Nimbus is a steampunk novel by Austin King and B.J. Keeton. Part 1 and Part 2 are available on Amazon.com right now, and Part 3 is coming soon. As we put the final touches on the third installment, Austin has prepared a detour for you readers, where he discusses our approach to steampunk, our writing styles, and what makes Nimbus unique among genre novels.
You read the sign, the traffic is backed up, so let’s take a little detour before you get into reading Part Three of Nimbus.
When I was first approached about writing a steampunk novel with B.J., my initial reaction was, “Eww, gross.” Literally. That’s actually what I said. In my mind, there’s a lot of steampunk stuff out there, and most of it is far too drenched in kitsch for me to enjoy reading it. Besides, the Victorian period was awful. Even the Victorians hated it.
But then I went home and started outlining a different kind of steampunk world—one that took place in a fantasy world, a world completely dependent on water. The next day, B.J. and I met, and we decided on not only using the fantasy world aesthetic, but also on throwing out about ninety percent of the genre conventions that typically go along with steampunk stories.
As you readers might’ve noticed, we like airships and the idea of a world completely dependent on steam technology. Everything else was basically out the window, although we couldn’t help but add a few steampunk pastiches every so often. The only real steampunk character (at least in our minds) was good old Edward Prescott of Angel’s Landing. And guess what? We blew him up. He exploded after existing for approximately three paragraphs.
Now that I think about it, blowing stuff up is how we deal with a lot of things in Nimbus. Traditional steampunk characters? Blew em up. About half the mentioned skyports? Blew em up. Automatons? Blew em up. It’s not that we’re lacking in originality (we hope), but blowing stuff up is just really fun. You should try it sometime (in writing, of course—don’t build any pipe bombs and tell people that I was your inspiration). But in fiction it can be really nice. Fire and power go into explosions, and both fire and power play important roles in Nimbus, so we like repeating this motif of making things go boom. But now I’m detouring from the detour.
Where were we?
Oh, right: steampunk aesthetics.
I guess what I’m trying to convey here is that B.J. and I wrote Nimbus because we like the idea of steampunk, but dislike a lot of the archetypes that go along with the genre. So if you hate steampunk, we hope we’ve made converts out of you. And if you love steampunk and think we’re desecrating it with our subpar prose, then maybe we can change your mind before the story is done.
For those of you who haven’t read Parts One and Two, it might be a good idea to read those two volumes before this one. I won’t give a synopsis here, but I will make a note on the timeline. The last time we saw Jude and Rucca, Jude’s narrative took up a single night and day, while Rucca’s spanned several. Unless you’re really paying close attention, you probably don’t even care (I think the story is entertaining regardless of timeline), but some folks like specificity, and this explanation is for them. At the beginning of Part Three, however, their storylines will once again be in sync and (maybe) even come to a head.
We hope you enjoy the third installment of Nimbus—we certainly enjoyed writing it—and enough of the small talk.
The detour’s over.