The Allure of Steampunk by Lara Nance
Welcome to our Revelry! Huzzah! We’re celebrating my newest steampunk release, a hot, steamy short titled, One Steamed Night, from Decadent Publishing’s 1Night Stand series.
Grab a glass of absinthe, put on your corset and googles, and let’s celebrate steampunk.
To immortalize my new release, leave a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the super cool steampunk heart necklace I made especially for Valentine’s Day!
So, what is it about steampunk that is alluring?
Perhaps you’ve thought about reading a steampunk novel? Now may be the best time ever. With its growing popularity, there are many new books out in this genre. Including my steampunk novel trilogy, The Airship Adventure Chronicles.
First of all, for any newbies out there…what is steampunk? There are as many definitions as there are people giving them. Here’s mine:
It’s a Victorian themed world, where steam is the power of the day, running everything from furnaces to automatons. There are iconic images that pop up in this world, such as: corsets (worn on the outside, of course), goggles, top hats, pocket watches, airships, an occasional octopus, and lots of gadgets made from clockwork parts.
People are flocking to steampunk. The last convention I attended, Steamcon in Seattle, had around 3,000 attendants. And that’s only one of hundreds of other conventions and events around the world. You can check out information about conventions and local groups at www.airshipambassador.com
What’s the allure? Speaking for myself, I think it’s the romance of the era. There’s adventure on every corner with airship pirates, mad scientists and clockwork monsters. Fashion is at the forefront with everything from bustled satin ball-gowns, to bustiers and fishnet hose, to leather, chains and studs.
Some people say steampunk is when Goths discovered the color brown…But the beauty of steampunk is that you make of it what you want. You can go for a genteel Victorian flavor or a leather bristling with weapons look. Or, a combination of the two. If you don’t want to create your own outfit, there are shops on the internet with everything you need. My favorites are steampunkthreads.com and clockworkcouture.com. Etsy has a huge variety of folks selling their original steampunk jewelry.
Inventions are key. You can invent a steam powered computer or a clockwork robot. Weapons are only as limited as your imagination, as long as you stick to the clockwork/steam scenario.
For the winter fashion shows I saw major fashion designers incorporate steampunk into their fall lines, Movies add steampunk elements that never existed in the original story (think Three Musketeers with its airships and corsets, even Oz had some goggles), TV shows focusing a segment on the steampunk culture (remember the Castle episode?). Take a look at women’s boots these days – you’ll see lots of buckles and retro styling.
Okay, you get the picture. Steampunk is everywhere.
In 2013, people said steampunk had peaked. But in my opinion, the culture is on the rise. A recent IBM analysis said steampunk is on the rise to emerge from sub-culture to mainstream. On-line games and series are coming out everyday, new cons are popping up everywhere, and new books are coming out with interesting steampunk characters and environments.
So, if you’re interested in writing or reading steampunk, the time is now. You can choose between a variety of base genres in which to incorporate the steampunk theme. Sci-fi, fantasy, romance or mystery/thriller. Add some spunky, resourceful, characters and a splash of imaginative adventure and you’ve got a steampunk novel. Adding a little hot sex only adds to the allure.
Don’t forget the father of steampunk (in my humble opinion), Jules Verne. His book, Around the World in Eighty Days inspired my own stories. Books like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, are great examples of an imaginative high-tech Victorian era.
If you’re looking for movies, check out The Golden Compass, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, The new Three Musketeers movie, Wild Wild West, or Hugo. They’ll give you some great images of different steampunk worlds.
Some people argue whether steampunk is alternate universe or alternate history. To me, it’s both…or either. It’s what you want it to be. And that’s the beauty of this genre– freedom to create an imaginary world, or simply say “what if” within the real Victorian world. You can add magic, or paranormal creatures, or stick with plain old humans.
This is a chance to unleash your imagination and take a new look at the world through a pair of goggles. Steampunk folks are some of the most imaginative people I’ve ever met. And they definitely know their history.
Oh, by the way, you’ll have to learn the proper way to drink absinthe, too.
I’m so excited to announce my newest steampunk tale, One Steamed Night. It’s part of the 1Night Stand series from Decadent Publishing. Madame Eve gets very creative in this fun adventure to give Mina the fantasy man of her dreams once she becomes disenchanted with the typical bar scene.
Let me know if you like it. You can e-mail me from my website: www.laranance.com Plus, if you sign up for my newsletter you’ll get news of upcoming books, and a chance to win signed copies of my trilogy in print.
What are your favorite steampunk books? Leave a comment and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the super cool steampunk heart necklace I made especially for Valentine’s Day!
Here’s an excerpt from One Steamed Night to enjoy:
A cloud of gray smoke drifted by, clearing the air. Her breath caught in her throat and she clutched her chest, fear shooting through her. They traveled in a galleon, high above the ground. Over her head floated a large inflatable attached by a series of ropes. Madame Eve was a magician to create such reality.
“This way,” her escort shouted above the din. He held tightly to her elbow and hurried to an aft deck a few steps above the main deck. “Cap’n. Here she is.”
A tall man behind the ship’s wheel yelled, “Aye. Now, man the main engines. We need more steam.”
Using both hands, she held onto the stair rail, staring, her mouth slack. The captain was the embodiment of all her fantasies. Broad-shouldered with muscular thighs and narrow hips. Long, blond hair hung to his shoulders. Dear Lord. This man belonged on the cover of a romance novel. That’s more like it.
“My lady, please come up. We’re trying to fight off air pirates.” He extended a hand in her direction.
She gulped in a breath. Smoke from the cannon swirled about her. The acrid scent stung the back of her throat and she choked.
“What is all this?” she asked, wiping her tearing eyes.
“Hurry.” With a wave of his hand, he motioned her to his side.
A cannon ball whizzed past her head and over the side. With a scream, she ran up the steps.
The captain’s arm encircled her waist, pulling her to his side. . He wore a brown leather jacket and flight helmet. Goggles covered his eyes, so she could only guess at their expression. His tan pants were tucked into thigh-high boots. Like the other man, he sported a scabbard and sword, with a pistol in his belt.
“Captain Ross, we scored a direct hit,” one of the men on deck shouted.
His fellows roared their approval, raising hands in the air.
“Don’t stop now, mates. There’s three more of them,” the man at her side shouted. He gazed down at her and grinned. “Don’t worry, my lady. Three to one are odds I like.”
“Who are they?” Her breath caught in her throat at the nearness of his handsome face.
“Air pirates. No doubt they heard you were aboard and figured you’d have a fortune in jewels with you.” He gave her a saucy wink and squeezed her waist.
“Why would they think that?” She wiggled in the tight embrace. Who is this man?