19 October 2008

Steampunk!

I'm still kvetching over the third LoA book, and working on the promo for the paperback release of THE CROWN OF ZEUS (available for pre-order now!) that I failed to think of something to write this month. So if I amble about a bit, please forgive me. :)

After Jean-Marie's post a couple of weeks ago, about her new-found love of automatons and things of that nature, I decided to do a bit of a follow up on Steampunk. It's sort-of the newest thing in fantasy - leaving behind sword-and-sorcery, elves, dragons, magic schools, vampires, and fairies. What is steampunk? It's a new sort of fantasy that's over a hundred years old. Jules Verne could technically be called the father of steampunk - but in HIS time they were called science fiction.

Lost ya? Okay, lemme 'splain (no, there is too much; lemme sum up). Steampunk is a crazy little subgenre where the stories are set in the 19th century - the Victorian era. In place of magic, there are machines. Like submarines, or flying machines. Inevitably, these are all powered by...wait for it....steam! Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth were written and set in his own time, but the machines were fantastic to his readers (and to us, I imagine). To HIS readers, they were futuristic, to us, they're nostalgic. Cool, huh?

There are some movies that you probably know but don't realize are actually steampunk. Wild Wild West and the corny but always entertaining League of Extraordinary Gentlemen come to mind, although WWW is set in the old west, it's still the right time period.

What's appealing? Besides the fact it's different, the costumes are awesome! Even superheroes look good in Steampunk:



What does it say about me that I want these action figures? Somewhere inside me is a comic book geek dying to get out. Back, you!

I've become really interested in this genre, because I want to write my next book (or series, haven't decided yet) as a Steampunk fairy tale. I have some neat ideas that use historically accurate things (like the influx of illusionists during that time that used mechanical devices for their illusions) and some old fairy tales. It may turn out the Brothers Grimm make an appearance.

My fingers are itching...now I just have to find the time! Sigh. When I grow up, I wanna be one of those authors that doesn't have to work at anything but writing. That and I want a condo by the sea where I can just look out the window while I write. (hey, I write fantasy, right? This is mine.)




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