Sunday, July 18, 2010
Figure 1: Two of the main characters seeking shelter at an Ice city sliding across Northern Europe.This is the cover of the 2nd book, Predator's Gold which IMO is the best book of the quartet.
I don't wanna talk about it.Just lots of SoPo blog,Jobstreet and the possibility of going to the States to become a Bumper.
Alas..it all started in Adelaide.Demmit.
The author is Phillip Reeves, a steapmpunk writer. What is steampunk? To avoid brain damage from reading my inelegant long writing, I suggest you watch Steam Boy by Osamu tezuka. That is Steampunk.Lots of steam powered gadgets like airships and trains.
Phillip Reeve's world
Figure 2: Municipal Darwinism in action.It is a town eat town world.
Picked the fourth book of te series somewhere in the middle of 2009. Amidst the assholes around me and the burden of a a final year project, I would naturally saunter among the shelves of worn books at the Adelaidde City Library seeking solace.Since I've decided that heavy themed fiction was too much for my brain at that time, I lingered at the Teen section and a small novel with a cartoonish cover attracted my attention. I knew about the series from Malaysia,probably in 2008. It was a series that probably lost to Harry Potter in some Children;s book award and the first book was Mortal Engines. What is it all about?
The Steampunk world of Municipal Darwinism
Yep.What could could more interesting to a crazy engineer student like me than mobile cities eating other for the crown of the food chain.The steampunk world of Phillipn Reevs is a post apocalypic world where as usual, the United States or the American Empire and probably China went on a nuclear duel which wiped out almost the entire world(save for Africa which emerged as the leading civilization of the post apocalyptic world) with nuclear weapons and bombs laced with SARS like vriuses probably thanks to Biotechnologists. And so, as everyone wanted, the United States was totally destroyed with only a handful of Alaskan survivors, China was also ruined save for its population in Tibet while parts of Europe were completely decimated by nukes and natural disasters such as volcanoes.
Despite being reduce to savages, the Europeans were still technologically advanced,using remnant technologies from 10 000 years ago(yes that long since WW3) such as airships which are used to safely traverse the maze of volcanoes and ravaged landscape in Europe which makes sense. Multiple civilizations flourished but were eventually decimated by natural disasters until the emegernce of the Traction civilization. London,or what's left of it, tired of being attacked by mutants and threatened by earthquakes decided to build a big engine with large wheels and put their city on it and move to safer grounds and later turned back and crushed the mutants with their big tracked wheels. Being a post apocalyptic world, resources were scarce and so London went about eating other settlements.Other surviving emerging European cities did not want to be eaten and went Traction to avoid being eaten and to escape the volcanoes,floods and earthquakes. Soon Europe became a Great Hunting Ground where cities on wheels,caterpillartracks or even ice skids go about eating each other for oil and metal.It was the age of Municipal Darwinism..whatever that means. This new era was also te death of the great African civilizations which were eventually killed off by Traction cities and towns and they eventually joined the survivors of China who did not go traction to form into a the Anti-Traction League which combined their military resources to repel the Traction cities from encroaching on their static settlements and farms.Both sides from time to time salvage some ancient technology from America or China which they will use to their advantage for their selfish needs. The Traction cities obviously learned alot of mechanical stuff while the Anti Traction league began using walking corpse powered machines to become their soldiers.
And so there it is. The world f Phillip Reeves. I don't wanna talk about the individual books but they are really good that the maker of LOTR,Peter Jackson is currently turning the first book into a movie this year.And I promise it is not rubbish like the Golden Compass(which I have also red and stopped reading it at the the third book when it began to involve homosexual angels) or even Twilight, Yes, there's romance and some hint of sex in it too...as usual...but it's OK.