E. Catherine Tobler is a Sturgeon Award finalist and the senior editor at Shimmer Magazine. Among others, her fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Her first novel, Gold & Glass, is now available.
by E. Catherine Tobler
Why steampunk? Someone always asks. And then usually: wait, what’s steampunk? Because quite often the person asking about my book, Gold & Glass, doesn’t have a wider knowledge of the genre in which I write — they’re genre curious and want to know what exists beyond science fiction (“Oh, rockets.”) and fantasy (“Oh, elves.”).
When I explain that steampunk is often a beautiful mash up of Victoriana or the Old West, with technology that rarely reaches beyond the steam-powered (The Wild Wild West and Adventures of Brisco County leap to mind), they often look at me with doubt. Goggles? Top hats? Trains filled with hidden weaponry? Shiny metal doohickeys? And then I bet them that I can see steampunk elements in their favorite science-fiction. No way! they shout. Yes way.
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