Saturday 11 December 2010

Scott Westerfeld on what Steampunk is and why it would be cool to have illustrated novels

Illustration from Leviathan
by Keith Thompson - view
more art from the books
or buy artwork
By Candy Gourlay

I'm kinda late to this Ustream discussion with YA/sci fi author Scott Westerfield answering questions live but I found the discussion so fascinating I thought I should share it on the blog.

I've been following Scott Westerfeld since I read his Uglies  trilogy (which has four books) and the Midnighters (my all time favourite Scott Westerfeld trilogy). Recently he came up with Leviathan, a new trilogy in the burgeoning Steampunk genre. Here's a video of Scott explaining why he thought it would be cool to get Leviathan illustrated ... and what Steampunk is all about.

If you're reading this blog post on Facebook and can't see the video. View it here

It's an hour long - but the first bit is all about why he wanted Leviathan to be illustrated - with a fascinating mini history of how illustrated novels used to be the default. Personally, I would have wanted even MORE illustrations in Leviathan ... but then I'm greedy like that. Anyway - the video is worth watching if you're writing fantasy and need something inspirational about world-building.

Take away quote from Scott Westerfeld:
People are always saying they want something new. What they really mean is they want something that looks familiar but with a twist that they hadn't thought of before.
Sorry the quote might not be precise because I couldn't get the video to replay it!

Speaking of Steampunk and illustration: I would love, love, LOVE it if Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve were re-issued as illustrated books (not graphic novels - proper illustrations please!) ... and as a hardback set (I borrow Mortal Engines from the library ... but I'd like to own it in hardback). Are you listening, Mortal Engines publishers?


  1. _Thank you_ for this! Cannot wait to share with my book club kids!!


  2. P.S. I just have to add...I WANT an IPAD, lol.

  3. ipadilicious! but what i need is an ebook reader that does what the ipad does. maybe i just need an ipod touch. or a smaller ipad.

    re illustrated novels i hope they publish Tall Story someday - love how the japanese illustrate their novels.

  4. Fantastic post to share Candy! Thanks. Scott is great and so frank and down to earth!


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