Author Override is the place where authors take the reins and take you on a journey into their world. Some may allow you into their private writing dens. Others may take you along with them on research trips or interviews. Whatever the case may be, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because here you’ll get an in-depth look into an author’s musings.

That’s Not Steampunk!

In conjunction with the release of SKIES OF FIRE, my first steampunk romance, I’ve been spending a lot of time researching and writing about aspects of steampunk. A quick definition for those unfamiliar with the term—steampunk essentially means Victorian science fiction, and its become increasingly popular over the past few years, so much so that the steampunk description has been slapped on a lot of things that really aren’t.

Steampunk style generally uses Victorian-inspired design combined with science fiction touches, and incorporates things like clockwork gears as ornamentation. That’s a very, very basic description, and, clearly, it’s open to interpretation. Sometimes the interpretation is a little too open.

There’s a whole category at the awesome website Regretsy called “Not Remotely Steampunk.” Cruising through the offerings, I found some real gems.

‘80s neon color tank top + watch parts + plastic charms ≠steampunk.

Then there’s the Overused Octopus.

Or we get things that make no sense and are just flat out terrifying.

Which brings me to this clever little film:

A glue gun and watch parts do not steampunk make.

Comic by the inimitable Kate Beaton.

So, my question to you is, have you run across anything described as steampunk but isn’t? Bonus points if your comment has a link! I’ll pick a winner from the commenters to win a copy of SKIES OF FIRE! (Print copy for US/Canada, PDF for an international winner.)

SKIES OF FIRE: The Ether Chronicles Book 1

Man made of metal and flesh

Captain Christopher Redmond has just one weakness: the alluring spy who loved and left him years beforewhen he was still just a man. Now he’s superhuman—a Man O’ War, made as part of the British Navy’s weapons program—and his responsibility is to protect the skies of Europe. If only he could forget Louisa Shaw.

A most inconvenient desire

Louisa, a British Naval Intelligence agent, has never left a job undone. But when her assignment is compromised, the one man who can help her complete her mission is also the only man ever to tempt her body and heart. As burning skies loom and passion ignites, Louisa and Christopher must slip behind enemy lines if they are to deliver a devastating strike against their foe . . . and still get out alive.


Zoë Archer: website, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr

Bio: Zoë Archer is an award-winning romance author who thinks there’s nothing sexier than a man in tall boots and a waistcoat. As a child, she never dreamed about being the rescued princess, but wanted to kick butt right beside the hero. She now applies her master’s degrees in Literature and Fiction to creating butt-kicking heroines and heroes in tall boots. She is the author of the acclaimed BLADES OF THE ROSE series and the paranormal historical romance series, THE HELLRAISERS. Zoë and her husband, fellow romance author Nico Rosso, live in Los Angeles. Nico’s story in the world of The Ether Chronicles will be available in July 2012. Please visit Zoë on the Web at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Yes, one or two blog, but i never read stempunk, i am only read summary, review or the excerpt. I enjoyed read it, and hope someday i get one story steampunk genre.

    filiafantasy at gmail dot com

  2. Loved the video, it was great! I have run across books that were first labeled as Steampunk but really aren’t – the setting is or time period is why I think someone had labeled it as steampunk but the book I’m thinking of in particular is His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik, it’s really a fantasy series set in Napoleonic times. Here’s a link:

  3. I haven’t really run across anything labeled as steampunk that I didn’t think qualified, although, I agree, the octopus seems to be used to death and I’m not sure why it’s supposed to signify steampunk. I’ve read quite a few steampunk stories, some were not set in Victorian England, but were set in that time period, with steam powered inventions, so I think they were all appropriately labeled. I’m looking forward to reading Skies of Fire, I know I’ll love it.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com

  4. In books, no I haven’t run across anything labeled steampunk that wasn’t. I actually talked to an author last summer (who shall remain nameless because I really like her) who told me that she buys big bags of “junk” and glues things together and sells them as Steampunk. I hit myself in the forehead when she said it. She even admitted that it wasn’t really Steampunk but it’s a great way to supplement income. Thanks for the post and the awesome giveaway. jepebATverizonDOTnet

  5. Thank you for the fun post Zoe! Yes, now that steampunk is á la mode so many things are labelled steampunk which have nothing to do with it.

    some I found:

    Congrats on the new release! 🙂

    stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

  6. I just recently stumbled across steampunk in the past few months, so I don’t know enough about it yet to really determine the difference between true steampunk and those things just inspired by that fit the loose definition.

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

  7. Since I’m relatively new to steampunk…I haven’t seen anything that I would recognize as obviously mislabeled. But, then again…like I mentioned…I’m kinda new to this genre….what do I know? LOL! Thx for the giveaway op! 🙂

    barbbattaglia @