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Sci-Fi / Steampunk / Speculative ?


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#1 Erevos

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 05:30 AM

Hello everyone!

 

I'd like some advise on the matter.

 

So, my new novel is MG, set in the Victorian era in an alternate universe USA -- Boy with amnesia works with a grumpy Inspector to bring down an underground boss who seeks to control the steam.

 

The society moves on steam, so imagine steam engines, cars, big clocks etc, but there are also hints of "magic" in the book (Only used in 3-4 occasions)

 

The book doesn't focus on the whole steam-magic system - rather I use these to drive the story forward. In 2 words it's more of a humorous adventure!

 

So, Sci-Fi / Steampunk / Speculative / Science Fantasy or something else?

 

Thank you in advance!


My query: http://agentquerycon...teampunksci-fi/

Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#2 A Fatalist Dawn

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 02:22 PM

If it had to be placed into one "box," I would say Steampunk. However, the inclusion of magic, however small, would also make it Science Fantasy. Your description of it as an adventure story further emphasizes the fantasy aspect.


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#3 lnloft

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Posted 21 November 2018 - 08:50 PM

There's also Gaslamp Fantasy (https://tvtropes.org.../GaslampFantasy), but it sounds like that has more magic than you have, and it's not quite as mainstream. Unless reading that link makes you think it's a perfect fit, I think you're probably safe with either Steampunk or Science Fantasy. And you can always change it back and forth depending on the desires of an agent. If you think multiple accurately fit your story, then match the marketing to fit the agent. Just make sure that your query fits the genre, so don't say it's a humorous adventure if you don't include any sort of humor in your query.


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#4 Erevos

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Posted 22 November 2018 - 06:54 AM

I see!!

Thank you both for your answers!!

Btw, I had never heard of Gaslamp Fantasy! Sounds awesome!


My query: http://agentquerycon...teampunksci-fi/

Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#5 RSMellette

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Posted 13 December 2018 - 04:26 PM

From an agent/editor point of view, genre really means "what shelf will it go on?"

 

Visit a few bookstores and see if there is a Steampunk shelf. If not, where are they shelving Steampunk books? That's your genre.


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#6 Erevos

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Posted 28 December 2018 - 07:16 PM

I went and did that! Steampunk was lumped with every other book in the fantasy genre in all the bookstores in my area...but I live in a small city so this sample probably isn't indicative :D I think I'll go with adjusting the genre from Steampunk to Sciene Fantasy or even maybe Sci-Fi depending on the agent! 


My query: http://agentquerycon...teampunksci-fi/

Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#7 RSMellette

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    Billy Bobble Makes A Magic Wand, Dec. 2014 Elephant's Bookshelf Press

Posted 03 January 2019 - 07:02 PM

I wouldn't worry about it that much. 

 

At a dinner for SCBWI, I sat with 4 agents who started discussing query letters among themselves. Most of them said they skip straight to the sample. If they like that, they'd go back to the query letter to see if "the author can sell their own work." If you call it Steampunk, they'll know. Just don't call it "Drama" or "Quasi neo-micro-adult." Show you're professional, and you're good.


From Elephant's Bookshelf Press

 

51xExIpByyL._SS140_SH35_.jpg51n1zBAR2vL._SS140_SH35_.jpg

by R.S. Mellette

"WOW. That is the first word that comes to mind when I think about how I felt reading this book - WOW. I was so pleasantly surprised - oh, let's be honest, it was more like blown away!" -- Holy B. In NC, Amazon Review.


#8 Erevos

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 05:21 PM

Omg I laughed so much at that!

Thank you for the tip!

 

I wouldn't be surprised if this Quasi neo-micro-adult becomes a trend in a few years  :laugh:  


My query: http://agentquerycon...teampunksci-fi/

Let me know if you want me to look at yours. Will happily do so.


#9 lnloft

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Posted 04 January 2019 - 08:12 PM

I'm hoping to trail blaze the new genre "semi-trans intellectual macro YA". It's going to be all the rage in a few years.


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