I’ve been mulling over a Steampunk space adventure for a very long time, but for many, many reasons hadn’t really developed it.
When I started to finally work on the project, one of the first things I started researching was the actual probability of steam-powered spaceships. Even if it wasn’t actually viable right now, I wanted to come up with something possibly feasible, or at least something I could explain, since I have a habit of writing female MCs who know, or want to know how things work — which means I need to know. I love science, but I was more into chemistry than physics.
M.E. Brines’ article Are Steampunk Spacecraft Really Feasible? was very thought provoking, though I was looking for something more akin to the spacecraft I was familiar with, such as the Enterprise or Serenity.
The hubby proposed I look into nuclear submarines and that technology, or even Project Orion, which was a nuclear-propelled spaceship proposed in the 60’s (which Brines’ article also mentions.)
A recent party yielded the idea of Solar Sails. Now this was a very interesting idea.
Okay, I think I could figure out an interesting power source that fit into the definition of Steampunk–especially if I added that amazing all-purpose element aether.
But what about the carbon dioxide? Bingo. Spaceships use lithium hydroxide to break down the excess carbon-dioxide, so that definitely could have potential. Not to mention some hydroponics in the ship’s garden.
As for what the ship looks like and the layout?
Hmmmm….I don’t know.
Maybe I need to watch Firefly for inspiration. Again.
Suzanne Lazear writes Steampunk tales for teens. INNOCENT DARKNESS, book one of The Aether Chronicles, and book two, CHARMED VENGEANCE are now available from Flux. Visit her personal blog for more adventures.