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Poem: "The Steamsmith" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "The Steamsmith"
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ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 4th, 2011 07:22 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>> She definitely is, 'assertive' is the right word for her. <<

Sooth. I am further reminded of a distinction that I make: If you can back it up, it's confidence. If you can't, it's arrogance.

>> And she might just have made another 'victim'. <<

Hee! Maryam is as sticky as the tar baby.

>> Over dinner I was chatting with hubby about the poem and that third verse and, out of the blue, with a twinkle in his eye he commented 'it's inspiring' (note: he has said long and loud that he likes steampuk to look at but is not his genre to paint and he had been busy as a beaver for months with industry work).
When I told he that he had just committed himself he laughed in a definite 'I knew it' way. :) <<

Yay! That's so exciting. I can sympathize -- I haven't been much into steampunk, but oh, I like this version.

I'll try and remember to share what I discover, puttering around. So far I'm realizing that this London doesn't look the same as the usual steampunk, which tends to be smoky and dark and gritty with a gleam of metal. This has its grungy parts, I'm sure, but much of it seems to be a softly glowing London of fog and gaslight, metal and glass. They're actually replacing a lot of early industrial stuff with cleaner options as they learn more about steamwork. So the gaslamps, when switched over to phos, aren't exactly burning anything. (Maryam thinks that burning things is filthy, and she kind of has a point there.) The science shapes not just the culture, but the aesthetics.

I'm betting their cameras work by somehow crystallizing phos into solid form.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: November 4th, 2011 02:40 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

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<<So far I'm realizing that this London doesn't look the same as the usual steampunk, which tends to be smoky and dark and gritty with a gleam of metal. This has its grungy parts, I'm sure, but much of it seems to be a softly glowing London of fog and gaslight, metal and glass. They're actually replacing a lot of early industrial stuff with cleaner options as they learn more about steamwork. So the gaslamps, when switched over to phos, aren't exactly burning anything. (Maryam thinks that burning things is filthy, and she kind of has a point there.) The science shapes not just the culture, but the aesthetics.

I'm betting their cameras work by somehow crystallizing phos into solid form.>>

Developing the science here could be really fascinating, a clean industrial revolutionhas great implications for the future of the world, and at the same time it doesn't take away from the 'real' grittyness that would be the impact of a relatively new technology on people, and the possibility of social commentary 'Maryam-style' on social issues.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 4th, 2011 05:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>>Developing the science here could be really fascinating,<<

I think so, yes. It's so different. A lot of steampunk has a strong fantasy element. This is solidly science, just ... some of it is the kind that resembles magic until examined closely.

>> a clean industrial revolution has great implications for the future of the world, <<

Yes. From what I can tell so far: The nobles and the wealthy have as much of the new technology as they choose to adopt. (Not everyone likes it.) The middle class is just starting to get the innovations, often secondhand or as a perk of service. The lower class still makes do with mostly older options. But there's an increasing push to make some things generally available, precisely because they are cleaner and better for society at large. That point is fought mainly by enlightening people's self-interest.

The new technology mostly does seem cleaner than earlier options. Of course, some of it is dangerous or at least volatile, but then coal dust can explode too and it's filthy. The ground-engines may well be grungy places to work. Things that run on water power are apt to be wet. But a lot of the gear runs on fire and/or air types of energy, and thus less messy.

>> and at the same time it doesn't take away from the 'real' grittyness that would be the impact of a relatively new technology on people, and the possibility of social commentary 'Maryam-style' on social issues.<<

Right. I think much of the conflict comes as people are realizing more about how the world actually works, and it's not always what they thought it would be. So they're confronted with things like smart women and capable foreigners, which makes them uncomfortable, and uncomfortable people often get defensive and belligerent. There are questions about what a society should provide for its people and how; not every society answers those questions the same way.

One thing I like about Maryam is that her combination of qualities and circumstance will place her firmly in the central action -- no matter who else shows up. The steamsmith is at the hub of a wheel, that connects with other wheels.
marina_bonomi From: marina_bonomi Date: November 4th, 2011 07:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>>Right. I think much of the conflict comes as people are realizing more about how the world actually works, and it's not always what they thought it would be. So they're confronted with things like smart women and capable foreigners, which makes them uncomfortable, and uncomfortable people often get defensive and belligerent. There are questions about what a society should provide for its people and how; not every society answers those questions the same way.

One thing I like about Maryam is that her combination of qualities and circumstance will place her firmly in the central action -- no matter who else shows up. The steamsmith is at the hub of a wheel, that connects with other wheels<<

Yes *and* yes, she is definitely the main character, and I love how this setting is shaping up to be 'steam' and 'punk' in a very unusual way, most of what I read seems to be very 'Victorian with technology grafted on', this.is.different.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 4th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Thank you!

>>Yes *and* yes, she is definitely the main character, and I love how this setting is shaping up to be 'steam' and 'punk' in a very unusual way, most of what I read seems to be very 'Victorian with technology grafted on', this.is.different.<<

I've been exploring some of the other scientific and technological differences, trying to spot the major ones; and the branches of medicine; and trying to figure out which cultures have focused on what. I haven't gotten to the stage of collating those impressions yet though.
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