Sunday, October 18, 2009

Riding Leviathan


I am very thankful for the release of Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan. Not just because it will be a dynamite read (I have just cracked open my copy and it is a gorgeous book--an object) but more so because of how its arrival onto the YA “steampunk*” scene will affect me. And, it’s all about me, as I like to say. : )

My sense is that “steampunk” has been gaining steam (ha--get it? forgive me, oh please forgive me) in the YAlit world. Yes, it’s been around since the ’80’s but these things sometimes rise very slowly. It seems to be referenced more and more in the public realm and in the mass consciousness cloud that surrounds us all. So, obviously, since there is this curiosity about the genre, it’s the perfect time to release a “steampunk” book.

The Hunchback Assignments
is one.
So is Cherie Priest's Boneshaker (which I have not yet read, but will-I absolutely love the cover) and there are many others both recently released and from the past (Oppel’s Airborn and Reeves’ Hungry City Chronicles come to mind).
My sense is the genre needs a focal point. A beacon. And that’s where Westerfeld’s Leviathan comes in. He’s already extremely well-known and it pushes the genre further into the public realm to have his book out. And, like a passing zeppelin, it drags all the rest of us “steampunkers” in its wake. Hunchback has been listed on several “steampunk” lists along with Leviathan, appeared in stores on the “steampunk” display, and been mentioned in blogs, tweets, and songs (okay, not songs). So I’m thankful that Leviathan was released at the same time as my book so that my little Hunchback hero can cling to the landing ropes and wave hello!

So Modo is riding Leviathan! And hanging on for dear life.

I like that image. I think I’ll put an airship in the 3rd book. : )

Humbly yours,
Art

*Steampunk could be described as science fiction that is set in or inspired by Victorian times, especially the scientific advances of that age.

2 comments:

Lia Keyes said...

I love this post! And you're so wise to see the serendipity of being allied to LEVIATHAN in the consciousness of readers, but believe it or not, you're also helping Scott Westerfeld, because The Hunchback Assignments is such a wonderful read! Symbiosis - it's a beautiful thing.

Arthur Slade said...

Symbiosis rules! Says the little bird picking the meat out of the crocodile's teeth! : )