Steampunk Romance Gears Up For Action

by Philippa Ballantine on February 8, 2013

Victorian-era people were fascinated by technology and engineering. Hence, writers and artists channeled that fascination into what has come to be known as Edisonade style stories. Those tales were generally about inventors and their fantastical devices and had a reputation for strong action-adventure elements and stylish trappings such as brass goggles, airships, and automatons. Decades later, steampunk came to include some of those elements, but it isn’t solely defined by them.

However, given steampunk’s Edisonade roots it’s no wonder steampunk romance stories often contain a fair amount of action-adventure. When authors introduce details like airships, steam guns, prosthetic limbs, and fantastical devices, their characters have to do something with them!

Characters in steampunk romances travel a lot, whether by airship, steam carriage, or steam-powered cycles. They use a variety of gadgets, scientific inventions, and weapons. You can often find them in life-threatening situations requiring ingenuity and even engineering skills in order to escape.

Below are a few ways the action-adventure component manifests itself in steampunk romances:

* hero and heroine go on a quest

* mystery solving and/or investigations

* battles involving airships and/or steampunk weapons

* steampunk cyborgs who are skilled in the art of defense

* chase sequences

* face offs

* rescue missions

* spy missions

In steampunk romance, usually an external plot demands that a hero and heroine overcome a threat. The threat must be dealt with if they want to be together. Love against the odds, as it were.

In my estimation, steampunk romances on average contain a moderate amount of action. Some books, like the work of Nico Rosso’s Ether Chronicle tales, are on the high octane end. Cindy Spencer Pape’s Kilts and Kraken is on the low end with mild action-adventure elements.

If you enjoy adventure romance stories where the romance is integrated into the action sequences, then steampunk romance is one way to satisfy that need. Action-adventure scenes require the characters to use a variety of physical skills and it’s a great way to build sexual tension.

But if action-adventure really isn’t your cup of tea, alternatives exist. For quieter steampunk tales, check out Christine Danse’s Island of Icarus, Leslie Dickens’ The Iron Heart, Dru Pagliassotti’s Clockwork Heart, P.G. Forte’s This Winter Heart, and Anitra Lynn McLeod’s Far Too Human.

Giveaway time!

Leave a comment for this post and you’ll be entered for a chance to win the following ebook:


MetalMark – Ella Drake (winner’s choice PDF, ePub, or .mobi)

And there’s more! Everyone who leaves a comment at any of the stops on The Great Steampunk Romance Airship Tour will be entered for a chance to win the Grand Prize:


$100 e-gift card (winner’s choice Amazon or B&N)

75$ e-gift certificate to Clockwork Couture

1 digital copy of IRON GUNS, BLAZING HEARTS (winner’s choice PDF, ePub, or .mobi)

Please include your email address. The deadline to enter all of the giveaways will be midnight PST on February 14. On Friday, February 15, check back here to see if you’ve won the ebook prize.

The grand prize winner will be announced on February 15 at The Galaxy Express.

About the author

Heather Massey is a lifelong fan of science fiction romance. She searches for sci-fi romance adventures aboard her blog, The Galaxy Express. She’s also an author in the subgenre. To learn more about her published work, visit heathermassey.com.


Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts
 


(February 2013; Lyrical Press)
 


The West just got a whole lot wilder.

A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.

A man with a secret… Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.

A perilous quest… Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Pamela Russo February 8, 2013 at 8:47 am

Thank you for this compilation. I have been gradually reading more and more steampunk for the past 2 years, but it’s still hard to search bookstores for unless you know the authors or titles. While I read more robust works, I am a total sucker for a good romance novel…so when steampunk and romance collide, I’m thrilled! I can’t wait to start trying some of these novels.

Alden Ash February 8, 2013 at 11:29 am

Nice article! Thanks for the comparison of authors. Please count me in with both contests.

Nobilis Reed (@Nobilis) February 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I published a steampunk romance back in 2011.

http://www.amazon.com/Fumo-Gaudiam-Roma-Fervens-ebook/dp/B005KBBAOE

This one’s set in a steam-powered version of Ancient Rome. The morality of the culture was very similar to Victorian England, so it’s a perfect place to set that kind of story.

(Thank you for inviting me to post a link!)

Jess1 February 8, 2013 at 2:30 pm

I really enjoy the fact the steampunk heroines are so smart and capable.
strive4bst(At) yahoo(Dot) com

Liz S February 8, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Absolutely love the variety of steampunk novels now available. Thanks for the contest.

lizsemkiu at gmail dot com

erinf1 February 8, 2013 at 11:50 pm

thanks for the fun post and congrats to Heather on her new release! I love steampunk! Each author is so unique and inventive and it’s a lot of fun to see the blend of old and new :)

LisaC February 8, 2013 at 11:57 pm

I learned a new word today: Edisonade. It sort of sounds like a drink. Does steampunk have its own cocktail? Maybe something with absinthe?

Lisacordes (at) yah00 (d0t) c0m

Pamk February 9, 2013 at 7:01 pm

didn’t realize there was so much variety in steampunk out there. Lots of great books. my credit card will be crying soon.
scrtsbpal at yahoo dot com

Jenn B February 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm

I’m a fan of SF, adventure, and romance. So cool how so many steampunk novels offer a little bit of all of it.

Cassie February 13, 2013 at 6:12 pm

ooooooo please let me win! This looks lke some super fun stuff!

bn100 February 14, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Interesting info.
bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

Heather Massey February 15, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Now for the winner of Ella Drake’s METALMARK:

bn100

Congratulations! I contacted the author and she’ll be in touch soon.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

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