I am excited to welcome back Heather Massey, author of the fab SF Romance, Queenie’s Brigade.
Captain Michael Drake desperately needs an army to save Earth after a crushing defeat by alien invaders. When his damaged starship docks at a remote prison colony, he discovers Earth’s last best hope—an army to replace the one he lost.
But, Queenie, the feral goddess ruling the prison, has other plans for the rugged star ship captain. After imprisoning Drake and seizing his ship, she prepares to lead her blood-thirsty band to freedom before the invaders track them down.
Despite her intentions, Queenie secretly falls for the sexy, hotshot captain. Drake makes it plain he wants to win back Earth with her by his side. But is following her heart worth betraying her people?
Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away an e-copy of Queenie’s Brigade.
Essential Steampunk Characters, Gadgets, & Accessories
Like any genre, steampunk has its own unique roster of characters, gadgets, and accessories. The diversity is fantastic, but there’s no point in trying to navigate an unfamiliar maze if you’re new to the worlds offered by steampunk. With that in mind, let’s explore a few of the essential ones:
The glory of a steampunk story is that because of the alternate historical and/or fantasy setting, the characters can inhabit a variety of roles and occupations. Because of steampunk’s varied and often richly detailed settings and grand adventures, it lends itself to the depiction of colorful, larger-than-life characters. These are folk that do amazing things and look utterly amazing while doing them.
Who are the people one might encounter in a steampunk tale? Inventors, of course, and plenty of them, but the steampunk universe is also populated by airship captains, explorers, pirates, detectives/investigators, plucky (and smart) heroines, automatons, supernatural creatures like golems, super heroes, spies, engineers, and even factory workers. Sometimes you’ll find many of these characters all in one story!
Be prepared to fall in love with steampunk gadgets at first sight because they are both at once ingenious and retro-cool. A steampunk story wouldn’t be complete without at least one cleverly designed device.
Steampunk gadgets can be powered by steam, clockwork, aether, electricity, or whatever creative substance an author dreams up. Authors often mix and match the various power sources with super happy fun results.
Typical gadgets include, but are not limited to the following:
- analytical engines (i.e., steam-powered computers)
- time machines
- steam-powered weapons
- steam powered iron carriages.
- Steam-powered floating cities
Now let’s consider the steampunk accessories. Few steampunk characters leave home without at least one stylish addition to their outfit. Often such accessories are reinventions of standard Victorian ones. Conversely, they can be downright weird and include a variety of bizarre accoutrements that are built into a character’s outfit. Functional purpose is optional.
Number one on the list of essential steampunk accessories is goggles. However, whether fashioned from brass or wood, they’re not just for looks. Goggles are necessary to protect one’s eyes when flying in the open gondola of an airship or while riding a steam-powered carriage or cycle. But if a character does only wear them for looks, then power to her!
Characters may also require items such as pocket watches that do more than just tell time. Umbrella or cane that comes equipped with a spring-loaded dagger? Check. Specialty glasses with multi-colored lenses that can detect strange and unusual forensic details? Double check.
With all of the characters, gadgets, and accessories available for the plucking, steampunk represents a rich, new frontier for literary glomming.
- The Affinity Bridge (George Mann) and its sequel, The Osiris Ritual
- Whitechapel Gods (S.M. Peters)
- Mainspring (Jay Lake)
- Clockwork Heart (Dru Pagliassotti)
- The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Mark Hodder)
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Alan Moore)
- The Narrows (Alexander Irvine)
- Mortal Engines (Philip Reeve)
- Steampunk (an anthology edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer)
- You can also read the immensely popular Girl Genius online for free.
- Virtuoso is a free webcomic set in Africa.
Now for a giveaway! Leave a comment for this post and you’ll be entered for a chance to win an e-copy of Queenie’s Brigade, my new sci-fi romance from Red Sage Publishing.
To make it fun, tell me about your favorite steampunk character, gadget, or accessory. Or make one up!
Meet Heather Massey!
Heather Massey searches the sea of stars for sci-fi romance adventures aboard The Galaxy Express. She’s also an author in the subgenre, with offerings such as “Steambot Rampage” from Dreamspell Steampunk, Vol.1 (L&L Dreamspell). To learn more about her published work, visit www.heathermassey.com.
Heather’s debut erotic sci-fi romance novel, Once Upon a Time in Spacee (published by Red Sage Publishing), features the last living descendant of Christopher Columbus on a desperate quest to find a new world. Standing in his way is Raquel, the deadliest space pirate in the galaxy.
Thank you Heather for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!
Contest Time! Heather is giving away an e-copy of Queenie’s Brigade. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: What’s your favorite steampunk character, gadget, or accessory? Or make one up! Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.
Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.
The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
The contest will stay open until October 13th at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from the snazzy new plug-in I have.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.