Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Since starting this blog I have tried to post something everyday (except when I have been away from home), even if it was only Regency slang term of the day.

The deadline for the RNA New Writers' Scheme is looming, however, and my top priority must be to get Lord Alexander's Cipher; or, the Bridekirk Behemoth into the best shape that I can before I send it off for a frank and honest assessment of its many merits. This may mean missing the odd day, but I still hope to say something vaguely interesting, if not always sneering and incisive, as frequently as possible.


Douglas Hoffman said...

I haven't said so yet, but I find The Bridekirk Behemoth an intriguing title. I'd pick it up and read the back cover just on the strength of that title.

Have you ever thought of writing Steampunk? With your knowledge base, you'd roll over the competition. Wikipedia has a good article on the Steampunk genre, if you're unfamiliar with the term. (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is probably the best known example.)


Stephen said...

I have read quite a bit of the genre - Gibson/Sterling's The Difference Engine, Keyes' Age of Unreason series, MacLeod's Light Ages, and some not mentioned by the Wikipedia article: Moorcock's Bastable books (the first of which was written in 1961, long before the label was born), and even Joe Lansdale's Zeppelins West, which is one of those rare books which would have been much better if it had been three times as long.

I really like steampunk, and I had some steampunkish ideas for Behemoth, but in the end they tended to get chopped because they felt a bit shoe-horned into the action. I've still got the pocket-sized tinder pistol, but that is actually a genuinely contemporary item, albeit made in Japan.

I might try and restore some of that aspect in a sequel: the eponymous Limehouse Leviathan is intended to be a version of Fulton's Nautilus.

Douglas Hoffman said...

I'm curious: do the steampunkers get their facts right? If you like the genre, I'm assuming the answer is yes, and that you're not howling madly at the book (the way I howl whenever I try to watch medical dramas on TV).

Stephen said...

Steampunk, like all speculative fiction, is not so much about getting facts right, as about credible world building. The sort of question that strikes me (subconsciously, at least) is "would a world like this remain coherent, or would it rapidly spin out of control. Steampunk, by its nature, tends to be more constrained in its differences from our reality than, say, high fantasy, which has its advantages as well as its disadvantages. If I were blogging about SF I would be very tempted to write at length about the "economics" of magic.