by Elysabeth Williams
Everybody wants to know, what is Steampunk? You’ve probably heard the term at least in passing at some point, by now. It’s not really a secret anymore now that it is climbing like wildfire in the genre of speculative fiction and science fiction or fantasy movies, music and fashion, exploding into mainstream.
So what is it? In terms of fiction, previously published scientific romances and fantasy books written in the 19th century by the likes of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, as well as others, like Mary Shelley generally influence it. Now, in the present, it is a multi-media subculture, expanding video games, movies, books, fashion, and music. Games like Bioshock (arguably dieselpunk or decopunk) the movie Golden Compass, the Guy Ritchie remake of Sherlock Holmes, and League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and even the 1960’s American television show The Wild Wild West depict Steampunk. It is the fresh, romanticized vision of technology by way of making it retro. It’s also described as embodying time and place. The time and place, usually, but not limited to, the Victorian or Edwardian age from the 1880’s to the early 1900’s, otherwise known as the Industrial Age or the Age of Steam when new technology was exploding at a rapid rate.
Steampunk is adventuring and romancing with high tech things that wouldn’t have normally been in that time-period. Practically (or literally), time traveling into the past, yet somehow managing to keep modern technology intact, such as computers run by clockwork cogs and wheels, steam powered rocket ships, zeppelins, anything the imagination can come up with that would make it somehow fit in the seemingly wrong era.
|Bonus RDJ in a Top Hat..purrrr|
I find writing Steampunk exciting and fresh, due to the fact that only my own imagination limits me to what can happen. The whole genre is wide open in terms of what the writer can make up to fit into their alternate history, or alternate reality. I love the romance depicted in that era, mixed in with the ability to make it what I think might have happened behind those sly smiles. The generally rigid rules and high expectations of what Society’s ladies and gentlemen should have been doing are cast aside for the chance for excitement and adventure.
|The Ladies of the EEE3|
My novel, Electrifying Exploits of the English Three, takes full advantage of the ability to encompass romance and adventuring in a Steampunk setting. Three women, hired by a mysterious Colonel in India by the name of Cuthbert, are trained from a very young age to do covert work for him. They will do their part to bring justice to those who need it by using all means of technology given to them by their employer. Using computers and the equivalent of blue tooth earpieces, the group has done everything from capturing art thieves to their latest adventure, attempting to stop a Countess and her army of seemingly high society men from blowing up the recently erected Tower Bridge. The women plan to bring down the coup alone, but when they entangle their lives with three men who they think aren’t involved with the Colonel, things get trickier and they realize they need help from the outside. A fast paced and equally quick-witted tale of electricity powered ray guns, brass robots, computers run by cogs and odd placed romance keeps the story going up to the very end.
I loved writing this story, and will be finishing up one like it within the next month or so. I hope readers will love it as much as I do!