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October 08, 2008

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Curses! Another book that I must acquire!

Probably three books (she says brightly), if the others hold up. And Reeve also has the Mortal Engines quartet, which was recommended to me by yet another smart young steampunk lady.

What's that you say? I'm not helping? :)

No, you're not helping, Susan. But I will have my revenge. Bwahahahah!!!

Since you can read French, shall I inflict upon you the knowledge of writer Paul d'Ivoi, a contemporary of Verne? I have a few of his novels, and read a couple of them. One was so-so. The other, La Capitaine Nilia, involves a mysterious land vehicle, a beautiful telepathic woman, the complete rerouting of the Nile without much concern for the ecological disaster, and the demonstration of the superiority of Europe's colonial powers, of course.

Here's a link:
http://www.coolfrenchcomics.com/pauldivoi.htm

There is also Gaston Leroux's La poupée sanglante, which starts with the decapitation of the very ugly hero, but that doesn't stop him because a young woman's inventor father puts the hero's brain inside an automaton as beautiful as an angel.

Oooh, Paul d'Ivoi sounds good and the library has a whole bunch of his books. Since they all seem to be 400+ pages long, and I don't read French that quickly, would you particularly recommend La Capitaine Nilia? Or should I pick one at random?

Larklight's fun (I read it the year it came out, and quite enjoyed it). I should track down the sequel at some point.

Of course, for All Things Steampunk, one can't beat Girl Genius, but you knew that, right?

Susan... I have read only a couple of the books, but I'd recommend Nilia. I got rather impatient with the other book, and skipped to the end. When I read some of his other books, I'll let you know what I think.

Josh:
I've looked at Girl Genius and just never really connected with it.

Serge:
I've ordered delivery to my jobsite of Nilia and the irresistibly-named Miss Mousqueterr. God only knows when I'll have time to read them, though.

I'm so glad you liked it!

I especially enjoyed the giant clockwork spider-it kind of reminded me of a victorian version of Godzilla.

Speaking of John Carter of Mars... Did you know that Jon Favreau was working on the movie A Princess of Mars when the studio pulled the plug, for reasons that aren't quite clear? Favreau then went on to direct Iron Man.

Susan... I've looked at Girl Genius and just never really connected

Was it the art style? The frantic pace? The overall tone? I'm curious. There are F/SF authors I'm like that about. I know they're great, and are considered so by almost everybody, but they just don't resonate with me.

re. Girl Genius:
The art style is overly busy for me; positively headache-inducing. The story didn't capture me (and I read several months' worth). And while I'm accustomed to Foglio's sexual, uh, issues (I was a Phil & Dixie fan back in the 1980s), I am completely bored by the porn-star breasts on Agatha. Total turnoff.

If I want to see a girl kick ass, I'd rather reread Fray and get the bonus of Joss Whedon's writing.

I can see how the art would bug people. I like that it's busy, but to each his/her own. My wife doesn't like Foglio's art. The again, she's turned off by most cartoony art and the only comic-book art she likes is Alex Ross's, because it is photorealistic.

As for the large bosoms... I pretty much tune them out. Interestingly, when I asked Foglio who he'd see playing Agatha, he mentionned Alicia Silverstone, who isn't exactly sumptuously endowed.

Anyway. I guess I'll be going to the bookstore again tonight. You vile temptress.

It's less bosom size than the behavior of the bosom. Anti-gravity breasts with surgically relocated nipples and a tendency to stick together and create Wonderbra cleavage without benefit of any underpinnings whatsoever trip my "ohferghodssake" trigger and create the same negative reaction I have to guys with a fetishistic attraction to big breasts in real life.

That sounds interesting! Maybe the library will have it!

Susan... Wonderbra cleavage without benefit of any underpinnings whatsoever

But this is a world of Science (cue in Thomas Dolby) gone mad and perverted. How do we know that some deranged fetishist didn't invent something like the WonderBra?

That being said...

It epitomizes what I see as the real fun in steampunk: science fiction that extrapolates from historical science and historical fiction. It takes the technology of a previous era and runs it out as far as imagination can go.

There is also the attraction generated by the contrast between what we of the Now know of the technological level of an era, and what the people in the Past could have thought would be possible with a bit of a tweak or breakthrough. Basically, that's the approach that steampunk takes, as opposed to the approach that The Difference Engine took, where it stuck to what we of the Now know would have been possible in the Past. No giant automaton or death rays or spaceships in that novel.

I'm seriously thinking costume here...

I wonder if this means what I think it means.

Serge:
Someone may have invented the Wonderbra, but Agatha doesn't wear one. As drawn, she's got major-league implants; that's how you get that anti-gravity look with nipples on the top of the breast instead of the middle. They don't come that way naturally...

Susan... They don't come that way naturally...

They seldom do in comics and it's not getting any better, based on the covers I see displayed every week when I go to the comics stores. That's what I meant, earlier, about tuning that out, because they are so ridiculous. Forty years of comics-reading will do that to a person.

About Larklight... How would you describe the writing? You did say that it captures the colonial-Victorian tone, but is the writing actually quite good? I'll find out one week from now, when the bookstore receives my copy, but I was curious about your opinion of it. If the author throws in all those jokes that only adults would get, he appears to be reaching for a wider audience than the 9-to-12-year-olds. Speaking of that age range, they do live in a Golden Age. That's how I'd have felt, at that age, if I had had access to a TV network that shows nothing but cartoons, or to books of this kind. I'd have been spending even more time by myself than I actually did, to the even greater detriment of my social skills. (Did you know that Robert de Niro's nickname as a kid was Bobby Milk? That's because he spent so much time indoors reading books that he wouldn't get much of a tan.)

Serge:
I thought it was well-written, given that Reeve is trying to capture the feel of the reminiscences of a pair of Victorian kids, which limits what sort of textual tricks he can do. (Myrtle is a young teenager, maybe 14 or 15, and Art is younger.) It felt right that way, though of course I'm hardly the right age to judge. The disgusted opinion of a boy about his sister's becoming a "young lady" felt right as well. And the hilariously out of place stiff-upper-lip, God-save-the-Queen attitude was priceless.

Writing from a younger perspective (primarily Art's, with occasional excursions into Myrtle's), and (as far as I can tell), that of two fairly average children, means a simple and straightforward style. So there's not much in the way of deliciously ornate prose or subtle and complex plotting or self-examination by the lead characters. But that is part of what makes it feel authentic to the age group. It hits its target square on.

And to be fair, the bad guys are given motivation beyond "we are eeeeevil!" and there's some genuine moral greyness to the central conflict. Nor does Reeve ignore the inherent problems of colonialism; he cleverly transplants them to steampunk-space and touches on them here and there without making the whole thing into a moral tract. No one actually says "white man's burden," but you can see the attitude, and characters comment negatively on it.

As for the age range, grade 8.8 means it's aiming for 13- to 14-year olds. I've no idea how realistic that is; I was reading off the adult shelves, though not exclusively, by the time I was eleven or so. This felt to me like light, fluffy reading in which I could enjoy the imaginative stuff without having many demands placed on me. Since I'm having a stressful week, that was just right.

I certainly enjoyed it, or I wouldn't have bothered to post!

Let me know what you think when you read it.

I was reading off the adult shelves, though not exclusively, by the time I was eleven or so.

That's pretty much the way it was for me too. I'd look for whatever SF the school's library had (which wasn't much) and I'd devour it. It had never occurred to me that there might be a difference between stuff aimed at kids and stuff aimed at adults. Some of the stories might have kids as their main characters, but that was about it. My main concern was "Is this SF?"

The significant difference for me was that the books were thicker and had smaller print, so they took longer to read. My mother was grateful, since it reduced library trips from two or three times a week down to one. (I'd already pretty much finished everything interesting in my school library, so I alternated between two different branches of the city library, which required driving.)

In YA I didn't just read SF; I read everything. In adult, I started to focus more on genre stuff.

Susan... At least you had public libraries. For me, it was either the school library, or go buy books. And while my main interest was SF from the moment I had learned to read, I did read adventure stories - for example, there was a French series called Bob Morane which was set in the here & now, but many of the novels had the here & now disrupted by mad scientists, time travel, that stuff.

Susan... Myrtle did provide the opportunity for a bit of discourse on the managing of crinolines in less than one BSG

Speaking of crinolines... Here are two YouTube links to The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne. There are quite a few clips from the show out there, but I include two about my favorite character. And she doesn't wear a corset on the outside. But she sure can do interesting things with her crinoline.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUkaQxLtzGM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVfgZ-pHTQY&feature=related

Nilia est arrivée!

Le vocabulaire, ce n'est pas facil, mais je l'essayerai, peut-être, le dimanche.

(Dis-je cela correctement? "essayerai" est le temps futur?)

Correct, Susan. Enjoy the book. If you have questions, simply write to me and I'll answer to the best of my knowledge.

It's much easier for me to read French than to try to write or (ulp) speak it. And I have a dictionary plus online resources to use for any vocabulary challenges.

The book itself is beautiful, by the way. It's a facsimile of the original 1898 edition with gold-edged pages and illustrations that remind me of the Neill illustrations in the Oz books.

It's a facsimile of the original 1898 edition

Ooooooh... That sounds nice. The same thing was done with Verne's books in the late 1970s, and they had the original inside illustrations. I was never able to find more than one of those in used-book stores up in Quebec. Maybe I should remind my friend Elisabeth up there that I'm still interested in acquiring them if she comes across them.

I put Larklight and Starcross on request at the library website. Have you noticed the massively overdone Victorian subtitles? They have the Mortal Engines set, too, so if I like this, I might try those.

I can read French much much better than I can speak it and I can speak it better than I can write it and I can write it better than I can understand it spoken. My grandparents would call down the devils of hell for my losing their language. They've been dead for a while themselves, though.

Marilee:
I noted the Larklight subtitle (though not as such) in the first sentence of my post and the Starcross one at the end. Love 'em!

Mortal Engines was recommended to me by Raven and I's mutual friend Antonia, another young steampunk and dancer. I ended up going for Larklight first because Raven explicitly said "steampunk!" while Antonia just said "really good!" about ME. I didn't realize immediately that it was the same author; I looked them up several weeks apart and spaced in the meantime.

I'm the same as you on French except that I'd have to reverse the order of speaking and writing ability. It's a difficult accent for me; the nasal "e" sound doesn't come naturally to me even in English. And I have a lamentable tendency to substitute Spanish or Italian vocabulary if the French doesn't pop to mind. I had to look up the word for Sunday, because every time I tried to mentally recite the days of the week I'd flip to Spanish by the time I got to Wednesday! French has an equally poor effect on my Spanish and Italian, of course. The similarities of romance languages are a distinctly mixed blessing.

I suspect I could achieve some fluency in conversing if I were immersed, but I've never had the chance to try it. Worldcon next year will be a nifty experience, though! Japan was hopeless for me that way; I had no time to learn anything and contented myself with bowing politely to everyone and a lot of gesturing and murmuring "domo arigato" (thank you, Styx). I have actually offered to do a Regency dance in French for Montreal (if I confine myself to dance terminology I do much better, since I live with that stuff all the time) but so far have gotten no response on my proposed Bal de l'Empereur. I hate cons that don't respond to volunteers!

Susan... so far have gotten no response on my proposed Bal de l'Empereur. I hate cons that don't respond to volunteers!

It may simply be that they're thinking "Heck, it's eight months away!" I know Elisabeth Vonarburg, their francophone guest of honor, but I doubt she's involved in the actual organization. Still, if you want me to ask her...

That worldcon is going to be weird for me. Hopefully, I won't embarass myself with the language-flipflopping like I did in 2004. It had been 9 years since I had been to Quebec City, and it took me hours to stop switching back to English.

"Heck, it's eight months away!"
Of course, they'll suddenly go "Eek! The worldcon is here!"

By the way, I wonder if the following is just me. I ordered Larklight thru a local bookstore, and should get it in the middle of next week. Thinking of receiving a book makes me feel like a kid about to get a box of chocolates. (I wouldn't want to receive a box of chocolates, but I know how I'd feel if I liked to receive a box of chocolates.)

According to the library, here's the full titles:

Larklight, or, The revenge of the white spiders!, or, To Saturn's rings and back! : a rousing tale of dauntless pluck in the farthest reaches of space / as chronicl'd by Art Mumby, with the aid of Philip Reeve ; and decorated throughout by David Wyatt.

Starcross or the coming of the Moobs! or our adventures in the fourth dimension! : a stirring adventure of spies, time travel and curious hats / as narrated by Art Mumby, Esq. (& Miss Myrtle Mumby) to their amanuensis, Mr. Philip Reeve, & illuminated thoughout by David Wyatt.

They have "By Reeve, Philip" separately, so that's apparently all title.

I think it's just as well I didn't use the full title as the heading of my post. :)

I received a box of chocolates with strawberry fillings from a lover once. I spent over a week just sniffing it before I actually ate any of them.

I spent over a week just sniffing it before I actually ate any of them.

I hope you did so only because you were trying to resist the temptation to ingest extra calories.

Marilee... Are you and Susan conspiring to make me go bankrupt thru the repeated offerings of literary temptations?

Serge:
No, I sniffed them because the strawberry aroma was so deliciously intense.

Wouldn't that have made you want to scarf them up right away, Susan? Or is it the same as with your Modesty Blaise comic-strip reprints, with you stretching the pleasure for as long as you could because one day it'd all be done and gone?

Really, I liked the scent a lot. I've always liked strawberry-filled chocolates, but no one had ever put so many in one place at the same time for me before. It was amazing, and a much more exotic sensory experience than the eating. It's nice to have a strong, pleasant smell that I'm not allergic to!

I can put up with a lot of smells. That certainly made things easier when I was growing up, what with my dad being a mechanic who'd sometimes work in our house's garage, and who was brought up on a farm that I'd visit. Ah, the smell of procine and equine manure...

Last night, we went out for dinner. I didn't have dessert, but my wife did. For some reason, she doen't like raspberries so she left those untouched. I ate them of course. Raspberries are one thing that seldom fails to take me back to my childhood - a pleasant part of it anyway. My parents never bought raspberries, but my uncle had some bushes of them growing wild on the edge of his fields.

Serge, I put in a request for those from the library; you could try it! I suspect I'll like them, but not enough to keep.

I'm not that fond of chocolates, but the ones that are caramel-filled are pretty good. Oh, and I have some candied ginger enrobed in dark chocolate. I'm trying to eke both of those out because you really have to < href="http://www.nutsonline.com/">order them in cold weather.

Geez. I thought my brain was better today. Nuts Online

Marilee... the library; you could try it

On the other hand, thanks to the temptations provided by you and our Rixosous Hostess, it'll be some time before I run out of the reading material covering and hiding my bookshelves.

Yield to temptation; it may not pass your way again.

Oh, I'm yielding all right, Susan. Heh. Really, my many thanks for the recommendations.

There Will Be More!

BwaHAHAHAHAhahahahahahaBWAhaHAhaHAhaHA!!!!

You do diabolical laughter so well, Susan. Might you be practicing for a masquerade's steampunk presentation?

Nah. Just feeling a bit punchy because I have successfully completed a bit of sublimely geeky dance reconstruction over on Kickery. It used to be a difficult problem but today it all became much simpler, somehow!

I would recommend that everyone go read it except that it's a pretty ridiculous amount of verbiage to spend analyzing two little words ("lead outsides") that sound like something to do with one's dog.

Susan... two little words ("lead outsides") that sound like something to do with one's dog.

Why do I find myself thinking of Rick Santorum's obsession about men getting married to each other?

I peeked at a description of StarCross, and I must say I especially liked this bit:

Art and family quickly find themselves face to face with French spies, Yankee rebels and man-eating starfish, not to mention an awful lot of sinister top hats.

Most likely the French spies are so slimy that they make Grima Wormtongue look good.

Susan, "lead outsides" makes me think of radioactive things.

I have succumbed to one of the Literary Temptations offered by Our Rixosous Hostess. Tonight I was finally able to start reading Catherynne Valente's In The Night Garden. Mind you, I didn't have time for more than the first 3 pages, but I can tell I'm going to enjoy this.

I'm reading a non-fiction pop-med book, and the title and blurb are very misleading. I got it through InterLibrary Loan, so I'm sorry I put them to this much work. I'm skimming, rather than just stopping, but ti's annoying.

I'm reading - at a very stately pace - a somewhat eye-glazing book on Savonarola and Florentine politics in the mid-1490s. I'm hoping it will liven up a bit when we get to the bonfire of the vanities and such.

Today I received in the mail a package with the 4 issues of SteamPunk Magazine plus their sort-of book SteamyPunk. I should be getting a call from the bookstore any day now about larklight any day now. (Not now though as it's past midnight.)

Goodness. Do we love stories around here or what?

I'm annoyed: I got Starcross in the mail, and it turned out to be an ARC! I complained to the seller (one of the myriad booksellers on Amazon), and she promptly refunded my money and said to keep the book. So now I'm dithering over what sort of feedback to leave. She misrepresented the book, either on purpose or just through lack of clue. (It has color-sketch cover art and "ADVANCE READING COPY" in big letters on the cover, kind of hard to miss.) On the other hand, that was efficient and proper customer service (fast response, no argument, quick refund) and I now essentially have a free copy of the book (though sans illustrations, and I really want the illustrations!) Good + bad averages out to neutral, which doesn't really tell the story. Leave bad feedback? Neutral feedback? Skip the feedback entirely?

I've reordered the book directly from Amazon, grumble grumble. I hope it comes by Sunday; I really wanted to have light fluffy reading for after the Assembly.

The seller may have thought it wouldn't matter to most of its customers. Once that mistake was pointed out, the seller acted in a manner that would make me want to keep doing business with them. I'd go for positive feedback.

Well, and ARCs are not necessarily the same text as the finished book, either. When I read an ARC, I make it clear on my review.

If I'd gotten an ARC and so forth, I'd mark neutral and say it was misrepresented and the seller refunded you the money.

I got email from the library today that Larklight and Starcross are ready for pickup, so I'll probably get them Friday. I'm not planning to go out tomorrow, I'll probably finish this book by then, and I have other things to do on Friday.

Serge:
I don't want to keep doing business with anyone who sends an ARC after advertising a new copy of a book! I think you're being too nice. :)

Well, what a pleasant surprise... I decided to treat myself today. That of course meant a trip to the bookstore, and there I found Reeve's Starcross. Why there were two copies of it when I had to order Larklight thru them, I don't know, but what the heck. I've got both books, to be enjoyed during the Holidays. Yay!

My copy of Starcross arrived yesterday, but I've been too exhausted to read it. I've spent the last two nights completely collapsed after day job.

I'm a quarter of the way through Larklight (started last night). It's a bit more cutesy than I like, but not enough to make me stop reading. If I finish by Friday, I can give the bookgroup a little report and turn it in, and then start Starcross.

Susan... Myrtle is a young teenager, maybe 14 or 15, and Art is younger

You'd think that this'd put Reeve's novels in the teen section of the bookstore. It didn't. They're in the pre-teen section. Also, Amazon's classification is that the books are for the 9-12 age range.

I've been thinking of trying to corrupt my favorite nephew, but he's just a little over 7. I don't know if he'd realize the humor and weirdness of the premise of those books, which means that most of this might go over his head. Besides, while he likes SF of the comic-book cartoon kind, I'm not sure he's much of a reader.

The library has them marked as J instead of YA, but a lot of kids books actually feature older kids. They don't always like to read about people their age.

Marilee... I don't think the age of the main character ever mattered to me, but what you say makes sense. Maybe it's because kids, no matter how old they are, might feel powerless, but no more of that when they're older, even if it's two years older. Two years later... "Drat! I'm still powerless! But this book has a character who's two years older than me."

I felt it was aimed a bit lower down the YA scale than I usually read, but I don't get into hair-splitting on the exact group these things are aimed at. I read things at such a skewed age range myself that I am absolutely no judge of what is suitable.

Anyone need an illo-free ARC of Starcross, by the way? I only have one cousin of roughly the proper age. (Roughly, because I can't actually remember how old he is, but he showed signs of being a potential skiffy-reader the last time I visited NC a few years ago. Obsessing over dragon he was that year!)

Susan... I'll take it and see if my 7-year-old nephew might be corrupted... I mean... interested.

I'm not sure I'm going to read Starcross. Things are moving a bit slowly for me, and I'm sure that's because it's for younger kids. I do appreciate the Burton, Dune, Asimov, etc., references, but it's not enough.

Marilee:
Different tastes!

I missed the Dune reference...

Yep! Dune is when gur Znegvna jneevbef erfphr Zlegyr juvyr evqvat ba fnaq jbezf va gur qrfreg. (rot-13)

Marilee:
Oh, right! I did catch that at the time, it just didn't stick in my memory. Displaced by Burton!

It turned out that one person (new to bookgroup yesterday, but clearly a convert) had read these and liked them, and another person (who is only there for the beginning because it's an adult group) had read Larklight and wanted Starcross. The person I was mainly talking about them for wasn't there, so I may point her here.

Marilee:
I wonder how successful these are as YA fiction, saleswise. I have no sense at all of that market.

Serge:
It looks like my extra is going to the younger daughter of the home where I stayed this weekend, sorry!

Oh, no need to apologize, Susan. I wasn't sure at all that my nephew would be interested, and the book's fture owner appears to be less of a gamble.

I don't know -- when I put them on hold, I only had to wait for them to be moved to the right library. None were checked out. Let me check now... Three copies of eight of Larklight are available and four copies of five of Starcross.

The not-quite-synchronous event today was that I dropped off Larklight at the outside bookdrop before I came home to find I have a copy of The Graveyard Book waiting for me there. Oh well.

Let us know how you find Graveyard Book! Is that one aimed YA? I loved Coraline.

Yes, it's YA and illustrated. I have to take it back soon because of the Hold Queue, so I'll finish Ha'penny tonight and start it tomorrow, to start Half a Crown when I finish it.

I have 50 more pages to finish of The Graveyard Book tonight, but you should know that the people do an ancient dance in the sixth chapter! Part of the song includes turning and kicking and stuff, and then there's the double-line with people going down the middle. I'm not so thrilled about the illos, but the story is very interesting.

I've lost track of which small change book is which, but I thought the second was the weakest and the third picked up again, though I didn't like either as much as Farthing. I only read the third in ARC form; I hope Jo fixed the costume weirdness at the beginning before it went to press.

I read some piece of fiction recently that munged together branles (which do not feature double lines with people going down the middle but do have turning and kicking) and country dances (which do have the double lines, but for which we have no evidence of their existence in the medieval era). I erased it from my mind after sending snide email about it to another dance researcher friend.

I've lost track of which small change book is which

They go up in size: first farthing, which is one-fourth of a penny; then ha'penny, which is half a penny; and come to think of it I don't actually know what the third book's called so I'll leave that one as an exercise for the reader.

The third is Half a Crown. I hadn't caught the bit about them going up in size, not having had any particular idea what value a farthing was (or, for that matter, a crown, though I could deduce that a crown is worth more than a penny). Is farth/fourth relevant etymologically?

That's a bit of a jump: half a crown is 30 pence in the old money. Of course, there are other types of crown that the title might be referring to (he said, speculating wildly, since as previously indicated he hadn't read the book yet).

Yes, a farthing is called a farthing because of it being a fourth.

(back on the original topic)
I'm reading Starcross this week, and not liking it as much as Larklight, though it picks up as it goes along.

Paul, I finished Half a Crown Monday night, and if you consider the money indicative of increased danger to the main character, the increase is appropriate. I don't know that Jo picked the name for that, though.

And speaking of adventures, I think we should recount the causal one in AJ's description of these earrings.

Is AJ supposed to recount it or are we supposed to help her out based on what she wrote about them?

My thoughts on Starcross are up.

In case anyone is interested... Larklight is being made into a movie.

Huh, I missed the comment over here about my earring story! Glad you liked it, Marilee. But I think this one is even better :D

Last year, Chris and I were brainstorming about changing my business up, to where I would do less jewelry, but every piece would have a story with it, and the buyer would get a nice copy of the story with their purchase.

AJ... Very nice jewelry. I also notice that Neil is starting to have an insidious influence on people around here.

Thank you, Serge!

I think Neil has inspired me a bit to make my steampunk descriptions the most story-ful, but the habit of writing tales to go with my jewelry predates my introduction to the crazy Rixo crew :)

You see, I used to hang out on a "women in business" forum, and several people there said that when you're selling a luxury item (like jewelry) you don't need to just sell the item, you need to "sell the story."

For most people, this means painting an image of sunset walks on the beach, strolling down Rodeo Drive, sunbathing on the French Riviera, strutting down the red carpet, etc etc. But since I'm a fantasy lover selling fantasy jewelry, I started spinning stories of faerie lands, mysterious enchantresses, and of course, mad scientists and airship pilots.

I've considered changing my slogan to "Come for the jewelry, stay for the stories" but that might be a little too corny :)

Hooray I'm not to blame this time!

For most people, this means painting an image of sunset walks on the beach, strolling down Rodeo Drive, sunbathing on the French Riviera, strutting down the red carpet, etc etc. But since I'm a fantasy lover selling fantasy jewelry, I started spinning stories of faerie lands, mysterious enchantresses, and of course, mad scientists and airship pilots.

A steampunk and/or faerie French Riviera would be a most excellent setting.

Neil, I actually know nothing about the French Riviera except that it's supposed to be glamorous :) But just about anything would benefit from steampunk and/or faeries.

(It's true, I am a stereotypical American in that I really don't know as much as I should about countries other than my own)

Or you could move the setting to Monaco, AJ, if only for mechanical croupiers in casinos where Neil's Professor Lovebody could lose not just his pants, but his shirt too. You don't know Monaco either? What do you kids know?

Regarding the "Larklight" movie... Its director will apparently be Shekhar Kapur, who did the two Elizabeth movies with Cate Blanchett.

Hmmm... Monaco. It's well-known for casinos and car racing, right? So clearly, Professor Lovebody would be there to promote his new steam-powered jalopy :)

Traditionally, Monaco is considered part of the French Riviera (at least by ignorant English folk who forget that it's an independent principality once ruled by Grace Kelly) which extends to the Italian border, where it becomes the Italian Riviera.

I note that it became very popular as a destination after the railways reached Nice in the 1860s, so it would make an excellent Victorian Steampunk setting.

Neil... it would make an excellent Victorian Steampunk setting

...and for the loss of vestments through the malfunction of technology?

Just in case anyone wants a copy, Larklight is on sale for $4.98 from Daedulus Books while supplies last. I'm pretty sure it's the British hardcover edition.

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