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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Welcome Author Jeanette Grey

* Admin Note - Ms. Grey is offering a pdf copy of Unacceptable Risk to one commentor. Please leave an email address to be entered into the contest. Contest ends Wednesday 12/28/11


Know Your Punks: Cyberpunk vs. Steampunk
When I tell people my debut novella is a "cyberpunk" romance, I get one of about three reactions: 1) Excited squeals. 2) Dumbfounded looks. 3) Vague mumbling about, "Is that kinda like that steampunk thing?"
The confusion is reasonable. The names sure do sound similar, and both are niche genres that can be loosely identified as science fiction. Both involve alternate timelines to our own, unfamiliar technologies, and cool outfits.
But that's pretty much where the similarities end.
Cyberpunk is a futuristic kind of science fiction, but before you start think Star Trek, let me state outright: no aliens, no starships, no space operas. Think The Matrix or Blade Runner instead. Stories are typically set right here on earth in a not-so-distant future, where society is still recognizable. There's usually a vaguely dystopian feel to the world, with big, evil corporations calling the shots, and the heroes are typically just what the name of the genre would imply – punks. They're underdogs, rebelling against oppression and fighting evil.
The cyber part of cyberpunk is all about the high-tech world the characters inhabit. Hackers are heroes, and the action frequently takes place in virtual reality. Cybernetics – blendings of human and machine – are easily available, and allow mere mortals to become superheroes in their own right. The computer is king, the digital is dominant, and the result is a fantastic world where the sky is the limit for what characters can do.
Steampunk, on the other hand, is set in an alternate past. Stylistically, think the new Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey, Jr.. Stories tend to be set in either Victorian-era England or the old Wild West, so hoop skirts, bustles, parasols, driving/flying goggles, and dirigibles all tend to be common, and are a big part of the appeal for costume enthusiasts and movie art designers alike. There's usually a plucky, rebellious nature to the heroes, which contributes to the 'punk' part of the name.
As far as the 'steam' part, that's where we get into the alternate timeline aspect of the genre. Steampunk stories imagine what would have happened if steam power had taken off and technology had developed along a whole different track. Instead of computers, things run on steam power, with clockwork engines and lots of visible gears. The most fantastical contraptions often result, giving the worlds a magical feel, with high-tech intersecting with an old-world sensibility.
Both steampunk and cyberpunk are fast-growing genres, with new stories coming out all the time, and they've recently become fertile ground for romances in particular. Both present the reader with new and exciting worlds to explore, setting the stage for high action, high romance, and vivid, imaginative story-telling. I highly encourage you to give one of them a shot.
And then, with any luck, the next time someone tells you about a cyberpunk or steampunk romance, you'll be one of those people not shaking her head in confusion, but squealing in excitement, ready to get your hands on a great new book.

About Unacceptable Risk:
Plix spends her lonely, gritty life trying to solve the mysteries her father left behind. Armed with a variety of cybernetic enhancements and a talent for getting into places she shouldn’t be, she searches for clues to his murder—and who’s responsible for poisoning her city.
Waking up on a street corner with her brain wiring fried to a crisp, she figures she must have gotten close this time. There’s only one man she trusts to pull her back from the brink: a tuner who can retrieve the evidence hidden deep in the recesses of her mind. A man she dares not let too close to her heart.
When Edison downloads a secret SynDate schematic from Plix’s burnt-out circuitry, he knows with dreadful finality that nothing—not even the fiery kiss he’s been holding back for years—will stop her from pursuing her quest past the point of insanity.
All he can do, as he helps her plan her final mission, is ease her pain, watch her back…and hope one of them doesn’t pay with their lives.

About Jeanette Grey:
After brief, unsatisfying careers in advertising, teaching, computers, and homemaking, Jeanette Grey has returned to her two first loves: romance and writing.
When she isn’t writing, Jeanette enjoys making pottery, playing board games, and spending time with her husband and her pet frog. She lives, loves, and writes in North Carolina.
She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Carolina Romance Writers.







3 comments:

G said...

Not my usual fare, but this looks really interesting. I look forward to reading and would love to win a copy of the ebook.

Happy holidays and thanks for the contest!

Mad4hugh
mad4hugh@gmail.com

G said...

I look forward to reading and would love to win a copy!

Happy Holidays! mad4hugh@gmail.com

Jeanette said...

Looks like the winner is Mad4Hugh :) That was easy!