My apologies for the radio silence. I do have some epic news for you…but you’ll have to wait until Monday.
Until then, here are the winners I owe you:
The winner of The Faerie Ring is:
The winner of the toy airship is:
Today we welcome author Maureen O. Betita!
Rules? I Don’t Need No Stinking Rules!
by Maureen O. Betita
Yes, steampunk roams free across the plains of the ‘what if’. It almost seems, as a genre, it’s more about a feeling, an aesthetic, than a strict interpretation of anything. This is one of the reasons it’s one of my favorite new genre mutations. (I know it isn’t really new-new, just new to the greater world.)
Because, I, too, want to roam free. I’m one of those writers who didn’t know about the rules, or the concept of format. All those silly acronyms were like hieroglyphs to me. I just wrote. And if I crossed POV or head hopped or used too many adverbs or… Well, you get the picture. Obviously, at the rate I worked, I would never see anything published.
So, I learned some of the rules. The basic rules. About grammar and punctuation and POV and head hopping… I still tend to use run on sentences. (Notice?) But mainly for the effect of effective babble.
Yes, effective babble.
In many ways, this is one way to look at steampunk. Effective babble. It wanders and roams and plays with words and inventions that boggle the mind. Not the purely high-minded scifi inventions created by luminaries such as Arthur C. Clarke, penning the concept of satellites before the idea was more than a gleam in the eye of communications specialists all over the world. Or Isaac Asimov and the Three Laws of Robotics.
Nope. Steampunk creates…oh…mechanical wings with gears, powered by steam. An earth mover that undermines an entire city, or a blend of mechanical and biological…hence an airship created from a whale. See? Effective babble!
Open any page of the Girl Genius comics and you’ll see inventions and innovations that defy every law of gravity, mechanics, physics…and yet…they aren’t magic! Which is one of those weirdly wonderful things about steampunk. Seldom is magic part of the mix.
And I say seldom because being the free roaming spirit it is…sometimes magic is part of things.
I love it!
For those of us who see ourselves as closet anarchists…steampunk is our wetdream.
When I began to create the world of The Kraken’s Caribbean, I wanted elements of steampunk, without the steam. I wanted magic and I wanted some technical toys. But mainly, I wanted pirates. So, no steam. But pirates. Hence, piratepunk was born. My personal name for the genre of The Kraken’s Caribbean.
The Kraken’s Mirror introduced a pirate haven of Tortuga, roundabouts 1690, where there were blenders at the bar and margaritas! My pirates do their work with an iPod strapped to their belts, heads bobbing to the music of the internet. A corner juggler may be using rubik’s cubes to amaze his audience. There’s ice to keep the drinks cold. And sanitation. Vampires act as the defense system for the island. Werewolves wander the forest and zombies gather in the swamp.
Oh, and time travelers stroll the streets while a matchmaking albino kraken stands guard over the entire world.
Yes, pirates inhabiting a world I could see steampunk would find interesting.
So, in the second volume, The Chameleon Goggles, I have Tortuga under attack from a very nasty steampunk world, intent of harvesting all that is profitable from the Kraken’s haven. Novan has come for its escaped citizen, but Captain Jezebel isn’t going easy and with the help of the chameleon goggles and a swashbuckling Mick March, Tortuga will force Novan to regret their actions! (coming October 20th!)
Bwah ha ha!
I have a third in the works involving a pirate circus…
Would I have felt so free to create this world without the example before of Gail Carriger? And Scott Westerfield? Cherie Priest? I don’t know. Maybe, but maybe not.
Steampunk. Piratepunk. Effective babble…what wonderful worlds!
Is there a favorite bit of fantastical babbling you’d like to see slip into the steampunk universe? Tell me about it (include your e-mail addy, please) and I’ll set one of you up with an e-copy of The Kraken’s Mirror AND The Chameleon Goggles when it’s released!
Yup, I’m Maureen O. Betita and I write along the shores of the beauteous Monterey Bay in California. I walk my dog along the bluffs where I study the waves, watch the dolphin teach the surfers a thing or two and dream about pirates. When I’m not at pirate festivals, renaissance faires, scifi/fantasy conventions or steampunk gatherings…
Explore my worlds at
and www.romancewritersrevenge.com (Where I babble as 2nd Chance, the bartender of a ship full of writing pirates.)
Contest ends at 11:59 PM PST 10/19/11.