The Serious Side of Steampunk

Cogs, steam, Victorian affectations; everybody gets that pretty quick. But the other part, the ‘punk’ aspect; this goes unnoticed by most. Jason Robert LeClair brought it to my attention during writer’s panel at the Florida Steampunk Exhibition East, in Daytona. That’s when I realized I fit in more than I’d ever imagined.


Punk: A young person, especially a member of a rebellious counterculture group.


Okay, young I’m not; though young in spirit to be sure. By which I mean I still have dreams and faith in my ability to achieve them. I’m mature enough to realize that dreams die on the vine unless hard work and time are invested.


Rebellious? Let’s just say, I’m not a fan of the way things are going. Maybe if we swapped Congress for a jury of our peers and sequestered them from public opinion and lobbyists, we’d get plain language laws that even the playing field for all concerned. Professional politicians, laws written so only lawyers can understand them, and lobbyists and the powers that employ them; these I have a rebellious streak for. My tool for change? I write stories I hope will make people think amidst the brief entertaining distraction.


Counterculture? If it’s popular, odds are I haven’t a clue about it. I couldn’t tell you what popular shows are on TV right now, unless you count Dr. Who. Even when I was a member of the media’s target audience age most their ads and marketing schemes whizzed right over my head.


At a recent convention a woman apologized for ‘geeking out’. She and I were discussing Nikolai Kibalchich, a character from history included in my novel. I laughed and told her, “That’s what conventions like this are for; so people with similarly unpopular interests can, for a short time, exist in a microcosm where punk is popular.


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