Research: So much fun & so overwhelming

DebE —  March 6, 2012 — 2 Comments

I’m trying to research some history in order to write a decent short story for a “competition” (although, I’ve decided I don’t care if I win – I’m leaving it too late to do my best – but I must make an effort to enter).

I had this plan to do an Alternative History/Steampunk story, and thought it would be really fun to apply Steampunk to something other than Victorian England or the Wild West. How well I’ll do, I really don’t know. I’m planning to have a go at the alt. history, anyway.

The original prompt I started working on this story for (the new goal doesn’t have a theme or prompt – it’s Open) included dragons, so that had me thinking China. So, after a little research, I discovered the story of Li Zicheng – quite interesting, by all accounts. And, if you have the time, this video probably has the best information about his time in “power” (however you define it). I’m quite keen to watch the next part, now. Perhaps tomorrow.


A.D.1644 Part 2 Transient Rule of Li Zicheng




Deb E was born in New Zealand’s North Island, but her parents corrected that within months, moving south to Dunedin and staying there. Childhood nights were spent falling asleep to cover versions of Cliff Richard and the Shadows and other Rock ’n Roll classics played by her father’s band, and days were spent dancing to 45 LPs. Many of her first writing experiences were copying down song lyrics. She graduated to scientific reports when she studied a nematophagus fungus in the Zoology department of the University of Otago, trading all traces of popularity for usefulness… then traded both for fiction. Mum of one human & four fur-babies.

2 responses to Research: So much fun & so overwhelming


    It’s hard to apply the steampunk template to a society that hasn’t experienced much technological change. It’s the contrasts of technology that make it interesting, sort of like “Firefly,” with horses and machine guns. China might be interesting… their industrial revolution didn’t really get going until the 1920s-1940s I think. Now it’s already waning. Isn’t that amazing!


      Yes, that’s probably why most of my ideas, so far, aren’t overly Steampunk, just alt-history. But, I have decided to use my fall-backstory. Making that decision has been a relief – I’m back to novel-writing. Phew!
      Chinese history, with its dynasties etc, is pretty interesting. As for modern day, they have made leaps & bounds in terms of “progress” in recent years. I find it a shame they haven’t done so in green technology.

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