration of a fascinating subject.'(MyM Magazine)
‘Robb’s book is a joy, an authoritative and beautifully illustrated artefact of the genre in its own right.’(Choice Magazine)
As comprehensive as its voluminous subtitle suggests... a lively exploration of a fascinating subject. -MyM MagazineSee all Product description
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Firstly; if you already own a copy of "The Steampunk Bible" several of the images in that book re-appear here; that's fairly unavoidable give the iconic status some book-jacket covers have taken on, though some of the costume photos and film-stills could have been more varied and better identified; I also think that publication still gives the more rounded account and overview of the genre to date.
This volume does, however, make a very good companion to the "Bible" and is in an impressively larger format.
Robb's book provides an excellent in-depth, authoritative exploration of the literary element of the genre, its origins and antecedents, key works, authors, themes, etc., he also goes into detail with subjects such as graphic novels, the Japanese scene, music - all the diverse elements that come under the Steampunk heading - the only unsatisfactory topic for me is in the definition of what constitutes Steampunk influence in film, TV and video games, which at times can be a little tenuous; this arises from the basic problem that there has yet to be a truly defining Steampunk drama, a successful, iconic movie or series aficionados can unanimously agree on.
That's hardly the fault of the author though and other Steampunk books deal with this territory with much the same inconclusive outcomes. A useful quotation from Abney Park's lead singer is illuminating; "We've had Steampunk movies for as long as we've had movies...It`s just been recently given a name."
In summation then, this is a well-illustrated book with a good informative text, the strongest points being those dealing with the literary and graphic novel side of the genre; if you don`t already own any book on the subject it's a good starting point, its nice to look through, though it lacks the compendium feel of the "Bible" which encouraged "dipping into" more readily.
It`s a very good addition to the growing number of volumes on Steampunk.
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