OCTOBER
THRILLER ROMANCE


10-21 Sarah Raplee – Author of “Blindsight” Psychic Agents Series, Book One

Friday, May 13, 2011




You know you're a Steampunk Romance writer when airships are the mode of transportation for lovers and steam is the reason they glide through the heavens.


In that vein, today I'm going to compare Steampunk to Paranormal for those who are not familiar to Steampunk. Steampunk is a small newly emerging sub-genre most often categorized with the Paranormal section of your local book seller. Steampunk can have all of the same elements that Paranormal holds, only with a twist. Now you're asking what is the difference between Paranormal and Steampunk?

Paranormal is usually set within a contemporary world. The here and now. A world that we as readers know so well that sometimes we can even date a story depending on the small clues in the setting written in by the author. A certain designer that was popular within a certain number of years, a certain landmark or trademark, or even a certain brand name product. For instance, think back to before September 11, 2001. Think of all the things written about New York that had the iconic twin towers. When you see those stories now, you know it was written before 2001 just because of those towers. Paranormal deals with the supernatural within a contemporary world.

Steampunk on the other wheel, is all about the Victorian aesthetic. Under that vein a Steampunk can be set within any time period or on any planet as long as the feel of the setting is similar to the Victorian Era. The society within the Victorian time depends on the country the story takes place in and is imperative to the Victorian aesthetic. Clothing also plays an important part of Steampunk, most of which are one-of-a-kind pieces designed by the wearer. Technology and gadgets are the more inventive, the majority of which bloom from something that was initially invented in that time while being buffed up with steam engines. In some instances the gadgets can be from out modern age but invented and tweaked at a much earlier time.

Steampunk is all about exploring the "what ifs" of the past while Paranormal is about exploring the unknown side of human nature. I'd like to hear from you. What is your idea of Steampunk? Which do you prefer to read and why?

13 comments:

Paty Jager said...

I'm more interested in the steampunk than the paranormal. I don't know why other than it seems less gruesome to me. (shrugging) not sure why. Thanks for the info!

Judith Ashley said...

All I can say is 'Wow' - never really knew what Steampunk was and now I do! I can't imagine the amount of research that must go into this sub-genre - research and imagination.

How does it break down - research and imagination?

maepen said...

Paty, did you have any questions that maybe I can answer?
Judith, research is definately part of writing Steampunk because every year to every decade has different inventions and ideas that were patented, but never became more than an idea. Here's an interesting fact for you, did you know that the computer was first thought up in 1820's by a gentleman named Charles Babbage?

Anonymous said...

Steam Punk is cool especially since it is considered a major stepping point to several other "budding" genres.
What, you might ask, are these other genres, well allow this medium level gamer to explain. Anyone here played or heard of "Bioshock" the video game? If you have great, if not look at wikiepedia. Belieive it or not that is called "Diesel Punk" which is derived from Steam Punk. In addition there is clockwork which also derives from Steam punk itself hense the whole cogs and sprockets and stuff. Right now i feel that there is a large amount of Steam punk occuring, its just in its infancy stage, give it a year or two and next thing you know we will see more steam punk coming out, look up Bioschock Infinite for further proof. Hope you have fun with it Mea Pen.

Sarah Raplee said...

What a great introduction to Steampunk! I''ll always be grateful that you introduced me to this amazing subgenre, Mae! Anonymous, My son is a gamer and he told me to check out Bioshock - I'll quit procrastinating and do it!

Jean Paradis said...

I had no idea what Steampunk was, thank you for the information.

lacrima1 said...

Hi Mae Pen! Mrs. Sullivan here from Rose City Steapunks. I find it interesting that many of the posters here think of Steampunk as being a new thing, when it's actually been around for about 30 years or so. What's cool is that it has always been relegated to the fantasy/sci-fi genre before, so applying a Steampunk sensibility to romance writing is a new twist. Have you read "Soulless" by Gail Carriger? It's touted as a general Steampunk novel,but I see it as more of a Steampunk romance with a bit of paranormal thrown in - the leading man is also a werewolf! Thanks for explaining the difference between Steampunk and Paranormal; I hope this will open your readers up to an exciting new world!

Judith Ashley said...

Blogger was down and it lost all of Mae's comments from yesterday.

I'm reposting them.

My own post had to do with the amount of research needed when writing Steampunk.

Mae's answer?
Research is definitely part of writing Steampunk because every year to every decade has different inventions and ideas that were patented, but never became more than an idea. Here's an interesting fact for you. Did you know that the computer was first thought up in 1820's by a gentleman named Charles Babbage?

My response? Had no idea it was someone's idea in the 1820's - 1920's yes but not a century earlier.

Judith Ashley said...

Anonymous:
Steampunk is cool especially since it is considered a major stepping point to several other 'budding' genres.
What, you might ask, are these other genres, well allow this medium level gamer to explain. Anyone here played or heard of "Bioshock" the vidwo game? If you have great, if not look at wikiepedia. Believe it or not, that is called "Diesel PUnk" which is derived from Steam Punk. In addition there is clockwork which also derives from Steam Punk itself hense the whole cogs and sprockets and stuff. Right now I feel that there is a large amount of Steam Punk occuring, its just in its infancy stage, five it a yeara or two and next thing you know we will see more steam punk coming out, look up Bioschock Infinite for further proof. Hope you have fun it with Mae Pen.

Judith Ashley said...

Sarah Raplee:
What a great introduction to Steam punk! I'll always be grateful that you introduced me to this amazing subgenre, Mae!
Anonymous, My son is a gamer and he told me to check out Bioshock - I'll guit procrastinating and do it!

Judith Ashley said...

Jean Paradis:
I had no idea wht Steampunk was, thank you for the information.

Judith Ashley said...

lacrima1:
Hi Mae Pen! Mrs. Sullivan here from Rose City Steampunks. I find it interesting that many of the posters here think of Steampunk as being a new thing, when it's actually been around for about 30 years or so,. What's cool is that it has always been relegated to the fantasy/sci-fi genre before, so applying a Steampunk sensiblity to romance writing is a new twist.
Have you read "Soulless" by Gail Carriger? It's touted as a general Steampunk novel, but I see it as more of a Steampunk romance with a bit of paranormal thrown in - the leading man is also a werewolf!
Thanks for explaining the difference between Steampunk and Paranormal; I hope this will open your readers up to an exciting new world!

Diana Mcc. said...

Very cool, and I loved the information on Steampunk.