The Weird Wild West

The gracious and lovely Sibelle Stone is back with another awesome guest post! Our deepest thanks to her for helping us continue our book giveaway. Take it away, Sibelle!

Prudence for print -with trim -300 dpi -CMYK (2)I need to confess a secret. I love Steampunk. I haven’t discarded my intense attraction to writing Western romance, but my most recent book, Prudence and the Professor has morphed into a strange combination of Victorian age, alternate history with fantasy elements set in the post-Civil War era of the American West.

Say that to an agent or editor and watch their facial expressions. A few people do “get it” but more of them will say, “What’s Steampunk?”

Steampunk a sub-genre of fantasy and speculative fiction, sometimes also called science fiction. It is set in a world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century.

Often, when I’ve heard people search for a quick shorthand for defining the genre, they say, “Wild, Wild West” is Steampunk. Both the movie and the televison series clearly illustrate the elements found in a Steampunk. And both are set in the American West.

When I first discovered Steampunk, I was attracted to the reference to the Victorian era. Most of the books I’ve written have a setting between 1848 and 1888. I love the clothing, lifetstyle and proper rules and etiquette of that age. When I’ve set my books, although they are in Montana, they are also clearly in the mid-19th century. So when I heard about a sub-genre of literature and an artistic movement that included fashion, music and other elements that focused on the era, I was fascinated.

So how do Westerns fit into this technological age of steam? Easily, I think. Consider that the Victorian era coincided with the exploration and settlement of the West. There are so many possiblities for creating stories that are set in the wild, unexplored wilderness beyond the Mississippi. With Steampunk, a writer has the freedom to rewrite history, to include magic, technology and a fantastical world all in the same work. The possiblities are endless and they excite me.

So, while my book coming out in September is clearly set in the reality of a Montana mining town in 1874, it expands the horizons of  possiblities to take a setting of historical reality and mix it with all the “what ifs” of fantasy and speculative fiction. In this Steampunk world there are Native American shape-shifters, Mechos, Arc-guns and one rather peculiar Professor who meets his match when the widow Prudence Worthington arrives to become his secretary. That’s when the sparks fly!

Sibelle Stone

www.sibellestone.com

 

 

Don’t forget our free book giveaway! It only takes a few seconds, and we will notify winners at the end of July!

Click this link below to hit our entry form:

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