Early on, when Phil and I had just begun to release Girl Genius, our book received a bad review. Specifically, the reviewer was unhappy that he couldn’t tell if our new comic was supposed to be science fiction or fantasy—we were clearly idiots who didn’t know what we were doing—we should have picked one and stuck with it, by damn. His point wasn’t that we were “mixing genres” poorly, it was that we were doing it at all. I puzzled over that one for a while, then just shrugged and wrote it off, concluding that the reviewer was clearly suffering from a crashing lack of imagination.
These days, I can’t help but remember that review, and wonder what the poor fellow makes of the current steampunk boom—with its cheerful disregard for the hard facts of real-world science, and the limitations they impose on writers of science fiction. Or, that is, the limits they would impose, if we were to pause in the middle of all the fun we’re having and let them.