I was recently told that my Owen Strong Mysteries are not ‘Steampunk’. One: because the characters use Magia, or Magic as we call it. Two: because this ability imbues the worlds technology and so on, so there is very little ‘steam powered’. Three: the dating system is taken from the Roman cult of Mithras, so 1895 Ano Mithre rather than 1895 A.D. There is no Christian religion in Strong’s world. They had other issues as well, but at least they offered me their feedback which I love.
While these are all interesting arguments, I must assert that the novels do belong in the Steampunk Genre which is a very broad umbrella indeed. While the world is imbued with magic, it matters to the story about as much as steam power does to Doyle. While magic informs the world our characters are in, it is still the 1800’s only in many ways a *better* century than the one that informs our modern world so much. Our social attitudes towards, race, women’s equality, sexuality, politics, et al. all it can be argued formed in the 1800’s. This to me is the allure of Steampunk, that we can create a different, a better society with all the romance and mystery that the age entails. What do you think? Let me know! If you haven’t yet read an Owen Strong Mystery, Might I recommend this: