What caught my eye this week as it passed over my library counter and under my scanner? Steampunk. Lots and lots of steampunk. Some of you may be scratching your head, saying "What the heck is Steampunk?"
From Wikipedia: "Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that came into prominence during the 1980s and early 1990s. Steampunk involves a setting where steam power is still widely used—usually Victorian era Britain—that incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy. Works of steampunk often feature anachronistic technology or futuristic innovations as Victorians may have envisioned them, based on a Victorian perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, art, etc. This technology may include such fictional machines as those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne." And it's popular enough that this week I have three books to share.
From the publisher Quarry Books:
"Steampunk is a burgeoning counter-cultural movement; a genre, community, and artform. The Steampunk movement seeks to recapture the spirit of invention, adventure, and craftsmanship reminiscent of early-nineteenth century industrialization, in part, to restore a sense of wonder to a technology-jaded world.
Packed with 1,000 color photographs, 1,000 Steampunk Creations features a showcase of stunning jewelry, fashion, accessories, headgear, artwork, home decorations, and curious contraptions."
Next up was The Art of Steampunk by Art Donovan.
From Fox Chapel Publishing:
"Celebrate the world of Steampunk: a world filled with beauty and innovation. A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but also unique and striking.
The Art of Steampunk brings the vision of Steampunk artists from around the world, alive on the page, providing a unique insight into the captivating and dynamic world of a vastly underground genre. The 17 artists featured have had their work displayed at an exhibition at The Museum of History of Science at the University of Oxford in England, and have attracted the media attention of BoingBoing, one of the world's largest blogs.
Their artwork consists of everything from clocks and watches to light fixtures and jewelry, and every piece demonstrates hours of painstaking work and devotion from its creator. In most cases, the artists themselves are just as unique and colorful as their masterpieces. Those fully embracing the Steampunk ideology have adopted a Victorian alter ego - mad scientists and world explorers - to match the complicated intricacies of their artwork."
And for those of you looking for a cuddly version - how about Steampunk Softies by Sarah Skeate and Nicola Tedman?
From Andrews McMeel Publishing:
"Sarah Skeate and Nicola Tedman offer crafters an array of charmingly raffish characters inside Steampunk Softies: 8 Scientifically Minded Dolls From a Past That Never Was. Even if you're unfamiliar with the term "steampunk," chances are you've already discovered it through the works of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Tim Burton, Mary Shelley, or Lemony Snicket. Steampunk is an artistic movement that includes stories involving steam-powered versions of modern technology in a fictionalized Victorian setting.
Staying true to steampunk style, Skeate and Tedman's inventive Steampunk Softies feature prominent science fiction and fantasy elements, as well as anachronistic inventions and props. In addition, many have dual roles that add practicality to their punk existence—the Lady makes an excellent paperweight, while the Illusionist's cloak doubles as a screen cleaner.
Despite their meticulous detailing, Steampunk Softies are simple enough for even a sewing novice to construct. A short biography accompanies each softie, providing a background story for each character. Also included are a complete list of supplies, illustrated step-by-step blueprints, and a handy, back-of-the-book reference section that provides tips on aging and distressing project materials."
Whew! That was long one today eh? (Over the Counter is a regular feature at A Bookworm's World. I've sadly come the realization that I cannot physically read every book that catches my interest as it crosses over my counter at the library. But... I can mention them and maybe one of them will catch your eye as well. See if your local library has them on their shelves!