Halfway. Ish.

February 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm (book reviews, Writing Ranting)

Not long ago, I wrote that I was planning to write a steampunk novel, but I wasn’t letting myself just dive straight in. Not this time.

First I had to:

1. Read at least twenty relevant history/technology books.

2. Write all my twittertales for 2011.

3. Write all my monthly short-short stories (there’s an email list – and yes, you can get on it) for 2011.

4. Take a break between the reading and the writing, so I don’t get overly excited and start lecturing readers on historical dates and/or how to build a steam engine (don’t you hate it when writers show off how much research they’ve done?)

About five seconds ago, I finished #3 with a murder mystery. Yay!!

#2 is one-quarter done, but I can do plenty more during #4.

I’m halfway through # 1.

These are the books I’ve read so far:

“Australian Bushrangers” by Bill Wannan – which also has a short but very useful section on guns.

“History’s Worst Inventions” by Eric Chaline

“Savage or Civilised” by Penny Russell

“Australian Lives” by Michael Bosworth -more on the 1900s than the 1800s, but still very good detail.

“Oxford Illustrated Dictionary of Australian History” by Jan Basset

“Black Kettle and Full Moon” by Geoffrey Blainey – again, focused on the everyday details that are so important for writing.

“A History of Victoria” by Geoffrey Blainey – good, but not as good as the above.

“The Most Powerful Idea in the World” by William Rosen – good, but the most useful bits were above my head.

“Commonwealth of Thieves: The Sydney Experiment” by Thomas Keneally – heartbreaking and enthralling reading.

“The Aeronauts” by Time/Life Books – SO much fun.

I’m also reading all the modern steampunk I can find that I haven’t already read, and I plan to read some 1800s fiction (which I have ready to go), but right now my non-fiction to-read pile is ridiculously big. So I’m going to stop procratinating and go start on “Technology in Australia 1788-1988”.

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