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Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Here's a good setting for a novel: 19th century Seattle, except it's not the Seattle from our history books. In this Seattle, the down-town district at least, is surrounded by an enormous wall erected after a mad scientist punched a hole deep into the earth and released a killer toxin that turned almost everyone into zombies.

The setting is also belonging to that strangest of genres: steam-punk, so there's lots of airships.

Boneshaker's fictional world follows this really strange rule: The cooler your name is, the more of a bad-ass you are.

Jeremiah Swakhammer? Bad-ass. Doctor Minnericht? Bad-ass. Lucy O'Gunning? Bad-ass with a steam-punk, robot arm. Leviticus Blue? Total bad-ass.

And you can't hide bad-assery under a more mundane name, either. Briar Wilkes was trying to fly under the bad-ass radar at the beginning of the book, but since her real name is Briar Blue? Crack shot. Scourge of zombies.

But it doesn't work the other way around. You can't give yourself a more bad-ass name than the one you already have. One character thought he could do that, and then you find out his real name is super lame and dull.

Right after you find out, on the next page, he dies.

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