Steampunk Hands Around the World 2016 – My Favorite Things: Gail Carriger’s Novels

Welcome to my fourth and final contribution to Steampunk Hands Around the World 2016 – My Favorite Things! If you’re not familiar, Steampunk Hands is a month-long blogathon in February when steampunks from all over the world come together to talk about the genre. This year’s theme is My Favorite Things. CLICK HERE for the master list of all the blog posts!

For my fourth Favorite Thing, I’d like to talk about Gail Carriger’s novels. Gail Carriger currently has three steampunk series: The Finishing School Series, The Parasol Protectorate Series, and The Custard Protocol Series. All three series take place in the same universe, an alternate Victorian era (primarily in London, England) where humans, vampires, werewolves, and ghosts live together in (somewhat relative) harmony. She also has some short stories, which I believe also take place in the same universe.

So far, I’ve read all of the Parasol Protectorate books. I plowed through those novels! Every character is charming and funny in their own amazing way, and after reading A Song of Ice and Fire (the books that are currently published, anyway) by George R.R. Martin, it was a real relief to read this upbeat and witty series. The main plot of each book was a bit predictable in my opinion, but I didn’t mind at all. It felt more like the plot enabled the characters to interact in increasingly interesting ways, and that was the point. I also might be harping too much on a book with a more predictable plot since I had, as I mentioned above, just finished reading A Song of Ice and Fire.

The Finishing School Series (which takes place before The Parasol Protectorate) and The Custard Protocol Series (which takes place after The Parasol Protectorate) are both on my To-Read list now.

Steampunk Hands Around the World 2016 – My Favorite Things: Lindsey Stirling Music Videos

Welcome to my third contribution to Steampunk Hands Around the World 2016 – My Favorite Things! If you’re not familiar, Steampunk Hands is a month-long blogathon in February when steampunks from all over the world come together to talk about the genre. This year’s theme is My Favorite Things. CLICK HERE for the master list of all the blog posts!

For my third Favorite Thing, I’d like to talk about Lindsey Stirling, specifically her music videos. If you haven’t heard of her, you probably don’t spend a lot of time on YouTube. Lindsey Stirling became a sensation a few years ago, appearing on America’s Got Talent. She didn’t win, but her YouTube videos went viral. Why? Because she composes and plays original music on violin, as well as doing covers or medleys, and she dances (quite well!) while playing said violin. It’s very impressive, and if you ever get the chance to see her live, I highly recommend it!

Here are a couple of her videos that are particularly Steampunk-y. The first, “Shatter Me” is especially powerful, as it’s about Lindsey’s struggle with self-acceptance and self-love. The second, “Roundtable Rival”, is simply badass 😉

“Shatter Me”

“Roundtable Rival”

Steampunk Hands Around the World 2016 – My Favorite Things: Howl’s Moving Castle

Welcome to my second contribution to Steampunk Hands Around the World 2016 – My Favorite Things! If you’re not familiar, Steampunk Hands is a month-long blogathon in February when steampunks from all over the world come together to talk about the genre. This year’s theme is My Favorite Things. CLICK HERE for the master list of all the blog posts!

For my second Favorite Thing, I’d like to talk about Howl’s Moving Castle. The movie, by Hayao Miyazaki, was one of my first experiences with the steampunk genre (also my first exposure to Miyazaki films). I remember going to see it at The Spectrum, an independent movie theater in Albany, NY, and absolutely loving it. It didn’t take long before I read the book, by Diana Wynne Jones, that the movie was based on. I highly recommend both!

Both the movie and book follow Sophie, a hat maker with little self-confidence who is cursed by the Witch of the Waste to appear as an old woman. She finds herself swept up into a walking castle owned by the wizard Howl, whom she discovers is suffering from his own curse. The story has a lot of fun allusions to other literature and stories, including the Wizard of Oz, Beauty and the Beast, Baba Yaga, and Lord of the Rings.

Hm…I think I’ll go watch it now…

Steampunk Hands Around the World 2016 – My Favorite Things: Catherinette Rings

Hello and welcome to my first contribution to Steampunk Hands Around the World 2016 – My Favorite Things! If you’re not familiar, Steampunk Hands is a month-long blogathon in February when steampunks from all over the world come together to talk about the genre. This year’s theme is My Favorite Things. CLICK HERE for the master list of all the blog posts!

My first favorite thing this month is the Etsy shop, Catherinette Rings. I first bought a ring from them in 2010, and just replaced it a few months ago with this lovely beauty:

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I wear it every single day and always get so many compliments! The rings are obviously the highlight of the shop, but they do sell necklaces as well, along with some steampunk creature sculptures.