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Author Topic: Suggested VSF reading?  (Read 10319 times)

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Suggested VSF reading?
« on: November 18, 2008, 01:24:35 PM »
I've never gamed VSF and at my age there's no chance I'll be starting but I find it fascinating. This board is always the first I go to on LAF.

What I'd like would be some suggestions for VSF fiction. I read The Difference Engine some years back and enjoyed it. Apart from that, I guess Flashman may qualify - not much SF in Flashy but certainly Victorian. I've read all Flashman's exploits (indeed, I'm old enough to have been reading them since they first appeared...!). So, leaving aside Flashy and The Difference Engine, what would you all suggest?

Incidentally, I notice on Wikipedia that The Difference Engine is described as Steam Punk. As a subsidiary question, could someone tell me what the difference is between VSF and Steam Punk?

Thanks

Doug

Offline Dewbakuk

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2008, 01:35:49 PM »
In it's simplest form (and not entirely accurately)

VSF: Set within the Victorian period, or based on writings from the period.  (For example: HG Wells - War of the Worlds)

Steampunk: A distopian setting which uses steam to power it's technology/magic. (The Webcomic - Freakangels, possibly the game Warmachine)

Things can be both VSF and Steampunk, but rarely are. (The Manga film Steamboy or the comic series Steampunk) Distopian and Victorian rarely go together.



As for books to read, I'm a fan of the Peshawar Lancers as a good setting book. It's set in the 21st century but after a disaster which means the Victorian period never ends.

Another good source is HG Wells, particularly his short stories.

Then of course there is Burroughs, his Mars and Venus books are the basis for much of what we do.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 01:40:36 PM by Dewbakuk »
So many projects..... so little time.......

Offline argsilverson

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2008, 01:37:50 PM »
Another interesting (and less expensive) should be:

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=7990.0
argsilverson

Offline Dewbakuk

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 01:42:29 PM »
Good point, I should also point out that most of the Burroughs and Wells collections can be downloaded for free from ebook sites.


A short story I really like is "The Lord of the Dynamo's"
http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/2158/
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 01:48:39 PM by Dewbakuk »

Offline Malamute

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2008, 01:49:17 PM »
I would recommend the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, volumes 1 & 2. They are however graphic novels, but full of VSF goodness! (Not the dreadful film, it bears no resemblance to the novels)

Com on Doug, you start VSf gaming at any age... ;)
"These creatures do not die like the bee after the first sting, but go on age after age, feeding on the blood of the living"  - Abraham Van Helsing

Offline argsilverson

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2008, 02:12:31 PM »

Com on Doug, you start VSf gaming at any age... ;)

funds permitting !!!!

Offline Doug ex-em4

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 03:14:41 PM »

Com on Doug, you start VSf gaming at any age... ;)

I'm almost submerged in the accumulated stuff of 38 years of wargaming and I'm now thinking that it'll be up to some other poor sod to heave it all down to the tip at some point - it doesn't seem fair to add more to it :D.

Also the standard of painting exhibited here is way above my 1970's level efforts - it's so good it's off-putting.

Getting back to the steam-punk thing, I notice a lot of steam-powered vehicles in VSF battles (such as the wonderful contrivances in the recently reported unpleasantness at Kew) so it's the dystopian aspect of steam-punk which doesn't cross over to VSF, not the steam-power. Correct?

Doug

Doug

Offline Dewbakuk

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2008, 03:28:08 PM »
Correct. Advanced steam engines, Cavorite, Lift-wood, Aliens etc all fit in with the SF part of VSF (even if some of it is a bit far-stretched :) )

For Steampunk - the Punk part has to be evident, and it can be in any time/genre, it just has to use steam as it's focus.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 03:30:22 PM by Dewbakuk »

Offline keeper

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2008, 04:06:36 PM »
Also the standard of painting exhibited here is way above my 1970's level efforts - it's so good it's off-putting.

Doug

Don't let that put you off.  I've got a friend who only ever paints with single flat colours layers: no shading; no highlighting.  Individually they look fairly plain, but a squad on a table still looks very nice indeed!! :)

Offline Admiral Benbow

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2008, 04:25:13 PM »
If you would like to read really nice VSF/Steampunk stuff with both whimsy and humorous elements included, I would suggest to start with James Blaylock's "Narbondo" trilogy "The Digging Leviathan", "Homunculus" and "Lord Kelvin's Machine". If that suit's you, then over to Tim Powers "The Anubis Gates" followed up by K.W. Jeter's "Infernal Devices".  8)

These are my all-time favourites, and you could look up for more info here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_P._Blaylock

Hope that helps.  :)

Offline answer_is_42

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2008, 04:48:19 PM »
Buy this:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tale-Great-1871-1914-Still-Come/dp/0815603584/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1224507710&sr=8-2

'What if' invasion stories, written in, and just after, the Victorian era.
I told you so. You damned fools.
 - H.G. Wells

Offline dampfpanzerwagon

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2008, 06:31:22 PM »
I would also recommend STEAMPUNK the comic book series by Cliffhanger, there are some gread illustrations in this series.

Then there is the 200AD comic book Nemisis, which allthough SF has a VSF tendancy.

There is also a Michael Moorcock book called The Warlord of the Air which I also enjoyed reading.

One more comic book - Luther Arkwight by Bryan Talbot.

Tony
http://dampfpanzerwagon.blogspot.com/

Offline dampfpanzerwagon

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2008, 06:33:37 PM »
Sorry about the spelling mistakes - I didn't read it before posting.

Tony
http://dampfpanzerwagon.blogspot.com/

Offline Svennn

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2008, 06:34:54 PM »

There is also a Michael Moorcock book called The Warlord of the Air which I also enjoyed reading.

I was going to suggest the Oswald Bastable books by Moorcock myself. The Land Leviathan???  Think there are at least three.
"A jewelled sceptre plucked by order to serve their cause"

Offline dampfpanzerwagon

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Re: Suggested VSF reading?
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2008, 06:50:36 PM »
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Tony
http://dampfpanzerwagon.blogspot.com/

 

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