Later that year I was invited by the Clockwork Alchemy authors to participate in a new Steampunk anthology, to be titled 12 Hours Later: Twenty Four Tales of Myth and Mystery, containing stories, (or poems), each cleaved in two and finishing 12 hours later.
The following year, I participated in their second Steampunk anthology, titled 30 Days Later: Steaming Forward: 30 Adventures in Time, which followed the same design of bisected stories, (or poems), and included many of the authors of 12 Hours Later.
Most recently, they have produced a third Steampunk anthology, titled Some Time Later: Fantastic Voyages Through Alternate Worlds. I’d never written an alternate history poem before, nor read such works, so it took me a while to wrap my head around it.
Via email and whatnot, I and the other writers were able to gather the gist of each volume as they were being proposed and designed, which helped us to focus on the collectively agreed upon theme. In this latest book, the theme involved composing an alternate history.
I might have been feeling rather snarky the day I threw my idea their way, typing something about an alternate history involving Gauguin in Tahiti. As I happen to be a fan of Solarpunk, I began by trying to imagine a Solarpunk Tahiti. What is Solarpunk you ask?
“Solarpunk is a genre of Speculative Fiction that focuses on craftsmanship, community, and technology powered by renewable energy, wrapped up in a coating of Art Nouveau drawings. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SolarPunk
It’s the visual aspects of Solarpunk which attract me to this genre, and for some reason the notion of Gauguin, Tahiti, and rewriting his history sprang to fruition. Mind you, I’ve never much admired Gauguin’s Tahitian works, nor Gauguin himself, but I went for it.
I knew his story, or so I thought, until I embarked on a deeper investigation into his life and times. Through this research I began to see a different man that the one I had envisioned, and I eventually came to think much more kindly of him, (not so much for his art).
And so was born my contribution to Some Time Later. If you’re already a fan of alternate history, (or if I’ve perhaps peaked your interest in it), I invite you to grab a copy of Some Time Later: Fantastic Voyages Through Alternate Worlds. It’s a really fun read.
This latest volume includes my poem: Solarpunk Gauguin. Enjoy!
Image: Steve Collis