Friday, October 23, 2009

The more I learn ...

New to my Bloglines account this morning was an article from PW Children's Bookshelf, It's the End of the World as We Know it. It caught my attention for two reasons, first discussing the possible demise of the current "vampire fiction" trend. Not long ago readers were bemoaning the end of the Harry Potter series and wondering what was next. Stephanie Meyer and Twilight was next for legions of young adult and adult fans (though I must in all fairness note I am not a fan). The second reason? Identifying steampunk and post-apocalyptic fiction as possibilities for the next big thing is interesting.

This is the second time in as many months I have heard the term steampunk fiction and the more I learn, the less I understand. In theory I know steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that features advanced technology in the victorian era. I have since learned there are sub-genres of steampunk that include the wild west -- think Wild, Wild West with Kevin Kline and Will Smith. The closest I could get for juvenile fiction was a reference to The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. I dug a bit for more:
There was a reference to Dr. Who (OK, I get that) and now I wonder if the current SyFy hit Sanctuary could be steampunk. As to books, we just got a shipment of children's books yesterday ordered by a peer who very much enjoys fantasy. I think I'll take a look at what's arrived.

Completely new to me was the term "post-apocalyptic fiction;" the PW article and my searching highlighted Scott Westerfeld and his new title Leviathan. A quick search of the library catalog revealed we have four titles by Westerfeld, though subject headings were a bit more generic using dystopias, adventure, and science fiction. This particular genre is easier to grasp:
I think I'm ready to get back to reading. Where's my JAK novel?

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