Tuesday, June 16, 2015

My Steampunk Experience

Who Remembers the 2002 movie adaptation of H. G. Wells' story "The Time Machine"?

The-Time-Machine-2002This quickly became one of my favorite time travel movies. My two top favorites are the "Back to the Future" trilogy, followed by "The Time Traveler's Wife", which was also based on a book. What did I love so much about "The Time Machine" (the movie)? It was the underlined suggestion of Steampunk.

Well, the 2002 blockbuster movie was loosely based on H.G. Wells' 1895 novel by the same name. Which in that day was a contemporary Science Fiction novel.

TimemachinebookAmazing how things change.

However today, it's considered a classic science fiction novel. It has a Victorian Era feel, which is why I correlate it with Steampunk since Steampunk, as a whole, is somewhat based on an alternate earth where the Victorian Era never came to an end, and all things were still powered by steam rather than advanced technology. There is also the assumption that life would differ drastically from what we know and love today. Fashion would be different, and society would be dissimilar to what it is today.

The H.G. Wells novel has been reinvented throughout the years just adapt it to modern society.

Here are some of the newer covers, of the same story.

Time Machine Collage

PS: Yes, I have read the novel as well, in case you are wondering. LOL :D

Why do I bring all of this up? Because this was my very first experience in anything that could be considered Steampunk.

SP.ArtPerhaps it's my love for sci-fi, science and history that attract me to Steampunk. Possibly it's because in essence Steampunk is a combination of all of those elements. But, funny enough I'd never written a story about it. I suppose that has something to do with me thinking that I couldn't do the genre justice.

Recently, that changed.


So, the Vice President of All Authors Publishing House came up with the idea of an Anthology that would feature our published authors. The aim of this anthology was to answer one simple question:

Would/could the handsome man ever fall for the ordinary/awkward woman?

Handsome Guy and Ugly GirlWell, I thought, isn't that a great question?

And what should cross my mind? Yup, you got it ...

thinkingYou know what I've never written? A Steampunk? Hmm, I wonder if I can pull it off? Can I answer the question AND turn it into a Steampunk story? Hell yeah, I can! I'm the epitome of multi-genre. Why couldn't I mix Steampunk with Romance and Futuristic Science Fiction? If H.G. Wells did it, why can't I? Pfff! Piece of cake!

Ooooor, not so much!

Turns out, it was one of the hardest things I'd ever done. Ironically enough, as much as I love the genre, I found it incredibly hard to produce a story.

You know what? Thank heavens for people that believe in you!

When I'd gotten to the end of my ropes and was just about ready to toss the story out the window, my bestie stepped in and said "Let me take a look at that." What I love the most about my bestie is that she gives it to me straight all the time, just like she knows I'd do for her.

She said, "Jazz, I see what you're going for. I like the idea ... but this isn't your best work. You can do better. Just put a little 'Jazz' in it." Basically, she told me I was trying too hard to make it fit into some Steampunk mold and that I wasn't letting the story flow like I normally would. It was those words that changed it all.

"You know what bestie, you're right. I just have to be me and the story will come together." :D

I am happy to announce that from that conversation "The Steam of Opposites" was born. My short story contribution to "Crackles of the Heart: Divergent Ink Book One", coming soon.

SP.loveHere is the Mini-Blurb:

Steampunk Earth, set in the distant future. When an ambitious city guy meets a carefree country lady, what starts out as a getaway to finish an important project turns into a interesting journey. Steam intersects and hearts collide in “The Steam of Opposites”.

And, just to entice your imagination, here is a small excerpt.

dividerExcerpt of "The Steam of Opposites"


"Crackles of the Heart: Divergent Ink Book One"

© 2015 All Authors Publishing House

Steampunk Earth 2075

The first thing Ryu heard were the spindles and gears of his clock-like mechanism as it crashed against the pavement.
“Damn it!” he exclaimed. The redundancy of the inescapable was starting to get to him. He had to get it right. It was imperative that this device work properly, after all, the Mayor was waiting on it. Finally exhausted with the attempt of perpetuating an experiment that simply would not work, he got to his feet, stomped across the room, grabbed his cane, hat and jacket then marched out. A quick walk around town would certainly help his exasperated mind.

A man like Ryu was hard to come across in these times. He was not only handsome, but also an entrepreneur, gentleman and inventor. The crème de la crème, as far as bachelors were concerned. Tall, dark and handsome. Intelligence was just a plus.

Ryu’s current assignment was an Analogue Data Processing Mainframe—a computer, as it was called in some places—for the Mayor, who needed it for whatever reason. Ryu did not know, and frankly did not care, so long as his payment was assured. However, with the Mayor as his client, imbursement was a given. The dilemma was the actualization of the project.
Opening the door and stepping outside, Ryu took a moment to look around. Everyday seemed to be exactly the same as the last. Hover cogwagons which drifted on sprockets and were powered by steam zoomed past—dark gray smoke spitting out of their exhaust pipes. Buildings so tall that the human eye could scarcely see the tops, emitted murky fumes from somewhere above, far past ocular perception. This caused the blue sky to tinge with gray hazy waves.

Like a dirty ocean, Ryu considered.

Women and men strutted past the busy streets, some hand in hand, wearing their best apparel; Victorian yet modern. It was an amazing mixture of past and present. The dark tones of their lavishly embellished garments were combined with the smooth texture of modern day latex. A formula created to cool down the body during the heat and warm it during the cold, yet keep society conservative and properly covered.
Ryu considered taking in a huge breath of fresh air, then realized that there was no such thing and opted against it. Looking from left to right, he slowly proceeded down the stairs to the sidewalk which was covered in muck. Ryu shook his head in disappointment. Not only did he have to live with the pestilence in the stratosphere, but he also had to walk in it.

Ridiculous, he thought.

The city life had become something of an inconvenience. He longed for the peaceful ambiance of the country. Momentarily Ryu considered phoning his Aunt Trudy and alerting her of his arrival, then remember her pesky cats—all fifteen of them—and decided that it might not be such a good idea.
Maybe a Bed and Breakfast, he thought. “Yes, indeed. That sounds like a marvelous idea.” he said to himself, then looked around to see if anyone heard him.
It was at that moment when Ryu knew if he took a hiatus to the country there would be a high probability that he would finish his undertaking. The tranquility was certain to ease his rankled state of mind. “Yes, yes, I think I shall.”
As he strolled through the bustling thoroughfare, he mentally planned his impending trip … itinerary and what have you.

dividerThis story and many other great ones will be included in "Crackles of the Heart: Divergent Ink Book One", so keep an eye out for it! It's gonna be grand. We're going to have contributions from:

Queen of Spades

Synful Desire

C. Desert Rose

Adonis Mann

Last and certainly not least, Da'Kharta Rising

While my story may not be the likes of H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" I'm certainly proud of the final outcome.

Until next time!

Y :D


  1. Nice excerpt and another good "multi-genre" mix to add to the collection.

  2. Thank you A. Lopez Jr. :D You're the best.