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ALNTcoverThe dark twists and turns of Edgar Allan Poe’s mind have inspired many a nightmare and some hazy imaginings…

Aadenian Press has published “All the Night-Tide” – an anthology of Steampunk stories inspired by poems written by the Victorian writer.

This is the first of TWO posts about the release of “All the Night-Tide”


I asked Hazel Butler, the editor of the collection, about the anthology.

“When we were first batting around ideas for this anthology, there were a lot of them. So many possibilities. It was, however, eventually decided that since Aädenian Ink was founded for the express purpose of publishing Gothic and Steampunk art and fiction, it seemed natural that this, our first anthology, reflect that goal. The possibility of drawing on the works of Edgar Allan Poe presented itself very early on in the creative process as he is a much-loved Gothic author, and has such a wide range of works. It was decided that each piece in the anthology should be based on one of Poe’s uniquely dark and delicious poems. It was further decided that we wanted these stories to have a Steampunk twist to them.”

The selection process for stories can seem mysterious to some. Hazel explained how the stories were picked  for the anthology.

“The process of selecting the stories was quite a simple one in the end, at least in terms of the process. Editor Hazel Butler read all submissions and basically chose her favourites. That left a pile of about fifteen or sixteen. We couldn’t include all of those so it had to be whittled down. In the end she chose those stories that she felt had entered into the spirit of the anthology the most. In some cases this was simply a matter of them being well based on a poem and having a Steampunk theme or Steampunk elements. In other cases it was a deeper sense that they were truly quite Gothic in tone and reflected the nature of Edgar Allan Poe’s work quite well.”

The cover artwork is truly an amazing image and there are individual story graphics inside the anthology. I asked Hazel about the images in this volume: 

“The artwork is a combination of several images by artist Alice Rope, who recently did a large exhibit of bird studies. Three of these were of a raven or crow, and this tied in very nicely with the central ‘Poe’ image of the raven that was chosen for the cover design. The cover itself is a digital painting that was done by the Editor, Hazel Butler, who is also an artist and author. She used the raven to represent one of the most well-known poems of Poe, and the image of the woman, in all her Steampunk finery, holding the raven in a cage, was a good ALNTcoverrepresentation of what we were trying to achieve in the anthology – the melding of the two genres. On the back cover, the raven appears again in silhouette, this time free of the cage. Hazel and Alice also illustrated several stories each, with illustrations done specifically for the stories.”

The anthology is currently available at Amazon.com in hardcover. There will be a kindle edition available later.

 

Next week Friday, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from the authors…


As a contributing author in a number of anthologies, Ray Dean enjoys writing about many different cultures. Steampunk speaks to her in a retroactive futurism that opens so many possibilities. Her blog, My Ethereality (http://raydean.net), explores history, culture, war and love in eras and countries that influence the Steampunk world.

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GoS_WebBetween now and October 31st I’m giving away several Kindle copies of my works, including the new Avalon Revamped, the eclectic collection Caught in the Cogs, and the teen romance The Zombies of Mesmer. The last is in preparation of The Ghosts of Southwark (its sequel) release on November 1st.

A few of these giveaways have already come and gone. Those who “like” my FB Fan Page were the only ones in the know, so go “like” that page now. You wouldn’t want to miss out on future freebies!

For the others, stay tuned to my Amazon Author Page to see what’s free when between now and Halloween. You’ll get hints as to when the next free book is available on my FB Fan Page.

Additionally, I’ve put up several new, never-before-seen short stories on the Kindle, all for under $2. Steampunk readers will especially be interested in “The Clockwork Heart,” written in the style of H. G. Wells. Here’s what one reader says about it.

This author has captured the feel of a period piece and still engaged the reader in the manner of a modern piece of fiction. Very engaging, her writing casually sneaks in and demands your attention. I enjoyed this story thoroughly.

Here’s a list of all the short stories recently listed on Kindle:

“The Clockwork Heart” – Written in the style of H. G. Wells, this Gothic Steampunk story will make your heart bleed and your skin crawl. $1.49 (FREE with PRIME, as are the rest below)

Inevitable Enlightenment.” Trace the existential thoughts of a zombie after the apocalypse. $0.99

Come to Me.” Jason’s boring Monday turns into one full of adventure and horror when his mother’s strange affliction takes him and his sister around the world. Based in Scottish Mythology. $0.99

The Handy Man.” After losing his hand in a work accident, Linus Cosgriff adapts a new invention to please women and relieve them from symptoms of hysteria. Adult Content. $1.99

Heart of Stone, Flesh of Ice.” Several men mysteriously disappear after a night of passion during a ski vacation. Based in Japanese Mythology. $1.99

Hannah & Gabriel.” Dark Fantasy Steampunk retelling of Hansel & Gretel. $1.99 (This story is also available along with 11 others, poetry, and articles in the collection Caught in the Cogs: An Eclectic Collection for only $2.99.)

-_Q

OMG_2013Olivia M. Grey lives in the cobwebbed corners of her mind writing paranormal romance with a Steampunk twist, like the Amazon Gothic Romance bestseller Avalon Revisited and its sequel Avalon Revamped. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines and anthologies, like SNM Horror Magazine and How the West Was Wicked. Ms. Grey also blogs and podcasts relationship essays covering such topics as alternative lifestyles, deepening intimacy, ending a relationship with love and respect, and other deliciously dark and decadent matters of the heart and soul.

Read more by O. M. Grey on her blog Caught in the Cogs, http://omgrey.wordpress.com

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CHARMED VENGEANCE in the wild photo contest!

Send me your pictures of CV in the wild — you with your copy, in the bookstore, etc. There will be prizes for the most creative, silliest, most steampunky, and cutest. Use your imagination (but be kind if you’re in a public place and you should know the people in the pictures.) Email them to suzannelazear@yahoo.com with PHOTO CONTEST in the header. Contest ends August 30, 2013. If your under 18, please have your parent’s permission.

Come join us on August 13 at Coffee Time Romance for an online release party with prizes!

Have a great week everyone.

~Suzanne

Suzanne Lazear is the author of the YA steampunk fairytale series THE AETHER CHRONICLES. Book 1, INNOCENT DARKNESS and Book 2, CHARMED VENGEANCE are out now from Flux wherever books and ebooks are sold. For more information on the series please visit www.aetherchonicles.com

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I have an online class on writing the punk genres that starts today and runs until September 1.  You should check it out, it’s not too late to join.

I’m super excited because CHARMED VENGEANCE, book 2 in my Aether Chronicles series releases on Thursday — and the book will be available wherever you like to buy your books and ebooks. 

If you’re in SoCal, please drop by one of my signings!

Friday, August 9th — Vroman’s, Pasadena, CA 7 pm,
Wear your steampunk or faery best. There will be prizes, swag, and cake!

Saturday, August 10th–Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA 2 pm
Wear your steampunk or faery best. There will be prizes, swag, and cake!

Also, there’s a great CHARMED VENGEANCE giveaway at YA Book Central.

The Book 2 Blues

by Suzanne Lazear

CHARMED VENGEANCE is book 2 of my Aether Chronicles series. Writing a second book in a series is very different from writing the first book.

Charmed Vengeance 1Book 1 is new and shiny. The sky is the limit. You can do anything. Say anything. The endless possibilities are part of what makes a new book in a new series so appealing and exciting.

Book 2 is different.  Where book 1 is an empty canvas, book 2’s canvas is already started. You can take it in new and different directions, and do exciting things, but it still has to coordinate with what was started.

That’s where the challenge lies.

The world has already been established and what was an amazing idea or a throwaway line in book 1 could hinder book 2, causing you to rethink your plotline, since you can’t undo what has been written in a published story the way you can in a draft.

It can be hard to build on book 1 and expand on the previous world while leading up to book 3 while making it a story in itself, one that stands alone and is compelling and interesting in its own right. A story that’s even better than book 1.

That’s quite the challenge, right?

But wait, there’s more.

For me, book 1 was written at my own pace, in my own time, for my own amusement. I could take as long as I wanted to make it compelling, perfect.

For book 2 I didn’t have the luxury. Book 2 was on contract. I was writing it on a schedule, and I had to deliver, on time. This can be a challenge if you’ve never written on deadline, and even if you have, staying on task while writing an entire book can also be a challenge. Where I’m used to deadlines, I also can get distracted, not to mention I’m not a stay-at-home writer.

But for all the challenges, there’s something unique about writing a sequel because it’s harder.  It’s another accomplishment in the life of a writer. Finishing it is an exhilarating accomplishment in itself, just like finishing a jigsaw puzzle and it actually resembles the box.

Where book 1 is a discovery as you create new characters and new worlds, book 2 is a reunion with old friends.  You’re reunited with the old crew for a new advenute and that’s thrilling and exciting in itself.

Writing book 2 can be a challenge, but it can also be amazing, because it’s harder, because it’s a continuation and there are expectations. You have readers, people who want this story, who are invested in your characters.

You have a second book.  Tell the story that needs to be told.

I know personally, I love CHARMED VENGEANCE even more than INNOCENT DARKNESS.  I hope you love it, too.

~Suzanne

Suzanne Lazear is the author of the YA steampunk fairytale series THE AETHER CHRONICLES. Book 1, INNOCENT DARKNESS is out now and Book 2, CHARMED VENGEANCE releases 8-8-13 from Flux. They’re available wherever books and ebooks are sold. For more information on the series please visit www.aetherchonicles.com

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Today is the final day of Steampunkapalloza. Thank you so much for helping us celebrate Steamed’s 4th birthday.  I can’t believe we’ve been running this for FOUR years–and we couldn’t do it without you.

Today I have a very special post, an interview with James Blaylock, one of the founding fathers of Steampunk.  His new steampunk release The Aylesford Skull is available from Titan Books as both a trade paperback and as a special, signed, first edition.

The great folks at Titan have given me a copy of The Aylesford Skull for one of you!!! One lucky person will win! (see below for details.)
Suzanne: Welcome to Steamed! Can you tell us what the story of your recent release is about?

Ayelsford Skull Main 2_1.jpg.size-230James Blaylock: That’s a tough question, because the novel is full of plot turns, and I don’t want to give too much away.  Even the jacket copy is a spoiler, to some extent.  The main character, Professor Langdon St. Ives (featured in other novels, novellas, and stories that I’ve written over the past 35 years) has semi-retired from adventuring and is a gentleman farmer, growing hops in Aylesford, Kent.  Loathsome crimes occur in the area, however, and he begins to suspect that his old nemesis, Doctor Narbondo, is up to no good.  His new, comfortable life very shortly flies to pieces, and he and a cast of characters become embroiled in personal and world-threatening conflicts involving river pirates, dirigibles, grave robbery, magically altered skulls, kidnappings, swamps, Neolithic coal, paranormal chicanery, and so forth – heaps of things that the reader has been anxiously awaiting without, perhaps, being aware of it.

S: Where did you get the ideas for this story?

JB: I do a lot of research when I’m writing Steampunk, and I find myself abruptly influenced by odds and ends of things that I discover in the moment and that I knew nothing at all about two minutes earlier.  I’m also continually influenced by the books that lie around on my desk, and that I read over and over again for the pleasure of it.  I’m a fan, for instance, of the novels and stories of Patrick O’Brian and for the short stories of James Norman Hall in the collection titled Dr. Dogbody’s Leg.  I tend to reread The Pickwick Papers and whatever volume of Sherlock Holmes stories is closest at hand.  All these books are close at hand, in fact, in the “favorite books” bookshelves over the desk.  It’s often been the case that I run across throwaway ideas in the things that I read for pleasure: a mention of this or that, or a brief bit of intriguing setting detail.  When that happens, sometimes something useful will come into my mind, which I immediately clutch with both hands and hold onto.  Also, I’m crazy about old reference books that contain fascinating information that’s long out of fashion, one of my favorites being Wonders of the Universe, a Record of Things Wonderful and Marvelous in Nature, Science and Art (which has a very convincing chapter on plesiosaur sightings).  That one piqued my interest in Japanese magic mirrors, which set off a train of strange notions in my mind, resulting in the skull lamps featured in The Aylesford Skull.

S: This is the next in a series, right? How did this series come to be?

JB: That’s a moderately long tale that goes back to 1977, when I wrote a short story titled “The Ape-box Affair” and sold it to Unearth magazine.  That was my second sale as a fledgling professional writer, and it became the first Steampunk story published in the U.S.  (Actually, K.W. Jeter and Tim Powers and I were all writing that sort of stuff in our own ways, but I lucked into print first.) I was on a Robert Louis Stevenson binge at the time and had recently read The New Arabian Nights and The Dynamiter, and it came into my mind to write a wrong-box story – several similar boxes abroad in London that get mixed up.  I was also crazy for P.G. Wodehouse, and my head was full of the sound of his prose and the voices of his goofy characters.  I had no idea at the time, but the characters I created in “The Ape-box Affair” would keep surfacing often enough in the following years that very soon they became series characters.  They’re more fully drawn now and far more active than they ever were in the past.

S: You’re one of the “founding fathers’ of Steampunk, can you tell us a little about how Steampunk came to be?

JB: K.W. Jeter, Tim Powers, and I were friends (still are) in the 1970s.  After we graduated from the university, we were young enough and idle enough to have time to hang around with each other during the day.  We were all new writers at the time.  I had published my first short story, and Tim and K.W. had sold novels.  I was enthusiastically working on an impossible novel, which I would figure out how to write several years later as The Digging Leviathan.  All of us were big on Victorian literature.  K.W., who had a degree (I seem to remember) in sociology, had read Henry Mayhew’s brilliant London Labour and the London Poor, and was regaling us with wild accounts of treasures and feral pigs in the London sewers and that sort of thing.  Tim was researching and writing the novel that would become The Drawing of the Dark, and K.W. was writing Morlock Night.  Much of our “research” went on at O’Hara’s Pub in downtown Orange, California, where I lived at the time and still do.  (I mean I live in Orange, not at O’Hara’s Pub.)  K.W. and Tim were living in a bohemian sort of neighborhood  in nearby Santa Ana, where Phil Dick was living at the time.  None of us had the idea of writing any particular sort of thing at all.  It simply seemed right and natural to set a story where the story seemed to want to be set, and all-things-Victorian were on our minds.  It was nearly a decade after “The Ape-Box Affair” and Morlock Night were published that K.W. would coin the term Steampunk, which abruptly gave shape to the whole thing.  Up until then we had no idea that these novels and stories formed any sort of science fiction subgenre.  We weren’t trying to achieve anything much beyond publishing stories and novels.  We might as easily have been writing pirate fantasies (which would come later for me, unsuccessfully, and for Powers, successfully) or vegetarian thrillers or protozoan stories like Twain’s “The Great Dark,” which I was also fond of at the time.  We might easily be Piratepunks or Vegetarianpunks or Pondwaterpunks now.

S: How have you seen Steampunk evolve from when you first started writing to now?

JB: It certainly has changed, largely by growth and the odd and interesting business of its having affected pretty much all the arts by now.  Whatever literary tastes a reader might have, he or she can find Steampunk examples of that thing in growing abundance.  As for my own writing, however, I’m doing the same thing today that I did 35 years ago when I wrote “The Ape-box Affair.”  If the writing has evolved, it has evolved in the sense that I’m a better writer now.  I bring 35 years worth of stuff to my writing that I couldn’t bring to it back then.  My ear for the language is better, I do more adequate research, I work harder to get rid of anachronism, etc.

S: Are you a plotter or a pantster? Can you tell us a little about your writing style/schedule?

JB: I’m an inveterate outliner, actually: I’m very nervous about promising a story or a novel to a publisher without having a fairly clear idea of what it will entail.  Over the years I’ve sold most of my books after showing the outlines to editors, and that was the case with The Aylesford Skull, my first novel to be published by Titan Books.  I was happy to provide evidence that I actually had a story to tell, and that Titan could safely advance money to me.  That being said, I’ve always hidden the outlines away in the drawer once I’ve finished them, and most of what develops in the novel is purely organic.  My best ideas come into my mind during the writing, when I’m not actively looking for them.  The outline abdicates once the writing starts, because if the outline is on my mind, then fresh ideas have a harder time finding their way in.  I wish I had a writing schedule, actually.  Currently I teach full time at Chapman University, and I also direct the Creative Writing Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts (where Tim Powers teaches poetry and novel writing).  So during the school year you can find me frantically driving around town, eating my peanut butter and jelly sandwich lunch while flying from one place to another.  I’m up at 5 a.m. and often put in 12-hour days, but there’s no time to write during most of them.  So I grab time during vacations and over the summer.  When I’m up against it, my weekends disappear into whatever I’m writing, and I take reference books and etc. along on vacations.  Like most writers, sitting down to write is a frustratingly wasted effort unless I have a several-hour block of time in a moderately quiet house – enough time to read something relevant for half an hour first to compose my mind.  The Aylesford Skull took two years to write.

S: What’s next? Can you share anything with us about any new projects (in any genre)?

JB: I’ve just turned in another Steampunk novel to Subterranean Press – a short novel that’s a companion to my two previous Sub Press productions: The Ebb Tide and The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs.  This new one is titled The Adventure of the Ring of Stones.  I’d chat about it here, but in many ways it beggars description.  I’m also working up a new novel for Titan Books, which (I’m fairly sure) will tie up a loose end in The Aylesford Skull, although the tying up is only a very small fraction of what the novel will be.  Also, a few months back I published a young adult novel titled Zeuglodon, the True Adventures of Kathleen Perkins, Cryptozoologist, and I’ve got the plot for a followup adventure in my mind.  That book really wants to be written.  In short, I’ve got too many writing projects vying for my time.

S: Anything else you want to tell everyone?

JB: Only that readers are my favorite people, and that if they read my books, I hope they enjoy them.  Also, and maybe more vitally, I read recently that a meteor is going to take out the earth in another 25 years.  It’s hurtling toward us as we speak, giving us the glad eye.  So whatever you really want to do, don’t put it off.

–Cheers, Jim Blaylock

http://jamespblaylock.com/

James Paul Blaylock  is noted for a distinctive, humorous style, as well as being one of the pioneers of the steampunk genre. Despite his close association with Steampunk, most of his work is contemporary, realistic fantasy set in southern California, typified by books like The Last Coin, The Rainy Season, and Knights of the Cornerstone. When he’s not teaching or writing, Jim spends his time going to the beach, gardening, working on the family home in Orange, California, traveling, and building sets for local community theaters.

 

To win The Aylesford Skull just leave a comment below. Open internationally. Contest closes May 7, 2013 at 11:59 pm PST. 

 

Suzanne Lazear is the author of the Aether Chronicles series. INNOCENT DARKNESS is out not, CHARMED VENGEANCE releases 8-8-13. Vist www.aetherchronicles.com for more info.

 

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Carousel Horse(photo from http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/)

The circus was a big part of British life in the mid-1800s. Much like the one run by Belinda’s great-uncle, traveling troupes featured side shows, trick riding, acrobats, clowns, and animal taming, along with early carnival rides. Some traveled by train, others by caravan, and my imagination has applied the steampunk elements. For a good article on Victorian circus, you can go here, to an article from the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Here’s a tiny taste of what Connor and Belinda find when they go undercover in the circus: (excerpt ©2013 by Cindy Spencer Pape)

The morning of the circus opening was hectic, but Connor couldn’t help a sense of exhilaration. A crowd of people crowded around the fence watched anxiously as Nicky Smith, the owner’s nephew and mechanical army survivor, stoked the calliope, and performers scurried back and forth getting ready. The scents of animals and roasting peanuts filled the air.

Connor, in his role as assistant ringmaster, was meant to patrol the grounds, nominally overseeing all the workers, but mostly watching the crowd for their adversaries. Today’s goal was to establish that the magick in the circus as real and make sure it was impressive enough that word would spread. He’d spoke to Merrick and Fergus about the Builders’ Guild and the Architecture and Arts Association the night before, and Merrick would look into those today while the circus was busy here.

About half an hour before the gates opened, Connor ducked into the fortune-teller’s tent to make sure Belinda was ready to go. Rowan’s tail thumped as Connor walked in and the dog stuck his big head up for Connor’s scratch. Connor rubbed a wiry ear, but he only had eyes for Belinda. He’d grown used to her simple gypsy clothing of bright skirts and a peasant blouse during the last few days, but today she’d added to it, with brassy bangles on both wrists, big hoops in her ears and a red scarf covering the top of her head, while her dark curls spilled out from underneath. Even in layers of mismatched styles and colors, she still looked good enough to eat as she smiled up at him, her grandmother’s tarot cards in her hands.

“All set?” Willow and Rowan, sprawled on either side of her, shifted to make room for Connor.

Belinda nodded. “I remember my lessons on how to fake a reading in the crystal ball, and I’ve memorized what the various lines on a palm are supposed to mean. I practiced this week on most of our co-conspirators, so I think I’m ready.”

He slid into the chair opposite hers. “Show me.”

Belinda lifted an eyebrow. “You want me to read your fortune?”

“Exactly.” He winked.

“Very well, most honored sir.” She slipped into the persona he’d seen her practicing all week. “Would milord prefer the cards, to have his palm read or to plumb the mysteries of the crystal ball?”

“Oh, the crystal ball, by all means.” He settled into his seat, enjoying the show.

Her dark eyes twinkled up at him. “For the spirits to come, you must honor them with silver. Five shillings, if you please.” She held out her palm.

Connor handed her a five-shilling coin.

“You are most gracious, sir, as well as handsome.” Belinda laid both hands on the large quartz globe on a silver-plated stand in front of her and peered into it. “Think of a question, concentrate on the answers you wish the spirits to provide.”

“Very well.” He grinned back. “I have my question.”

He could feel her gaze dart to him when she wasn’t looking into the ball. “I see an image beginning to form,” she said. “A man? No, ’tis a woman. Her hair is dark, ah yes, but it isn’t your wife, no…she’s younger. A sister, perhaps? I see. Her eyes are just like yours—no, not in color, but the expression, the intelligence and humor, those are the same, are they not?”

“Give over,” Connor said, impressed by her acumen. “How did you know I was thinking of Melody?”

*****

Contest: In conjunction with the release of Cards & Caravans, Cindy is running a contest for a $25.00 gift card to the e-book distributor of your choice, plus the chance to name a character in the next Gaslight Chronicles story. To enter, visit the “Contact Cindy” page on her website and send her a note. Mention which blog you saw this on and some little detail about the post. One entry per person per blog post. The complete rules and a list of post locations and dates are available on the “Contest” page on Cindy’s site.

 *****

Cards&Caravans_final About the Book: Cards & Caravans is book 5 in the Gaslight Chronicles steampunk romance series, and releases from Carina Press on March 18. Find out more here.

Blurb: Belinda Danvers isn’t a witch. But that won’t stop them burning her at the stake…

Connor McKay can tell at a glance that Belinda’s magickal powers are minimal at best. She can’t be guilty of murdering village children. There’s something suspicious about her arrest and lightning-quick sentence. Unfortunately, telling anyone how he knows would mean revealing his own powers. He’s been sent by the Order of the Round Table to help and he can’t just let her die.

Escaping from jail and running from vindictive villagers in her grandfather’s steam-powered caravan is more excitement than Belinda’s had in years. And despite the danger–or maybe because of it–she loves the time spent with her sexy rescuer. But there’s more to his magick than he’s letting on…

There’s something going on that’s bigger than the two of them. It’s time for good to make a stand.

Review: 4 Stars from Romantic Times: “All the trappings of a good steampunk novel are here..but most enchanting of all is the love that develops between the hero and heroine.

*****

About the Author: Cindy S391766_509428429076163_422038333_npencer Pape firmly believes in happily-ever-after and brings that to her writing. Award-winning author of 16 novels and more than 30 shorter works, Cindy lives in southeast Michigan with her husband, two sons and a houseful of pets. When not hard at work writing she can be found dressing up for steampunk parties and Renaissance fairs, or with her nose buried in a book. Catch her online at:

Website: http://www.cindyspencerpape.com

Blog: http://cindyspencerpape.blogspot.com/

Newsletter group: http://yhoo.it/ni7PHo

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CindySPape

Facebook: http://on.fb.me/gjbLLC

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shirtAt an SF con a while ago, I bought a T-shirt that says, “Steampunk means never having to ask ‘Is this period’?” That’s always a big choice when you’re writing alternate history of any variety. How much to keep the same and how much to change? It can be a fine line, trying to give your world that historical flair without simply writing a period novel with some incongruous touches. To quote my agent, “You can’t start out with Downton Abbey and then turn it into Jules Verne.” Well, I guess you could, but it probably wouldn’t work very well. As a former scientist, I tend to want a little order to my fantasy. Yeah, I get the irony.

I try to set my world up with “butterfly effect” differences. In the Gaslight Chronicles, magick (sic) exists and so do paranormal monsters. Therefore, the Order of the Round Table still exists, devoted to protecting England from those threats. After all, who better to organize such a force than Merlin, and who better than Lancelot to head it?  In my version of the 1850s, their descendents are still fighting the good fight. It’s a change from reality, but it’s got a logic to it.

The same goes for technology. In my world a man called Charles Babbage invented the first computers in the 1840s. (He really did, it just never got built. That’s the key change for a lot of steampunk.) In my world, he was also ennobled, and is known as Lord Babbage. From there, technology boomed, and along with it, pollution and other sciences, and women’s rights. Since the code for the Analytical Engine was written by Ada, Lady Lovelace (daughter of the famous poet, Lord Byron), it was proven that women could stand alongside men in intellectual pursuits. And then she founded a college for women in the sciences at Oxford University, which a few of my heroines have attended. (Wink from Moonlight & Mechanicals and Geneva from Kilts & Kraken for starters.) Again, there’s a logic, a cause-and-effect to things.

Is my steampunk realistic? Not in the least. There are vampyres and robot dogs and all kinds of other creatures and creations. But does the world make sense in of itself? A little. At least to me.

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Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

In non-steampunk news, Nailed, one of my older erotic romances is being re-released today. Find out more from Resplendence Publishing.

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