Airships…steam-trains…top-hats…goggles, gears, clockwork and floating, mechanical castles. These – and much more – are the stuff of Steampunk!
Still stumped as to just what Steampunk is? Well, you could just pick up a copy of my book – Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman (Books 1 & 2) (http://www.amazon.com/Moses-Chronicles-Harriet-Tubman-Books/dp/1477422889/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1342614088&sr=8-2&keywords=moses+chronicles+of+harriet) – and enjoy a pretty cool Steampunk novel, if I may say so, myself – or read on and I will define Steampunk for you (feel free to still get the book, though – I won’t be mad at ya’).
Steampunk is a literary genre – a marriage of science fiction and fantasy that features the technological and social aspects of an Age of Steam. In the world of Steampunk, steam is the “nuclear power” of an industrial era – whether that era takes place during the Victorian Period of the 1800s, in ancient Egypt, or in a future in which electricity and steam takes the place of fusion power.
The funny thing is – I was writing and enjoying Steampunk long before ever hearing of the genre. I – and many of you, I am sure – was a fan of Steampunk for decades before the term “Steampunk” existed. From 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen; From A Series of Unfortunate Events(Lemony Snicket) to The Golden Compass; from the old Wild, Wild, West television show to Warehouse 13 – all of these are Steampunk. Van Helsing, Sherlock Holmes and even Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein – all Steampunk!
I have always loved Steampunk because it is so damned cool! I mean, in what other genre can you find a team of superheroes with a roster that includes Mr. Hyde, the Invisible Man, Captain Nemo and Tom Sawyer?
In what other genre can you find Harriet Tubman in a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse with John Wilkes Booth?
In what other genre can you find a brother as cool as Catcher Freeman(or as frightening as his alter-ego – Catch – a – Freeman)?
I love Steampunk…for the most part.
What I do not love is the lack of main characters of African descent (hell, the lack of main characters of any descent, other than European). The literary genre, as well as the design aesthetic, is wrought with racism and sexism (as is the fantasy genre, in general). A few authors of African-descent are changing this; and, as we discover how much fun it is to write in this genre, many more of us will join in.
I already mentioned my book, Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman – available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, or directly through http://www.mochamemoirspress.com – and there are a couple of other Blacktastic Steampunk tales that I know you will love as much as I do:
For a short story I wrote that combines Steampunk with the Sword & Soul fantasy subgenre, check out The Hand of Sa-Seti: http://www.scribd.com/AuthorBalogun/d/78886474-THE-HAND-OF-SA-SETI-A-Ki-Khanga-Tale
Oh, and for those few of you who do not know where to find the aforementioned cool-cat, Catcher Freeman – a character who made his first appearance on The Boondocks animated series – check out this video homage I made in his honor a while back: http://blackcommunityentertainment.com/videos/36/catcher-freeman
For more authors and the genres of fiction theylove, check out:
Winston Blakely, Artist/Writer–is a Fine Arts/Comic Book artist, having a career spanning 20 years, whose achievements have included working for Valiant Comics and Rich Buckler’s Visage Studios. He is also the creator of Little Miss Strange, the world’s first black alien sorceress and the all- genre anthology entitled – Immortal Fantasy. Both graphic albums are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and other online book store outlets. Visit him: http://blakelyworks.blogspot.com/ or http://blakelyworkstudio.weebly.com/
L.M. Davis, Author–began her love affair with fantasy in the second grade. Her first novel, Interlopers: A Shifters Novel, was released in 2010, and the follow-up Posers: A Shifters Novel will be released this spring. For more information visit her blog http://shiftersseries.wordpress.com/ or her website http://www.shiftersnovelseries.com.
Milton Davis, Author –Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: http://www.mvmediaatl.com and http://www.wagadu.ning.com.
Margaret Fieland, Author–lives and writes in the suburbs west of Boston, MA
with her partner and five dogs. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, Lifelines http://tinyurl.com/LifelinesPoetry/ is available from Amazon.com Her book, “Relocated,” will be available from MuseItUp Publishing in July, 2012. The Angry Little Boy,” will be published by 4RV publishing in early 2013. You may visit her website, http://www.margaretfieland.com.
Valjeanne Jeffers, Author —is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at:http://valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://qandvaffordableediting.blogspot.com/
Thaddeus Howze, Author–is a veteran of the Information Technology and Communications industry with over twenty-six years of experience. His expertise is in re-engineering IT environments using process-oriented management techniques. In English, that means he studies the needs of his clients and configures their offices to optimize the use of information technology in their environment. Visit him: http://ebonstorm.wordpress.com or http://ebonstorm.weebly.com
Alicia McCalla, Author—writes for both young adults and adults with her brand of multicultural science fiction, urban fantasy, and futurism. Her debut novel, Breaking Free will be available February 1, 2012. The Breaking Free theme song created by Asante McCalla is available for immediate download on itunes and Amazon. Visit her at: http://www.aliciamccalla.com
Carole McDonnell, Author–She writes Christian, speculative fiction, and multicultural stories. Her first novel is Wind Follower. Her short fiction has appeared in many anthologies and have been collected in an ebook, Spirit Fruit: Collected Speculative Fiction. Visit Carole:http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/ or http://writersofcolorblogtour.blogspot.com/
Rasheedah Phillips, Author–is the creator of The AfroFuturist Affair in Philly. She plans to debut her first spec/sci-fic novel Recurrence Plot in Spring 2012. You may catch her ruminating from time to time on her blog, AstroMythoLosophy.com.
Nicole Sconiers, Author-is also a screenwriter living in the sunny jungle of L.A. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she recently published Escape from Beckyville: Tales of Race, Hair and Rage. Visit her: http://nicolesconiers.com/index.html
Jarvis Sheffield, M.Ed. is owner & operator of TheDigitalBrothers.com, BlackScienceFictionSociety.com & BlackCommunityEntertainment.com. Visit him: http://www.blacksciencefictionsociety.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2stjwb1h216fd