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Back in 2005, I was teaching in an adult learning environment. I had been a long time fan of Science Fiction and an avid reader of the old classics. I loved the work of Douglas Adams and had read the works of pretty much every Sci Fi author I could lay my hands on. I had read the work of JRR Tolkien.

I was no Sci Fi novice. 

In short, I was a Space Opera, Sci Fi, Fantasy junkie. Always searching for my next fix. 

I sat down one day during our class lunch break and one of my students was sitting, munching on his sandwich and totally engrossed in a paperback novel. It appeared to be huge. Over a thousand pages. He was so engrossed in his book that I felt almost invasive by asking him what he was reading. 

But I did. I said " It must be a good book. What are you reading?

The young man barely raised his head from the book. He simply said " It's called the Reality Dysfunction  and Quinn Dexter is about to stuff up a planet and probably the entire universe. " 


He took another bite of his sandwich and I wrote the name of the book down. " Who is the author? " I asked. " Peter F Hamilton " he replied. 

I went down to the local book store the next day and bought the book. The rest, as they say, is history. 

So why am I writing about something that happened so long ago ? 

It was because I belong to a great little Facebook group that is chockers full of fans of the work of Peter F Hamilton. A group I have followed since my first introduction all those years ago. I am not a big user of facebook. But I joined this group to read the updates and posts about my favourite writer. And, last night, I got a right bollocking because I dared to suggest that Peter's work might be a bit steampunk. I posted a link to our recent article about Steampunk

One poster decided that our site was a right wing extremist spam site and we should be banned. 

And so the saga began.... 

But let's head back to 2005 for a moment. 

I devoured The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God. I could not wait to get home from work to sit down and open a page and find out how Joshua Calvert was going with his deal for timber on Lalonde; how Norfolk Tears would be produced and how on earth Quinn Dexter could stuff up a planet and probably the entire universe. 

I would eagerly await each book as it was written and subsequently published. 

My library was full of the words that Peter F Hamilton managed to spill out onto a computer and create worlds and characters that were so real to me that I used to imagine who I would be: Paula Myo? Melanie? Maybe even Edeourd and I am still buggered if I know how to pronounce his name. 


The bottom line is that only a truly devoted and loyal fan would wait months to buy a book, spend extra to get it sent from  America or Britain instead of waiting for it to be released down under.

I recollect some 12 or 14 years ago paying an outrageous price to get an early edition of The Dreaming Void so that I could read it on a 14 hour rail journey. I sat, book in hand, on a train travelling through Queensland's vast spaces and, whilst others chatted, I spoke with Inigo and had the dreams. 

As the years have passed, like my railway journey, I have spent hours flying to Mount Herculean; soared over oceans and slumbered in tents; flown starships and travelled roads and come out the other end with one thing in mind: I crave more. 

So how does this relate to Steampunk and why did I put a post up on a fansite for my favourite author? 

Because, believe it or not, it was the Starflyer. Known also as Morning Light Mountain. You know the bad guy..  who was a bad dude alien who had come to earth and was on a train that travelled from planet to planet on a train through wormholes. Hell, who wouldn't think that? 

When I wrote the article about Steampunk, I kept seeing the image of that train that is almost the signature of the 1900's Industrial Revolution. 

Steampunk Trains Men 532910 1920x1080


I kept thinking about the Barsoomians. The group of humans dedicated to using genetic manipulation in order to improve the human race. 

Who wouldn't think of MRNA vaccines and not go " Whoah, that sounds rather Barsoomian. " 

Bottom line I felt and still feel that this author has a certain amount of Steampunk in his writing. If I am wrong, big deal. His fusion of man and machine with the Void Hawks....... surely a bit steampunk? 


So if a newly arrived reader demands my removal from the site because I am a right-wing something or other makes me wonder if this person has ever actually read any of Peter F Hamilton's work?

His work is, in my opinion, a bit Steampunk. If I am wrong? Who cares? 

The critic suggested that I write right-wing extremist posts. I can assure you all that we publish articles about God, Christianity, Marriage and Old Fashioned conservative values. But nothing in the link that I posted on the fan site said anything about any of these views. 

Safety tip for lefties: if you don't like the article, don't read it. Simple. 

However, the interesting thing is this: many people leapt to my defence. They actually read the article because of the controversy. So here is the kicker. 

If this foolish person had not posted his indignation at my link to a harmless Steampunk article, I doubt it would have rated an uptick or a solitary comment.

But, because the twit made a big song and dance about it, it became a rather active thread about the rights and wrongs of freedom of speech. 

Life is funny like that. 

The more the Left push for transgender rights, racial apartheid against caucasians, climate change fear theories that a mutant cybergoat is going to consume the universe unless we all start living in caves and eating kale ... well, the more appealing a coal fired power station and a gas cooker become. The more a vegan groans about the offensive smell of a backyard BBQ - well, guess what? I want to crank up the barbeque and throw a few steaks on... if I could afford them. 

The more homosexual male and females declare their pride in being gay, the more I want to declare my pride in being straight. 

The more the Satanists celebrate their worship of the devil, the more I want to go and have a chat with God and say " For Heavens Sake, Please tell Noah to start building a bigger boat. " 

Because, if idiots like the person I encountered last night are anything to go by, we have a " Jaws " moment coming on. 

Noah is going to need a bigger boat. 





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