Tuesday, September 27, 2011
As the hub of the industrial revolution, Victorian Britain and its culture will continue to be one of the strongest settings for Steampunk fiction. That said, it is not the only legitimate setting. After all, even Jules Verne’s most memorial character, Captain Nemo, mentioned more than western European aristocrats in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. "Do you think I'm unaware of the suffering people and oppressed races of this planet, the poor to be comforted, the victims to be avenged?" In our modern world most people share the Captain’s concerns and a trend toward multicultural Steampunk mirrors this.
One book that breaks out of the typical Steampunk mode is Cold Magic by Kate Elliot. The first book in her Spirit Walker trilogy focuses on Celtic and African Cultures. Another novel cultivating cultures other than those of Western Europe is The Burning Sky by Joseph Robert Lewis, the first book of the Halcyon Trilogy. This alternate history is set in exotic Morocco in the 16th century, a melting pot of the people of West Africa and the Mediterranean. It encompasses the Amazigh, Yoruba, Igbo, Mali, Spanish, and Persian cultures.
For Steampunk in an Irish setting try James White’s As Silent Stars Go By. In this alternative history, Ireland, the most powerful nation, launches a space flight to a new world, which includes their allies, the Redmen, the natives of north and South America. For more Steampunk exploration of ancient cultures, check out Maeve Alpin’s Steampunk/Romances. Though As Timeless As Stone is set in Paris, and the soon to be released As Timeless As Magic takes place in London, they both include an ancient Egyptian time traveler as a main character. Her brand new novel, To Love A London Ghost, coming October 7th features an unusual Steampunk heroine, a Celtic warrior ghost from the Iron Age, who died on the bank of the Thames fighting Julius Caesar.
Steampunk settings and ethnicities aren’t limited to Western Europe. After all, Steampunk is for everyone and the literature should emulate that. The popular trend toward Multicultural Steampunk is sure to grow.
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Friday, September 23, 2011
To Love A London Ghost, my second Steampunk/Romance book comes out October 7th. If you want a fun Steampunk read for Samhain or Halloween this is it.
When Queen Victoria orders Sexton Dukenfield, premiere phantom hunter, to track down England’s missing ghost he stumbles into Ceridwen, a phantom warrior woman of an ancient Celtic tribe. Not only does he find her intriguing as a piece of the puzzle of the missing spirits, but he’s also haunted by her sultry sensuality. Though they both burn with desire, it’s difficult to quench their fiery passion since Ceridwen is so translucent. Every time Sexton touches her, his hands pass through her misty body. On a mission through the bustling narrow streets of London, to a dreary match factory, and even to the Otherworld and back, to stop a genius scientist and his phantasm debilitater machine, the ghost and the ghost hunter also seek the secret to freeing the boundaries of life and death.
Taken off guard, Sexton finally managed to catch his breath. “Do you see her?”
Katie bobbed her head, then raised her thin, trembling arm and pointed at the apparition. “Ghost.”
The specter spread her feet in a warrior stance with her back straight and her chin tilted up. “Keep your box and magic beam away from me.”
Even in these strange circumstances, Sexton couldn’t help but notice the ectoplasma outline of the lush bulge of her heavy breasts. He riveted his eyes on them, then his gaze roamed to her waist, which flared into curved hips and long, supple thighs.
“These?” He held up the device he clutched by the brass handle and grabbed the one strapped over his shoulder. “No magic, just boxes. They measure energy and heat, to tell me if phantasms are near. They can’t hurt you. Though I don’t need them now. I can see you, I know you’re near.” He turned his head toward the child peering at the specter from behind him.
“She really is a ghost,” Katie said.
“Indeed, and looking right at me.” Sexton looked back at the stunning spirit. He could tell her hair had been blonde and her eyes a sky blue. He felt warm being near her, rather than cold. Looking the phantasm in the eyes, he said, “I’m not going to hurt you and I was just going to ask you to not hurt me. I can help you go back to the light.”
“I’m not going to harm you, but I’m not going to the light or anywhere else until I free the others and bring vengeance on those men for capturing me.”
“Do you mean others are there, more phantasms are in the factory?” He nodded toward the building. “Captured by men, did you say?”
“Yes, about eight ghosts.”
Sexton took a deep breath. “Well, well, you are just the phantasm I was looking for.”
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