Tag Archives: clockpunk

A Clockwork’s Critique: The Works and World of Lori Alden Holuta, Part One

Dear Reader:

Herein, I shall attempt a series examining the (both existing and upcoming) works of author Lori Alden Holuta.  The series starts with the first published review (I think!) of her short story The Steamkettle Kids Saves The Day.  From there, I will work through the rest of her works in order of publication.  I hope to end the series with an interview with the author about her writings, her influences, and her hopes – not only for her writings but for the world she has created.

Sincerely,

E.P. Isaacs

********

The Steamkettle Kids Save The Day

Type: Short Story

Author: Lori Alden Holuta

Available At: The Brassbright Chronicle

Whatsis:

The story concerns the budding world of Industralia.  For the uninitiated, this is a land that first appears in print with this story, however, it will be expanded in the book “The Flight To Brassbright.”  The story concerns two children and their attempts to thwart a group of ne’er-do-wells bent on a scheme that will hurt the working people of their city gravely.

Thoughts:

To me, this tale evokes images, characters, and the general feel of other tales for preteens and teens that I’ve read growing up – such as “Soup” by Robert Peck, “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry, and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain.  Generally speaking, I liked it a great deal.

When Positives and Negatives Collide:

The setting, for the story’s size is well-detailed.  However, I went into the story not knowing that it wasn’t a full book.  I quickly identified with the heroine, a Miss Paisley Pockets.  For the size of the story, the author does a very good job of telling the reader about her – just enough about her – to move the story forward and make the reader want to connect with her.  She seems like “Little Orphan Annie Meets Huck Finn.”

The other characters are good, but Paisley steals the show.  I don’t feel as much of a connection with them.  That could just be me.  It could be that we are only dealing with a short story.  Who knows?  As the universe of Industralia expands, however, I think the residents we find in Miss Holuta’s freshman work will each find their own time to shine.

All in all, this was right up my alley.  I loved it.  It’s fun, and innocent, and good – in style and otherwise.  The only real negative is that I feel cheated.  I want more story, because when the story ended, I wasn’t expecting it.  I guess if I want more, I have to “buy the book.”  Shrewd marketing ploy, Miss Holuta!  For you and your publisher, and I think I just might bite.

At 99 cents, why not buy your own copy of “The Steamkettle Kids Save The Day”, and tell me what you think?

 

 

The ‘nited Clockwork Postal Service Seeks Workers

What happens when Nika gets control of a keyboard?  This …


Are you ready to do what it takes to give people faith in the mail?

Are you of a most steady and sure make and model?

Are you good with a side-arm (if you have them) or front arms (if you don’t have a side arm)?  Do you have arms?  If not, care’ying the mail may be hard.  You may want an other line of work.

If you are a fan of steampunk, role-play, and civil service, the UCPS now seeks workers to staff its post office branches in New Babbage and Mar’kesh.  Please send a note to the Post-Mistress of the UCPS showing you have an int’rest in playing a clockwork mail servant – or that you have questions about doing so.

You are welcome to discuss this further with Nika.  Working with her, you will create a clockwork mail-servant, complete with backstory, purpose – and your own clockwork key.  You will work with Nika to spearhead new and wondrous ways to serve the Steamlands of Second Life – and to improve roleplay for one and all.

To learn more about Nika and the UCPS, please visit http://werksfromtheironroad.com – or just drop her a note.  Thank you for your time – but it’s time to run.  After all, the mail never sleeps, and neither do we.


If you wish to visit the UCPS Headquarters, follow the link for it on the UCPS page.  If you have any questions about Second Life, the UCPS, or the life and times of a little clockwork mail-girl, please send a note to me or Nika using the ‘Comments’ form also on the UCPS page.

To learn more about Second Life, please visit: http://www.secondlife.com .

Most Sincere We Remain,

N. Thought-werk & E.P. Isaacs