Yes, I have heard of the Palin Steampunk comic.

I suspect that the author of the review is just a touch offended at the choice of villain (Dude.  Spoilers!), but the man does have a point about the pinups.  That’s a bit… freaky, really.

Still: the thought of Palin, Obama, and McCain as a steam-cyborg hero team against a worldwide conspiracy?

That’s just cute.

Moe Lane

PS: Out of curiosity, when did the romance genre start mining steampunk, fantasy, science fiction, and – most relentlessly – horror?


  • DaveP. says:

    ” when did the romance genre start mining steampunk, fantasy, science fiction, and – most relentlessly – horror?”

    The names you’re looking for are Bujold (SF and fantasy), Laurell K. Hamilton (horror and fantasy… until she transitioned into cheezy fantasy-themed hardcore and stayed there) and Foligo (who was doing SF-themed romance with D’arc Tangent back when I was in elementary school… and Nixon was President when I was born).

  • DaveP. says:

    Sturgeon’s Law, ‘migo. Not everything is good. Some stuff is just suck that was produced to take advantage of a market niche. You want good, read Girl Genius; read Patricia Briggs; pick up a copy of Cryoburn (it’s loads better than Diplomatic Immunity).

  • Ric Locke says:

    And as for “mining” — the Romance genre has been mining any damn thing it can get its pink-painted false fingernails into for a long, long time. It has to. The number of words shoved onto the market under that heading positively dwarfs the next three or four genres combined — any Wal*Mart book rack will have more titles under “Romance” than they do of mystery, action/adventure, and juvenile put together (and little or no SF). Romance writers don’t just mine the other genres, they strip-mine them.

    Bujold and Hamilton are actually going the other way — borrowing tropes from more-or-less classic Romance to use in SF and horror. In Bujold’s case it works, but Bujold could borrow a Croatian telephone directory and use it to make something work. I don’t do vampires, so I have no opinion on LKH.

    I respectfully beg to differ with DaveP — Diplomatic Immunity is slight but coherent, where Cryoburn was phoned in to support the last line (of the main story), sort of an ultimate Shaggy Dog Story. Of course, what Bujold phones in winds up in the top 10% anyway, but Cryoburn is still something of a disappointment.


  • DaveP. says:

    With respect for your opinion, Ric, I’ll state my case:
    Mirror Dance and Memory were truly great books- arguably, Mirror Dance was the best of the series- and Komarr only slightly less so; and I loved Civil Campaign immensely. Following up on those, I thought Diplomatic Immunity was not very engaging emotionally: there was nothing like the dinner party scene in Civil Campaign or the Emperor’s Court scene in Vor Game to grab the heartstrings or make me cheer. I thought Cryoburn was a return to the kind of fun that was found in Vor Game or Warrior’s Apprentice, somewhere between a mystery and a caper comedy. I will admit that the book did come across as disjointed, as consequence of switching back and forth between perspectives.
    Each their own, though. According to unconfirmed sources, she plans to produce more Miles books… so we have that to look forward to.

  • Ric Locke says:

    I agree with you about Memory and Mirror Dance. We will just have to disagree about the relative merits of Diplomatic Immunity and Cryoburn — it is precisely the disjointed nature of the latter that downrates it for me.

    The news that Bujold intends to do more “Miles books” dismays me. Miles’s story is over, and really, it isn’t Miles’s story anyway — it’s the story of how Aral and Cordelia convert a violent feudalism into something that can interface with, and contribute to, Galactic society. There are lots of loose ends and minor issues left, but Count Miles Vorkosigan clearing out minor pockets of resistance can’t compare to the sweep of the original.

    What it really tells me is that Toni Weisskopf, bright and alert as she may be, has succumbed to Hollywood Syndrome: “I want something just like the last blockbuster, but different.” That can’t help but start edging into Wheel of Time territory.

    The best thing Bujold has ever written (high praise indeed!) is The Curse of Chalion. Having her re-re-repeat “dunk Miles in the soup and watch him get out” instead of looking for new worlds to conquer is a waste of talent. But, then, I quit reading Weber after Honor made Admiral.


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