Jess Faraday, May 2019:
Steampunk writing combines imaginative technological tinkering with a 19th century aesthetic. Cheaply done, that means slap some gears on it, call your protagonist 'Lord Crankshaft' or 'Lady Windlass, ' and get it out the door.
But we at Elm Books wanted to dig deeper.
The 19th century was a time of exciting scientific developments: steam power, electricity, refrigeration, and so much more that we take for granted today, but that seemed like witchcraft at the time. But it was also a time of great social inequality and ruthless colonial expansion. It was not the best time, for example, to be female, or poor. And it was a terrible time to be an original inhabitant of a colonized land. And the steampunk genre, like every genre, could do better in representing these stories.
This anthology brings you some of the stories that go beyond the traditional tropes.
Within these pages, you will find lady sharpshooters and dominatrix detectives. You'll encounter vampire forensics, sleuthing Rabbis, and ancient East Asian vendettas exploding onto the streets of East London. And in one spectacular story, one man uncovers a corporate conspiracy to steal the very power of the sun. Perhaps we should have called this anthology Death in the Age of Steam and Sun.