Novelist Cherie Priest joins Think Out Loud on Oregon Public Broadcasting tomorrow to talk about her highly entertaining new book, Boneshaker, a “steampunk-zombie-airship adventure,” and the cultural trend of steampunk.
Priest calls steampunk a “retro futurisma reaction to the school of design that says all tech must look flat and shiny and inscrutable.”
She also says it’s a chance to rethink the way history might have been.
“If you want to talk 19th century, you have to talk class status and structures. I think when you’re talking about revival or alternative history, you get to re-write the rules that marginalized your ancestors.”
Just to be clear, Priest doesn’t think Seattle really ever had flesh-eating zombies – known as “rotters” in Boneshaker. The novel is set 16 years after an inventor at the helm of a mining machine digs under Seattle and accidentally releases poison gas. The city is sealed off, but a strange society survives. The story follows the son of the machine’s inventor into Seattle’s bowels, and his mother, who goes in to save him.
What attracts you to steampunk? You can call in during the show or post questions for Cherie Priest or comments on the culture of steampunk here: