Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stay Tuned

 July 2nd Come to the Authors Show and listen to my interview about SHIFTERS. Check out this cool blog supporting indie authors.  Right now for Indie Week you can read the prologue for SHIFTERS.  I also would like to announce my BOOK LAUNCH at the Wee Book Inn in Edmonton July 27th 6-9pm.  Hope to see y'all there.

Monday, June 18, 2012

What it means to be Steam Punk

Literary steam punk is a strange and mysterious genre or sub-classifications within a larger genre.  For example, a science fiction or fantasy story, were it to have an airship or automaton would have elements of steam punk, or a steam punk story, were it to have fairies or aliens, would be considered to have elements of fantasy or science fiction. The word “punk” is used as a method of “stealing” ideas or inventions from another time/reality/ or world. The term steam punk seems to envelope a large mass of ideas that need sorting out.  The history of steam punk is well defined in Wikipedia and other sources, but an analysis of this genre is controversial, so here is a rational layout, using definitive terms:
Victorian:  Lucky for us Queen Victoria ruled Britain for many years during a time in the world of high stakes and adventure.  Many Steam punk stories are set in this era also because it was the age of science where new inventions were conjured constantly.  They can include glamorous fashions from the time period while ignoring cultural convention or proper etiquette.  In short, an author has many options with setting, and Victorian works well.  Most settings help define genre such as American Wild West, Gothic , Industrial Revolution etc.
Alternate history, retro futurism, retrotronics:  Taking a moment in time and blending new elements to rewrite history. i.e. giving Napoleon ray guns or making Abe Lincoln a vampire slayer. Jules Vern and Edgar Alan Poe were originators of this genre.
Speculative fiction: usually refers to future events that could possible happen.  They can be post apocalyptic and dystopian.  What if Britain won the American Revolution?  What if there was a nuclear holocaust?  What if?
Cyberpunk: Infusing cyber technology into a historical setting such as computers, electricity, robots, aliens, or laser weaponry.  Think Cowboys and Aliens.  I will include time machines in this category because whatever the source of power, steam/clockwork/gas/electrical, the warping of time creates an element beyond any technology we could imagine.
Gas Lamp, Urban myth: Includes paranormal events that take place in a historical setting such as Bramstoker’s Dracula.  They include elements of magic, mad science, optical illusions and creatures beyond normal rules of existence.  These legends are well known for eliciting fear in the hearts of readers and therefore get re-approached many times.
Clockwork: Often synonymous with steam punk, this includes clockwork inventions that go beyond the confines of reality i.e. the automaton and other devices based on simple and complex mechanics like booby traps, weapons, locks, vehicles and so on.
Kite work/ Air work/ Water work etc.: Inventions using the power of wind water and air with the ability to supersede average travel before it’s time i.e. gliders, ballooning, dirigibles, air ships, blimps, hydrogen or gas powered flight, steam ships and submersibles.
So the next time you are asked to classify the Invention of Hugo Cabaret do not merely say, steam punk.  Saying a speculative, clockwork fiction set in historical France would give a more accurate description.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hard to tell what this is?  It's Darth Vader using the force against the New Jersey devils in last night's playoff game.  The dark side did not prevail, however and crunch time is upon us.  Seriously, I stop watching the playoffs once all the Canadian teams have been eliminated.  It seems hypocritical to cheer for a team in a sport with ice, when the city itself never sees ice all year.  Sorry, L.A. The best thing about this pic/video is the way it combines the passions of both of my brothers.  One is a hockey maniac, the other is a sci-fi nerd.  Who would have thought they could both be represented in the same photo.  So bros, this one's for you.
The Bone CageSo I just got back from the Writer's Guild of Alberta. conference and I really enjoyed myself.  The Hotel Arts is an amazing place (the tiles in the bathroom were so cool!) and the food was exquisite.  From my observations I noted that all the writers there were friendly, artsy and completely lacking is any name brand clothing or sports regalia.  I wonder if any of them would admit to following the playoffs.  I did get to meet Angie Abdou who critiqued some of my work and gave me a signed copy of THE BONE CAGE.  Then I went to see Snow White and the Huntsman again.

Hope all of you had as cool as weekend as me!

P.S. 4 days left until my blog tour giveaway is drawn, don't miss out!

Monday, June 4, 2012

no licking computer screen
I've got an unhealthy connection with movies sometimes.  Don't judge me.  I need an escape from reality and it is mere coincidence that Kristen Stewart plays the character I wish I was.  My state of shock over this movie still hasn't worn off.  Chris Hemsworth? The broken, isolated angry warrior that is transformed into a hero with the simple inspiration of your presence.  Wow. His strength lies in his arm, while his will is weak and she, with the will of a Bengal tiger, depends on his physical strength with all reluctance and humility afforded an imprisoned princess.  Yes, the fairytale story is rehashed, but if it never changed, my daughters might stay convinced to wait for a perfect prince to rescue them.  Betrayal, distrust, and grief are unknown concepts to them and I weep for the day when they are forced to deal with them, especially if the source is that handsome prince they thought was perfect.  Freaking hot, yes and amen, but is that enough?

P.S. SHIFTERS e-book on Amazon is FREE today and tomorrow! It is currently #15 in kindle action adventure list