«L'idea mise radici e poi germogli. Nutrendosi dei rifiuti, mise foglie. Mise rami. Diventò più grande e ancora più grande».
Nel mezzo di una discarica...more«L'idea mise radici e poi germogli. Nutrendosi dei rifiuti, mise foglie. Mise rami. Diventò più grande e ancora più grande».
Nel mezzo di una discarica sterminata c’è una casetta, in cui vive un vecchio che ogni giorno cerca di ordinare, contenere, domare l’ammasso di rifiuti metallici. Ogni notte il vecchio sogna di vivere in una giungla tropicale; ma al risveglio si trova circondato dai rottami e da un clima uggioso fin troppo nordico. Finché non si imbatte in una lampadina scheggiata, che gli ricorda un fiore. Il vecchio ha un’idea. Ed inizia a costruire.
La foresta di latta è una fiaba bellissima, toccante e poetica, che ci parla dello smaltimento dei rifiuti e del bisogno di mantenere un contatto con la natura. Ma anche dell’importanza dei sogni, del bisogno di bellezza e di quanta caparbietà, solerzia e potenza inventiva (creatrice, e pertanto poietica) sia necessaria per non soccombere alla bruttura di un mondo industriale. Senza negarlo, senza fuggire: La foresta di latta afferma che anche dopo le rivoluzioni industriali è possibile riconciliarsi con la natura. Ma è necessaria la volontà di farlo. E un sacco di duro lavoro. E, soprattutto, il sogno di un mondo più bello.
Forse non è steampunk, per quanto i temi del DIY e della bellezza che letteralmente “mette foglie e radici sui rifiuti” mi sembrino genuini; di certo è una storia tanto profonda da essere commovente, ed illustrata magnificamente dalle tavole di Wayne Anderson, che davvero lasciano senza parole. Questo il suo sito: http://www.wayneandersonart.com
Mi sono imbattuto in questo libro alla BRaT (Biblioteca Ragazzi Treviso) per puro caso, mentre vagavo tra gli scaffali alla ricerca di tutt’altro. Un perfetto, splendido esempio di serendipità, a cui una biblioteca fornita dovrebbe abituare i lettori. (less)
A tale in which everything, even the tightly constructed plot, is built on the rules of clockmaking.
The ethical principles of this children story are...moreA tale in which everything, even the tightly constructed plot, is built on the rules of clockmaking.
The ethical principles of this children story are surprisingly in line with the steampunk agenda: a good automaton, not to talk about a truly stunning breathtaking lifelike piece of art, is only realized through workmanship and sweat. And once the gears are turning there's no stopping them, so you better be careful what you set in motion.
DIY for preteens: putting the -punk in clockpunk.(less)
It feels a bit too crammed, but I think the problem with this work lies in its length, not in the content. Besides...moreEllis has a go at classic steampunk.
It feels a bit too crammed, but I think the problem with this work lies in its length, not in the content. Besides, if Ellis leaves something unresolved, I should presume it was done on purpose. The morale being, this is good steampunk & great fun. Excellent drawings (although my partiality lies elsewhere, I must admit) by Gianluca Pagliarani, whom I should call a compatriot if I believed in countries, fatherlands &c.(less)
When the price dropped below €1o I just couldn't resist.
One of the classics of the genre along with Jeter, Rucker and...moreA newt on the throne of England
When the price dropped below €1o I just couldn't resist.
One of the classics of the genre along with Jeter, Rucker and The Difference Engine. Everything's there: Victorian London in the highest and lowest social classes (up to young Vicky herself), young inventors of genius and wealth, American renegades, incongrous technology, cameos from famous figures galore, cheeky quotes from 20th century pop(ular) culture... and, needless to say, Lovecraftian monsters.
Very postmodern; although at times (cf. "Hottentots") the author gets carried away in his pastiche-raptures. Emerson and Thoreau are no more than caricatures, and even if (especially if) that was just Di Filippo's goal, it doesn't work.
Di Filippo is a very good writer; all of his characters are simply unforgettable. In fact some of the minor figures in "Walt and Emily" are a bit sketchy, but I would have loved to meet Lavinia Dickinson nearly as much as her older sibling.
I got this book for free (US-to-Italy shipping included) as the lucky winner of one of the givaways during the now legendary Steampunk Month at Tor.co...moreI got this book for free (US-to-Italy shipping included) as the lucky winner of one of the givaways during the now legendary Steampunk Month at Tor.com. And a signed copy, too--even though her signature is a nondescript scribble. The packaging is ludicrous: hardcover, dust jacket, illustrations, fanciful typeset(s)... I'm grateful & very happy; but I won't be bribed. If you're reading this at all, you want an honest review.
The story is a textbook example of classic steampunk: Victorian London with present-day technology. Steampunk, brilliant! But I'm a bit disappointed. My problem with the novel being, I suppose, that it is too much genre fiction. Everything is where it ought to be, but the whole feels like homework. Maybe the word I'm looking for is unpretentious. Namely, the best intuitions come from the setting & the background: both the references to the British way of life in the Empire (the way it is woven into the story) and the narrative twist which makes incougrously-advanced technology available are quite interesting. And the references to London life, especially to social stratifications, are among the novel's best assets. Although vintage dialogues are slightly excessive: cf. the various "I am she", "ought it?" & countless "somewhat". The characters, on the contrary, are stock figures; like in bad TV series, where every character is always given the same lines.
 The author died recently (31 january 2010). Meanwhile, Nell Gwynne's is sold out. No, I'm not selling my copy. And by the way, the old matrons of Nell Gwynne's was a lovely character, surely the most interesting in the novel. I'm convinced that Kage identified with her, to some extent. (less)
Possibly not my favourite story arc so far (I guess I'll always have a special fancy for the first volume); a...moreThings take a dark turn in Whitechapel...
Possibly not my favourite story arc so far (I guess I'll always have a special fancy for the first volume); although it may just be that this is the first one I read as it was posted online week by week, rather than in huge breathless chunks.
In notice 3 Ellis had written "we’re actually still inside the first 24 hours of the story. It could take me three years just to reach the end of the first week. I might die of old age before I reach the end of the first month." Cheeky Warren... 3 episodes later, volume three begins with a "One week later" heading.
The FreakAngels that surfaced in volume two are given special prominence, particularly Kaitlyn. And in the very last page... (less)
I've read the whole volume online, after discovering the site through a pdf version of The Steampunk Guide to the Apocalypse. I guess I hardly need to...moreI've read the whole volume online, after discovering the site through a pdf version of The Steampunk Guide to the Apocalypse. I guess I hardly need to add that I was simply blown away. I just couldn't get enough of it... The setting is fantastic, Ellis is great as usual and Duffield's work is terrific (where's he been hiding this long?). I guess I'll end up buying the paper edition! At present I'm taking a break before beginning volume 2: I know too well that once I start it I won't be able to stop.
I love the britishness of the story; Ellis was right in blaming it on the English, in the first interlude! The haunting images of a post-Apocalypse London reminded me of 28 Days After - which in fact ISN'T British, come to think of it...(less)
I was lured into it by the 'automaton' theme & its steampunk ante litteram appeal. Not sure it was worth the trouble, though. Pos...moreE.A. Poe on A.I.
I was lured into it by the 'automaton' theme & its steampunk ante litteram appeal. Not sure it was worth the trouble, though. Possibly obscure references & complicated explanations (utterly devoid of illustrations, moreover, at least in ebook ed.) are part of a wider picture: an ongoing literary joke between Poe & other writers, with yet more obscure references that are completely lost to me. That is, maybe this piece isn't meant to be read on its own. Because, as it is, it's a bit of a bore. Maybe I shouldn't expect every story by Poe to be a masterwork is all.
Come to think of it, though, the story is very interesting from the point of view of modern-day (and possibily future) AI, especially chess-playing computers & their ability (or lack thereof) to beat a human counterpart. I must return upon this point some day.(less)