Thursday, March 07, 2013

FUNKY, COLD MEDINA…OR TIMBUKTU: Building the world of my Steamfunk story (stories)

FUNKY, COLD MEDINA…OR TIMBUKTU: Building the world of my Steamfunk story 

So far, I've only written three steamfunk stories. One is A Cry for Hire, which is in the anthology, Fantastic Stories of the Imagination, edited by Warren Lapine. That story involves creating another world entirely. It is a Christian African-American steamfunk story and it has all the concerns a modern Black Christian woman might have, concerns one would not find in the typical steampunk story. One rarely finds religious concerns and issues of prejudice in a non-Black steampunk story.  

The other story, Oh Western Wind, is in the Steamfunk Anthology and is a world based on my love of folklore and my love of Korean sajeuk (period pieces, much like Japanese samurai films.) In this story, I joined both cultures in what I called a funklore story because I wanted to put dirigibles into an old folktale. An excerpt of this story is posted later in this series.

The third is A Little Haven, which is about how it would really go down if we had a Captain Nemo figure. I'm not a fan of mad controlling men, alas. 

Here is an excerpt of my story, A Cry for Hire which is in the Fantastic Stories of the Imagination anthology.

But when she pushed aside the curtains and touched the sill, she saw, not the porches, not the brown, gray, and green of the small town but a world of apartments (or very like apartments) quite tall, looming all about her. People were traveling through the sky on conveyances very like modern, newer versions, of the pulleys inside her house.
Wheels, shafts, and chains abounded. Ropes, cables, belts, of various sizes and complexities. Some consisted only of belt drives, were short, and hung between neighboring buildings. Others seemed to work walkways, pulling them horizontally or vertically . Others were more complicated and were made of multiple blocks and tackles, chains and gears, intertwined and interdependent, rolling into, past, over, and through each other, and stretching the lengths of many stories and buildings. Fixed or movable, compound or simple, rusty or polished,  the pulleys seemed to display the class and wealth of those who traveled upon or owned them. These folks must have lived a long time here, Novella thought, and have raised children here for countless generations. She didn’t know why those were the first words to come to her mind but there they were.
Amazed, curious, afraid, she opened the window. A large ledge protruded out from below it. In her own world Novella would have stood on the first or second floor looking out at the sidewalk outside her house. But, now, she seemed to look out from a large height. Gripping her window ledge firmly, her palms sweating, she crawled out as much as courage could embolden her and looked down at the highways below. The lower part of her house seemed part of a large apartment which rose thousands of feet above the earth, its foundations and lower floors unseen. Traffic on the traversing highways, the chain drives, mechanized pulleys carrying cargo and passengers, the human-operated ones with single or many passengers. . .dwindled into sparser routes as they descended toward the depths. Below those highways, solitary dark roads, then nothing. Workers lumbered onto walkways or pulleys descended alongside the refuse and falling ash into a bottomless pit of debris. Gradually the highways dwindled to private walkways or  personal pulleys, or harnesses, then nothing. There seemed to be no transportation in the lower depths.
Novella crawled back inside the window and looked skyward. The pulleys, conveyances, and walkways reached far into the misty clouds. Adults and children traveled on movable sky lobbies and shiny cable cars, or waited in waiting rooms that hung like scaffold. Above the station depot, fewer highways and lanes, then when the clouds overtook the mist –sky and nothing else. 

My stories are all included in my anthology, Spirit Fruit

This collection of published stories by novelist Carole McDonnell - - author of the acclaimed multicultural Christian fantasy novels "Wind Follower" and "The Constant Tower"- - bring together multicultural concerns, spirituality, and speculative fiction. The fantastical elements in these tales range from contemporary worlds to alternate worlds, from Europe to Africa to worlds yet to come. Crusaders amid spiritual battles and courtly love are side by side with African fairies, the non-verbal inhabitants of a non-verbal world, a dying old Jamaican witch, and Asian princes. In this multicultural age, fantasy and supernatural stories are joined to stories about spiritual journeys in our own world and beyond.

322 pages
  • Publisher: (February 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1105261174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1105261176

Print Version: Can be bought at  Amazon or at

Please visit  other writers of steamfunk at their websites or homepages

Milton Davis – Milton Davis is owner/publisher of MVmedia, LLC . As an author he specializes in science fiction and fantasy and is the author of Meji Book One, Meji Book Two and Changa’s Safari. Visit him: .

Ray Dean – Growing up in Hawaii, Ray Dean had the opportunity to enjoy nearly every culture under the sun. The Steamfunk Anthology was an inspiration she couldn't pass up. Ray can be reached at

Malon Edwards – Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Malon Edwards now lives in the Greater Toronto Area. Much of his speculative fiction features people of color and is set in his hometown. Malon can be reached at

Valjeanne Jeffers – is an editor and the author of the SF/fantasy novels: Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend and Immortal III: Stealer of Souls. Her fourth and fifth novels: Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds and The Switch: Clockwork will be released this spring. Visit her at:  and .

Rebecca M. Kyle – With a birthday on Friday 13, it's only natural that the author is fascinated with myths, legends, and oddities of all kinds. Ms. Kyle lives with her husband, four cats, and more rocks and books than she cares to count between the Smokies and Cumberland mountains. Visit her at

Carole McDonnell – is a writer of Christian, supernatural, and ethnic stories. Her writings appear in various anthologies, including So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonialism in Science Fiction, edited by Nalo Hopkinson; Jigsaw Nation; and Life Spices from Seasoned Sistahs: Writings by Mature Women of Color among others. Her reviews appear in print and at various online sites. Her novels are the Christian speculative fiction, Wind Follower, and The Constant Tower. Her Bible study is called: Seeds of Bible Study.   Her website is

Balogun Ojetade – Author of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steamfunk); “Once Upon A Time in Afrika” (Sword and Soul); “Redeemer” (Urban Fantasy) and the film, “A Single Link” and “Rite of Passage”. Finally, he is Co-Author of “Ki-Khanga: The Anthology” and Co-Editor of “Steamfunk!” Visit him:

Hannibal Tabu – is a writer, a storyteller, and by god, a fan. He has written the novels, “The Crown: Ascenscion” and “Faraway” and the upcoming scifi political thriller “Rogue Nation”. He is currently the co-owner and editor-in-chief of Black geek website Komplicated at the Good Men Project, and uses his Operative Network website ( to publish his poetry, market what he's doing, rant at the world and emit strangled cries for help.

Geoffrey Thorne – Geoffrey Thorne has written a lot of stuff in a lot of venues and will be writing more in more. It's his distinct pleasure to take part in another of these groundbreaking anthologies. Thanks for letting me roll with you folks. For more (and God knows why you'd want more) check out

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