1. Steam PowerEverything became boringly compact and quiet when gasoline came along. Steam-powered locomotives were cool (back when trains really went “choo choo”), and even the trucks rocked. Just look up “steam lorry” on YouTube to find some fun videos. If you have a steam-powered vehicle and want to get someone to move out of the crosswalk more quickly, just pull on the steam whistle.
http://youtu.be/_V4Sz8wFFXM A screech like that is sure to get any granny moving!
2. Cool InventionsThe stuff we actually had in the Steam Age was pretty cool, but those pesky technological advances (electricity, pah) cut the era short. Just think of all the inventions we might have seen if it had lasted longer. When you read steampunk, you get to imagine some fun concepts that never were but might have been. My heroine in Flash Gold, which takes place during the gold-rush era in the Yukon, enters a race on her steam-powered “dogless” sled. Fun times!
3. ExplosionsWith all that inventing going on, things are bound to go wrong from time to time. A machine catching fire here, eyebrows being singed off there…. A resourceful heroine might even come up with a way to blow up an airship full of pirates trying to kidnap her (Okay, I admit it….that last one is from my story).Either way, explosions are much more fun than mere sword or gun fights.
4. Kick-Butt Female CharactersBack in ye olde Victorian days, it was hard to find butt-kicking female characters that could slay vampires, fight off bounty hunters, and/or hold their own in a shooting match. It just wasn’t classy for women to do such things. But authors writing about alternate Earths or high fantasy steampunk settings aren’t necessarily restricted by how things really were. Therefore you can find lots of examples of feisty female heroines to enjoy.
5. Interesting Twists on Historic Settings If you grew up reading fantasy, especially a couple decades ago when there was less variety out there, you may have gotten your fill of those generic medieval settings that all seem to be inspired by Tolkien and Dungeons & Dragons. While authors have since branched out a lot, you can almost always count on steampunk to give you something new. Sure, lots of these stories are set in London and the Old West, and many use genre conventions such as goggles and airships, but you can find numerous authors adding steampunk flair to historical cities from all over Earth–and sometimes from made up worlds as well. I chose the Yukon since I was a big fan of Call of the Wild and White Fang as a kid (thanks for the inspiration, Jack London!). Wherever a story is set, a steampunk story often comes with creative touches.
There you have it: five reasons to grab some steampunk stories! If you’re interested in Flash Gold, you can read an excerpt on my site. I also write about book promotion and epublishing on my blog, so pop in there if you’re an author yourself: http://www.lindsayburoker.com Thanks for reading!