So you can read my books

Friday, September 5, 2014

Can you write STEAMPUNK without STEAM?


I ask that question because three of my former customers say that my last two novels are STEAMPUNK


One set of definitions include:

Steampunk perhaps most recognizably features anachronistic technologies or retro-futuristic inventions as people in the 19th century might have envisioned them, 

and is likewise rooted in the era's perspective on fashion, culture, architectural style, and art. 

 Steampunk may also incorporate additional elements from the genres of

fantasy, horror, historical fiction, alternate history, or other branches of speculative fiction, making it often a hybrid genre

Sean Fagan wrote a fascinating post on the basic necessities  of STEAMPUNK:


Think Doc Savage, The War of the Worlds, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.  That kind of adventure.

In THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT, two undead empires are at each other's throats and a plague worse than the Black Death threatens the world.


From the bloody madness of the Devil's Wind in 1857 India

to the tinder box that was Egypt in 1895,

the heroes of THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT manage to stay one step ahead of death.


In both HOUSE OF LIFE and STARS, excavated Egyptian temple sites are in actuality sentient alien star craft,

filled with deadly booby traps ... and aliens awakening to exact revenge.

Nikola Tesla has his "Flying Carpet", molded in the form of Horus and his sheltering wings.  It is actually a hybrid airboat and hover craft.


Albert Einstein was once asked how it felt to be thesmartest man alive, and he said, "I do not know. Ask Nikola Tesla."

Again and again in THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT, the inventions of Nikola Tesla save the lives of Samuel McCord, his wife, and his companions. 

Most of those presented in that book and in DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE Nikola actually invented!


McCord's wife, Meilori Shinseen, is actually Sekhmet!

McCord wins the friendship of the alien Bast

His erstwhile companion is Ada Byron, inventor of the first computer language 100 years before the creation of the computer.

His three enemies in THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT are the undead Abigail Adams and the revenant Empress Theodora

And the mummy child, Princess Shert Nebti, carrier of a dread plague that could wipe out Mankind


Samuel McCord, reflective though cursed Texas Ranger, provides the sounding board for all the readers

who can see and feel the adventures and mysteries and riddles of these two tales.

Trying to explain the wonders to himself, he explains them to the readers as they turn the pages.


Mark Twain, seeking fame, fortune, and adventure in a mid-life crisis.

Oscar Wilde, freshly broken out of Reading Goal by Twain and McCord, searches for the inner peace and self-respect he has lost.

Lt. Winston Churchill on the road to glory finds an even greater treasure.

Nikola Tesla, yearns for a like mind who will understand his misunderstood genius.

{Nikola Tesla and Mark Twain}

Come read THE STARS BLEED AT MIDNIGHT and DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE to see just how STEAMPUNK I can be!  Or not be -- depending on your definition!!


  1. Genres don't matter to me. I often prefer stories which cross genre lines - but it is character and story which will get me in - and keep me.
    Based on this definition your stories could indeed be considered Steampunk though. Does it matter to you? And does it make any difference?

  2. I disagree with that label, but if it gets you more sales, then use it. These are your books and you can call them what you will.

    That term could turn off the enthusiasm of some readers, and if you had initially called them such, I'm not sure I would have been interested.

    Be true to yourself, and don't let others name your style for you.

  3. Hi Roland .. I'd have had no idea what steampunk was .. until the Closing Ceremony came along - which was steampunk related .. and I checked Wikipedia where various authors were set out with notations .. Mervyn Peake in particular and HG Wells ..

    But I'm so unknowledgeable .. I'd better check your new books out ... cheers Hilary

  4. Elephant's Child:
    Like you, genres do not mean anything to me -- only the story and the lead character -- if I enjoy spending time with the lead character, I will read most anything.

    I never thought I was writing Steampunk, nor does thinking of my novels called something with PUNK in it is unappealing!!

    I just thought it was interesting I was accused of writing something that I never even thought of! I just wrote a novel I thought I would enjoy reading!

    And TSBAM I wrote because you and Inger enjoyed DEATH IN THE HOUSE OF LIFE so much. :-)

    I have always enjoyed H G Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs who inspired Steampunk.

    I think of myself writing science-fantasy a term coined by my favorite author, Roger Zelazny.

    I hope you enjoy my books. I wrote for the story not the genre! :-)

  5. I have never heard the term before, but then of course I am here in the country and way more unknowledgeable than Hilary ever will be. I mean she knows just about everything, just like you, I may add. I guess that was a very long sentence, but there you have it.

    I love your write-up here, it is fabulous. I started reading The Stars last night and I am so curious to find out how Abigail came into Sam's life and what's going on with her. This reminds me to go and post the book at the bottom of my blog. Later and all the best with new readers.

  6. Now that you brought this up, yes, I can see steampunk elements in your stories which is one of the reasons they are so interesting. Maybe you could up some of those elements if you're really interested in steampunking, kerplunking. It's certainly another market.


  7. Some of the new genres confuse me. That probably means I'm getting old. It's more difficult for me to accept some changes.


  8. When Albert Einstein was contacted by time travelers, he admonished, "It's about time you got here."

  9. Ah, but are there airships, Roland? I haven't read much steampunk, but that seems to be a prerequisite. Otherwise, your description is spot-on: the HG Wells / Jules Verne genre. You know I'm a big fan of McCord!

  10. Steampunk features the evolution of alternative technologies caused by isolation, alternative universes, alien influence, technology lost, or an apocalypse. In a way, even "The Flintstones" are steampunk.

  11. Inger:
    Thanks for listing my book on your blog! I hope you enjoy Sam's latest adventure. And there are so many terms that I stumble on and not know them!

    I think D.G. may be right: calling my books Steampunk may turn more readers off than attract new ones!

    I've always been unhappy with chanbe myself my whole life!

    Well alien technology, alternate universes, impending apocalypse, and lost cultures certainly are integral to HOUSE OF LIFE and STARS!

    There are intelligent sand-buried star ships and Tesla's hover craft. Close enough? McCord is a big fan of you, too.

    I'll take you up on your email offer, but this weekend at work has consumed all my time!!

  12. I couldn't define steampunk, but I like it when I see steampunk art and objects. I also love history, Egyptology, and Mark Twain, which make for all the more reasons I'm looking forward to reading The Stars Bleed and Death in the House!

    What a wild, (Wilde?) wonderful imagination you have!