Steampunk Picking Up Steam
Written by Brock Eastman
Featuring Tainted by Morgan Busse
Morgan Busse is no stranger to the world of Speculative Fiction, and she’s now delving into a new series and a new sub-genre within Speculative Fiction; Steampunk. Steampunk has always been around, but in the last several years it’s been embraced by several Christian Authors including Evangeline Denmark (Curio), Shelley Adina (Magnificent Devices), JC Morrows (The Order of the Moonstone) and Christopher Hopper (The Sky Riders.)
Morgan describes Steampunk as, “A fusion of our history (usually Victorian or western) and science fiction/fantasy.”
“So why choose to write Steampunk,” I asked Morgan?
“What I love about steampunk is the possibilities. Steampunk isn’t just science fiction or Victorian. It can have magic if you want. Or you can borrow from the time period of your choice without being confined to it or to the technology that existed. So if you want to invent some kind of steam powered cell phone, go for it!” Morgan explained.
“And what makes it so different, that you wanted to specifically write Steampunk and not Fantasy like your other series?” I asked.
“The thing that sets steampunk apart from other genres (both visually and in story) is the feel. Steampunk has a feel of fantastical inventions, adventure, and science/discovery. Usually cogs, clocks, corsets, goggles, airships, and alchemy are associated with steampunk stories. But you don’t have to have any of those if you don’t want to. Have fun and create your own technology, weapons, and culture,” Morgan said.
“What are some unique things or aspects of the genre that you brought into you series?” I asked.
Morgan went on to explain, “My own steampunk series borrows heavily from the Victorian era and science. I also had fun inventing things such as mechanical animals, an airship that runs on solar panels, a sniper rifle hidden within a walking cane, and a prosthetic arm that functions as an electric cannon.”
She is careful to add though, that “Like any other genre, the story cannot stand on just the genre underpinnings. What connects the reader to the story is the story itself, with characters the reader can relate to. So while you’re having fun inventing your steampunk world, remember to tell a story, one that will grip your readers by the heart and mind.”
And that is what she has done with Tainted and her strong protagonist Kat Bloodmayne. Kat is one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. But she carries a secret: she can twist the natural laws of life. She has no idea where this ability came from, only that every time she loses control and unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. If she doesn’t find a cure soon, her soul will die and she will become something else entirely.
After a devastating personal loss, Stephen Grey leaves the World City Police Force to become a bounty hunter. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing to ensure criminals are caught and locked up. However, when Kat Bloodmayne shows up in his office seeking his help, his world is turned upside down.
Together they search World City and beyond for a doctor who can cure Kat. But what they discover on the way goes beyond science and into the dark sphere of magic.
Morgan’s talent as a writer weaving a powerful story with deeply developed characters rises to the surface in Tainted. Like her other series Follower of the Word, readers will find themselves drawn in and not ready to leave as the story comes to a close.
And her stories always have a deeper meaning that will impact readers long after they’ve finished, so in a way those stories will continue on. I asked her if it was hard to include a Biblical perspective and be accurate when writing speculative fiction.
Morgan explained, “I don’t find it hard to be accurate. I am a visual person, and so when I teach, I use visual ideas to help people grasp Biblical concepts. Naturally, that comes into my writing as well. I don’t preach in my stories, I show who God is, what sin is and what it does to us, and what sacrificial love is by telling a story. The great thing about fantasy is you can actually show it.”
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