How to Punk Your Steam Part 4: Make it Alternative

For Whom the Gear Turns

I went to my very first convention, Marscon, just over a year ago in Minnesota. It was more a general interest fest with lots of different kinds of geekery, but there were a few seminars aimed at Steampunks. The best one I attended was called “Alternate History and the History of Time” and the speakers addressed ways to make an alternate history feel authentic.

One of the audience members posed the question, “What is the best way to let my readers know about the time period, and my alterations to it?” And the entire panel agreed that good writers show their audiences what they want them to know, they don’t tell them outright. When it comes to altered history, the process is two-fold. First, you need to make sure that the readers know, at least roughly, what year it is. But second, and really more importantly, you need them…

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