Clocks, Gears and Airships

One of the most popular types of science fiction these days is Steampunk. Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you have probably seen steampunk elements in books or movies. Just think clocks, gears, dirigibles. automatons and even parasols! Steampunk is a mash-up of science fiction and fantasy that features technology inspired by nineteenth century, steam-powered machinery. Often set in an alternate version of Victorian England, steampunk can be traced back to the science fiction of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells.

Now, get your googles on and board your airship as I escort you on a quick tour of the steampunk collection at the Aurora Public Library.

If you want to to take a quick peek before you commit yourself to this gadget-driven genre, you may want to begin with Steampunk: An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant. Many of the short stories in this book are written by authors very well-known to readers of young adult fiction.


Ready to jump into a steampunk series? All of these are located in the Teen area at the Library.

The Society of Steam trilogy by Andrew Mayer is classic steampunk. You’ll want to begin with The Falling Machine, and then move on to Hearts of Smoke and Steam and Power Under Pressure.

falling machine mayer 1

Scott Westerfeld, best known for his series “The Uglies” has a steampunk trilogy that begins with Leviathan. Other books in the trilogy are Behemoth and Goliath.


Here are some additional series starters to get your gears crunching.

boneshaker priest 1      e and e

steel corset cross     inventor's cremer

We have three classic stories in new “steampunk” editions. Just flipping through the illustrations in these books will give you a great overview of steampunk.

wells  shelley


Need more information or want to create your own steampunk accessories? Try these two books!

bible     emporium

Steampunk is not limited to young adult fiction. Some children’s books with elements of steampunk include The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman, The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick and The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Movies that are great examples of steampunk include The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Sherlock Holmes – A Game of Shadows and even Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

gentlemen dvdgame of  chitty

Game of Chess, Anyone?

Saturday, May 7, 2016 marks the beginning of something new at the Aurora Public Library. Ryan Britton has volunteered to lead an open chess time each Saturday in May from 10 AM until noon. The chess sets will be provided; you just need to show up! This game time is for players of all ages and experience levels, and Ryan will be happy to show you the basics if you are interested in learning. Bring a friend or just find a partner when you get here!

If you’ve never played chess before and don’t know your bishop from your rook, here’s a website with very easy to understand instructions to help you get started.

You can also pick up one of the books the library has.

chess rules   juniors

Chess has been played by kings and other rulers for hundreds of years. In the past, chess was referred to as “The King’s Game” and was used to teach war strategies, but it is actually a great game for everyone. Playing chess is an activity that can be enjoyed anywhere and is a wonderful way to meet new people. It helps with problem-solving skills and increases creativity because it uses both sides of your brain. There are numerous benefits to the game for both children and seniors. Check out this link to find out what playing chess can do for you and your family.