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Asking for a friend: the not-amused edition - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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Asking for a friend: the not-amused edition [Jan. 29th, 2014|09:24 am]
Marissa Lingen
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I have a friend who has developed an academic interest in what she terms neo-Victorian kids’ lit (/MG) and YA. I have asked, and she does not draw a firm line between that and steampunk. Recommendations, anti-recommendations, interesting works to discuss: go.


I’ll start: Chris Moriarty’s The Inquisitor’s Apprentice fills my heart with joy, and I only wish she would write another, or I only wish they would publish another, or something. (That is, however, Victorian era but US setting. Not sure if it matters. Friend can show up and say so if it does.)




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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2014-01-29 02:28 pm (UTC)
The Friday Society, by Adrienne Kress. The historical verisimilitude is even worse than most of them (and I haven't found any that are very good on that front) but young readers won't notice that. The three girls at the center are a lot of fun, and I know several young readers who loved it.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-29 02:35 pm (UTC)
Oh dear, that's a shame: this is academic in the sense of "scholar of such works" rather than "teacher of the very young," so she may well feel that it is of interest and should be read for her project, and will find the historical verisimilitude even more grating than most people would.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-29 02:35 pm (UTC)
(Still good of you to recommend it, though!)
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[User Picture]From: therck
2014-01-29 02:49 pm (UTC)
Our library has a sequel to The Inquisitor's Apprentice. It's called The Watcher in the Shadows. I haven't yet read it.

The books that come to mind for me right away are Philip Reeve's Larklight and its sequels, Mothstorm and Starcross. They're Victorians in space stories, but they might suit.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-29 03:23 pm (UTC)
How odd that Carlos Ruiz Zafon and Chris Moriarty should write with the same title!
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-29 03:23 pm (UTC)
(And also thanks!)
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[User Picture]From: shewhomust
2014-01-29 03:46 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what that description covers: would Joan Aiken's 'Felix' books fit the bill?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-29 03:49 pm (UTC)
Quite possibly. She will be able to tell immediately whether they are new enough.
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[User Picture]From: anef
2014-01-29 06:27 pm (UTC)
Again, not sure if it's the sort of thing she wants, but Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan trilogy is pretty good.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-29 09:17 pm (UTC)
Libba Bray's first trilogy has Victorian setting.

Still thinking about this a bit at a time.
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[User Picture]From: txanne
2014-01-29 10:16 pm (UTC)
Probably way off topic, but DWJ's Charmed Life has always felt neo-Edwardian to me--when I first read it, it went onto the mental shelf next to Alice and the Psammead.
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[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2014-01-30 02:05 am (UTC)
A lot of steampunk is neo-Edwardian rather than neo-Victorian anyway.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2014-01-30 02:47 am (UTC)
I believe that my friend's interest is in the neo-Victorian parts specifically, since she is a Victorianist by trade, though not, of course, completely uninterested in things Edwardian.
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[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2014-01-30 03:13 am (UTC)
Good to know!
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[User Picture]From: akirlu
2014-01-30 12:07 am (UTC)
Well, they're hardly new, but Joan Aiken's The Wolves of Willoughby Chase and Black Hearts in Battersea et alia come to mind. Westerfeld's Leviathan series is not bad, by any means. I would think most of Philip Pullman's books qualify -- the Sally Lockhart books more so even than His Dark Materials as they are more purely Victorian in setting. I would personally stay away from Cassandra Clare's Infernal Devices books because I didn't think the writing was very good, but not as mindbendingly awful as Stephen Hunt and his Jackelian books. Stay far, far away from The Court of the Air if you value your sanity. *Ptui!*
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[User Picture]From: sprrwhwk
2014-01-30 02:02 am (UTC)
Patricia Wrede's Mairelon the Magician, et seq. I quite enjoyed it when I was in the YA bracket.

ETA: Does Pullman's His Dark Materials count? The alt-world always felt Victorian to me.

Edited at 2014-01-30 02:03 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: sam_t
2014-01-30 11:55 am (UTC)
I don't know, but I'd guess the Sally Lockhart books would
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From: diatryma
2014-01-30 03:25 am (UTC)
Fallen Grace by Mary Hooper is not fantasy but is Victorian. Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis isn't Victorian but it is historicalish. Sarah Prineas' Magic Thief is set in a sort of Dickensian world, but not strongly so.

Beyond those, I'm drawing a blank.
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From: cowfan
2014-01-30 04:23 am (UTC)
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz. Description on Amazon:"Newbery Medalist Laura Amy Schlitz brings her sorcery to a Victorian gothic thriller — an enthralling, darkly comic tale that would do Dickens proud."

The Incredible Charlotte Sycamore by Kate Maddison: "Queen Victoria's court knows Charlotte Sycamore as the mild-mannered sixteen-year-old daughter of the Her Majesty's royal surgeon. Yet Charlotte has a penchant for inventing new gadgets, and most nights she sneaks out to sword fight with her best friends, Peter and Jillian."

Also look at the Steampunk list on the Teen page of Hennepin County Library: http://www.hclib.org/teens/booklistaction.cfm?list_num=1076
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[User Picture]From: catlinye_maker
2014-01-30 03:48 pm (UTC)
This may have far too loose a setting for academic use; another Victorian era/US setting series that comes to mind is the Frontier Magic books by Patricia Wrede. Strictly speaking not a YA title but a coming of age story, but it seems to me to fit pretty well in the YA spectrum.
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[User Picture]From: vcmw
2014-01-30 03:52 pm (UTC)
Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate has a recent YA spinoff series, with titles Etiquette and Espionage and Curtsies and Conspiracies published so far. I know the Parasol Protectorate series is Victorian steampunk, and the Etiquette and Espionage books are set "25 years earlier." They're definitely steampunk, but the ones that are explicitly YA might be set a bit early for your time period? I know that the main series has gotten library attention for possible YA/Adult crossover interest, so Carriger as an author might still be relevant to this interest in either case.
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