Meet the Characters: Alexi Sokoll

(Image source: photobucket)

For this series, I’m going to delve into the characters of Grigory’s Gadget in the style of those fun/silly surveys that pop-up on social media from time-to-time. I’ll also include name pronunciation, because I know a lot of people have been asking about that! (That being said, you can pronounce the names of my characters however you like, I’ll just be listing the “official” pronunciation) This post will be about Alexi Sokoll.

WARNING: Mild spoilers for Grigory’s Gadget contained in this post!

Name: Alexi Sokoll (Ah-LEX-ee soh-KOHL)

Name Meaning: Alexi – Russian form of the Greek name Alexis, which meant “helper” or “defender”; Sokoll – Slavic word for “falcon”

Age: early 20s

Physical Appearance: Light skin, blonde hair, blue eyes, lean

Hometown: Unknown

Family: Father is the pirate Captain Edmund Sokoll of the Ocean’s Legend; Mother died some time ago, either directly or indirectly as a result of Edmund’s abuse

Relationship Status: in a complicated relationship with Anya Filipova

Education: no formal education

Religion: None

Greatest Strengths: Quick thinker, well-versed in how to run a ship

Greatest Weaknesses: Has a quick temper, struggles immensely with personal relationships due to the abuse from his father

Favorite Color: Blue

Hobbies: never had time for hobbies due to his responsibilities aboard the Ocean’s Legend

Biggest Goal in Life: Run his own ship and escape from under the thumb of his father

General Update 11/11/2016

A lot has happened in the past week.

Now, I’m not going to go into specific politics here. I’m sure if you spend any time at all on the internet, you’ve seen more than you can stomach, regardless of your political beliefs. I know I have.

I couldn’t muster the focus this week to pick a cohesive topic to blog about. So, this will just be a general update.

As many of you know, I’m participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), the annual challenge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Right now, I’m on track, and by the end of today should have at least 18,333 words written. Those words are split between two projects. The primary project is Serafima’s Stone – Book 2 of the Gaslight Frontier Series, the sequel to Grigory’s Gadget. The secondary project is my Chapter 1 submission for the Collaborative Writing Challenge Steampunk Project.

NaNoWriMo has been going very well so far this year. I’ve connected with some great local writers by attending “write-ins” at a local Escape Room (seriously, one of the coolest places I could imagine writing in!).

I want to leave you all with something positive and optimistic this week, so I’ve compiled a list of books (and some movies or shows) that emphasize the goodness of humanity and that look to a bright future (or that are simply fluffy and funny).

Books

  • The Harry Potter series
  • The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
  • I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
  • Wings of Renewal: A Solarpunk Dragon Anthology by Claudie Arseneault and Brenda J. Pierson
  • The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

Movies/Shows

  • Basically any Hayao Miyazaki/Studio Ghibli movie
  • The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)
  • Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • Life in a Day (2011)
  • The Mindy Project
  • How I Met Your Mother (series finale not encouraged 😉 )
  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  • Parks and Recreation

Westworld – Is It Steampunk?

A couple weeks ago, I posted on the topic of What Is Steampunk?! Now I’d like to present a little case-study-of-sorts by analyzing a new, popular TV show – Westworld – to determine if it’s steampunk or not.

Westworld is a new show on HBO based on a 1973 film by the same name. The program takes place in fictional “Westworld”, a technologically advanced, Western-themed amusement park populated completely by synthetic androids called “hosts”. Westworld caters to high-paying visitors referred to as “newcomers” or “guests”, who can do whatever they wish within the park, without fear of retaliation from the hosts.

In Defense of Calling Westworld Steampunk

Westworld combines a Victorian aesthetic (in this case, the Old American West) with advanced technology (androids, as well as other modern technology). It also takes a hard look at human nature and society, which is a common theme in steampunk. It includes steampunk and Victorian tropes, including anachronistic clothing and trains. Is this enough to call Westworld steampunk?

In Defense of Not Calling Westworld Steampunk

All of the 19th-century elements of the show are a fiction within the park. As such, there are really two worlds: the “real” world, and the amusement park world. The amusement park world is not a steampunk world; it tends to feel more like historical fiction. In particular, the technology within the park is consistent with actual 19th-century technology, rather than re-imagined advanced steampunk technology.

Westworld actually better fits into the mold of cyberpunk, the genre from which steampunk later emerged. As defined by Wikipedia, cyberpunk is “a subgenre of science fiction in a future setting that tends to focus on society as ‘high tech low life’ featuring advanced technological and scientific achievements, such as information technology and cybernetics, juxtaposed with a degree of breakdown or radical change in the social order”. Westworld gives us this advanced technological future, which is juxtaposed with the struggles of the increasingly intelligent androids who become pitted against humans.

In other news, I’m currently participating in NaNoWriMo! Feel free to find me as dragongirl1225!