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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Steampunk Author Suzanne Lazear:What is Steampunk?


Steampunkers party like it’s 1899--and what happens when Goth’s discover the color brown. Steampunk is set in a world where steam and natural gas, not coal and electricity are still the primary power source. It’s a world abounding with airships, gas lamps, gears, cogs, and brass goggles and populated with mad scientists, philosophers, adventurists, and air pirates.  HG Wells and Jules Vernon are huge inspirations for Steampunk. Examples include League of Extraordinary Gentleman, Boneshaker, and the Parasol Protectorate series.

Even though there’s a heavy 19th century influence and feel to Steampunk, there could still be extraordinary technology all done with 19th century materials and in 19th century styles. There can be Steampunk airships, space ships, computers, and brass robots. Technology may have simply evolved differently–or maybe a natural (or unnatural disaster) caused society to “regress,” though Steampunk stories traditionally lack the dystopian/anarchist elements that cyberpunk has.
Coming August 2012
Steampunk stories can be set in the past, in the future, or on another planet. They can be set in Victorian London, the Wild West, Asia, another world entirely – you are only limited by your imagination.  They can be alternate histories, mysteries with hard-boiled detectives or cozy Victorian ladies, they can be gothic, or horror, or sweet romance. They can be bodice rippers, erotic, or “tame.” Steampunk stories can even feature the supernatural or paranormal elements. 

It’s in the setting, the language, the gadgets, and the characters–who could speak like Victorian ladies or fast-talking American teenagers. With Steampunk, there’s really a great opportunity to be creative and make amazing worlds ranging from gritty to opulent. Its basis is 19th century in nature, but it’s also fiction so you can do incredible and imaginative things.  The variety of Steampunk stories is only limited by the imaginations of those who write them.  

Are you ready to write?
~Suzanne Lazear

Suzanne Lazear’s young adult Steampunk dark fairytale, INNOCENT DARKNESS, Book 1 of The Aether Chronicles, will be released from Flux in August of 2012. Visit her website at  
She’s also part of the Steampunk group blog Steamed   


Judith Ashley said...

Hi Suzanne,

As someone who was not familiar at all with Steampunk before starting Romancing The Genres, I'm in 'catch-up' mode. Thanks for adding to my fund of knowledge on this interesting genre.

And, thank you for guesting with us! Now, back to my writing - Oops, not today - today is Breeders Cup horse racing and Oregon Duck football. Tomorrow I'm back at the computer.

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Suzanne,

Every time I read something you've written about Steampunk, I learn a little more. thank you for Guesting with us!

Having just started writing my first Steampunk romance, I can attest to the fact that I find writing in this genre incredibly freeing and fun.

I have to comment also on your beautiful dress. You look lovely!

And for Judith, Go Ducks!!!

Genene Valleau, writing as Genie Gabriel said...

Suzanne, thank you for talking about Steampunk--it's a broader genre than I thought. What fun!

And I love the cover of your book!

Diana Mcc. said...

Suzanne-love your dress! I've learned a lot about Steampunk from your blog. Thanks for joining us today.

maepen said...

Thank you for joining us Suzanne! I wanted to send you a personal thank you for helping me at the start of my exploration of this genre. I never thought I could find such a perfect home for my warriors, but you opened those doors and my eyes.

Cathryn Cade said...


A nice summation of steampunk. I remember your online class as a great intro to the many facets of the genre.

Look forward to writing steampunk in the future! So many stories, so little time ...


B. A. Binns said...

This sounds like fun, what can I see, I love to read fun.