Tagged heartless

Trade Release Heartless & Timeless + 1811 Slang for Alexia

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today trade paperbacks release of the final two Parasol Protectorate books, Heartless and Timeless.

 New trade covers.

These books are larger in size than the mass market editions, also the print is larger and easier to read. The backgrounds are a more pail color. Content is unchanged, apart from the sample chapters at the back which may be different.

1811 Slang for Alexia

  • Sauce box ~ A bold of forward person.
  • Ottomised ~ To be dissected.
  • Trigrymate ~ An idle female companion.
  • I am not a plump currant ~ I am out of sorts.
  • Gudgeon ~ One easily imposed on.
  • Hobbleygee ~ A pace between a walk or a run, a dog-trot.
  • Piddling ~ Trifling, to do a thing in a small degree.
  • She’s a prime article ~ she’s a devilish good piece, a hell of a goer.
  • Bushel bubby ~ A full breasted woman.
  • Comfortable importance ~ A wife

~ 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

“…there is no wit, but there is shocking ungentility, in a lady to speak of taking a “snooze” instead of a nap,—in calling pantaloons “pants,” or gentlemen “gents,”—in saying of a man whose dress is getting old that he looks “seedy,”—and in alluding to an amusing anecdote, or a diverting incident, to say that it is “rich.” All slang words are detestable from the lips of ladies.”

by Eliza Leslie (American 1864) 

Want more behind the scenes tricks and Easter eggs for these books? I am interviewed all about Timeless over on Sci-Fi Encounters

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for July? Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause ~ YA werewolf from before it was a thing}
 

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1870  The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

rufflesnotdiets tumblr

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  

“It is well to have always there a small writing-case of your own, with paper, pens, ink, wafers, sealing-wax, envelopes, post-office stamps, &c.”

by Eliza Leslie (American 1864) 

PROJECT ROUND UP 
Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, & Fairy Debt

Book News:
Girl Lost in a Book says of Heartless, “I love the characters and they feel like family…A fabulous read and I simply couldn’t put it down.”

Quote of the Day:

“It’s not just children who need heroes.”

~ Tamora Pierce


Victorian Pregnancy (Heartless ~ Soon In Trade)

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

July 1, 2014 Heartless and Timeless release in trade paperback size to the US market. At that juncture the mass market editions will be discontinued.

If you have already read the Parasol Protectorate series, read on! (Or if you don’t mind spoilers.) Otherwise, just skip today’s blog post, OK?

It should come as no surprise at this juncture, I hope, that in my fourth book, Heartless, Alexia is pregnant. Very pregnant, in fact. This book was so much fun to write, partly because in her advanced state the slapstick part of humor writing was really easy to come by.

Never having endured the condition myself, I did a lot of research into what it was like to be pregnant. Fortunately for me, at least half my friends were in various states of inconvenience at the time. I asked them many questions. I had them tell me stories which entered the text in new and Victorian form. Alexia is tired and hungry all the time, the werewolves around her are in a snack-carrying panic. The thing with the fried eggs staring back at her? Yeah, that’s my friend Willow.

Maternity corset, 1908via shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

But I also did a lot of research into Victorian pregnancy as it actually was particularly the ridiculous medical advice surrounding it. That thing about avoiding bad expressions in people around you when pregnant or the child will end up ugly and looking like them? Yeah, real advice from Medical Common Sense and Plain Home Talk by Edward B. Foote, M.D., 1871.

“– gave the signs of pregnancy, in order of appearance, as ‘ceasing to be unwell’ (i.e. menstruate); morning sickness; painful and enlarged breasts; ‘quickening’ (which would not have been felt until the nineteenth week); increased size. That meant that no woman could be absolutely certain she was pregnant until the fifth month. As early as the 1830s it had been known to doctors that the mucosa around the vaginal opening changed colour after conception, yet this useful piece of information did not appear in lay publication until the 1880s, and the doctor who wrote it was struck off the medical register – it was too indelicate, in its assumption that a doctor would perform a physical examination. Neither doctors not their patients felt comfortable with this.”
~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 15)

Maternity corset, 1900-20svia shewhoworshipscarlin tumblr

And a note for the upcoming Prudence books, you may notice that there is a certain awkwardness between the young persons, now grown up, and their respective parents. Some of this has to do with personality, but not all.

“The higher up the social scale, the more open about this distance from their children the parents were.”
 ~ Judith Flanders The Victorian House (pg. 15)
Example from the footnote, same page, references upper-class child Augustus Hare.
“Hare’s uncle, also an Augustus Hare, died shortly before his godson-to-be was born; his widow, Maria, stood god-mother instead, and she tentatively asked his parents if she could perhaps have the child to stay for a while. The answer to her letter was immediate: ‘My dear Maria, how very kind of you! Yes, certainly, the baby shall be sent as soon as it is weaned; and if anyone else would like one, would you kindly recollect that we have others.’ Maria Hare cared for him for the rest of her life, and he called her his mother.”

Heartless and Timeless release in trade size to the US market on July 1, 2014. 

{What is Gail’s Book Group reading for June? Fortune’s Pawn by Rachel Bach ~ Book One in the Paradox series}

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Godeys Aug 1872

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

My new tiny under seat travel case for going to England. So cute.

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

My repainted coffee table

Sometimes when I am really over-run with writign obligations I need an art project to just rest my brain wish a less demanding creative endeavor. This month I worked on sanding down and repainting the house coffee table. The finished product appears above! Super pleased with myself.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  


PROJECT ROUND UP 

Prudence ~ Custard Protocol Book the First:   Edits handed in. Release date March 17, 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.
Manners & Mutiny ~ The Finishing School Book the Last.   Finished rough draft, cutting and trimming begins soon. Release date early November 2015. Not yet available for pre-order.


The Books! 

 The Finishing School Series: 1 Etiquette & Espionage, 2 Curtsies & Conspiracies, 3
Waistcoats & Weaponry (Coming November 4, 2014)
 The Custard Protocol Series: 1 Prudence (Coming March 17, 2015)
The Parasol Protectorate Series: 1 Soulless, 2 Changeless, 3 Blameless, 4 Heartless, 5 Timeless
Parasol Protectorate Series manga graphic novels
 $0.99 short stories (ebook only) Marine Biology, My Sister’s Song, & Fairy Debt

Book News:

via Facebook

Quote of the Day:

Water-Cure Journal, June 1855
Follow Gail on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can join her mailing list
She also has a fashion blog ~ Retro Rack.
The best place to talk all things Parasol Protectorate is on its
Facebook Group.

Etiquette & Espionage Book Trailer & Tumbler

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today Little Brown launched two very exciting things. The Finishing School tumbler feed blog. That includes sample material, as well as DVD extras about the Academy, forthcoming lessons, and . . .

As a rule, I’m a little nervous about book trailers, but I’m quite chuffed with this one. It’s rather adorable and has a kind of Edward Gorey (like the credits of BBC Mystery) meets Monty Python’s cartoons.

Etiquette & Espionage Add

The fan site reported on this before I was even awake this morning! Nicole is on it, By George!

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1855 Robe à Transformation  The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1855 Robe à Transformation The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
I just love this coffee table!

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Over on Retro Rack I have an massive blog post on 10 Tips on Writing Victorian Garb

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Rights reversion

PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Corralling edits. Working 3rd draft.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Title changed. Release date November 2013. Proofs handed in. Done my end.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Out now!
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013. Tour events planned!


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, both now available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Out Feb. 5, 2013

Book News:
Heartless Review

Quote of the Day:
“Kiss: An insipid and tasteless morsel, which becomes delicious and delectable in proportion as it is flavored with love.”
~ E.L.C. Ward, The Scrap Book, 1899

Daisypath Wedding tickers


Holiday Fun: Books as Gifts Part 4 Heartless

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

The book basket ideas continue, if you want to know what I’m on about the introduction to this idea is here.

Our example is the Parasol Protectorate books but you can do this with any genre book, I think. Imagine how fun it would be to theme The Eyre Affair basket!

1. Order signed from Borderlands (Definitely get your request in before Dec 15th, that’s the last time I’ll be able to get in to sign stock for them before the holidays.)
2. Source a vintage looking basket, possibly from a local thrift store
3. Fill with accompanying fun items, many of which might also be found at a thrift store

This basket is themed to Heartless and/or The Parasol Protectorate Boxed Set

Heartless Octopus themed basket:
Alternative book option: Kraken
Alternative basket: Octopus Beach Tote Bag

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Moment of Parasol . . .
1906 Paris Tuileries Gardens 4th June 1906
1906 Paris Tuileries Gardens 4th June 1906

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Octopus Bouncy Castle

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Houshold TIps
From Lifehacker

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
John Cleese – a lecture on Creativity Youtube

PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Working first draft.
Curtsies & Conspiracies ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Title changed. Copy edits done and in!
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Out now!
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, both now available in print.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Out Feb. 5, 2013

Book News:
Heartless review.

Quote of the Day:
“Did you ever walk into a room and forget why you walked in? I think that’s how dogs spend their lives.”
~ Sue Murphy

Daisypath Wedding tickers


Aspic & Old Lace

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

The rabbit hole of research led me to investigate aspic the other day, Gentle Reader. What this article calls “Jelly covered piles of carved food are an excellent visual shorthand for absurdly poncey cuisine.”

Despite the general pooh-pooh attitude, I would actually rather like to try aspic. I’ve managed to make it inadvertently out of fish once or twice. If memory serves I did the pink peppercorn Ancient Roman dish and . . . but that’s another story.

Then, on the feed, this article from Time Travel Kitchen on the subject of tomato aspic turned up and I figured it was a sign.

Aspic Mushroom

Don’t tell the AB, but I think I might have to try to make aspic soon. I do love strange and wiggly foods. I blame copious amounts of blancmange foisted upon me by my grandmother as an innocent child. Gelatinous just seems exciting. Plus it’s an excellent word, gelatinous.

This may, or may not, explain the reoccurring presence of calf’s foot jelly in my novels.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Bacon & Egg Cupcakes

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Books

PROJECT ROUND UP
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Working rough draft. Release date Fall 2013.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 5, 2013. Working promo schemes.Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Third draft handed in to editor, awaiting edits.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Reviewing chapter by chapter, each drops on YenPlus by subscription. Print release tentatively Dec. 2012.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, Vol. available in print, Vol. 2 by subscription to YenPlus.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Not yet Released

Book News:
Heartless reviews:

Quote of the Day:
Recent research on Wiki and I found this fascinating.
“In Scandinavia, there existed, for example, the famous race of she-werewolves known with a name of Maras. If a female at midnight stretches between four sticks the membrane which envelopes the foal when it is brought forth, and creeps through it, naked, she will bear children without pain; but all the boys will be shamans, and all the girls Maras. Women who took on the appearance of the night looking for huge monster half human and half wolf. The transformation was slow and suffered from screaming, hair and nails grow, the woman’s face stretched into that of a hungry wolf meat and leaving room for animal instinct. In fact, the Maras were almost all women from peasant and plebeian classes. Let’s just say a popular version of the Norse Valkyries.” From Wikipedia on shapeshifting


Japanese Cover Art for Heartless

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Here’s the cover for the most recent Japanese translation, Heartless.

This is not the manga but the book translated into Japanese.

In other news:

Soulless will be the Barnes & Noble spotlight this Monday for $0.99!

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE
Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .

PROJECT ROUND UP
Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Working first draft.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ The Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) First chapter reviewed, drops on YenPlus April 12th. Print release tentatively Dec. 2012.
Timeless ~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last. Out now!
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date Fall 2013.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, Vol. available in print, Vol. 2 by subscription to YenPlus.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Not yet Released

Book News:
Vaginal Fantasy talks a little about Soulless

Quote of the Day:


Swanning Round the BM

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Tuesday morning, Gentle Reader, I sneaked away from my authorial duties to reconnect with my archaeological roots. AKA I went to the British Museum. The BM is, all PC issues aside, one of the world’s greatest repositories of archaeological artifacts and human knowledge.

But what has that to do with writing, Miss Gail? Or the Parasol Protectorate books?

Aside from the fact that it was in the BM I first heard of Amelia Edwards, whose travel journal (A Thousand Miles Up The Nile) not only spearheaded the Victorian fascination with Egypt but inspired the character of Alexia, this is also the possible origin of my archaeological career.

I’ve been visiting the BM for almost 30 years since I first travel to London to visit my Grandparents. At first I would pilgrimage only to the Egyptian section.

Ushabtis

But as I have gotten older and worked in different sites around the globe, my taste has expanded to include other areas of the world. And now age and wisdom, and fellow tourists, have driven me to less visited and lesser know sections of this grand old lady.


Roman mosaics decorating walls of the stairwells

Still, I do tend to have a pattern that rather reflects my interests. What does this have to do with my writing? Who knows. Perhaps it is insight into my mind and what it focuses on?


Ancient Egyptian furniture

I like artifacts of daily life, rather than the great and noble offerings for gods. While there are still funerary offerings, I am, nevertheless drawn to that which represent the home and household items.

I have a particular passion for mosaics, the idea of creating images out of little rocks and bits of pottery that people walked all over is strangely enthralling.

Pottery is my true love. Fellow tourists are often confused when, instead of grand mummies, I spend hours staring at old pots.

Predynastic Egyptian open fired pottery was one of the first artifacts I ever handled. I’ve spent various seasons over the years trying to replicate it was well. So I always try to track it down to pay homage.

Etruscan Bucchero was the first pottery I every excavated and studied scientifically. I spent two seasons at a site in Northern Italy and then wrote my Undergraduate Honor’s these on the subject. I analyzed Bucchero potsherds using XRD, not all that successfully. You might recognize the connection to Blameless. The Etruscan tomb picnic with the Templars takes place at a fictional version of my site.

My first masters thesis (the MS or MSc as they call them in these parts) was on pottery for the site of Raqqa (now Aleppo) in Syria. Raqqa was an industrial production site of massive proportions producing all kinds of amazing pottery but this turquoise and black is so key tot he site in some circles it is know as Raqqaware. These days I think of the cover of Changeless when I look at it, and then I start funneling the glaze recipes through my head in little rounds of chemical formulas.

I never had the pleasure of working on Iznik pottery. The decoration on these vessels is the greatest mankind has ever produced. The Japanese may have achieve amazing flow of form and elegance of style, and the Chinese more pure technical mastery, but there is something about Iznik pottery. I’m hypnotized by it, not as an archeologist, but as a potter. The use of color adn design, the incorporation of both tiny details and bold figures an elements. It’s simply stunning.

In the BM the Islamic room is tucked away in the basement, often neglected by the hoards of Rosetta-hungry tourists tromping above. If you ever make it to visit, you owe it to yourself to look at these beauties. The sheer skill is unreal. No finer works of art have come from a potter’s wheel before or since.

PROJECT ROUND UP
Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Visiting the first Beta.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ The Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) First chapter reviewed, drops on YenPlus April 12th. Print release tentatively Dec. 2012.
Timeless ~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last. Out now!
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date Fall 2013.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT on the Parasol Protectorate series! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

The Omnibus hardback editions are limited run through the SciFi Bookclub only.

The manga editions, Vol. available in print, Vol. 2 by subscription to YenPlus.

Most short stories available in ebook form world wide!

The first Finishing School book ~ Not yet Released

Book News:
Fiction State of Mind reviews Heartless.
And Heartless is one of the Top 10 steampunk books of 2011.

Quote of the Day:
“Tea is instant wisdom – just add water!”
~ Astrid Alauda


Books Used to Research Timeless

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

Today I present to you, part of our occasional series of DVD extras . . . some of the books I used to research Timeless. A quick warning before we start, Gentle Reader, the books I used are kind of spoilers for the arc of this last Parasol Protectorate.

Ancient Egypt Lithographs by David Roberts, R.A.
Roberts visited Egypt for the first time in 1838 and sketched much of the area, including archaeological sites, while he was there. He continued to do so on several subsequent visits. I used his sketches as a jumping off point (all be in 40 years early) as to the look of Egypt during Victorian times. This book was also valuable when writing my Alessandro’s short story, The Curious Case of the Werewolf that Wasn’t, the Mummy the Was, and the Cat in the Jar (as yet unpublished).

Eyewitness Books, Desert by Dr. Miranda MacQuitty.
I use the eyewitness books a lot, they make for a good quick peek into the food and environment of a given time or place. They shouldn’t be devalued because they are children’s books but instead be viewed as great jumping off points. You can get them at any library, but I chose to buy mine.

Eyewitness Books, Boat by Eric Kentley.
I need more from this book on early transatlantic steamers but it at least gave me many of the terms and initial ideas I needed for Alexia and Conall’s sea journey. I ended up doing a lot of research into the Titanic. Even though it was built years after Timeless the massive amount of online information gave me insight into passenger manifests and the arrangement and titles for ship’s staff and officers on board any liner.

The Rape of the Nile by Brian M. Fagan.
I read this book while researching the dawn of archaeology for a class back in my PhD days, and liked it so much I went out and bought it to own. It has flaws. Fagan dwells over much on Belzoni (obviously as the result of his own PhD work, or personal passion) and does not cover the rest of early Nile excavation in as much detail as I would have likes. But what he does do is cover some of the changing attitudes and politics in Egypt at the time of Victorian occupation, sufficient to my needs, so that I became familiar with the political climate and personalities and travel requirements of the antiquities market in the late 1870s. I also use a brief bit of information from this book in Etiquette & Espionage.

Living In Ancient Egypt by Norman Bancroft Hunt.
Similar to the Eyewitness books but newer, this book was one of a series I was given to review by Horn several years ago. I hung onto it because like the Eyewitness books I thought it might provide a good stepping stone and quick guide to the time. It helps that I already know a lot about Ancient Egypt. (For years I was going to be an Egyptologist before I went into Materials Archeology instead. I worked at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum as a volunteer during and after my undergraduate work.)

Ancient Lives: Daily Life in Egypt of the Pharaohs by John Romer.
Possibly my favorite book about Ancient Egypt ever written. Despite its name this is more a chronicle of the excavations at the famous tomb builders village (Deir el-Medina) outside of Thebes. Decades old know, this still stands as one of the best and only excavations of artisan daily life, and one of the few within the Valley of the Kings.

Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh by Joyce Tyldesley.
An old publication from 1996 so we must admit that much additional information has been added over the years. However, this book provided the basics I needed for my fictional reconstruction of Matakara’s character (and name, of course). I drew her personality, appearance, and a selection of drones from the information in this book.

I also had a copy of National Geographic’s September 1998 special on the Valley of the Kings. Much of the information was outdated or popularized into uselessness but the photographs of the landscape and maps of the valley were invaluable.

Some Inspiration for Alexia in Egypt . . .

Phoebe Apperson Hearst

Sara Yorke Stevenson

Amelia Edwards

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .

PROJECT ROUND UP
Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Done with word count but not book. I’m going over length, very unusual for me.
Etiquette & Espionage ~ The Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 2013.
Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 2: (AKA Changeless) Have seen cover sketch for cover and it is fabulous!
Timeless ~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last. Out now!
Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date Fall 2013.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

Book News:

I’m deeply honored to be able to say that I received FOUR Polidori awards for Excellence in 2011: Best Novel for Heartless, Best Audiobook for Heartless, Best Manga for Soulless, and Best Comic/Manga Adaptation of a Vampire Book/Series, also for Soulless!
Thanks for voting for me everyone!

Quote of the Day:
“Books are embalmed minds.”
~ Bovee


Dear Lord Akeldama: The 2012 Edition, Part One

Posted by Gail Carriger

 

The Good Vampire answers all your most burning questions . . .

paranoidsistah asks:
My Dear Lord Akeldama, I was watching The Vampire Diaries last week and a certain taboo romance came to light. What say you on the topic of taboo romances?
General my dear dishy one, like killing one’s sibling, they are taboo for a reason.

Diego Bruner asks:
How did you decide to let Ms. Carriger write about you in her tales when your work relies so much on stealth?
Ah well, little girkin, even I had to retire in the end. Besides, I don’t tell her everything, nosy madam.

Rebecca asks:
Does a person’s diet affect the taste of his blood?
Of course, pineapple button. Of course.

Marie Kloster asks:
Dearest Lord Akeldama, seeing as the fabulous you and your fabulous creator are the ones to go to concerning dresses, some help with the following problem would be absolutely spiffing:
I would very much like to sew my own dress for the senior ball at my school, and I am simply stuck for ideas. I should very much like something Victorian/Steampunk inspired, but because we are required to dance Les Lanciers I cannot choose anything with a proper corset, bustle, hoops or even a skirt longer than a walking dress (Oh, the horror…!), because it would be too constrictive for me, apparently, and a bother for the other dancers. Any tips on how I can still bring the Victorian goodness to the party without upsetting anyone would be much appreciated.

Firstly my creator has asked I point you in the direction of her thoughts on Thrifting for Victoriana post. I believe you might think in terms of Gothic Lolita both for style and for sewing patterns.

Such dresses often have a simulated corset, which is entirely non restrictive yet gives the same look. Do the dress up in a bronze, or autumnal colors, instead of black ~ which you know, bulmblekin, I loathe! ~ add some brass buttons and other details and you have a lovely steampunk look. Alternatively, you can find a full skirted shorter dress and pop a cute little vest on over it or kilt up one side of the skirt over a full short petticoat.

Diego Bruner asks:
Were you impressed or intrigued by the information passing and gathering skills of Americans during the American Revolution?
My dearest darling bonbon, I don’t mean to be rude at all, but I am rarely impressed by . . . Americans.

Lady Star asks:
I was also wondering what is your favorite kind of art, is it Baroque or Rococo? Or another one all together? I do love doodle and paintings and I will be very interested to see how our young manga artist will portray your lovely home and boys.
Ah, what a difficult and challenging questions, gilded lily. Rococo, I think, is more to my taste, although I shouldn’t like to give the French too much credit. The clothing for the time, my dear, the clothing!

manyfacesofme22 asks:
Would you say that, in the modern age, there is a limit on how long a young lady may acceptably wear her hair? I am rather enamoured of your own period, in particular the gorgeous locks of the Pre-Raphaelite muses, but worry that in styling myself after them I come across as either terribly affected or not nearly affected enough.
The hair should be styled, no matter what the length, little ruby. That is the important part. Nothing is more embarrassing than scraggly ends, and in this I wish to draw the attention of werewolves in particular! Condition, trim, maintenance, there are some lovely products and pomades available out there. I do wish to add, little ruby, that you be wary of relying upon your hair to be your one beauty. Be cautious of investing your identity in being that “long haired lady.” The moment it becomes your defining descriptor in conversation is the moment it should be cut.

Jami asks:
How in the world did I end up not only with the only dog in the world who likes – and even insists on – wearing clothing – but one who’s a total diva and wants lace, ruffles, bling, and everything in pink?
Are you sure that dog is meant to be your dog?

Have a question for Lord Akeldama? He may have answered it already or you may leave it in a comment below.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Changing your pitch as a beginning writer.

PROJECT ROUND UP
Deportment & Deceit ~ The Finishing School Book the Second: Working rough draft.

Etiquette & Espionage ~ The Finishing School Book the First: Release date Feb 2013. In production. Have seen initial cover mock-up and it is stunning!

Manga ~ Soulless Vol. 1: Printed volume releases March 1. Have seen cover sketch for Soulless Vol. 2 (AKA Changeless) and it is beyond fabulous!

Timeless ~ Parasol Protectorate Book the Last: In production. Releases March 1. Preorder now if you wish.

Prudence ~ The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Release date fall 2013. She’s started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

Book News:
Boeklogboek reviews Heartless. Heartless earns its roses through seduction.

Quote of the Day:
“But now all his loves were streaked with grief; and all his griefs shot through with a terrible love. This borderless place he’d been shoved into was identical to the place before, but the old maps were useless, the language was subtly difference; and she stumbled over the future tense of its verbs.”
~ Wesley Gibson


Technological Change in Steampunk Worldbuilding

Posted by Gail Carriger

 
Mr Frankum asked me a very interesting question via private missive recently. I thought it was so worth of discussion that he would not mind if I infringed on a matter of nettiquette and postulated it here.

If Daimler and Benz invented the internal combustion engine c.1885, does that necessitate an automatic “stop” in the timeline for steampunk fiction, or, given that steam was on the table for powering automobiles until the Lucas strike at Spindletop in 1901 made petroleum a viable option, would that allow steam to be a logical and plausible power supply available to fiction writers ’til the latter date? (Which would also tie in, conveniently, with the death of Victoria and hence the Victorian age…)

(Also, I suppose the argument could be made that we’re still using steam power, given that’s what’s actually operating the turbines at the dams where our electricity is produced…)

Wait…Did I answer my own question, or is this still a viable discussion?

The Dos-a-Dos (Back-to-Back) Steam Runabout was built in 1884 by George Bouton and Charles-Armand Trepardoux
for French entrepreneur Count de Dion, who named it ‘La Marquise’ after his mother.

I love this kind of question. I nearly did my PhD on technological change in an archaeological context. In line with that, the abandonment, replacement, and retirement of technology is a subject of particular interest to me.

Through archaeological and historical reports we know, for example, that old technology does not always give way to something newer and better. Progress is a concept adored by politicians, not academics. For example, a single catastrophic event, like the Hindenburg, can cause a wide scale rejection of an otherwise sound, efficient, and useful technology.

When writing steampunk it is often easiest to chose or invent just such and event in order to explain away the changes between a steampunk universe and the real Victorian one. In my world, for example, the telegraph is a failure so other forms of communication are invented instead. (Although it fails for scientific reasons internal to my universe, see the paragraph after next.)

If, for example, you had a Hindenburg-like explosion of the early combustion engine, killing thousands, combined with the wide scale production of the smaller steam motor suited to personal use, the second might outshine the first. Of course, this doesn’t always work, the Titanic had little effect on the popularity of steamer travel. And there seems to be some (little) evidence to support the occasional synergy of discovery (see the oxygen molecule). Which is to say, sometimes a discovery (or invention) seems destined to occur.

However, because I’m an archaeologist and vested in the influence of culture on technological change (I have a very long paper on this subject I’m happy to pass along if anyone is interested) as well as serendipity, and the experimentation of the individual (two of the other mainstay explanations for technological change) I ended up altering the scientific nature of my entire Parasol Protectorate universe to accommodate a steampunk world. For me, it wasn’t enough to just pick one major invention failing or succeeding over others (much as the alt history writer will change the course of one major battle), I needed to change the universe behind the science of invention.

Which is why I researched Victorian science and theory, threw immortals into the mix, and formulated a world wherein aether spheres and vital humors actually existed. Nesting steampunk tech and allowing certain things, like the combustion engine, not to develop under the paradigms and theories of oddball Victorian science, became, not only easy, but logical under these constraints. So long, of course, as the reader doesn’t attempt to explain my world using modern scientific theory, because then it breaks down.

Sorry for the academic speak, I slide back into it so easily.

I guess what I am saying is that if I, as a steampunk writer, have developed a complex enough world, were steam power dominates for reasons inherent in my universe, the combustion engine shouldn’t be a problem because, well, it can’t be. Ah circular logic.

GAIL’S DAILY DOSE

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
I have found the source for the hatbox toolkit at last!
Tiffany’s Tools

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
Tried: Todd & Holland’s Queen Victoria’s 1876 Tea Blend. A mix of Keemun (probably 80% or more by visual estimation) and Yunnan black teas. A stunning dark whole leaf tea with leaves of gold scattered throughout (the Yunnan flower leaf). It brewed to a golden reddish color, which made me instantly wary, generally I take gold tones as a warning. I like my teas strong and brisk but mild in flavor, brewing to a nice dark brown, like Assam. (I know, I’m such a peasant.) Sure enough, there was a herby almost Darjeeling flavor to the blend making too perfumey for my taste, with burnt tannic and pine overtures. I would have preferred to taste each leaf on its own to render judgement, as I think the Keemun dominated the blend. Someone, someday, will open a black tea + milk tasting room and I will be a happy girl.

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Another ebook kerfuffle in the making. The mail online reports that “a formal investigation to discover whether international publishers Harper Collins, Penguin, Hachette Livre, Simon & Schuster, and Germany’s Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holzbrinck have ‘engaged in anti-competitive practices’.”

Timeless: Now in production. The release date on Amazon is correct.

Etiquette & Espionage: Working copy edits. Release date Fall 2012.

The Parasol Protectorate Abroad Book the First: Prudence floats! Release date fall 2013. She’s started waking me up in the middle of the night with ideas.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON’T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven’t read the other books first!

Book News:

  • Paul reviews Heartless.
  • Travels Through lest says, “Heartless is exactly what readers have come to expect from the Parasol Protectorate with all sorts of steampunk madness from Alexia and Co.”
  • Cate’s Bookshelves reviews Heartless. “That’s the problem, if there is one, with Carriger’s plots — you can’t talk about them without spoiling them and the delight really is in the discovery.”

Quote of the Day:
“TV. If kids are entertained by two letters, imagine the fun they’ll have with twenty-six. Open your child’s imagination. Open a book.”
~ Author Unknown


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