To prepare you for this week’s interview with Michelle L. Levigne, today’s prompt is a picture appropriate for steampunk. That’s the genre of Michelle’s short story, “Crystal Rose” in Christmas fiction off the beaten path.
If you are new to this genre, it’s a kind of speculative fiction. Usually set in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s, it imagines our world as if it had been run by Jules Verne. All kinds of scientific advances that were made decades later in reality are made during this time period with steam.
I have a particular fondness for steampunk because one of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid was The Wild, Wild West, an early example of steampunk. My sisters and I would sit down on Saturday and Sunday afternoons to watch reruns of how two government agents in the Old West protected our nation from steam-powered robots and other fantastic plots dreamed up by supervillains, bent on taking over our country and then the world.
What’s the story with this steampunk picture? Here’s my take:
As my grandfather steered our dirigible toward the city, I leaned on the rail.
Neuweschstein. The most advanced city in the German Empire. Their scientists were known all over the world for their breakthroughs in developing steam tech. Some of their inventions were on board.
The German government also had a less well-known reputation for stealing other nation’s ideas. And possibly their scientists.
The city sprawled below us. My heart sank. “Gramps, even if Papa is here, how can we find him?”
Gramps set his jaw as he gripped the helm. “If he’s there, we’ll find him.”