Monday, March 16, 2009


I’ve been a huge fan of Phillip Reeve’s work since I stumbled upon his work at a children’s book store that I worked at. He is one of the most compelling science fiction story tellers today and terribly underrated by SF readers. His work is inventive, emotional, funny and odd. Larklight is the first part of a trilogy that takes place in an alternate Victorian universe. It is a fast paced, steam powered outer space adventure. And the book is wonderfully illustrated throughoutby David Wyatt  which truly adds to the narrative.

Mr. Reeve began this story because it occurred to him while visiting a science museum and looking at Georgian scientific paraphernalia that he wanted “to do a sci-fi story full of brass and mahogany"and in the book there is a real sense of fun and inventiveness.  And as with the best steampunk there is a satirical note as well. You would not mistake this story for an unbiased love of Imperialistic Victoriana.

The basic concept is that mankind has been exploring the universe a full century before the Victorian age, when this story takes place. The plot surrounds two teenagers crossing a peril filled universe in search of their parents. 

 Reeve is brilliant at portraying super advanced Victorian technologies like interstellar travel and rayguns. This book is more in the Star Wars camp of fantasy rather then troubling itself with hard science.

This book is perhaps one of the best examples of synthesizing Wells and Verne into something totally unexpected. A very fun read.


tlc illustration said...

I almost despair at the number of *good* illustrators out there - it seems impossible to ever become aware of even a significant percentage of them, much less them all! Too many artists. Too many books. Too much goodness!

Eric Orchard said...

I know! It's putting me in the red!

Anonymous said...

Well you're certainly causing my list to checkout grow! I'm beginning to wish one could get paid to research all the finds I'm coming across!

Eric Orchard said...

Thanks Vickie!