Guest Blog- Laurel Anne Hill: Shanghai Steam

Laurel Anne Hill (Most Wicked 2011) Invites you to Read

SHANGHAI STEAM: A Unique and Totally Cool Steampunk-Wuxia Mashup

To scare or not to scare: That is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to write of

The slings and arrows of a character’s ill fortune

Or to rip away that character’s two arms in a bloody sea of troubles

And by opposing what the reader craves, end their interest. To die, to sleep–

No more the story shall be read if I choose wrong–and by such sleep careers doth end.

          – Written by Laurel Anne Hill, Most Wicked 2011, even as Shakespeare groaned from his grave

Sometimes I write horror. Sometimes I don’t. My latest offering, Moon-Flame Woman is not horror, although my main character, Cho Ting-Lam, finds herself in a horrible situation. Moon-Flame Woman is steampunk, and included in SHANGHAI STEAM  (Absolute XPress, November 2012), a steampunk-wuxia anthology to be launched at the upcoming World Fantasy Convention in Toronto.

The setting for Moon-Flame Woman is a North American railroad construction camp in 1866. That’s because the tremendous contribution of  Chinese workers in the building of the U.S. transcontinental railroad never ceases to impress me. Yet nineteenth-century Chinese laborers in the United States didn’t receive the respect they deserved.

In Moon-Flame Woman, Ting-Lam has lost self-respect. She, a slave, has neither a husband nor sons. Disguised as a man, Ting-Lam uses explosives and crystal technology to bore railroad tunnels through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Then a railroad superintendent endangers her and her people.

I invite you to visit the worlds within SHANGHAI STEAM. From ancient China to a future Mars, from the British Empire to the Old West, nineteen authors will show you worlds with alcohol-fueled dragons, philosophical automatons, and Qi-powered machines both wondrous and strange in tales of vengeance, paper lantern revolutions and flying monks.

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