The World of The Tribulations of Dawn

Dawn lives in a steampunk version of Victorian Britain. In this world technology and society developed differently than we learned in history lessons and from films. Whilst much about the world of Dawn is familiar, there are many differences both great and small.

In reality, Victorian Britain was a marvellous place but far from a perfect or happy one. There were great reforms in many countries but the average life of the time is hard to picture with the modern eye. It’s very easy for people living in the 21st century to be judgemental of Victorian Britain but we should remember that in 2016 it’s not coming up roses all over the world. It is natural for us to look at the achievements of the Victorians and feel that we are somehow lesser than they are, no longer as ambitious and less polite. The truth is nowhere near that easy and we suggest that if you’re interested you look at the work of reputable historians. It’s not all doom and gloom in the modern world either, though we often think everything is getting worse because we can hear, within minutes, about every horrible thing that happens in the world. We are immediately immersed in videos of natural disasters as they happen and this presents us with a very negative perception of the world.

It would be unsurprising if we were to get a little worn down by all the reports in our media but rest assured things are getting better. If you, like us, sometimes feel the world is going to end and nothing will ever get better we heartily recommend the following for uplifting stories:

  • Al Gores Ted talks – the first ones that became ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and later ones that give you positive updates and confirm progress is being made
  • Practically every announcement Elon Musk has made about solar panels, electricity storage, sustainable transport and the colonisation of Mars
  • Hans Rosling presents statistics in a fantastically accessible way that show just how far the world has come in the last 100 years
  • Bill Gates and the Giving Pledge where billionaires agree to give away more than 50% of their wealth during their life or in their will


What is different about Steampunk?

Steampunk is typically set in the Victorian era and very often in Britain. However, the variety of steampunk worlds grows all the time and in the sheer breadth of imagination now rivals the ancient genre of fantasy fiction and the much more recent genre of science fiction. If you wished to you could try and peg steampunk as being a sub-genre of one or other of those or a mix of both. With the greatest of respect, though, we suggest that trying to unravel the roots of genre fiction is, at best, a colossal waste of time. Of course, like us, you may actually enjoy such nerdy pursuits so if the fancy takes you, have at it! Suffice to say that what counts as steampunk generates a deal of argument on the web and we don’t find being dragged into that at all appealing.

During the Victorian era huge leaps in technology, health, welfare and law were made at this time but the living conditions of even the wealthy were pretty poor by modern standards. Fancy living in a world before telephones, flushing toilets, motor vehicles, electric lights, electric razors, televisions, cinema, the London Underground, space travel, smartphones, computers and reality TV? Apart from the last one, neither do we.

In the world of steampunk, we imagine what the world would have been like if the Victorians had kept going with steam technology and somehow made it much more advanced. It’s exotic, it looks fabulous, the imagination of Heath Robinson made real. You could consider it a blend of science fiction, Victoriana and fantasy with added brass. Lots of brass, lots of leather and cogs, lashings of steam and Devon cream teas as far as the eye can see. It is peculiarly British although you could make a reasonable case that there’s nothing that unusual about the British being peculiar, it’s more our natural state of being. Imagine if the eccentric inventions of the Victorians had actually worked on a large scale? You pick up your shaving equipment in the morning, pump the steam chamber a couple of times and set it whirring and gnashing at your beard. It does not blow up in your face but actually does its job.

There’s a number of attributes that are probably common to all steampunk and we have seen many critics decry those who stray from the ‘pure’ path. When people start talking about purity you should always hear alarm bells and massive steam-powered klaxons going off as it’s a strong indicator of a certain type of very serious person, coming to suck the fun out of everyone’s life. If you come across a fantasy world, with elves and orcs and steam-powered flying machines and a very gung-ho group of handlebar moustachioed Imperialists stomping about the place, whilst ill-tempered dwarven magicians control the weather we suggest you just enjoy it.

  • Some of the technology should be steam based and by that, we mean escalators and zeppelins, not trouser presses and locomotives
  • Electricity may not be common though this seems more to do with upping the presence of steam than any logical sense (the first electric light was in 1800 for instance)
  • Expect a lot of copper, brass, wood and leather. There’ll be glass valves and pressure vessels. There’ll be noise and heat.
  • There’s a bit of a romantic atmosphere (on a number of levels probably)
  • As with fantasy and sci-fi you should expect great adventures. It turns out only dull literary fiction concentrates on the entirely mundane lives of entirely mundane people thus utterly missing the point.

What is an erotic steampunk adventure then?

The hope is that the Tribulations of Dawn will be a thrilling series of adventure novellas with lashings and lashings of erotica for good measure. There may also be some actual lashings but the fun kind, not the judicial kind (though that does not preclude judges being involved, the filthy beggars). It will be up to our readers to decide whether we have achieved our goals but the world will be an alternate steampunk version of Victorian Britain. If Dawn proves to be as uncontrollable as we suspect, we seriously doubt we can successfully contain her within the confines of Europe, let alone the British Isles. After all, to date, we have been unable to contain her within her Mark II Smotherington Lady Adventurers Corset. So determined to be freed has she been that she is about to share herself with the world at large, despite our best efforts to deny her egress from the confines of our fevered mind.

If she can be reigned in, (perhaps if she’s worn out first by a team of lads and lasses willing to risk it all) we hope the following will be true of each novella.

  • The plot will contain just enough action and adventure to entertain.
  • If we were to cut the naughty bits out, there would still be a coherent story.
  • There will be humour, even in the naughty bits.
  • The naughty bits will be extensively and terribly, terribly naughty. One might say steamy if one were inclined to pun.
  • If our readers feel they must skip a book because Dawn has been particularly naughty, they should still be able to follow the plot of the next instalment.
  • Did we mention that Dawn is rather more than usually keen on rumpy-pumpy?

Few characters have been quite so vigorous in their seeking of adventure and the hedonistic lifestyle that it can provide and so Dawn has been involved in more tales of derring-do and wanton debauchery than we could possibly hope to account for. Therefore your humble author will be sticking to the highlights for the most part. Should our readers wish to know about some of Dawn’s less well-known adventures or her pursuits of niche tastes, we will, of course, attempt to accommodate their interest. As it happens Dawn loves to talk about herself so a little gin and tonic is all that’s required to get a full recounting of her wildest days.

Will the Tribulations of Dawn be our only look at this world?

The world that Dawn inhabits is indubitably a steampunk one. However, the main character in the Tribulations is Dawn and not the technology she encounters. Due to the short nature of the novellas and our need to concentrate on accurately recounting what Dawn has told us of her many dalliances (lest we face her wrath) our description of that world will be limited. However, recognising that many people enjoy a long, leisurely excursion to take in all the sights as much as they do a short, fabulous romp, your humble author is also working on another series.

This will be a series of full-length novels, describing in detail the life of young heroine, a contemporary of Dawn, who looks set to be one of the greatest steam-smiths of her age. Do not dismay, though, for she too has a truly British heart and it leads her to give of her love, as freely as Dawn. Due to constraints on the authors time and the overwhelmingly forceful nature of Dawn’s desire to be properly recorded, these Chronicles will have to wait their turn. It is our hope that we will be able to free up more of the authors time to work on these but that will depend on how well received the accounts of Dawn’s adventures are.