Steamfunk, Alternate History and a country called Freedonia

Rough Draft Freedonia Map

I’m a history nut from way back. As a matter of fact, until I was in high school all my extra-curriculum reading was history. From dinosaurs, to World War II to eventually African history I was and I still am fascinated about things that were. I’m not dazzled by dates and names, but by the personalities, customs and cultures of the past.

Despite my love of history, I haven’t been much of a fan of alternate history. I’ve read a few novels and been slightly interested, but my question has always been, ‘where we at?’ It seems that all the authors that write alternate history, at least the ones I’ve read, either completely ignore people of color or as far as they are concerned people of African descent always end up being slaves. The only difference is the duration of internment.

So imagine my shock when I discovered Lion’s Blood by Steve Barnes(http://www.amazon.com/Lions-Blood-Steven-Barnes/dp/0446612219/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362745817&sr=8-1&keywords=lion%27s+blood+steve++barnes) . Here was an intelligent and fascinating alternate history where Africans settled North America and those who became slaves were of Irish descent. It was not a wish fulfillment book, but a thoughtful analysis is the condition of slavery and the affects on both master and slave.

From Here to Timbuktu. Art by Stanley Weaver

When I first laid the groundwork for MVmedia one of my ideas was an alternate history based on the question, ‘What if the Haitian Revolution spread to the southeastern United States? What if, with the help from Haitian soldiers, it succeeded? And what if the new country of Haiti claimed French territory as its own? The result of such musing is the map displayed here and the country of Freedonia,  a country that serves as the background of my Steamfunk! story ‘The Delivery,’ my serial adventure ‘From Here to Timbuktu’ and the upcoming novel ‘Unrequited.’ Freedonia is a country where in the 1870’s Fredrick Douglass is president, Harriet Tubman is Vice President, George Washington Carver is the scientific genius behind Freedonia’s prosperity and W.E.B. DuBois is an industrialist rivaling Getty and Rockefeller.

So this is where I’ll be hanging out for a while. I hope you like where my steamfunk is coming from. Pull up a rocking chair, have some sweet tea, and let me tell you a story.

Here’s a list of some of my fellow steamfunkateers. We’re celebrating Steamfunk! so check out their blogs, too.

Ray Dean – Growing up in Hawaii, Ray Dean had the opportunity to enjoy nearly every culture under the sun. The Steamfunk Anthology was an inspiration she couldn’t pass up. Ray can be reached at http://www.raydean.net/.
Malon Edwards – Born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, Malon Edwards now lives in the Greater Toronto Area. Much of his speculative fiction features people of color and is set in his hometown. Malon can be reached ateastofmars.blogspot.com.
Valjeanne Jeffers – Valjeanne Jeffers is the author of Immortal, Immortal II: The Time of Legend, Immortal III: Stealer of Souls, The Switch II: Clockwork and Immortal IV: Collision of Worlds Visit her at http://www.facebook.com/l/GAQHync5dAQELhG-ZYioznHu4XdpmGVjPHLVMOi5sqNSNbg/valjeanne.wordpress.com and http://www.facebook.com/l/oAQGmdGxgAQEg4FxO57Ot1Tb-0vW-XEdGEjPA4IMSKsJxmQ/www.vjeffersandqveal.com
Rebecca M. Kyle – With a birthday on Friday 13, it’s only natural that the author is fascinated with myths, legends, and oddities of all kinds. Ms. Kyle lives with her husband, four cats, and more rocks and books than she cares to count between the Smokies and Cumberland mountains. Visit her at http://bexboox13.blogspot.com/.
Carole McDonnell – is a writer of Christian, supernatural, and ethnic stories. Her writings appear in various anthologies, including So Long Been Dreaming: Postcolonialism in Science Fiction, edited by Nalo Hopkinson; Jigsaw Nation; and Life Spices from Seasoned Sistahs: Writings by Mature Women of Color among others. Her reviews appear in print and at various online sites. Her novels are the Christian speculative fiction, Wind Follower, and The Constant Tower. Her Bible study is called: Seeds of Bible Study.   Her website is http://carolemcdonnell.blogspot.com/.
Balogun Ojetade – Author of the bestselling “Afrikan Martial Arts: Discovering the Warrior Within” (non-fiction), “Moses: The Chronicles of Harriet Tubman” (Steamfunk); “Once Upon A Time in Afrika” (Sword and Soul); “Redeemer” (Urban Fantasy) and the film, “A Single Link” and “Rite of Passage”. Finally, he is Co-Author of “Ki-Khanga: The Anthology” and Co-Editor of “Steamfunk!” Visit him:http://chroniclesofharriet.com/.
Hannibal Tabu – is a writer, a storyteller, and by god, a fan. He has written the novels, “The Crown: Ascenscion” and “Faraway” and the upcoming scifi political thriller “Rogue Nation”. He is currently the co-owner and editor-in-chief of Black geek website Komplicated at the Good Men Project, and uses his Operative Network website (www.operative.net) to publish his poetry, market what he’s doing, rant at the world and emit strangled cries for help.
Geoffrey Thorne – Geoffrey Thorne has written a lot of stuff in a lot of venues and will be writing more in more. It’s his distinct pleasure to take part in another of these groundbreaking anthologies. Thanks for letting me roll with you folks. For more (and God knows why you’d want more) check out http://www.geoffreythorne.com/.

2 Comments to “Steamfunk, Alternate History and a country called Freedonia”

  1. By Ray Dean, March 11, 2013 @ 5:03 am

    I’ve been waiting to see this.. and looking forward for more information!!! What a wonderful and exciting idea!

    • By Milton, March 11, 2013 @ 7:15 am

      Thanks, Ray Dean. Still working on the timeline and such. Hope to have everything nailed down soon.