The Genre Blend: Not-Steampunk

Anyone who knows me reasonably well knows that I have a thing for airships. I don’t know if I can explain it — it’s just one of those weird obsessions that lodges somewhere in the mind and never shakes loose. And so it shouldn’t be too surprising that there are airships in Falling Sky. In fact, when I was trying to think about how to describe it I came up with the term “post-airpocalyptic”. This has led many people to assume that the novel is steampunk and yet…it’s not.

The genesis was airships, yes, but when the idea for this world came together I was at Clarion West in 2008 and I was working on a short story with the vague idea of people living in the sky to avoid something on the ground. I mentioned this to Paul Park, one of my instructors, when we had our one-on-one meeting and he pushed me (gently and helpfully) in the direction of science fiction rather than fantasy and suddenly it became set in the future (though the near future) rather than an alternate reality or some other kind of world.

And while that might have seemed weird, the more I looked at actual articles from the time, the more I saw that it was actually possible, if not probable. With the price of fuel rising all the time, and the amount necessary for transporting both people and cargo by plane, it’s not surprising that several companies have looked into airships, modern airships mind you, as a way to cut costs. I could point you here or perhaps here or even here for some examples.  Once I was convinced it was at least plausible, I moved full speed ahead.

But I want to stress again, this isn’t steampunk. It’s post-apocalyptic, with airships. Maybe there’s no real difference to you, but there is to me.

Surely that’s got to be all of the genres, right? Well, not quite. Next post will be about what’s left.


2 responses to “The Genre Blend: Not-Steampunk”

  1. Gail Barr says:

    I just finished reading Falling Skies and I have a major complaint: it ended. More, please?

  2. Home of Writer Rajan Khanna says:

    Hi Gail, I’m sorry it took me this long to respond. If you haven’t seen, the sequel, Rising Tide, will be out October 6. Thanks for reading the first book.

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Raining Fire – Out now!

Raining Fire, the third and final book in the Ben Gold series, was released on July 18, 2017. This book concludes the story begun in Falling Sky and Rising Tide. Publisher’s Weekly said, “Khanna wraps up his postapocalyptic adventure series with a capable page-turner…the airships, slavers, cannibalistic Ferals, and visceral action scenes make this a worthy culmination to the series.”

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble now.

Rising Tide -Out now!

Rising Tide, the sequel to Falling Sky, was released on October 6, 2015. Publisher's Weekly said, "Khanna crafts a terrifyingly dismal picture of the future, raising the stakes by gradually stripping Ben of friends and support while throwing him into increasingly dire situations. His worldbuilding remains solid and unsettling, and he never loses sight of the human element. The cliffhanger ending is sure to leave readers on the edges of their seats, panting for resolution."

Falling Sky – Out now!

Falling Sky, my first novel, came out October 7, 2014 from Pyr. It's an adventure story set in a post-apocalyptic future with airships. Publisher's Weekly called it a "solid and memorable debut" while Library Journal gave it a starred review and named it Debut of the Month. For more information, please click here.

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