Friday, October 5, 2012

Remembering Differently

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
I write steampunk.

Azelia Ley Homestead
Such a simple sentence, but it means so many different things to different people. For me, it means a chance to explore history, to play with it and to challenge the world of today via an imagined past.

I've always loved history - not the Great Men doing Great Things stories, but the intimate social histories. How did people feel? How did they respond to the troubles of their time?

One of the most tangible ways to encounter the lives of the (relatively recent) past is to visit local museums.

Old Post Office
Perth, Australia
Walking through old streets is also incredibly evocative...though you have to remember to look up!

There are surprises everywhere -- and those surprises connect you to the lives, aspirations and humour of the people who lived here before you.

Fiction is one of my favourite ways to bring alive the past. The joy of steampunk is that it acknowledges -- heck, it celebrates -- the fact that such stories are shaped as much by present moods as past realities.

Stories tell us who we are. Steampunk means we could be anyone.

The Bustlepunk Chronicles #2

Swan River Colony, Australia, 1895

All suffragette Esme Smith wants is respect. Her beau, American inventor Jed Reeve, may be more enlightened than most men, but lately his need to protect her is at odds with her need for independence. Esme begins to wonder if a modern woman can share her life with a man without losing some of herself.

With his courtship of Esme stalled, the last thing Jed needs is the pressure of saving the Prince of Wales. But when blueprints for a sonic destroyer fall into his hands, he uncovers an anarchist plot that could have deadly consequences.

While investigating the threats, Jed is determined to keep Esme out of harm’s way, despite her protests. But when the terrorists capture Jed and demand a priceless emerald in exchange for his life, it’s Esme who must draw on all her strength to save the day.

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Read the reviews at Goodreads

author photoJenny Schwartz is an Australian author in love with living in the suburbs. What could be nicer than chatting to your neighbour over the back fence? She's currently mis-using her history degree to write steampunk and can be bribed with TimTams. You can catch up with Jenny at her website, on TwitterFacebook  or Tumblring about steampunk.

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