Indie e-Con 2018 Author Panel - Sci-Fi

Welcome to tomorrow! That's right, folks, we're talking about sci-fi, which is a fun genre that I used to hate. Don't ask me why, but I disliked it - until I read C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy and Sarah Holman's Destiny. Now I'm writing it. Can't promise any dates on when it'll be published, because I've not finished a draft of it ... just know that I've puttered about with it.

Fun genre.

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We have a number of awesome sci-fi authors, as well as steampunk, which we are also representing today. A few of them have agreed to answer some questions!

Rachel Rossano 
Favorite thing about Science Fiction:
Science fiction allows writers and readers to explore ideas in foreign landscapes. Whether it is drilling down to what makes us human in a struggle to survive against hostile elements, framing moral dilemmas in the social structure of an alien race, fighting the injustice of an over policed, oppressive, or anarchic government, or exploring the ways technology can be used or misused, they all can affect today. The decisions we make now affect the future. Science fiction is a way to extrapolate today's ideals to their extreme conclusion or invite the readers to consider decisions that they have not even dreamed of yet. It is an opportunity to ask "What if..." and explore it the idea to its ultimate conclusion. Science fiction is a genre of exploration into the unknowns of the future without leaving the comforts of your home.
And representing Steampunk ...

H.L. Burke 
Why do you write steampunk?
While I'm primarily a fantasy genre, I find the gadgets and gears of Steampunk to fit really well with another (non-book) genre I really like: adventure games. I love computer games that drop me into a strange environment and then have me solve puzzles to put together the story or get out of the trap by flipping levers and turning dials. The often impractical tech of steampunk provides a lot of room for this. So when I essentially wanted to write a series that read like an escape room meets a serial adventure, Steampunk was the obvious choice. I also really like the fashion, of course. The aesthetics are very pleasing and instantly recognizable.

What is your favorite thing about steampunk?
Steampunk comes out of an area of Victorian optimism where progress is a common theme. I like that. I like playing with the idea of characters who through work ethic and grit can shape the world around them and carve out a life. I also think the conflicts of the time, humanity vs technology, are interesting. In the industrial revolution, people faced being replaced by machines. Factories dirties up the cities. It was all in the name of progress and it lead to a lot of good happening, but in the there and now it must've felt like the modern world was out to chew you up at times. This provides something both for characters to strive for and struggle against.

Rachel Rossano is available for questions, if you have any for her, and H.L. Burke might pop by and answer a few if you're desperate.


  1. And now we're getting into MY genres! Ha-ha! I love it.

    Rachel Rossano has a great point about sci-fi being a way to take today's ideals "all the way" and see what would happen. Though, pretty often, that ends in a dystopia . . .

    And I love H.L. Burke's comparison of steampunk to a puzzle game. Yesssss, so true. (Also, those games are awesome. OH STORMS someone should make a series of escape or puzzle game set in one of her steampunk worlds. I would SO buy it.)

    1. Ah, both dystopia and utopia are common themes in science fiction and speculative fiction. They intermix well.

    2. Very true. *nods* And most of the great sci-fi works that I know of seem to have shades of one or the other, even if they aren't outright one of the two.

  2. I'm totally in love with science fiction and steam punk. I have a science fiction revision on my to do list which I sadly have not had time to work on in several months. Dying to get back to it.

    1. My science fiction series is waiting patiently for me too. I have one novel of the five my husband is hoping for written. I can't wait to share it with the world, but so many other stories are clamoring for my attention too. :)

    2. Same. I have two half-written and one in desperate need of a rewrite, and I'm just sitting over here, rewriting Jane Austen with fairy tales, completely ignoring them. Ignoring everything that I should be writing...

    3. Just the fact I am thinking about them is making my space pirate antsy. He wants his day in the sun and his life was in jeopardy when I ended the last book. I really need to sit down and develop/plot the next books in the series. But that will have to wait until I finish my current WIP. :)

    4. SPACE PIRATE. WHAT. I just glanced down at these comments and saw space pirate and I need this book please and thank you very much. (You said "ended the last book" . . . so is the first one out? *goes to check list of sci-fi Indie e-Con books*)


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