Heart of Iron, by Ekaterina Sedia.
I should preface this by saying I’m only thirty pages along, with nearly three hundred to go; at the same time I’ve so far been impressed.
Beautiful, beautiful writing and turn of phrase. It’s set in an alternate history steampunk setting, and the world building is impressive. More than that, though, there is a subtle delicacy to Sedia’s representation of politics and society that really hits home. She could still disappoint me later, but I’m hopeful.
… Why are the writers with the best prose so often also the writers with the worst plot? Pacing, Ms. Sedia, pacing! And stop making all your minor characters secretly bright intellectuals, pretty please?
I found these guys by accident on CD Baby; it’s just the sound that I’ve been looking for for possible book trailer music. Give their samples a listen.
It’s been established that I’m going to be working on a magical-steampunk sort of setting for NaNo. And I’m really excited– I love the style, the ideas, the flavor I’ve got in mind…
… But it occurs to me now that I don’t read much steampunk.
In fact, the only steampunk that I’m really familiar with are in webcomics. Namely, Girl Genius (great, fun comic, though its creators use the term ‘Gaslamp Fantasy’), and the more serious, violent Freak Angels, which is post-apocalyptic steampunk. The Phoenix Requiem is Victorian-style fantasy, but not at all ‘punk’, so though it’s a great story, I don’t think that it counts (obviously we need more mad science). Some of the Final Fantasy games also fall into this category, though loosely.
So. In an effort to delve a little more into the genre, does anyone know any really good steampunk novels that they’d like to recommend? Plot and humor-wise, Girl Genius is very suited to my tastes. I know my plans bastardize the genre a little as I also have a magic system.