Steampunk Poe, Frankenstein, and H. G. Wells
When I was first asked to review these three books from Running Press, I was under the impression that they were Steampunk retellings of classic tales by Poe, Shelley, and Wells, similar to the Steampunk Shakespeare released last year (The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter), for which my Steampunk take on Sonnet 18 didn’t make the cut. However, I was wrong. These are not Steampunk retellings. The stories contained with these gorgeous tomes are the words of the original masters. For that, I am ever so grateful and pleased.
All three books are illustrated by Zdenko Basic, and Manuel Sumberac co-illustrated POE and FRANKENSTEIN. The illustrations are beyond breathtaking, digital creations of mixed media. I highly recommend each of these for the Steampunk aficionado or literary collector. All of these books would make a great addition to any library or coffee table. Certainly conversation starters if nothing else.
I adore Poe. No secret there. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is my favorite short story. EVER. (Except for maybe Vonnegut’s “Harrison Bergeron.” It’s a toss-up.) The book also contains “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” and the less-known “The Ballon-Hoax,” “The Spectacles,” and “The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether.” Although it doesn’t contain my favorite Poe poem, “Annabel Lee,” it does have the famous “The Raven,” as well as “To Helen,” “The City in the Sea,” “A Dream Within a Dream,” “The Conqueror Worm,” and the delightful “The Bells.”
It starts with an Introduction of Poe’s life and works, briefly covering the author’s tragic life full of pain, mystery, and death. As you turn each page to read this morbid master’s work once again, your eyes will be filled with industrial illustrations of a deliciously dark Steampunk world.
Get your copy from Amazon. You won’t be disappointed.
Along with Jules Verne, H. G. Wells is considered the grandfather of Steampunk. Again, photographs digitally combined, then enhanced with original art, illustrate this beautiful book. The tome contains two novels, The Time Machine and War of the Worlds, and one short story, “The Country of the Blind.”
The illustrations of the alien invasion are especially impressive. Huge alien walkers over London, airships and trains near Big Ben, and images of destruction from afar truly bring the story to life.
Similarly, the depictions of scenes from the other two tales give the reader a new spin on these classic tales.
From the glorious cover through the entire hardback tome, the story that defined the Mad Scientist trope is beautifully illustrated, although my own dark passenger was quite disappointed to see that there wasn’t a grotesque depiction of sewing the monster together. The monster itself was a little disappointing, just looking like a giant man with goggles rather than pieces of several corpses sewn together and brought back to life. Even so, the images, just as in the other two books, are tiny mixed media masterpieces.
One image of Doctor Frankenstein looks so much like Doctor Horrible, I had to do a double take. If I didn’t know better, I would say Neil Patrick Harris posed for the picture. 🙂
These would make great gift for the Steampunk you love. I give them five cogs.
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~ by omgrey on February 26, 2013.
Posted in News & Reviews, Steampunk Spotlight
Tags: author, avalon, avalon revisited, bdsm, book, edgar allen poe, frankenstein, h. g. wells, hg wells, manuel sumberac, mary shelley, o.m. grey, olivia grey, poe, rp classics, rp teens, running press, short story, steampunk, the country of the blind, the raven, the time machine, the war of the worlds, victorian, zdenko basic