You may think a writer has every imaginable book at hand to research writing. You’d be wrong. That’s definitely not the case for me. I am writing four separate genres of science fiction, each a ~punk: steam, diesel, atom and cyber.
So this requires knowledge at my fingertips of four separate times: Victorian, the 60s-70s, World War II and the future. I have a decent set of books to cover Victoriana (for now!) but WWII and the recent past were oddly never my bag.
So here I am with a dieselpunk tale in Wattpad updated every second to third week. https://www.wattpad.com/story/38072935-down-jersey-drive-shaft
And I have Nada for WWII data. What’s an indie author to do?
Visit half com. Start with this:
My story involves NY home of Salem a county NJ being invaded by robots. That’s the simplified version. It will get more complex over time. But my main force against the bad guys (er, things) so far has been a super Chevy and a transforming modified P-47 (called an S-47E or Milkman).
Soon I’ll need more players. It is a war within a war after all. I know of a few WWII era planes but only a few. This book lists most if not all, growing my toy box exponentially. Chapters Six and Seven of my story hinted at pilots soon to come. What will they be flying? Hmm…
This brings me to thinking about dieselpunk and alternate history in general. My other stories depict adventures in worlds already changed by crazy circumstances.
With Down Jersey Driveshaft, I wanted to do two things differently:
1. Make the tale local. This not only makes up for other stories out west and across the Delaware River, but allows me to dig into Salem history, something I forget to do with other things on my mind. With the abandoned buildings we have now and unemployment rate, Salem is vastly different now than it was in 1944!
2. I want a world where the changes are only beginning. People haven’t found out the truth yet. Life is diesel powered, not PUNK just yet. The changes will be shown gradually as WWII comes to the home front and morphs into a national sickness. So that makes my version of dieselpunk more nascent, waiting to blow up into the smoky, dirty chugging thing we all know and love. It’s a localized situation, but how long can our heroes contain it?
Fighters and bombers and robots. Oh my.