STEAM POWERED – a guest post by Rae Gee (NSFW!)

Great machines belching out clouds of steam and smoke. Sky pirates and clockwork automatons. Secret government organisations and an Empire which spans the globe. All of it washed down with lashings of tea, gin and cake.

So why is Steampunk so popular? Why is it resonating on such a level?

Some would say that it’s another turn of the key, that all genres come around time and again. We only have to look at the popularity of the vampire genre. We had it in the early 1990’s with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Interview With The Vampire. Now we have it again with Twilight and the Sookie Stackhouse series. Again, we had it with apocalyptic films. In the late 90’s it was alien invasions, closely followed by asteroids heading for earth. Now it’s zombies and aliens. Of course, you can keep going back and looking at the cycles of different genres.

But Steampunk seems to be touching people on a far deeper level. For me, it’s a chance to harken back to what we see as a slower pace of life. These days we’re all hooked up 24 hours a day. Everyone’s Facebooking, Tweeting and blogging. If someone wants to speak to you, you’re instantly attainable via phone or email. 150 years ago, there was none of that. If you wanted to speak to someone you went to see them or sent a letter through the postal service. It was also a time of great innovation, a time when the world was our oyster. With the innovation came many ideas, some of which most likely never saw the light of day.

Steampunk, at least for me, gives us a chance to explore what may have been. What secrets are buried in government files, never to be seen by anyone? What was sketched as the next big machine, only for its creator to be silenced before it saw the light of day? What happened in the shadows and smog? There are a million different questions you could ask yourself.

It’s also a genre of beauty. People create everything from new worlds to costumes to artwork to working machines. It’s a world of possibilities, of one which can take us on voyages to wherever we want to go.

For me, it was a chance to explore forbidden relationships. I never intended for Mars on the Rise to be Steampunk, and I never intended for it the characters to be in a M/M relationship. But, as we know, when the fingers go walking over the keyboard anything can happen. All we have to do is close our eyes, take a deep breath and let the imagination soar free. From our humble abodes it can reach anywhere.

In the 1800’s, homosexuality was still a crime. Until 1861 it was still listed as a crime which was punishable by death. So it was a nice opportunity to explore prudish attitudes and the freedoms of what went on behind closed doors. Would someone with their nearly discovered sexuality be scared? Would they be fearful of what others would think? Or would they just embrace their new lifestyle and enjoy what they had? How would they react while lying in the bed of another man?

Cedo goes through all of the emotions before cautiously accepting his new life. Yet he also finds himself fighting against the man that Erus Veetu is. Erus owns England’s largest weapons manufacturer, Veetu Industries, and believes that it is what he’s destined to do. Cedo has a strong sense of right and wrong and believes in all that is right. He tries to instill this in his new lover, but with what he believes to be little success.

I won’t tell you what happens! That would just spoil it! Needless say, it’s spawned two more books, and there are more on the way. The lure of a strange, beautiful steam driven world is just too much. I have no intention of leaving. Instead, I’ll make more tea, invite you take a seat and we’ll spend the evenings creating new worlds, ready for those who follow to find.

Ah, before I truly leave, I must leave you with a little something. Apparently I have a “thing” for red heads and this was a little bit of inspiration which was left on my Facebook for me. Enjoy!

Image from: http://mathiaarkoniel.deviantart.com/

***

Mars on the Rise

A storyteller steps off a pier and into a world of steampunk oddities, fearsome weapons, and a dangerous man. Promised fame and fortune by the country’s largest weapons manufacturer, Cedo gratefully falls into the arms of Erus Veetu. Dark, dangerous and with nothing to lose, Erus shows him that Svenfur isn’t all Cedo thought it was. For beneath the streets is a dark, gas lit world of slavery, human sacrifice, and deadly machines. With the machines waging war in the East, can Cedo stop the country’s deadliest man from bringing it to the shores of England? Or is he too late to penetrate the cold exterior of his Master and halt the cogs and gears of progress?
Set in a Victorian world of sex, drugs and steampower, Mars on the Rise tells a dark, gritty story of what happens when our dreams come true. Whether we want them to or not.

Available now from Torquere Press: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=97&products_id=3564

Print copies are available from Amazon, The Book Depository and other shopping sites.

Rae spends an inordinate amount of time online. Probably more than is healthy. If you’d like to leave her some inspiration you’re more than welcome to. She pays with tea!  http://www.facebook.com/thequeenofsteam

If you’d like to keep up with Erus’ snaky comments, feel free to follow him at: http://www.facebook.com/Veetu.Industries

3 thoughts on “STEAM POWERED – a guest post by Rae Gee (NSFW!)

  1. Thanks for sharing this with us, Rae. The book sounds fascinating! I grew up reading a lot of Victorian literature and sci fi, so the steampunk world seems terribly familiar, yet strange at the same time. I absolutely adore seeing the kinds of contraptions steampunk crafters make, and the stunning costumes! I must get myself a proper steampunk outfit together, even if I have to sew it myself.

    Oh yes, and there’s the tea. Mustn’t forget the tea, that’s terribly important!

  2. OH thanks for sharing your thoughts and that gorgeous artwork. I’m adding this book to my “to read” list 😀

  3. Thank you so much, ladies! The kettle around here is always on so feel free to stop by for a cuppa. The cake’s in the cupboard by the oven. :)

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