The Steampunk genre takes the historical elements of the Victorian era and fuses them with imaginative and speculative technology. From fantastical airships to steam-powered mechanical beasts, this intriguing genre evokes a sense of nostalgia while inspiring dreams of a retro-futuristic world. This fusion creates an atmosphere that’s both antiquated and advanced, offering endless possibilities for storytelling and world-building. For fans of my own steampunk world, the Creedverse, the infusion of Wild West elements into the steampunk aesthetic offers an additional layer of complexity and imagination.

I’m Jonathan Fesmire, author of The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, a weird west trilogy that includes the novels, Bodacous Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, and Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate, which take place in my fictional rality, the Creedverse. 

It’s important to remember that Victorian era doesn’t necessarily mean Victorian England. In a steampunk world, the technology of the time would be all over the world. As an American, and someone interested in the history of Wild West, that setting in an alternate timeline is what I most love to explore in my fiction. Today, let’s talk about steampunk and retrofurutistic technology, shall we?


Steampunk and Retrofuturistic Technology


The central technological element in any steampunk story is, unsurprisingly, steam power. Steam engines revolutionized transportation, manufacturing, and even helped in the advancement of computational devices. Steam power relies on boiling water to produce steam, which then pushes pistons or turns turbines to generate mechanical energy. This foundational technology set the stage for industrial revolutions and drastically changed human societies. In the Creedverse, steam power not only coexists with the Wild West setting–referred to in the genre as “Weird West”–but also fuels innovative machines that extend far beyond traditional historical boundaries.


Airships and Flying Machines

If you’ve ever dreamed of sailing through the skies, you can live vicariously through steampunk literature. Airships are a common trope in these stories, typically resembling zeppelins or dirigibles but outfitted with gears, cogs, and sometimes even weaponry. They serve as both military and civilian vessels, much like the naval ships of yore. These airships capture the spirit of adventure and exploration, serving as a symbol of human ingenuity. Additionally, the steampunk versions often feature advanced navigational tools and defensive mechanisms, creating a sense of evolved technology. I haven’t played with airships in my world, but I enjoy them when they appear in other authors’ stories.


Mechanical Automatons

Human-like automatons and mechanical animals have fascinated people since ancient times, but it was in the Victorian era when these ideas started to become more technically feasible. Most of these historical automata were operated by clockwork mechanisms. However, the steampunk genre often imagines more complex and functional beings powered by steam or other, more fantastical, sources of energy. These mechanical creatures often possess human-like traits, adding a layer of emotional complexity to the genre. In the Creedverse, auto sapients are not just mindless tools but come equipped with specialized functionalities that allow them to interact dynamically with their environment.

In the Creedverse, auto sapients elevate the concept of automatons to an entirely new level–or, at least, I like to think so!. They are  capable of complex tasks and are imbued with an array of functions that push the boundaries of what one might expect from technology in the late 19th century. Using steam power, ether power, and advanced mechanical engineering, they perform specialized jobs, including medical procedures, with astonishing precision. This has opened up exciting narrative possibilities, as these creations can become central figures in various story arcs, displaying traits and abilities that blur the line between machine and sentient being. For example, my protagonist, James Creed, has an auto sapient (oh yes, they’re colloquially called “steelies”) called Ludwig who prepares meals and helps guard his home. His daughter, Anna Boyd, has three auto sapient steelies, two that protect her establishment, and one that helps her in her laboratory. The aforementioned Atwood clinic has a steely called Bishop that assists with medical procedures.


In a world where steam-driven tech and the Wild West converge, auto sapients symbolize the essence of the Creedverse, representing an amalgamation of history, technology, and limitless imagination.


Retrofuturistic Medical Advances

Medicine is another area where steampunk fiction often diverges sharply from historical reality. The Creedverse, for example, boasts advanced medical practices and surgical techniques that we would classify as modern. Establishments like the Atwood Clinic in my fictional version of Santa Cruz, California, exemplify this melding of Victorian aesthetics with futuristic technology. These medical advances reflect the genre’s ability to challenge historical constraints, envisioning a world where technological progress is not bound by time. Moreover, it explores ethical considerations tied to advanced medicine, such as the social implications of these new techniques. (The Atwood Clinic is mentioned in Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, though not by name, and will probably appear in my upcoming novel, Anna, Daughter of Creed.)


Energy Sources and Sustainability

In addition to steam power, steampunk often explores alternative energy sources like aether, solar power, and sometimes even magic. These can be seen as commentary on our current environmental challenges or as an imaginative exercise in “what if?” While some of these alternative energies may seem like pure fantasy, they can open conversations about renewable and sustainable energy sources in our own world. Steampunk serves as a backdrop to explore these complex themes, acting as both a mirror and a lens through which we can examine real-world issues.

Closing Thoughts

From steam-powered mechanical beasts to advanced medical clinics, the science behind steampunk is a fascinating blend of the historically plausible and the creatively speculative. It draws us into worlds both familiar and exotic, offering a unique lens through which to examine our own technological achievements and aspirations. It also presents an intriguing paradox, blending the antique with the futuristic in ways that challenge our perceptions of progress and possibility. For fans of the Creedverse, this blend of Wild West and steampunk elements, exemplified by inventions like auto sapients, adds a unique flavor to the genre while pushing the boundaries of what we traditionally view as possible in a historical setting.

The next time you find yourself immersed in a steampunk narrative, take a moment to appreciate not only the complex tapestry of science, technology, and imagination that makes these worlds come alive but also the themes of exploration and discovery that run through them. Whether or not the science is realistic, the sense of wonder and possibility it evokes is a crucial part of what makes steampunk—and its many sub-genres, including the Creedverse—so engaging.

If you’re interested in my steampunk zombie western trilogy, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, just click the link! You can also click one of the short story images in the sidebar to get a Creedverse story for free.

“Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity–not a threat.” ~ Steve Jobs


Santa Cruz, California, with its iconic beaches and unparalleled beauty, has long been a symbol of Californian charm. However, when one steps into the realm of the Creedverse, the familiar transforms into the fantastical, and mechanical! In the alternative reality of my novels, Santa Cruz melds its historical roots with the imagined, bringing to life a city that is as innovative as it is mesmerizing. Let’s delve into the contrasts and convergences of the real Santa Cruz and its Creedverse counterpart, highlighting how fiction can craft an enchanting mirror to reality.

Origin of The Creedverse


For my Creedverse, I’ve worked hard to weave together history, science fiction, and tributes to the modern city. As a native Santa Cruzan, I will admit, this setting is a love letter to where was born, grew up, and went to college, though I strive to portray my 19th-century version in all its grittiness.

Deriving its name from its key protagonist, James Hamilton Creed or “Bodacious Creed,” the Creedverse sets the stage for adventures that redefine the setting. My trilogy, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, in which he stars, is a window into an alternate universe where Santa Cruz’s familiar landmarks take on novel significances. The goal? To provide a fresh perspective on the city and its inhabitants, presenting readers with a Santa Cruz that feels familiar yet wholly unique.

Historical Divergences


In the world of the Creedverse, Santa Cruz brims with the extraordinary, combining elements of the past with visions weird west, steampunk technology. Imagine the streets of modern Santa Cruz, but set against the rugged backdrop of the Wild West, now peppered with the wonders of steam and gear. The brilliant Anna Lynn Boyd emerges as a beacon of this new age, her inventions casting a long shadow over the city’s landscapes, reshaping Santa Cruz’s history and intertwining it with a future that our world is yet to see.

The Luminiferous Ether and Celestium Alloy


The luminiferous ether, in the Creedverse, is more than just an abstract concept; it is the lifeblood of a technological renaissance. While scientists in our world could only speculate about its existence, in the Creedverse, Anna Lynn Boyd transformed this energy into tangible reality. Her creation of celestium alloy ushered in an era in which steam engines became marvels of efficiency and power. This metallic wonder didn’t just revolutionize transportation; it became the cornerstone of numerous technological advancements, pushing the boundaries of society deemed possible in medical science, personal stealth, and mechanical cognition.

Economic Landscape and Technological Dominance


While the Creedverse’s Santa Cruz flourished as a technological wonderland under the aegis of Miles Morgan’s companies, this progress did not go unchallenged. The vast empire of innovation, spanning Morgan’s Automatons to Morgan’s Mechanicals, brought unprecedented prosperity to the city, but also engendered its own set of complications. The restrictive California Technological Rights Act, designed to ensure Morgan’s dominance, inadvertently birthed a shadow economy, where innovation thrived in hidden corners and alleyways. The city, though at the forefront of technological advancement, found itself grappling with the moral ambiguities of black-market trade, spearheaded by formidable adversaries like the Evil Eye Syndicate.

Inter-City Relationships


Santa Cruz’s meteoric rise as a technological behemoth in the Creedverse didn’t just reshape its local landscape; it also redrew the city’s relationships on the broader geopolitical canvas. As Morgan’s companies expanded their influence, the city became more than just a coastal paradise—it emerged as a nexus of progress, drawing attention from cities and regions far and wide. This newfound prominence brought with it both alliances and rivalries, as other cities either sought to collaborate with Santa Cruz’s brilliance or challenge its dominance. The Creedverse’s Santa Cruz, in essence, became a focal point in a web of inter-city dynamics, influencing and being influenced by the ever-evolving world around it.


The real Santa Cruz has always held a special place in the hearts of those who visit. However, the Santa Cruz of the Creedverse offers a juxtaposition, blending the charm of the past with the wonders of a steampunk-inspired future. It’s a testament to the power of storytelling, showing how a familiar locale can be reimagined into a place where historical tales coalesce with futuristic fantasies. Whether one prefers the sun-soaked beaches of the real Santa Cruz or the steam-filled streets of its Creedverse counterpart, one thing is certain: both versions of the city offer a unique and unforgettable experience.

Sound fun? It is! Step into a world where the old west meets futuristic marvels, where steam-powered machines walk beside gunslingers, and where the line between life and death is as thin as a razor’s edge. Dive into The Adventures of Bodacious Creed trilogy, which kicks off with Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western. Then, journey northward with our hero in the second installment, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, as the heart of the adventure pulses in the streets of San Francisco. The saga culminates in Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate, where alliances are tested, and destinies forged.

And for those enamored by the enigmatic Anna Lynn Boyd, the upcoming spin-off trilogy The Anna Lynn Chronicles beckons. I’m currently writing the first novel, Anna, Daughter of Creed, and I intend to enthrall readers with a deep dive back into Santa Cruz. Don’t just read a story—live an adventure!

“The only difference between reality and fiction is that fiction needs to be credible.” ~ Mark Twain




My Upcoming Author Events


November is gearing up to be a whirlwind month filled with insightful discussions, book signings, and networking with fellow members of sci-fi fandom. I’ve filled my calendar with events that promise to bring the gritty, mechanical heart of the wild west, as envisioned in my series The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, to life for new readers. Let’s look at my upcoming author events!

Engaging Minds at Anaheim Central Library: Nov 5



My month kicks off at the Anaheim Central Library on Sunday, November 5th, 2023. The day begins at 11:00 a.m. (though authors will be there earlier, getting set up!). Mystery Ink Bookseller will be selling our novels, including three in my trilogy: Bodacious Creed: a Steampunk Zombie Western, Bodacious Creed and the Jade Lake, and Bodacious Creed and the San Francisco Syndicate.

I will be a panelist, sharing insights from my journey through the new technologies, and the occasional zombies, of my weird western world, the Creedverse. Post-panel, a 30-minute autograph session awaits, providing a chance for enthusiasts to have their copies of The Adventures of Bodacious Creed series signed, whether they bring in their own copies, or purchase them from Mystery Ink Bookseller. I’m also expecting Bodacious Creed stickers in the mail, so you can get one of those along with my autograph!

The Anaheim Central Library is located at 500 W. Broadway Ave, Anaheim, CA 92805. It’s well-equipped to accommodate the attendees, though I hear parking fills up fast! An announcement system will keep the buzz alive, heralding the commencement of panels, readings, and workshops throughout the day.


LosCon 48 Extravaganza: Nov 25 – Nov 27


Thanksgiving weekend extends the literary revelry as I venture to Los Angeles for LosCon 48, from November 25 to November 27, at the Marriott Los Angeles Airport Hotel. This convention is a hallmark event with a tradition of celebrating speculative fiction.

LosCon 48 boasts a stellar lineup of guests, with Tanya Huff as the Writer Guest of Honor, Dave Kellett as the Artist Guest of Honor, and Alexander James Adams tuning the chords as the Music Guest of Honor. The aura of creativity is bound to resonate well with the themes of my books.

I hope for my booth to be hub of engaging discussions, book signings, and a display of the creative prowess that fuels the fantastical realms in my series. I’m also hoping to have my new Adventures of Bodacious Creed: Trilogy Edition playing card decks for sale. This is an opportunity for fans and newcomers alike to delve deeper into my series.


Embracing The Journey Ahead



November unfolds as a chapter laden with anticipation and promise. The engagement at Anaheim Central Library and LosCon 48 isn’t merely about celebrating the printed word, but a testament to the indomitable spirit of creativity and the camaraderie that binds the community of speculative fiction. Through these events, I look forward to contributing to the rich tapestry of imaginative storytelling, heralding an adventurous winter for all involved.

Mark your calendars and join me at my upcoming author events, immersing in the unique blend of steampunk, western, and zombie elements that hallmark my narrative. November is not just a prelude to winter, but a gateway to riveting adventures with Bodacious Creed at the helm.

PS: French Translations Coming Soon!


I’ve decided it’s time to translate The Aventures of Bodacious Creed into French! I do speak French, so I’ll be using translation software for the initial phase, then reading each book thoroughly and making corrections. It will probably take a few months, but expect the French version of my trilogy out soon, along with new covers!


“Science Fiction has always been and will always be a fable teacher of morality.”
~ Ray Bradbury



When crafting the Creedverse, the world of my series, The Adventures of Bodacious Creed, and books I plan to write, I aimed to build a rich tapestry of characters that both reflect and shape the world around them. Recently, I wrote a post about three of the strong women of the Creedverse. So, today, we’re looking at three influential men.

James “Bodacious” Creed: A Journey of Transformation


The first of our influential men of the Creedverse is James Creed, the protagonist of The Adventures of Bodacious Creed himself. In conceptualizing James “Bodacious” Creed, I wanted to create a character with an unwavering moral compass, whose personal and professional journey would resonate with readers. From his early days, marked by a defining encounter with a town bully, to his dedicated service as a U.S. Marshal, Creed’s commitment to justice has been the core of his character. Based on the archetype of the wild west gunfighter hero, Creed is a unique character who, unlike many of those heroes and antiheroes, strives to belong.

His pursuit of the elusive Corwin Blake and the subsequent events leading to his unexpected resurrection by his estranged daughter, Anna Lynn Boyd, adds layers of complexity to his narrative. Now, enhanced with steam-era machinery, Creed navigates the world with renewed purpose, resilient and dedicated even when faced with the most extraordinary circumstances.

From his beginnings as a small-town boy with a penchant for the guitar to his current position as a beacon of hope in San Francisco, James Creed’s story is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the lengths to which one will go to uphold justice and righteousness.

Miles Morgan: The Force Behind Technological Wonders


Miles Morgan’s story is one of vision and enterprise. From his educational pursuits at Transylvania University to the birth of Morgan’s Mechanicals in the heart of New York City, I’ve always imagined him as a beacon of innovation. Morgan’s true gift, however, is not just in his own talents but in his knack for recognizing genius in others. And, while he’s far from perfect, he does treat his inventors well.

His decision to relocate to the West symbolizes the merging of two frontiers, and by collaborating with prodigies like Nikola Tesla and Anna Lynn Boyd, he ensures the continuing advancement of technology. While crafting Morgan, I endeavored to portray a man of ambition and vision but also one grounded in his beliefs and values, making him a multi-faceted addition to the narrative.

Apart from his remarkable business acumen, Morgan’s character stands out due to his unique blend of self-interest and a genuine desire to better society. His support of The California Technological Rights Act and his religious inclination towards Catholicism adds depth to his persona, making him a multidimensional character worthy of admiration and scrutiny.

Morgan’s factories, innovations, and most importantly, his vision, have shaped the Creedverse’s trajectory, ensuring that the world remains forever changed by his endeavors.

Emperor Norton: San Francisco’s Endearing Monarch


In constructing the Creedverse, I couldn’t help but integrate the vibrant real-life figure of Emperor Norton into the tapestry of my universe. His story is both peculiar and heartwarming, a tale of how a society lovingly embraced a man and his unique worldview.

Joshua Abraham Norton, fondly known as Emperor Norton, is not your typical monarch, or truly an emperor at all. His early endeavors in business saw him achieve considerable wealth in San Francisco’s budding real estate market. But, like many before him, Norton faced the volatility of business, and following a failed investment in rice, he encountered financial ruin. However, this setback paved the way for his most notable and endearing identity.

In 1859, Norton proclaimed himself “Emperor of the United States,” a title he would later expand to include “Protector of Mexico.” While this might have been dismissed as the eccentricity of a broken man elsewhere, the people of San Francisco not only humored him but affectionately played along. Businesses accepted his self-issued currency, restaurants fed him for free, and he was a well-respected figure at public events.

While many might remember Norton for his eccentricity, he was much more than a mere character on the streets. On several occasions, he exhibited genuine courage and compassion, like the time he bravely stood between rioters and a group of Chinese immigrants, protecting them from potential harm.

The Creedverse’s Emperor Norton, based on the captivating historical figure, exemplifies the spirit of San Francisco during its formative years, capturing the essence of a community that cherishes individuality and champions the human spirit.


Closing Thoughts on these Influential Men of the Creedverse


As I delve deeper into the Creedverse, characters like James Creed and Miles Morgan remain foundational. Their stories, while rooted in the world I’ve envisioned, are timeless tales of courage, innovation, and the intricate dance between morality and ambition. Through their experiences, I hope to offer readers a rich exploration of the human spirit set against the backdrop of a world where the past and future intriguingly coalesce.

(Note: The images of these influential men of the Creedverse are from my forthcoming Adventures of Bodacious Creed playing card deck, which I’ll sell at conventions and possibly online!)

“I have believed the best of every man. And find that to believe is enough to make a bad man show him at his best, or even a good man swings his lantern higher.” ~ William Butler Yeats