Sarah Hans–East of the Sun

cropped-cropped-sarah-hans-27-of-49-27Welcome back to East of the Sun! This week we are exploring the Mediterranean sea, as well as Africa. As this is a very broad region, we’ve invited an author with a very broad scope. Please welcome Sarah Hans, editor of Steampunk World.

Sarah is an author, editor, and educator. About a dozen of her short stories have appeared in print, and she is the editor of the anthologies Sidekicks! and Steampunk World. Her hobbies include crocheting blasphemies and dressing anachronistically. When not writing, blogging, or seeking enlightenment through crafting, she can be found traveling the aether aboard The Airship Archon, which frequently docks at science fiction conventions across the Midwest. Please check the Appearances Page for the Airship’s scheduled stops. You can contact Sarah via email at sarah.hans@gmail.com, or visit her on facebook.

SP World HansWhen you decided to put together ‘Steampunk World’ it was to highlight steampunk stories that were not Victorian in nature. For a genre that is almost Victorian by definition, it seems to have an excellent track record of diversity. Has this not always been the case? Can you comment on the history of diversity in steampunk literature?

The intention behind Steampunk World was to tell the stories of non-Western cultures. The Victorian Era happened all over the world, not just Britain and the United States. When the idea for Steampunk World was born, numerous years ago, there wasn’t a lot of diverse literature in the genre. The stories considered “steampunk classics” were generally about white characters originating from Western cultures. But when I went to steampunk conventions and looked around at my friends, I saw a diverse and creative group of people who brought their cultural backgrounds into steampunk to make it really unique and amazing. I wanted to edit an anthology that reflected the diversity of the community I love. Since the publication of Steampunk World, there have been numerous steampunk anthologies from the perspectives of people all over the world. I’m really proud of how the steampunk community and many science fiction readers have embraced diversity in the stories they read and write. It’s been a privilege to be part of that.

And what about the future? Where do you think the genre is going with that?

I’m bad at making predictions! But I hope steampunk as a genre will continue to push boundaries and challenge assumptions. I hope we’ll continue to see more and more stories, anthologies, and novels depicting steampunk all around the world written by writers from diverse cultures. I think steampunk in space is the next frontier!

seaDo you have any favorites among the stories included in the anthology? Are there any that stand out as noticeably unusual for the genre?

I adore every single story in the anthology, so picking a favorite would be like picking a favorite child! But Ken Liu’s story “Good Hunting” is the one that made me actually cry when I read it the first time. That’s why it’s the last one in the anthology.

What are some other culturally diverse steampunk-themed books you would recommend?

Maurice Broaddus recently had an excellent novella called “Buffalo Soldier” published on Tor.com. I was hoping to publish this story in my next antho, but Tor beat me to it! So I obviously love it, and you should check it out. I also recommend The Sea Is Ours: Tales from Steampunk Southeast Asia, edited by Jaymee Goh, who was one of my Steampunk World contributors.

Are there plans for any more anthologies in the future? A “Steampunk World II” perhaps?

I’m currently working on Steampunk Universe, a follow-up to Steampunk World that focuses on characters who are aneurotypical or disabled. My dream project is to get back to my roots and edit an anthology of horror by women writers, so hopefully that’ll happen next!

Thank you so much, Sarah! Also, please remember to sign up for prizes, if you haven’t already! You can do so by going to this form and entering your name and email address! All registrations must be received by July 1st! Be back next week for our foray into Scandinavia!


Katie Lynn Daniels is the author of Supervillain of the Day, and the mastermind behind Vaguely Circular. She blogs about science and things that are peripherally related to science. You can read all her posts here.


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