Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oscar Wilde Steampunk Challenge

Last night -- after I had confessed that it had taken me something like four years to realize that the Borg character from ST:Voyager was supposed to be uber-sexy -- I was challenged by and  to write an Oscar Wilde Steampunk story.  There's monetary incentives and fuzzy dice involved.

Anyway, I had started a story on the train to OryCon that was supposed to be Steampunk, and so I've accepted...

Which leads me to to muse on, what makes a story a story that queers a genre?  Shanna's take (from what I can gather after one guest post) is that steampunk is inherently sexy.  But I'm not sure that just swapping out Eve for Steve in a Victorian Era story with Airships counts as queering steampunk.

And then there's the question of how historical to be.  This is the era of Oscar Wilde, Bram Stroker and Gilbert & Sullivan.  Having recently finished Dracula, I can tell you that Women's Equality had not quite made it into the Victorian sensibility (at least as it appeared on the written page).  And society's reaction to Wilde as an aesthetic defined what it meant to be a Manly Man in the late 1800's and early 1900.

And does having a gay male character as the protagonist of a story even make it queer any more?  I mean, sure, in the late 1990's... but that was fifteen years ago.

I'm still thinking about this, but I have a feeling that no matter what, there's going to be an airship called The Peacock.   
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