I’m one of those that defines the paranormal genre as more than just creature fiction–anything that is outside of our normal world fits the bill for me, though I know some disagree, and that’s okay.
Being the analyzer that I am, when I set out to write my steampunk romance a year ago, I bought a Kindle book on how to write steampunk, in case I missed crucial elements from the books I’d read or from my appreciation of the cosplay aspect. It gave me some great ideas to work off of, but one thing stuck out for me, and that is, the writer said that one of the elements that needed to be present to be considered steampunk was an element of magic or that appear to be magic. This didn’t jive with what I’d read in the genre, or even with the antecedents in the likes of Wells and Verne. Like any rule that messed with the story I wanted to tell, I ignored it, and wrote away.
However, in the past year, I’ve read more and more steampunk that blends into urban fantasy, populated by zombies, werewolves, and vampires, or that have magic wielders.
Don’t get me wrong, I love this development (I am a member of this blog that celebrates pushing genre boundaries). In fact, I just finished reading Kiss of Steel, which Amber reviewed last week, and WOW. I add my wholehearted endorsement to that review. In fact, I was so blown away, I went to my local bookstore yesterday and bought the second in the series.
I digress. I think. I have a point here somewhere, I just know it. *Shuffling things around* Ah, yes. So, blog readers, do you agree with the writer who said steampunk must include magic of some kind–that the genre bending has changed the face and expectations of what’s considered steampunk that it no longer allows room for kicking it old school?
To me, what I love about writing and reading steampunk is the chance to play with history, since I’m a history nerd. Explore the what-ifs, and that’s what I had fun with in mine.
Do you read steampunk? What are your expectations when reading it? Why do you like it?
Photo credit: By Craig Hatfield (Nyah. Uploaded by Fæ) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons