Oklahoma author provides steampunk story for comics anthology

An Oklahoma author looks at an alternate possible past in a new anthology of steampunk stories.
by Matthew Price Published: January 31, 2014
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Steampunk: An alternate-history science fiction genre that frequently features anachronistic technology.

Jeff Provine, a composition professor based in Norman who has written steampunk, alternate history and Web comics, is working on several comic-book stories for Grayhaven, including the story “The Sun Flared Up,” available now in the “Grayhaven Steampunk Anthology.”

The story has its beginnings in the true events of an 1859 solar storm.

“In history, the sun pounded the Earth with enough (electromagnetic force) to make the aurora borealis visible from the Caribbean and telegraphs tap without operators,” Provine said in an interview with The Oklahoman. “The story takes it further, following a town of survivors who hide in the mines of West Virginia. Necessity is the mother of invention, so they adapt to survive with wondrous steampunk technology.”

Provine first got the idea for the story when researching the storm for a blog post.

“GrayHaven is one of the few publishers to have open calls for submissions to their anthologies,” Provine said. “I happened across an announcement for it, so I sat up past midnight outlining a proposal for my story. The story had been lingering for quite some time in my mind after learning about it in research for my alternate history blog, This Day in Alternate History.”

Provine was teamed with artist Eduardo Xavier for this project by GrayHaven.

“GrayHaven carries the line ‘By Creators, For Creators!' in its About section, which sums up the spirit of the house well,” Provine said. “Comics is a very difficult industry to break into, and GrayHaven has taken it upon themselves to welcome new talent through their open calls in their anthologies, giving volume to so many unheard voices.”

Provine says those looking for an antidote to today's mass-produced culture may find something to enjoy in steampunk fiction.

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by Matthew Price
Features Editor
Features Editor Matthew Price has worked for The Oklahoman since 2000. He’s a University of Oklahoma graduate who has also worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and was a Dow Jones Newspaper Fund intern for the Dallas Morning News. He’s...
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