Saturday, January 2, 2010

Steampunkery!

Steampunk is a fairly new idea for many people. I've run into a lot of writers who don't know much (if anything) about it. I'm no expert, but I'm learning!

As many of you know, my NaNo novel is a YA Steampunk story. It's my first foray into the genre, and I'm finding it a lot of fun. I like playing around with the Victorian setting. I enjoy the research I've been doing to learn more about the timeframe.

The characters are a lot of fun too. My characters are lower class, and that makes it a bit different from some of the Steampunk I've read. My main characters rely on creating new machines and selling them for their income. They're also trying to solve a couple of murders and keep one step ahead of the killers who are now after them.

Calista Taylor over at A Steampunk Reverie is currently holding a Steampunk Short Story Contest. The entries are up on her blog. For a great introduction to Steampunk, pop on over and check out the stories. You'll be amazed at the diversity of the writing. Some will make you shiver, some will make you laugh, others will make you wonder. All will keep you entertained.

Have you ever read any Steampunk? Do you enjoy trying out new genres in your writing or do you prefer to stick with what you do best?

62 comments:

  1. Welp, this is my first introduction to steam punk. I do like reading new genres. You gotta learn new stuff to keep growing. Even if you don't like it and decide not to read more, you've at least been introduced to it. And chances are just as good, you'll like what you read.

    Helen
    Straight From Hel

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  2. Helen - so true! Without new ideas, we stagnate - and that's no fun at all! I like trying new stuff out too :)

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  3. Hi Jemi :)
    Here's to a magical fresh year!
    I have Cherie Priest's BONESHAKER on my pile to read and it is Steampunk. According to all I've read about the definition for Steampunk, Jules Verne is actually Steampunk, as is H.G. Wells, and so is The Golden Compass and the new Sherlock Holmes movie.
    I haven't written Steampunk. No story ideas have come to me for it. I am writing Urban Fantasy though or just plain old Fantasy set in modern life, like Anne Rice or Tanya Huff etc. :)
    Love & Best Wishes,
    Rob

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  4. In truth when I first started up on twitter Calista's site was the first exposure I had to Steam Punk and I love it.

    Not to mention some of those stories from that contest were fantastic and super duper creative! Will have to try the next contest she does. :D

    Trying out new things is a good thing. How does one know if they don't try at all? ;-)

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  5. I must admit I never heard of steampunk, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to check out the site you suggested and see what it's all about. Thanks.

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  6. Hi Rob!

    Yes - those are all great examples. I haven't seen the new Sherlock Holmes movie yet - but am looking forward to it! Just gotta talk my hubby into it :)

    I like Fantasy as well - there are so many great genres! I haven't written fantasy yet, but I've got some ideas.

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  7. Layna - so true! Calista first introduced me to the Steampunk genre as well. I planned on entering the contest, but the holidays kind of got in the way. Maybe next time :)

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  8. Mason - I hope you enjoy the contest entries. I found them a lot of fun :)

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  9. Does H.G. Wells and Jules Verne count? I'd love to read a modern steampunk. The description sounds interesting.

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  10. Medeia - yes they do! I hope you can pop over to Calista's site and enjoy some newer stuff :)

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  11. Jemi- You introduced me to the term, but I didn't realize it was all around me! I have been seeing it in movies for years! Now i have to read the literature. Are you entering the contest?

    Michele
    SouthernCityMysteries

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  12. Michele - I planned on it, but the holidays took over and I just didn't get to it. Maybe next time. Calista has had a few contests, so I'll have another chance I'm sure :)

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  13. Well now I'm interested to see what you're doing with steampunk, good lady. It's kind of fun to write, and read!

    I guess it's something like those Syberia computer games from years ago that I never managed to get into, isn't it?

    Thanks for pointing folk in the contest's direction, too!

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  14. Simon - it is fun! I've really enjoyed trying it out :)

    You're welcome - I know everyone who pops over will enjoy it!

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  15. I've never read any steampunk, but the idea of fusing advanced technology in the altered past sounds interesting. I'll have to read a steampunk book after I finish readung the three books I'm currently into.

    Stephen Tremp

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  16. Stephen - it is a really neat concept! I like what people are doing with it - although I've just touched my toe into the water so far :)

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  17. I'm heading over to Calista's. Best of luck w/your novel it sounds truly awesome. I'm a sucker for a good murder mystery!

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  18. Debra - I know you'll enjoy the visit!

    I love murder mysteries too - adding in the Steampunk setting was an added fun bonus :)

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  19. I visited Calista's blog. Now I'm loving modern steampunk.

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  20. Medeia - I so glad you popped over!! Isn't it great?? I loved the stories :)

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  21. I'm ashamed to say this is my first time hearing of Steampunking and will the instant I'm finished here follow the link you have provided.
    Thanks for sharing and warm regards,
    Simone.

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  22. You're welcome Simone - it's a fun genre and I hope you enjoy the side trip :)

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  23. I'm don't mind reading steampunk, though it wouldn't be my first choice. It is good that this sub-genre is becoming more popular as there are a lot of interesting ideas out there. I don't think I'm going to try my hand at writing it anytime soon though.
    Thanks for sharing this post.

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  24. Hi Cassandra - Thanks for stopping by :)

    I love the thinking behind some of the steampunk inventions. The thinking is so creative!

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  25. I am new to Steampunk, but I love the concepts behind the genre. This year, I read Arhtur Slade's THE HUNCHBACK ASSIGNMENTS. Think Victor Hugo meets 007 meets Sherlock Holmes. Fantastic book.

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  26. Jenny - that sounds like a terrific book - I'll have to check that one out for sure :)

    I agree - the concepts behind the genre make it very, very intriguing!

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  27. I liked steampunk before it had a name (Brisco County Jr., Arcanum etc.)--the mixing of "what if" science with Victorian flair and ornamental excess was lovely. I have yet to read any of the new Steampunk stories, though, so thatnks for the link. I will check it out!

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  28. I know nothing about steampunk, but keep hearing the term. Thanks for the link.

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  29. Hi Jemi,

    funny you mentioned this genre (which I love). I also have a blog post prepared about it, and it's coming out soon. ;-)

    I didn't know your NaNo project was steampunk-ish. How nice! Must be much fun writing and researching for it, no? I'm hoping to see it on the bookstores. :-)

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  30. Steampunk sounds an intriguing concept, indeed. It is one I have never read before, yet feel inspired to do so now :)

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  31. I haven't ready any steampunk that I know of, but the premise of your novel sounds so good and I would love to read it!

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  32. Lorel - you're welcome! I didn't know about the genre at all until Calista introduced me to it about a year ago. It is such an interesting blend of ideas :)

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  33. Elizabeth - you're welcome - hope you have a chance to pop over and check it out!

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  34. Mari - thanks for the vote of confidence! :)

    I LOVE the research aspect of it all - so much fun!

    I look forward to your blog post - great minds and all that :)

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  35. Q - Calista's blog is a good place to get a taste of what it's all about! Have fun checking it out :)

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  36. Thanks Nisa - such a nice thing to say :)

    I'm having a lot of fun writing it - very different from what I've tried before :)

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  37. I've read Wells and Verne, and years ago I read The Difference Engine. I'm not exactly clear on the difference between cyberpunk and steampunk apart from the period element, but I'm heading over to Calista's to see if I can't get it all straight in the muddle that is my brain. :)

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  38. VR - my brain's a muddle with some of it too - I believe the main difference is the time period, but I'm no expert!

    Have fun at Calista's blog!

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  39. I've always really admired the different elements that seem to make steampunk up--seeing them put together is really cool. I'm excited about reading more of it!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  40. Elizabeth - I like the blending as well. It's such an odd combination of elements. Have fun reading through the entries!

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  41. I like the sound of your story and I guess I've read steampunk without realizing that was what it was called. Or is this a relatively new term? I guess the period element is key, in which case it would be fun to try. I will check out the link. Thanks!

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  42. Yvonne - I think the term has only surfaced in the last few years - but I'm just learning myself, so I'm not sure.

    There are several similar genres depending on the time period as well as the power source - in this case steam.

    It fun - hope you enjoy the link :)

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  43. I've never read Steampunk, but I'm very intrigued. Will definitely read at least one in 2010.

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  44. Lisa & Laura - it is a fun genre - Hope you enjoy it :)

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  45. I actually just finished my first steampunk novel today- one I betaed for. It was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to reading more in the future!

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  46. I'm curious, I used to live in a place called Arcanum, which in Latin means "a secret place" but what does that have to do with Steampunk? (Re. earlier post by Lorel.) Any idea?

    Oh, and Jemi, I'm reading Gathering Blue.

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  47. Stephanie - awesome! That's how I was introduced to the genre as well :)

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  48. Yvonne - I had to look it up! Arcanum is apparently a steampunk computer game - sounds fun :)

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  49. I had never heard of steampunk before reading this post, but thanks for the introduction. And thank you for the reminder to embrace novelty, to fumble with uncomfortable personal tools, and to test our often self-inflicted limits.

    Happy New Year!

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  50. haven't heard of steampunk...and no one has written in to me with characters from steampunk novels, either. maybe one day.

    jeannie
    The Character Therapist

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  51. I never heard of Steampunk until a few months ago. I still am not sure what it is... Your story sounds interesting.

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  52. Aidan - Glad to introduce you to a new genre :)

    I agree - we have to keep testing ourselves and our boundaries. To me that's part of the fun!!

    Thanks for dropping by :)

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  53. Jeannie - Maybe one day indeed! Steampunk folks are fun. I find the genre a little edgier than some other genres so I wouldn't be surprised if you see a few soon. :)

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  54. Carolyn - steampunk is set in Victorian times, and it centres around machines that are run by steam. A lot of the machines are much more modern than the actual timeframe - which makes it fun! Thanks :)

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  55. How on earth did I miss this? Great post and thanks so much for the link! I can't wait to read your steampunk story!

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  56. Calista - we're busy folks - missing a blog post is EASY to do!!

    Glad I could send a few people over to you. They loved the stories :)

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  57. Hi Jemi - thanks for checking out my blog earlier!

    I first heard the word steampunk in a quite different setting. When I got married two years ago I kept hearing about "steampunk weddings" - there is quite a subculture out there!

    I've not attempted to write any steampunk stories but it's something I'm interested in trying. I've written a fair bit of gothic horror in the past and I think there's good potential for overlap there.

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  58. Hi Kate! Welcome :)

    Steampunk culture is pretty wild! There's definitely potential for overlap in those 2 genres - you'd have fun with that!

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  59. Hello - I followed your blog over from Nicola's blog party :) I saw that you were an aspiring YA author who was into Steampunk, which piqued my interest because that's me, as well :D

    I love the idea behind Steampunk. When I was younger, I really enjoyed the Back to the Future series, particularly when Doc Brown gets sent back in time and creates a time-traveling steam engine. I didn't realize till later that he (and Jules Verne, etc.) were "steampunk." It's just such a cool concept, with so much opportunity for alternate history, unique takes on technology, and all the fun fashion and etiquette of the era. Good stuff.

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  60. Hi Genius! (love the name btw)

    Steampunk is a lot of fun! I'm still at the learning stage too - but like you, I've seen/read some Steampunk without realizing it :)

    It really is a great genre - so many different ways to play it!

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