Welcome to our new, improved, old-timey site. Like many of my creative endeavors, it was based on a whim that turned into something fun and original. I wanted to do more than promoting my books, to make a site that would be worth visiting for its own sake. Some say an author should only promote under his/her own name. This is great advice for those with an established following. If you’re not well-known, and you have an unusual name to boot, you may require something more catchy.
Steampunk, for those who haven’t heard, is a sub-genre of science fiction, typically based in a historical setting such as the Victorian Era. It can also take place in a fantasy universe with a similar technological and cultural background, with an emphasis on steam power and conservative social mores. There is often, but not always, a dystopian element to steampunk fiction.
In a recent blog post, sci-fi writer Jon del Arroz discussed his foray into steampunk, describing it as “a genre that never existed.” He’s correct in that it has always been more of a design and fashion aesthetic than a class of fiction. To the extent that a literary canon exists, it’s a small one. Many which claim to be steampunk are actually Victorian fantasy romance. As I remarked on a panel at this year’s Westercon, to be taken seriously, the genre needs its own Harry Potter.
This website is an attempt to rectify the situation. There are a number of excellent relevant sites and Facebook pages out there, including Steampunk Tendencies and The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, but these are more general in focus. Our goal with Desperado is to focus less on the cool costuming and more on promoting the literature itself – including, of course, our own works.
In particular, “Steampunk Desperado” reflects my interest in combining steampunk with western themes and settings, something I did in my novel Fidelio’s Automata. This is also reflected in the annual “Wild Wild West Con” in Tucson, which takes its name and inspiration from the classic 1960’s television series starring Robert Conrad and Ross Martin. I should also note that authors David Lee Summers and Cherie Priest have both written steampunk novels taking place in the American West. This is not an attempt to steal their thunder. In fact, I intend to review works by them and other writers on this site.
None of this would be possible without the inspiration of my wife and collaborator, Arlys Holloway. She’s a great help to the visual aspect of our writing and loves to set up photo sessions with friends and family in fancifully modified period costumes. She brings a sense of wonder to everything she does.
We hope you enjoy Steampunk Desperado and invite you to visit often. At present we’re just getting started, but we’ll be adding more content on a continuous basis. Prepare for a wondrous ride where science combines with fantasy. As our own Clockwork Caballero would say, “More steam, Mr. Heckler!”