Archive for August, 2009

Boneshaker in Publishers Weekly

August 31, 2009 - 5:08 pm No Comments

Great is my w00t! Starred is my PW review!

    Starred review – Boneshaker, Cherie Priest. Tor, $15.99 paper (416p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1841-1

    Maternal love faces formidable challenges in this stellar steampunk tale. In an alternate 1880s America, mad inventor Leviticus Blue is blamed for destroying Civil War–era Seattle. When Zeke Wilkes, Blue’s son, goes into the walled wreck of a city to clear his father’s name, Zeke’s mother, Briar Wilkes, follows him in an airship, determined to rescue her son from the toxic gas that turns people into zombies (called rotters and described in gut-churning detail). When Briar learns that Seattle still has a mad inventor, Dr. Minnericht, who eerily resembles her dead husband, a simple rescue quickly turns into a thrilling race to save Zeke from the man who may be his father. Intelligent, exceptionally well written and showcasing a phenomenal strong female protagonist who embodies the complexities inherent in motherhood, this yarn is a must-read for the discerning steampunk fan. (Oct.)

I am so happy and relieved and overjoyed that I scarcely know where to begin, except to say THANK YOU to the readers and editors over at PW, and then to add this: Don’t forget, Boneshaker will actually be available in September.

It was originally pushed as being an October title,* but due to some happy circumstances and twists of scheduling, it will now be out a bit earlier than that … in just a few short weeks!

Sample Sketches by Jon Foster

August 26, 2009 - 3:33 am No Comments

So you know what Boneshaker‘s final cover looks like … but would you like to see what it might’ve looked like? Courtesy of the incomparable Irene Gallo (Tor’s art director), I can show you some of artist Jon Foster‘s preliminary ideas for how the artwork might be handled.

(Click to view larger.)


As you can gather, Tor ended up going with his third proposal — the close-up of Briar’s face. But the other two looked great too. Frankly, when I found out that Jon was the artist they’d be using, I quit worrying about it. He’s awesome, and I was confident that he’d come up with something memorable. To understate egregiously, am I delighted with the final result.

(Full disclosure: Jon also did the cover of another book of mine, the paperback version of Dreadful Skin.)

Steampunk: What it is, why I came to like it, and why I think it’ll stick around

August 8, 2009 - 10:44 pm No Comments

I would like to take a moment to define “steampunk.” This will be an exercise in futility (not to mention sadomasochism) because there is no formal, all-encompassing, final word on the subject, and people are bound to disagree. But for the purposes of what is to follow, I must begin with a definition of this term which I’m going to be flinging around willy-nilly. So here goes.

Steampunk: An aesthetic movement based around the science fiction of a future that never happened. Recall, if you will, visions of the future that were written a hundred years ago or more. Think Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mary Shelley, and the like — telling stories featuring technology that didn’t exist at the time, but might someday. Remember that they were writing with no idea of the microchip, or the internet, or (in some cases) the internal combustion engine. Therefore, in their versions of the future, the technology upon which society would eventually come to depend is driven largely by steam power or clockwork. Sometimes electricity is likewise invoked, but it’s often treated as quasi-magical due to the contemporary lack of understanding about how it behaved and what it could do.

WooEEE. That’s a mouthful, I know. Let me broaden that just a smidge and add this as a postscript: Steampunk could be considered a retro-futuristic neo-Victorian sensibility that is being embraced by fiction, music, games, and fashion. It is ornate and vibrant, and intricate. It believes that functional items can and should be beautiful.

It is lots of fun. If it isn’t lots of fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Let the emails beginning, “Actually …” and “Technically …” and “But you’re forgetting …” begin! But please bear in mind, this is but one woman’s experience and opinion.

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