July 08, 2013

Review - Fishpunk by Rick Novy

So, everyone knows Steampunk? The first time I've been exposed to Steampunk was with the movie "Captain Sky and the World of Tomorrow" (not sure if that's the original title, but I'm guessing you all know which one it is), where they defined the movie as being "the future as seen from the past". Which is a very interesting and accurate description: it's the future but the future that people living in the steam world could have imagined.

Fishpunk is just that. But with fish. Get it? Fish-punk! Rick Novy writes a very funny parody about the steampunk movement, talking about ichthyotech, biologists, the 1800's USA and the Amazon jungle. Calvin Scholz, a botanic, receives a weird package from a long time friend, an ichthyologist (meaning, a fish expert). He is supposed to take that package to his friend's brother, so off he goes. 

After a few attempts on his life, he manages to reach the farm, where he was going either way as he was hired to try and save the plantation from a plague. As he reaches... But no, no, I can't tell you. It's enough to say both brothers were interested in ichthyotech, meaning, technology powered by fish. Yes my people, it's a thing, and it's probably the future. Or the future of the past. Or the past of the future... Anyways...

After that, first the brother and then Calvin depart to Brazil, to the Amazon. And while he spends some time with Mexicans... Having a good time (or not really), just hanging around (well, kind of) and passing time (that's precise). He eventually arrives at the Amazon and, while I'm Brazilian, I've never so much as been to the Amazon. Is more or less like being American and never have been to the Florida swamps. Pretty common and a lot of people simply never do. But we all know some of it and know how it is. I believe it was very well described in the book, which I admire, because not many can do it. It's easy to fall into the "random jungle" description and ignore that the Amazon is huge as hell (or even larger, if legends are real) and forget the language, the rivers, the history. There is a lot there that people tend to get wrong.

And that's where all the magic happens. I can't tell you the story, obviously, the review is meant for you to want to READ the book, peoples! But I can tell you that's a funny story, full of non-intended (or intended) puns, interesting characters, interesting plot development (what's with the Mexicans anyway?) and very good setting. It's a satire, but it's very smart, could be, perfectly, a steampunk novel, but the fish dictate the rhythm.

You can buy Fishpunk at Amazon

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