Archive for June, 2011
Posted in Art work, Artists, Comics, Guest Thursdays, Steampunk, women, tagged guest thursdays, Joe Benitez, Lady Mechanika, starmpunk art, steampunk artists, steampunk comics on June 30, 2011 | 3 Comments »
In case you haven’t heard, my book has an official title. It is now Innocent Darkness, Book 1 of The Aether Chronicles.
There’s still time to sign up for my class Writing Steampunk From Aether to Zeppelin which starts July 5.
I’ve joined the group blog The Nightstand Debuts and am vloging on Wednesdays. I’m going to be working my way through the Steampunk Alphabet.
Here’s my very awkward vlog on “What is Steampunk.”
Here’s is your steampunk gadget for today!
An instrument consisting in part of a differential thermometer. It is used for measuring changes of temperature produced by different conditions of the sky, as when clear or clouded.
Since I am a scientist and currently very busy with training to be a Science teacher, I thought I’d give you some fun sciences gadgets (modern and old) words to ponder over, maybe give you some ideas for your writing or other Steampunk creative endeavor. Here’s my first for today.
A device used to measure the absorption of light by a gas or a liquid.
10. Wear goggles to work (or if you’re already at work and have missed the opportunity wear them out to dinner). You’ll be amazed at the curious looks and questions you get, which is a perfect time to talk steampunk!
9. Try wearing a corset. That’s on the outside, please.
8. Wear a hat. Top hat, aviator cap, newspaper boy slouchy cap, bowler, it all counts!
7. Unplug and read a steampunk book – by lamplight. Okay you can use a candle if you must, but instead of watching the television tonight, why not escape into a great piece of steampunk fiction?
6. Talk with a British accent for the day. You may even call your boss, “Old Bean” unless of course, he or she is younger than you.
5. Use phrases like “My word”, “How splendid”, or “Please excuse me while I wind my gears,” or “Where did I park my aeromachine?” “Drat”, “Most peculiar” or even “Fire the mechanical monkies!”
4. Drink a cup of tea. Crumpets, clotted cream, jam and little fingers sandwiches are optional.
3. Learn to waltz. Waltz anyway. Why walk when you can waltz?
2. Go read Girl Genius (it’s updated every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at http://www.girlgeniusonline.com under comic. Warning: it is addictive, especially if you start at the beginning).
And, the number one thing you can do is. . .
1. Try the Steampunk Drinking Game. Pick out a steampunk movie or book of your choice. Best played with others who don’t actually plan to go anywhere afterward. Beverage may be of your choice. For each item you come across, take the prescribed drink. Last person standing wins.
Aether = 1 drink
Airhship = 2 sips
Automaton = gulp
Bodice = 1 drink
Corset = down the whole shot
Gears = 1 sip
Goggles = three sips plus bite of lemon
Her Majesty and/or Queen Victoria = down the whole shot
Horse and/or carriage = 3 drinks
Inventor and/or mad scientist = 4 drinks
Inexplicable device = 1 drink
Mention of social rank (Duke, Marquess, Earl, Barron, etc.) = 4 sips
Parasol = 2 drinks
Presence of bioengineering = 4 drinks
Puff of steam = 1 drink
Raygun = chug
Top Hat = 3 drinks
Tesla coil = down the whole shot
I’m going to be teaching Writing Steampunk Aether to Zephlin again, this is revised version of the class I taught last November (which was great fun) and a beginner/intermediate overview class covering the basic nuts and bots of writing Steampunk. It runs July 5 – July 29, 2011 via a private email loop classroom. The cost is $20. More info here.
Writing Steampunk Technology
The trick to writing about technology and your gadgets is to only reveal to the reader what your character might actually know. Otherwise, it can pull us out of the story, feeling like both an author intrusion and an info dump.
For example, a society lady may give no thought to how something works, only noting that it might be noisy, messy, or shiny. But an inquisitive child or a scientist might analyze its workings or even come up with improvements in their heads.
But at the same time, this isn’t a license to info dump or spend paragraphs waxing poetic about steam engines (even if it is in character). Keep in mind – does the reader need to know this and does the reader need to know this now.
Your technology should be showcased in your steampunk novel, but at the same time, you don’t need to point out or dissect every, single detail. This screams “See, my novel is steampunk, look, look” and can take the reader out of the story. Again, think about what your particular character would actually notice, what they may actually know about a particular item, its uses, origins, and inner-workings.
Also, your technology needs to be integral to your world building. If you can take the tech out of your story, and it still stands, it’s not truly steampunk.
However, it may still have steampunk elements, and if you’re okay with this, then by all means, go for it. Otherwise you may need to rethink your tech and world and brainstorm on ways to make it stronger.
Here’s a starter list of Steampunk tech here.
How is your tech integral to your world?
Here’s your steampunk expression for today! Try that in your story!!!
To catch a weasel asleep:
“Referring to something impossible or unlikely, in regard to someone who is always alert and is seldom or never caught off guard, e.g., You can’t trick old Joe any sooner than you can catch a weasel asleep.”
So, what’s in my mailbox for the month of may?
In this month’s vlog:
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (Tor, prize for upcoming contest)
Those Who West Remain There Still by Cherrie Priest (Subterranean, prize for upcoming contest)
Sirenz by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman (Flux, sent to me by the amazing Natalie)
The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby (Scholastic)
Steampunk Softies by Sarah Skeate & Nicola Tedman (Andrews McMell)
Steampunk Emporium by Jema “Emily Ladybird” Hewitt (Northlight)
Thanks to Cherie Priest, Natalie Zaman, Scholastic, and FW Media
In My Mailbox was started by The Story Siren