Chapter 4 of "The Case of the Soggy Carpet" is up.
Well, it's a good thing I don't get political on this site. I just don't comment on things like the fact that the U.S. has elected a high functioning narcissist psychopath who has never read the Constitution he will be charged to uphold.
On this site, I don't mention the despair anyone with any shred of critical thinking will feel as we watch a pack of entitled white men dismantle all the progress made by a man who will go down in history as not just a historic president, but one of our finest.
Nope, not here. No pontificating by me, your humble author. All I'll do is share my work. Work that, if you really are a fan of the steampunk genre, will always have the rebellious punk undertone celebrating the disadvantaged, the critical thinkers, the people who will not accept the established norms, but will always resist, ask tough questions and make sure that while we celebrate the charm and interestingness of the past, we also acknowledge that is was far from perfect.
Isn't it a bit serendipitous the conversation about making America great again harkens back to the era in which the Tales of the Half Moon Hotel are set? Hey, I'll admit it, I'm charmed by the 50's. The war had been won. The very best of what the military represented was celebrated. Design and fashion were incredible. There was this new, exciting thing called rock n' roll. Jazz hit the golden age of bop. Literature was amazing.
But we need to be honest that it was an America that was really great if you were a white guy. A white Christian guy who bought into the jingoism of the U.S.A. There was McCarthyism. It was a crime to be homosexual. Women became teachers and nurses because they weren't allowed to be anything else. Jews were still shunned and prevented from being part of law firms, country clubs and were exiled from certain neighborhoods in those new things called suburbs.
The "great" America was still one of the the most oppressive, prejudiced times of our history. There existed a segregation not just in the south, but as an economic, gender and religious segregation that permeated the culture.
We need to be honest about this past if we are ever to make a better future. That's the "punk" in steampunk. It's about looking the ugliness in the face and demanding we make things better. If your punk ain't about screaming for a better age for everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, it ain't punk.
I try to address these themes in my work. I think more directly in The Assassin's Table and "The Case of the Soggy Carpet" than in the Mullen Adventures perhaps. But that social commentary is still there in my work. If you haven't figured out that the heroine of The Assassin's Table is a Muslim, well, I just told you. Her mentor is also a man of African descent, loosely based on one of the finest men I have ever known, the man who first taught me martial arts. I will continue to fill my work with strong women, openly gay characters as well as heroic white men who retain no bias toward anyone on the basis of skin color, faith or gender.
Finally, I am fully aware that the main purpose of my work is to entertain, to help us escape the dark times and also further brighten the very good times. I will always have these undercurrents in my work because I truly believe the work gives us a safe space to reflect upon these important things without overt righteousness. I also like writng fight scenes and filling your imagination with magic. You tell me you dig it and I'm going to keep delivering it.
Really, I just want to help you escape a bit, recharge and then go out and fight the fight of the faithful.
We're going to have a lot of that ahead of us.
Thanks for reading.