Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Steampunk Is In The Air

I want to give you a heads up about a really cool looking film that was released in France earlier this year, Luc Besson’s Les Aventures Extraordinaires D'Adèle Blanc-Sec.

First, a bit about the story:

The year is 1912. Adèle Blanc-Sec, an intrepid young reporter, will go to any lengths to achieve her aims, including sailing to Egypt to tackle mummies of all shapes and sizes.

Meanwhile, in Paris, it's panic stations! A 136 million-year old pterodactyl egg on a shelf in the natural history museum has mysteriously hatched, and the bird subjects the city to a reign of terror from the skies. But nothing fazes Adèle Blanc-Sec, whose adventures reveal many more extraordinary surprises...

Set in the carefree world before World War I, Adèle Blanc-Sec's adventures see the brave young woman fearlessly battling crooks, corrupt politicians, demon worshipers and mad scientists. Legendary cartoonist Jacques Tardi's original stories perfectly recreate the intrigue, romance and excitement of one of the most tumultuous periods in history.

Adapted and directed by Luc Besson (Arthur and the Minimoys, The Fifth Element, The Professional), Adèle's exhilarating, funny and fabulous adventures will be one of the most eagerly anticipated releases of 2010.

While not strictly steampunk, the aesthetic of this “serial-inspired action-adventure” story is everything I’d want in a steampunk romance film (and if you’re a fan of Indiana Jones, you’ll love Adèle Blanc-Sec). You’ll know what I mean after you watch the trailer [Warning: Some content is not suitable for those under 18]:

Isn’t it just divine? If the film is successful (and with Luc Besson at the helm, there’s a pretty good chance of that), it may very well pave the way for lavish steampunk/steampunk romance celluloid fare.

And here’s some good steampunk romance news: the cover for Sheryl NantusWILD CARDS AND IRON HORSES has appeared at Samhain Publishing! Isn’t it great how cover artist Kanaxa made a clear effort to balance the heat and tech? This western steampunk romance will come out in August 2010.

Here’s the blurb:

Their love rides on a spring and a prayer…

During the recent Civil War, a soldier risked his life to save Jonathan Handleston—and lost. With the help of an advanced metal brace on his crippled hand, Jon now travels from one poker tournament to the next, determined to earn enough money to repay the man’s debt.

Prosperity Ridge is supposed to be the last stop on his quest, but his brace is broken and he needs an engineer to repair the delicate mechanisms. The only one available is Samantha Weatherly, a beautiful anomaly in a world ruled by men.

Sam is no fool. Jon is no different from any other gambler—except for his amazing prosthetic. Despite a demanding project to win a critical contract to develop an iron horse, she succumbs to the lure of working on the delicate mechanisms. And working with the handsome Englishman.

Like a spring being coiled, Samantha and Jon are inexorably drawn together. Sam begins to realize honor wears many faces, and she becomes the light at the end of Jon’s journey to redemption. The only monkey wrench is Victor, a rival gambler who will stop at nothing to make sure Jon misses the tournament. Even destroy Jon’s and Sam’s lives.

Now, you can also read an excerpt from WILD CARDS AND IRON HORSES.

But that's not all. A little birdie told me about a soon-to-be-announced sale for a steampunk mystery novella with a splash of romance!

So it seems like we'll have a few more book choices down the road, but what about steampunk movies? Would you go see one? What setting would excite you the most (e.g., Victorian England, the Old West, an exotic locale). Do you think Hollywood will take another risk, given the fiascos of WILD WILD WEST and LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN?

Joyfully yours,