The Big Question: What Is Steampunk?

While putting together The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences blog and hopping around from steampunk site to steampunk site, I noticed a similar page at current online resources that Pip and I needed for our own. I also thought this would be a nice kick-off for the blog tour that we will be undertaking between now and May to promote Phoenix Rising, a post that begins with the basics: What is Steampunk?

Depending on which website you visit, be it the Wikipedia entry (featuring our good friend and creative talent, Jared Axelrod in this photo by Kyle Cassidy, licensed under Creative Commons 3.0) or Steampunk.com, you will get a variety of answers and interpretations to this creative movement that has been growing in popularity, but also capturing mainstream curiosity.

So I put together for the Ministry a page that gave several descriptions of what we thought constitutes steampunk. So, when you hear me talk about it and you still remain curious as to what it is, I present an “elevator pitch” to start off with, eventually work up to the “deep dive” that not only touches on the foundations of the genre, but even touches on the debate making rounds online and at the cons. Continue reading

Sucker Punch: The Title Says It All

[WARNING: While this review does not contain spoilers, the Comments do. You have been warned. Now...read on...]

Director and Writer Zack Snyder can really make a beautiful movie. Snyder set his own style with films like 300 and Watchmen, but has also come under fire for making movies that lack depth or are very “comic book” in their almost balletic approach to graphic violence. When you consider his last two films were pulling from (wait for it!) graphic novels, it makes you want to bitch slap critics. Perhaps this is why critics (and perhaps, some moviegoers) have been overly critical of Snyder’s latest film, Sucker Punch.

On reading some of these reviews, though, I have to ask “Did you see the same film as I did?” I not only loved Sucker Punch, I am here to tell you that missing this on the big screen would be a crime. It is original. It is surprising. It is intelligent.

What is isn’t is what the critics are making it out to be: Geekboy Titillation.

Now there’s no denying it: Snyder covers all of the bases in this flick. Sucker Punch offers up zombies, steampunk, dragons,  WWII bombers, and katana swordfights. And yes, all of the gunfire and swordplay is happening with women who all just happen to be hot. Continue reading

I Remember Joe: 2011

Pranks. Rope-a-Dope Tweets. Misinformation. I’m not the biggest fan of April Fool’s Day. Never have been. I don’t like practical joke played upon me and playing them on others I’m not too crazy about. (One of many reasons a particular joke a few years back pulled on me jumped the shark. Seriously. They aren’t my thing.) Yes, I hate April Fool’s Day.

I hate April 1 even more as one of my best friends, Joe Murphy, passed away on this day in 2007.

joetribute

For those of you new to podcasting, you might have missed the wit of my friend, Joe Murphy. He was (and still is) an amazing guy, his voice now part of the history of such podcasts, as Wingin’ It, Slice of SciFi, The Kick Ass Mystic Ninjas, and the award-winning The Case of the Singing Sword: A Billibub Baddings Mystery. He was taken from us too soon, and on April 1 I remember him. Continue reading