Are their any published authors here who have actually written a Steampunk novel?
Just wondering, a lot of Steampunk takes place in alternate versions of the Victorian era, Im assuming that some writers have mentioned (though altered) historical characters in their novels, what are the publishing limitations of included actual people from history in ones work.
Im interested in haveing such characters in my story, say a Steampunk George Washington.
Our Voidships universe ( http://voidships.com ) is based on the premise that the only real change was that Tesla discovered anti-gravity (although, as it turns out, Faraday demonstrated partial nullification of gravity in 1843).
So our history is very similar to the real history, at least at first - although the First World War (called The Modern War) starts in 1911. This means, in turn, that any notable person born in the 19th century exists in our world though possibly not doing exactly what they did do.
On the other hand if your universe is radically different there's no real reason why anybody should be the same - then again there's no reason why you can't put whoever you want in your story. After all, it's your story - though it'd be a push to make George Washington a Victorian since he died in 1799 but you can do whatever you want - maybe Franklin devised a longevity potion.
:) True, I meant that as just an example, of course ;)
Not that I could ever get my stuff published but, I was just wondering about having actual historical characters in your fiction and if that would be a concern later on.
can't defame the dead in fantasy/sci-fi. Biographical/Histrorical works are different though
The writers displayed in our Members' Book Covers slideshow in the right margin have all published with traditional publishing houses. The ones in the second slideshow have published short stories or are independent authors.
Using real characters can definitely be done, and one example that springs to mind is the Burton & Swinburne series by Mark Hodder. http://goo.gl/AOmR9
Okay, that seems to answer that. He apparently has qiute a few historical figures in that book. I dont intend to defame anyone, just change some facts around. :)
There are no "publishing limitations" in using historical figures in your fiction.
I've just written a book involving George Merryweather, Helena Blavatsky, Tolstoy, Florence Nightingale, Lords Cardigan and Raglan, Samuel Colt, just to name a few.
The two main characters of my next book are Ada Byron (Lovelace), the world's first computer programmer, and Mary Godwin (Shelley), the world's first science fiction author, as teenage girls who open a detective agency.
That's why they call it fiction. So Steampunk George Washington is totally legit. Although he'll have to compete with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter.
But no Abe as vamp hunter for me.....
Just want to change things a bit so that he was never assassinated, but it will mostly be for background