Steampunk rocks

You know when you buy a new car and suddenly start noticing how many of the same colour or make are on the road? I own a Toyota IQ and would have sworn I had never seen one before I bought mine. Well, they aren’t all over the place, but I’ve seen several since. (The other ones are usually tidier. And cleaner.)

It was the same when I started writing my steampunk novella. It has pretty much grown organically, one of those books that wakes you up in the middle of the night with a must-not-forget idea, and I would have sworn there was hardly a book out there in the genre. Huh. Hundreds, that’s all.

The most frustrating thing about the genre is the number of people determined to put it in a box, label it, and give it rules. If I mention it, on Twitter especially, you may be sure at least two people will sternly tell me which guideline books I must read first.

Okay, my usual books are whodunits and there is most definitely a set of rules for classic detective fiction, but (a) that’s been hugely popular for a hundred years and more and (b) the rules are actually way more flexible!

Steampunk has to have Victorian clothing? Come on. Brass and clockwork? Surely optional. It just hasn’t been around long enough to have such dull restrictions. For my money, there is steam technology, there is exuberance, and there is an SF overlap that takes it out of the Victorian / historical era. THAT’s steampunk.  At its best it is absolutely joyful.

Anyway, Place is out with my wonderful, brilliant, long-suffering readers at the moment. So far so good, the feedback is very positive (albeit occasionally puzzled, especially with the regular whodunit beta readers).

Here’s the cover and the planned blurb. I’d love your comments. Just don’t tell me I broke the rules. I didn’t break my rules!

No Place like Place_kindleA laughing love affair was the very last thing Abby expected to enjoy on Place, an unfashionable planet with a tiny mining community. She’d been told the community had a decidedly retro lifestyle, the bugs were as long as your arm, the camels looked as though they were on steroids,  and the neighbours were stone-age goblins, but no-one had mentioned the rather yummy Brad. Her doctor had tried to offer a thread of hope when he recommended Place; life in a dead-and-alive backwater was her last hope of survival. Young, adventurous, not prepared to write off her only option without a fight, she reluctantly agreed. She hadn’t expected to find a life that would utterly delight her.

She also hadn’t been told about the Talia, because no-one knew about them. They were several thousand years away in space and time, and no-one in Place would ever suspect their existence, but the Talia were even more interested in Place than she was.

This light-hearted steampunk novel, first in a mini-series of three, introduces the eccentrics and absurdities of life set in a future our great-grandchildren will know, but lived in a way our great-grandparents would have found more familiar.  

The Talian story is entirely separate and the chapters headed with their spaceship can be skipped altogether without affecting the main story.  SF fans, though, should enjoy the double thread.

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5 thoughts on “Steampunk rocks

  1. OMG!! And I hardly ever use that…for obviously reasons but what a surprise to read this 🙂 Talk about a departure E, or is it J now…more confusion! I don’t know much about Steampunk, I’ve read one novel I think and I love the fact you’ve made up your own rules though I daresay the traditionalists won’t like that! Whatever, I salute you and wish you every success with your new project!!

    • Haha I have always written SF as well, but will be using the two names to keep the genres separate to avoid confusion. My only published SF one is currently being seriously revamped to go on a one-week free promo at the same time as Place launches. I haven’t made up rules, just resisted being boxed in (a fine line, to be sure) in a relatively new genre which is part of a genre which knows NO limits. Thanks very much for your good wishes!

  2. I found your blog and blurb delightful. I, too, have a steampunk novel that has just come out. I did it my way. Oh, mine wasn’t gritty enough or Victorian enough, I was told. Well, no it isn’t. It, too, is on another planet and though everything runs on steam and clockwork things it is a geothermal steam so that cuts down on the grit. 🙂 My Sunstone isn’t lighthearted as yours but that is fine…it is more of a thriller. I am looking forward to reading yours. BTW a friend passed on your blog to me because she knew the comments mine got and found a sympathetic note in your blog. Nice going!

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