GUEST BLOGPOST: Wherein the Tinker’s Art Is Discussed

by Tee Morris on April 23, 2010

I’m looking to return to my blogging habits because, dashitall, I do miss blogging so. As my last steampunk entry featuring the delicious Gail Carriger, was quite the scandal (and therefore, popular), I turned to another author stepping into realms of cog and gear for opinion and commentary. Gentle readers, I introduce to you to O.M. Grey, a lass quite shy when standing within range of the camera obscura. She also claims to be a complete novice when it comes to all things shiny and modern , but methinks the lady doth protest too much as we met on the quaint device known as Twitter. Ms. Grey pens paranormal romantic Steampunk, and her novel Avalon Revisited is about to be unveiled.

I am pleased to bring you Ms. Grey and her five favourite Sterampunk gadgets.

If her book is anything like this column, I believe Avalon Revisited has quite the run ahead of itself. Godspeed, Ms. Grey, and may your airships find strong tailwinds.



When podcast guru Tee Morris asked me to write a guest post for his blog, I was absolutely thrilled! Assigned topic: Five Favorite Gadgets in Steampunk

(Editor’s Note: For referring to me as a “guru” I have placed a warning by her name in the Great Book of the Uber-Nemesis. I do, however, understand this is Ms. Grey’s first novel. Therefore, let the mercy of the Uber-Nemesis befall upon her as a sweet Spring rain.)

My mind just reeled! With all the wonderful technologically bizarre Steampunk gadgets there were to choose from, it would be rather hard to pick just five! He said they could be either ones I use in my new book Avalon Revisited or from other works, so I’ll do a mixture of the two.

The first and foremost would have to be the airship. After all, it’s a Steampunk Staple! So much of the Steampunk aesthetic can be identified by airship goggles alone. A Victorianesqe outfit by itself could be considered merely quirky, albeit fashionable, but add a pair of goggles, and it’s unmistakably Steampunk. Those really sexy, round, dark goggles that can be worn on a top hat, up on the forehead, or even over the eyes. They’re the goggles of time traveler. Of the airship captain. Of the mad scientist. But they always call up images of the dirigible. Even if it’s only hanging in the air somewhere in the background, like in Gail Carriger’s remarkable novel Soulless, it seems that there is always a dirigible in true Steampunk. There’s one in my book. And who’s to blame us? For dirigibles are beautiful. One does not conjure up images of the Hindenberg nor the Goodyear Blimp. No! These are magnificent floating ships with giant cogs and gigantic balloons. And the style of the dirigible is only limited to the imagination! From vintage ships hanging under a patchwork balloon to the newer, shinier, science fiction airships of the future. Airships scream STEAMPUNK!

The second one I must pick from a book called Thomas Riley by Nick Valentino, a delightful YA Steampunk action/adventure story that I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys the genre (or even who doesn’t, yet). I could’ve filled up all five slots and then some with the gadgets in Mr. Valentino’s book (he has quite a few dirigibles, too). This novel carries the essence of Steampunk throughout, and Mr. Valentino’s imagination knows no bounds! Yet, I chose to include the one that sticks most firmly in my mind: Mechanical Spider Mouse Catchers. Thomas Riley & his lovely assistant would activate these mechanical spiders and set them loose on the dirty streets of their city to collect mice on which to conduct experiments. One could hear these mechanical spiders with long, gangly legs tapping across the stone streets as they scurry towards the sewers and alleyways of the city to find rodents. They each have a cage attached to their underbellies in which they keep the rat until they can return to the laboratory. Quite brilliant, that. Kudos, Nick!

Third. I’ll take a break from books and cite Guy Richie’s recent Sherlock Holmes film. Although it certainly was controversial among some Sherlock Holmes fans, I quite enjoyed the film, and I especially loved the Steampunk flair therein. Not a Steampunk film, mind you, (not a dirigible in sight!) but there was definitely some dabbling. My favorite gadget was the rechargeable electric shock thingy that sent the bad guys flying across the room. Almost like a Steampunk Tazer! I had quite the chuckle at that one. Ingenious. Indeed.

For the last two, I’d like to introduce my favorite two gadgets of my new Steampunk Paranormal Romance novel Avalon Revisited.

The Slayer. This vampire slayer gun is most often carried by our heroine Avalon. Using revolver technology available at the time, my inventor, and Avalon’s friend, Victor creates a vampire slaying device that one doesn’t have to reload after ever shot, the greatest limitation to the crossbow. The Slayer can hold four wooden bullets, or darts, and is powered by compressed air. One can shoot all four mini-stakes without having to reload. The best way to dust any vampire on the spot, or at the very least distract him until Arthur can step in. Still in the testing phase, its accuracy is best at close range.

And now, gentle readers, the best for last…

My favorite Steampunk gadget in Avalon Revisited is Cecil’s Bloodletting Wristband. As the butler to a 350 year old, royal-blooded vampire, Cecil must ensure his master’s every need. Nothing is as essential to a vampire’s health, and more importantly mood, than a good spot of blood. Arthur gets his daily dose directly deposited in his afternoon tea. Cecil’s leather wristband is fitted with a spigot attached to a tube inserted directly into his vein. Just by a simple twist of the spigot, Cecil can provide his master with one or two drops to keep him satiated between major meals.

What are your favorite Steampunk gadgets?

AUTHOR’S BIO:

O. M. Grey is rather camera shy and is a complete novice when it comes to modern technology. She prefers to live in the cobwebbed corners of her dark mind writing paranormal romance with a Steampunk twist.

When she’s not writing, she’s reading or tending the garden or drinking a hot cup of tea.

Just two drops, please.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

O. M. Grey April 23, 2010 at 9:11 am

I humble myself before the Uber-Nemisis and beg for his mercy! I shall never make such a tedious faux pas again.

Reply

Nick April 23, 2010 at 10:59 am

Bravo Ms. Grey! Wonderful post. Thank you so much for the mention.

Avalon Revisited needs to be on the top of everyone’s reading list!

Reply

DQuartermane April 23, 2010 at 1:07 pm

Very wonderful article. I now have someone else to add to my “To Read” list.

Reply

Giada M. April 24, 2010 at 9:06 am

Great post! My favorite Steampunk gadget? Airship, of course!*____*

Reply

Louise Fury April 24, 2010 at 9:16 pm

What a perfect post. Made me wish I was living in Steamy Victorian England.

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