STEAMPUNK (and Associated Fantastical Anachronisms) publishing Jul-Dec 15!

CA - Steampunk A
Ah Steampunk – and the singular allure of Victoriana with added steam, cogs and fantastical contrivances. What’s that sir / madam? You’d like a 6 month overview of the literary diversions of the very same and associated anachronistic, retro-futuristic fiction? Well you’ve come to the right place!
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We have many fine articles for your perusal here after, but it seems you’ve landed on the very one you’re looking for: read on!

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Harper Voyager – Publishing Jul-Dec 15!

Logo HarperVoyagerUK Here’s an (edited) look at what Harper Voyager have coming for you over the period July to December 2015! We’ll be bringing you our particular recommends of all publishers together by month of publication. Note: Publication dates are liable to change and some jackets are still to come…
*** Publisher Page – link / profile ***
*** See Other Publishers Jul-Dec 15 ***

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Author Profile: Liesel Schwarz

CPP - Liesel Schwarz
‘The High Priestess of Steampunk’ – The Independent


About (from the author’s website):

Liesel Schwarz writes fiction. A life-long fan of 19th Century Gothic literature, she is a hopeless romantic and loves Victorians, steampunk, fairies, fantasy monsters, the Fin de Siècle, and the correct way to drink absinthe. Read the rest of this entry »

Author Profile: Viola Carr

CPP - Viola Carr
On Goodreads
On Pintrest
On Facebook
“Writer, wanderer, lover of the dark fantastic. Author for Harper Voyager.”

About (from the author’s site):

Viola Carr was born in a strange and distant land, but wandered into darkest London one foggy October evening and never found her way out. She now devours countless history books and dictates fantastical novels by gaslight, accompanied by classical music and the snoring of her slumbering cat.


Hailing from Australia and having been a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, Erica Hayes then established herself as an author of Paranormal and SFF Romance. Now writing as Viola Carr she brings a new paranormal history / steampunk world to the streets of London with her Electric Empire series. This began with the Diabolical Miss Hyde in February 2015 and continues in October with The Devious Dr Jekyll; you can read more on the first on our Harper Voyager Jan-Jun 15 New Titles page or our Steampunk New Titles page of the same period.

CBP - The Diabolical Miss Hyde CBP - HV - Oct - The Devious Dr Jekyll



Extract / Preview: Beneath London by James Blaylock

CBP Titan - JPB A short time after sending Mr. Lewis back to work, Mr. Treadwell and Mr. Snips leaned against a wooden railing above the Thames and looked down into the void opened by the Great Sink-Hole, as the Times referred to it. From their vantage point they could see little of the cave that reportedly led away beneath Upper Thames Street, but they could easily make out the remnants of the fallen buildings and the rubble of broken pavement that lay mired thirty feet below.
An army of men was active along the river: shipwrights, carpenters, masons, and laborers taking hurried advantage of the waning tide, and, in the case of the laborers, of the Crown’s offer of ten shillings a day for ten hours work, many of the men working double shifts to gain the one-crown bonus. A bulwark of posts had been sunk into the Thames mud in a great half circle around the hole. The posts were fitted with strake upon strake of good English oak. The pitch tubs were smoking hot, the heaps of oakum ready for the caulking mallets. A portable crane on a barge belched steam and noise as it placed enormous boulders at the upriver end of the hole in order to convince the Thames to flow around it rather than sloshing into it when the tide rose again.

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STEAMPUNK (and Associated Fantastical Anachronisms) publishing Jan-Jun 15!

CA - Steampunk A
Ah Steampunk – and the singular allure of Victoriana with added steam, cogs and fantastical contrivances. What’s that sir / madam? You’d like a 6 month overview of the literary diversions of the very same and associated anachronistic, retro-futuristic fiction? Well you’ve come to the right place!
CA - Steampunk B
We have many fine articles for your perusal here after, but it seems you’ve landed on the very one you’re looking for: read on!

Read the rest of this entry »

Empress of the Sun – Ian McDonald

CBY - Empress ‘Breakneck action … This is vintage McDonald, with beautifully drawn settings, complex characters and deft plotting’ Guardian.
Click here for more books coming January to June 15 from Jo Fletcher books…

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LonCon3 – Second Steampunk Panel: Decontextualising Steampunk

After yesterday’s Introducing Steampunk, and given a lot of folk here love the genre, I was intrigued to see what this panel would make of it. Where the former panel were loosely aiming to end at a definition, taking in the hallmarks and issues of the genre en route, this discussion rather worked the other way. It was not so much about what steampunk is (though of course this is repeatedly touched on) as which of its features are common but not necessary for a work to be classified as such.

The panel was chaired by Ann Vandermeer, the (Hugo) award-winning editor of Weird Tales, well known for her editorial and publishing work in the genre. The others, Gail Carriger, Rjurik Davidson and Liesel Schwarz, are all established steampunk authors, whereas Patricia Ash is the editor of Gearhearts Steampunk Revue, representing more of the steampunk subculture / lifestyle side of things. The panel confirms that the movement is very much alive and, if the increasing number of conventions and attendance thereof is anything to go by, yet to plateau. Interestingly we hear that many of the stylistic steampunk tribe are not even aware of the literary side, though it’s safe to say the readers will have a strong awareness of the former, whether or not their interest extends to the wearing of costume.

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LonCon3 – The Steampunk Literature Panel

A packed room greets us late arrivals with people already having ignored the ‘No Seats, No Entry’ notice, sprawled and stood at the back and sides like Victorian underclass. The panel is made up of Girl Genius creator Kaja Foglio, East Midland author Kim Lakin-Smith, Germany’s Oliver Plaschka and Spain’s Marian Womack, all chaired by Gollancz’s Gillian Redfearn and is in full flow.

The discussion is inexorably heading toward the big ‘what is steampunk‘ question though that, and perhaps some answers, are repeatedly touched on along the way. Aesthetic is the key word, and the love of the genre being ‘playful’; other defining elements or aspects are noted as being the culture of the time: fashion, politics, manners and multiculturalism, and technology and its implications, whether or not treated with a second world twist. As the chair later wryly queries ‘Do you have to do more than stick a gear on it to make it steampunk?’

Kim Lakin-Smith

Kim Lakin-Smith

(Which reminds of the joke of: Q –  ‘How many steampunks does it take to change the light bulb?’ A – ‘Two; one to change the lightbulb and the other to put the unnecessary cog on it.’)

More questions: Are steampunk and Victoriana the same, is one a subset of the other? The panel seem happy that Victoriana, perhaps the more general love of the style of the period and it’s history, has been around for a lot longer. Though now, especially with the modern Steampunk / goth ‘tribe’, there’s a new sense of Victoriana spilling out from steampunk literature.

Steampunk Cos-play Either way, the Victorian period is the era of colonialism and imperialism. The panel debates briefly on whether they’re inseparable from the Steampunk genre – it sounds they’re happy creatively to not confirm they are, though it seems likely they will usually play a part. More interestingly the discussion moves to characters, ethnicity and nationality, how even foreign steampunk authors can be prone to locate their work in the classically British if not London locale. Gillian Redfearn also warns of the danger of unexamined steampunk, in which in the glorifying of the period the issues of race and exploitation are lost; also how less accessible steampunk works may be to non-white readers, given the colonial backdrop and societal if not racial superiority of the British of the times.
And how often are the main or strong characters therein non-British? (It’s a fair point and gets the mind working as to what new ground an author might break by building on the notion.)  On a more upbeat note a number of the panel are emphatic in their appreciation of Steamfunk, in which the African and postcolonial experience and culture is combined with steampunk; that was a new one on me and something to investigate…

Alongside that, later period offshoots of Victorian era steampunk are raised – Dieselpunk, being of the 20’s and (if I heard this right) Dustpunk of the 30’s, each with their own aesthetic, style and view of the world, partly understood through the entertainments of the time.

Oliver Plaschka alludes to the relationship of cyberpunk and steampunk and that the former was of the 80’s, representing the fears and technological developments of that decade (which makes me wonder what the future retropunk of that era might be – NewRomanticpunk? Postpunkpunk?) Then Kaja Foglio expresses her love of and interest in the pre-Victoriana period and it’s potential for similar science fictional interpretation (Enlightenpunk anyone?)

Kaja (and Phil) Foglio

Kaja (and Phil) Foglio

As we move toward the big question, which of course was never going to be categorically answered, Foglio is clear that she won’t ascribe her work a category, Steampunk or otherwise. If you give it a category, she notes, someone is just going to tell you you’re not doing it right. If she has an idea and likes it then it goes in, she says.

Besides, as a friend of hers pointed out, ‘It’s not very ‘punk’ to let people tell you how to do it.’

No arguments here.


Great panel and looking forward to more…