content by

Desirina Boskovich

A Discussion on The Steampunk User’s Manual

At DetCon1 I finally got a chance to meet Diana M. Pho, founder of the popular Steampunk blog Beyond Victoriana, editor at Tor, and contributor to The Steampunk User’s Manual. We met for a wide-ranging conversation covering everything from the upcoming book to the current state of Steampunk.

An abridged version of our conversation appears below, edited slightly for space and clarity.

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Download a Free Romulus Buckle Story from The Steampunk User’s Manual!

In discussing Steampunk fiction and wondering how to show readers an example of “thinking big,” one way was to illustrate a high-octane action scene. Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.’s Romulus Buckle series always tends to “go big” in terms of being fearless in that arena, so we thought a scene involving an airship and a giant squid made a lot of sense to include in the book. The books partake of an old-time pulp sense-of-wonder but with modern underpinnings. We’re also happy Preston’s been generous enough to offer his latest short story set in that universe for free to readers for two weeks (Update: three weeks!), in conjunction with The Steampunk User’s Manual’s release.

Thinking big can also, of course, be conceptual or about innovation or experimentation and we cover that in the Storytelling chapter as well. In addition to Preston’s diagram we’ve included words of wisdom from Nisi Shawl, Amal El-Mohtar, and more—some of which originated right here at

Find out more about the story and how to download it below!

[Plus the art from the giant squid battle!]

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