Steampunk critters from the future: Lance Balchin’s “Mechanica”

lance-balchin-mechanicaTwo centuries into the future, the wildlife of the earth has died out because of catastrophic climate change. The popular toys known as ‘Mechapets’ — propotype mechanised creatures — are exhibited in zoos and sanctuaries, but they soon escape into the wild. In time, they cross-breed with semi-autonomous drones, and the Mechanica species are born…

This surreal hardcover is the work of Brisbane-based artist Lance Balchin, and is suitable for adults and children alike. The introduction spells out the history and science of the Mechanicas’ world, and each spread in the book has a full-page illustration of a Mechanica – an electric blackbird, or artificial eagle – plus a biological and mechanical description. It’s steampunk invades the natural history museum, and a bizarre pleasure all of its own.


Mechanica: A Beginner’s Field Guide – Lance Balchin – HB – Five Mile Press – $24.95


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Filed under First Readers (6-8 years), Gift Ideas

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