Saturday, 31 January 2015

Queen of Steampunk Rae Gee visits Brilliant Books!

Allow me introduce you to Rae Gee.

Noted and traditionally published Steampunk author, based in Leicestershire and with big contacts in the US, Rae didn''t just come up to Nottingham with books. As you can see, she brought props to add context to her book choices, which were:

 and the Time Machine, Rae's favourite two books and a major influence on her career as a writer. 

You can read War of the Worlds here:

and though we didn't get the chance to listen to it, you can listen to Jeff Wayne's magnificent War of the World's soundtrack here.

(Rae and I have many American friends and we would just like to point out that the original Martian invasion was in Surrey not New York, contrary to what you and Mssrs Cruise and Spielberg might think :D - Ed!)

Reluctant reader project
 Brilliant Books is funded by the Big Lottery Fund - your £2 goes
further than you think.

Rae read from War of the Worlds and then talked steampunk and science in general. Topics included Edison, the first ever recorded music and aliens. She discussed the legendary Skinwalker Farm in Utah, which is rumoured in some circles to be a portal to another galaxy and thus heavily guarded by the authorities in the US. You could see many of the children were inspired by what novelist Rae had to say about the subject and I can imagine quite a few of them will choose steampunk and science fiction as a reading genre.

Rae will be blogging about her experience this weekend and I shall include it here when it is available.

The kids really enjoyed her patter and obvious knowledge of the sector.  Afterwards, we moved to the classroom to develop their stories.   They did some more readings - one of the major delights of this programme is the willingness of the kids to get up and read what they have written to their peers.

Many pupils struggle with this in formal lessons, but on Brilliant Books, they can let their hair down and be a star for thirty seconds or so. And Phil, Shellie and me have been seriously impressed by the talent on display.  

And these young people are REALLY getting into their stories (for publication in Scribes of Seely II in April). 

All in all, it was a terrific afternoon. I'd like to thank Rae for travelling north to see us - we both enjoyed a healthy lunch too :D - and I am sure she'll be back on future projects. She's the second author to host a Brilliant Books session (after the talented Georgia Rose in October) and they definitely add something different to the mix. 

It is noticeable that the young people seem seriously interested in what authors do, in as much as what they choose to read. That's worth noting for the future.

Next week, Phil talks about how he got involved in Brilliant Books on the blog, and live in Sherwood, we have a visit from one of the top education officers at the Nottingham Fire Service. 

Keep reading,


Northampton based genius Alan Moore's
classic steampunk graphic novel


  1. Well done Rae and all the team on BB! Another terrific week :-) Love the clips - "Burger Man!" I can see that catching on! Thank you for the fabulous reminder of War of the Worlds - that music! And Richard Burton - that voice! :-)

    1. It's way too much fun, isn't it, Georgia?! Loved doing this and can't wait to go back! <3