Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Back in April Jeff VanderMeer, on his blog Ecstatic Days, had a giveaway of a couple of advanced reading copies of Steampunk, a book edited by Jeff and his wife Ann. I was one of the fortunate winners, and the book arrived late last week, complete with personalised zeppelin. I had to convince Jeff that I could photograph the book in a steampunk setting.

Below are some photos of the book in a kind of steampunk setting, taken around Melbourne, which in fact has some wonderful Neo Gothic and Victorian architecture as well as plenty of strange modern sculpture.

First off, Gog and Magog and Gaunt’s mechanical clock, located in the
Royal Arcade in central Melbourne, are giant automata created in 1892 by a gentleman named Mortimer Godfrey after a similar pair once located in the Guild Hall, London. The mechanism of giants and clock is still operational and continues to strike the hour and half hour. I was unable to take a photo of the book at this location, it being raised, but I thought it worth noting. It struck me that Mortimer Godfrey would be a great name for the captain of an airship.

This peculiar sculpture is inside a building in Spring Street. God knows what it is supposed to represent, but it has an interesting shape, rather like something out of the Myst games or – dare I speculate - a steampunk universe.

The cable sculpture in the Telstra building is another odd construction with some claims to being steampunkish.

I have yet to read the book, but I am looking forward to it immensely as I have fondness for the genre.

The book has been receiving enthusiastic reviews one of which is
here on OFBlog.

Even though the first edition has been sold out you can probably get yourself a copy on Amazon.