This is Cherie Priest:
Here are some books she has written:
I first heard of her because of the popularity of her Clockwork Century series (that’d be the first four pictured above), and I think she is probably most famous for these steampunk/alternate history books. She had her very own spotlight panel at Phoenix Comicon on Friday morning, and I was there to record, take notes, and have fun (she’s a very funny person, so lots of laughter).
The panel was pretty much Q&A for an hour, with lots of digression (the good kind!) in between Qs—as Cherie herself said, “I can ramble about anything for like an hour…just point me in a direction, I’m like a bottle rocket of nonsense!” Here were some of the highlights of the panel, in eyeball-friendly bulleted format.
• An audience member asked, why zombies in Boneshaker? To which she replied, “I really like zombies.” She continued on to talk about the inspiration behind the gas that turns people into zombies in the book, which she explains as Mt. Rainier being right there (the book is set in Seattle), and it’s a volcano, so the idea of the underground gas came from that.
• Another author, Charles Stross, made a post online about how steampunk shouldn’t be categorized as science fiction because it isn’t really scientific, and said, “I’m looking at you, Cherie Priest, with your gas-powered zombies” (she assured us that he is a lovely man, and the way she was telling the story it was clear that she didn’t take any offense). She told us how she had made a response post stating that it had been called to her attention that her zombies were unscientific, and said “Charlie’s right, and I am so embarrassed. If only I had consulted more zombie scientists! I need your help, then. I need for you people to buy my books and read my books and tell me what I’ve done wrong so that I can fix it in the future.” She said most of the commenters on the post saw the humor in it, but a few did leap to her defense. :)