Saturday, May 19, 2012

Writer's View: Peacemaker, by Lindsay Buroker

From Goodreads: Half-breed tinkerer Kali McAlister doesn’t care that the gold rush has stormed into Dawson and prospectors are flooding the north—all she wants is to finish construction of her airship, so she can escape the Yukon and see the world.

Unfortunately, the world keeps chucking wrenches into her machinery: a mysterious gambler is pumping her for information on her bounty-hunting business partner Cedar; the notorious gangster Cudgel Conrad is after Kali’s knowledge of flash gold; and a series of gruesome murders is plaguing Dawson. Someone—or something—is ruthlessly slaying tribal women, and, if Kali and Cedar can’t find the killer, she might be the next target.

Peacemaker is a 40,000-word steampunk novella.

The Writer's View

I love Lindsay Buroker's Flash Gold Chronicles. They are steampunk novellas set in the Yukon. Peace Maker is the third installment. This story is non-stop action/mystery/adventure, with a little romance to boot. If you haven't read any of these stories, I highly recommend them. You can get the first novella in the series for free at Smashwords.

Worldbuilding with language (without making up cheesy names for dieties or fake cuss words)

One of the things that really struck me about this book was the language. Lindsay's choice of words really transported me to another time and place. Specifically, it's the language used by the characters. (And I don't mean they make up fake cuss words or spout cheesy names of dieties in vain. I think we've all read plenty of sci-fi & fantasy novels that utilize that technique.)

Here are some quotes to give you a flavor of the language in Peace Maker:

"It ain't right to risk her life just so you can get your hammertoes warmed at night."
"I reckon I could show it to you if you'd cut me down."
"'s hog-killin' time."
"That would be right fine."
"Takes real pleasure in hurting folks..."
"...people stumbling out of bit houses."
"...she was no gifted flannel mouth."
"...such birds were probably hard to come by in northern climes."
"Where'd you get that sword? That's the beatingest pig stocker I've ever seen."

I love the language in this book. It made me realize there's a lot more to worldbuilding than finessing a science or perfecting a magic system.


  1. I still haven't managed to read a steampunk book. The language of a book IS important. Glad this one had that going for it too.

    1. @ Jenny - this is a great steampunk series, although I also like Lindsay's other series, The Emperor's Edge.

  2. I'm only up to the second book in this series but I already agree about the language used. It seems like the words just fit in with the world building and that's something that's incredibly difficult to do. I've been thinking of writing a Victorian Steampunk novel but I'd have a very difficult time unless I did a mega amount of research!

    1. @ Lan - ooh, I am so excited that you are reading these books! Can't wait to hear what you think of them! I have dreams of Joss Whedon picking up this series. :)

  3. I love Lindsay's books. Her word choices are fantastic at enriching her world and her characters, I totally agree.

    1. @ Bookblogger - thanks for stopping by! Glad to hear you are a fan of Lindsay!

  4. The language of the characters is one of my favorite aspects of The Flash Gold series. It's just funny and fits right in with the fictional world Lindsay created.

    Especially that old man in #3 whose gold was stolen from him. Remember when he was swearing about it in front of Kali and Cedar? They were like, O___O. That was the best part, lol.

    1. @ Cathy - I remember that! It just cracked me up! Linsday's use of language in these books just blows me away. I always learn something reading her stuff. :)