The trials and tribulations of a self-published steampunk writer

Sunday, 20 May 2012

I know what I like...

There seems to be a raft of new steampunk stuff coming out recently. This is A GOOD THING in general. I reckon the more clanky works that appear, the more good steampunk writing / movies / games we'll end up with to enjoy.

However, a load of the new stuff seems to include more than "just" the clank. Lots of books with steampunk and magic, or steampunk and aliens, or steampunk and whatever. I'm afraid I prefer a good old-fashioned bit of classic clank, without the added seasoning of other fantastic elements.

My favourite steampunk authors are Jonathan Green, who writes the Pax Britannia series, and Cherie Priest, who writes the Clockwork Century books.

Although both writing steampunk (amongst other things), they have very different styles: Jonathan's books are like movie adaptations - rollicking, high-speed thrill rides that can be an absolute hoot, whereas Cherie Priest's books are more "writerly" - subtle and moody with a great sense of place (and occasionally downright scary).

If you haven't read them, I'd heartily recommend trying them both out.

As for other steampunk books, you've got to love Sterling & Gibson's Difference Engine - which for my money is one of the ones that really started it all, along with KW Jeter's Infernal Devices.

Philip Reeve's Larklight kids' series is brilliant, and apparently soon to be a movie (great website too). You also can't go wrong with Moore & O'Neill's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (the graphic novel, obviously, rather than the disappointing movie) and, I have a big soft spot for Joshua Mowll's Operation Red Jericho.

The point of this post, is not to try and make out that my book is going to be a patch on any of these fantastic works. Rather, I just want to give folks an idea of what style of clank they might find if they decide to pick up Red Mercury when it comes out. More on this another time.

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