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September 21, 2015

Darquepunk: Monster Stalker by Elizabeth Watasin

Monster Stalker
Darquepunk 1
Elizabeth Watasin
Sci-Fi Fantasy
September 21, 2015

Horror follows vampire Nico to a new world, and an old horror within her responds; kill it before it kills her. Nico jeopardises everything on a lone, redemptive path rescuing victims of the underworld and hunting the nightmare that created her—a monster only Nico knows is there.

A paranormal sci-fi noir. Darquepunk science fiction for the gothic, different, and queer. Gen X, gender fluidity. Polyaphroditic. Cyberpunk.

Some sexual content; Mild language; Violence; sexual violence.





That one. The guard to the left was a tall vampire in a leather coat, his pistol stuck in his belt, and his cool gaze missed nothing. Nico sensed he was the eldest of the vampires, and possibly the leader.
She’d rarely had the chance to fight another vampire except for her maker. Facing six who all felt older than her, plus one pistol-toting Cru’K, was perhaps horrible odds. However, she only required one death; rescuing the humans was a bonus.
She counted sixteen remaining, naked shivering humans, and did not see the Sufi family among them.
I’m sorry I didn’t involve the Makepeace for you, she thought to the huddled, frightened group. But I need to get someone killed tonight.
Nico sent the footage to her virtual locker and an update notification to Chasca Vasquez and PETH. Then she sent a message to Again NewYork’s emergency contact number.
She put her Id away and patted Bear.
Okay, Bear, let’s screw this up.
She stepped out and dropped down from her girder.
Her shoes clapped loudly on the concrete floor as she landed near Grun. Everyone stilled.
“Hi,” she said to Grun. “Can we talk?”
“What—what is this?” Grun cried, and drew his pistol. The barrel was ornate and long, and Nico held her hands up.
“I only want to talk.” She indicated the captives. “I’m looking for someone. Maybe she’s in there?”
Grun aimed.
“A Lucy’s Diner waitress,” Nico stated clearly, looking him in the eye, and he pulled the trigger.
She turned aside as the pulse blast shot passed her, rippling along her clothes, flesh, and Bear like a jet engine blast. Nico moved. She grabbed Grun’s gun hand and the nape of his coat. She spun him around to face the vampires and aimed.
“Bye toilet licker,” Nico whispered to him, and squeezed down on his trigger finger.
Grun fired at the unarmed vampires near the cryonics machine. The recoil on his huge gun nearly jumped Grun’s fist out of Nico’s grip. The vampires flanking the screaming captives advanced and opened fire. Grun jerked as blasts exploded against his body, driving Nico back. His flesh bubbled and burned. One blast skimmed his neck, bursting a blood vessel. Green blood sprayed Nico’s hair and clothes. She fired high, trying to avoid the cowering humans. No vampires fell from her volleys, and Grun’s dead weight and inert gun arm sagged into her.
God, I’m such a bad shot.
She dropped Grun and pulled her knife. She sent it flying into the eldest vampire’s face, driving the blade through his eye. He collapsed to the floor, and Nico dove for where the bird person cowered.
“No-no!” she cried, as Nico snatched the stylus from her hand. The remaining armed vampire fired as Nico ducked, his shots hitting the off-worlder hard enough to spin her out of Nico’s way. 
Nico’s arm whipped. The stylus stabbed the shooter in the throat, and he clutched at it, dropping his weapon. Nico ran across the floor and reached for her switchblade, stuck in the twitching, elder vampire.




Darquepunk?


I created it! Darquepunk defines my new stories, which are paranormal science fiction noir for the Gothic, different, and queer. I wanted to write sci-fi but have a world---Darqueworld---which is a planet 400 light years from Old Earth in the Merope cluster, filled with preternaturals and celestials. The ancient gods of Old Earth left in their space chariots and sky boats to found a new world in an existing intragalactic society, and Earth's preternaturals followed, like the vampires, were folk, faerie, magic wielders, and so on. For it to be Darquepunk, it's mythological science fiction, like how steampunk is Victorian science fiction, clockpunk is retro-futuristic Renaissance, and so on. 


The idea of Darquepunk has been around as long as March, 2015. I had this lightning strike, right when everyone was at Wondercon (which I'd ended up not exhibiting at). I had suddenly figured out how to do "vampires and witches in space", a manuscript I'd had in a drawer since 1997. Boom, it finally made sense. So I missed out on Wondercon, but that very weekend, I figured out the science fiction I wanted to write.

Darquepunk is noir speculative fiction about the space-faring and futuristic world of mythological creatures (paranormals) and celestials.


Wow, sounds cool! I'm guessing this is eventually going to start trending!

It is now! I'm sure there are many other authors doing a variation on futuristic celestials, like Jo Walton's Just City, which I haven't read yet. I'm trying not to pay attention to what others are doing so I can focus on mine. But I think what makes it Darquepunk is not only the presence of 'darker' creatures in a futuristic world but the noir settings. Noir fiction, as defined by WorldCat, is:



"Taken from the French word meaning "darkness" or "of the night," noir is a category of modern crime fiction. Used for fiction of crime and detection, often in a grim urban setting, featuring petty, amoral criminals and other down-and-out characters, and permeated by a feeling of disillusionment, pessimism and despair."

With my first Darquepunk novel, MONSTER STALKER, I do have the noir setting, psychological terror, crime, and dark characters, but I break from the strict noir to begin the book with hope and also end on hope. A noir should end with a protagonist face down in a gutter, but my modus operandi, as you already know from reading my steampunk books, is to give the reader something to hold on to.


That, and I continue to have humour present in my books, which noir does not have.


In your opinion, why do you think this is going to catch on?

For me, it's Blade Runner with vampires. That's what it is. Darqueworld has celestial beings, biomechanical beings, artificial beings, Extra-Humans---humans like the magic wielders and psionics---and the preternaturals, co-existing with humans who are chrono-immigrants or chrono-refugees and who had figured out where the ancient gods had gone. They all have to play nice with native or First creatures and First bio-life of the planet, plus the space-faring off-worlders, their new intragalactic contacts. Of course dark intentions and crime make the Darqueworld society we're dropped into even more interesting. MONSTER STALKER deals with trafficking, among other things.



You referenced darquepunk with your steampunk works. Are there similarities?

I'd say that steampunk is Darquepunk's past---I do have characters from my Dark Victorian series chrono-travel to Darqueworld. So that was a big spoiler I just gave you!

I'm certain I'm not the only storyteller who has supernatural beings, magic, and so forth, happening in my steampunk. Darquepunk is only different from steampunk in that it's science fiction set in the future, not the past. Or at least a mash-up of the future. People and entities aren't the only chrono-travellers; parts of cities make the transfer too. The setting for MONSTER STALKER is Again New York, and there's a New London, Second Memphis (the one from ancient Egypt), Sister Orleans, Tokyo2, and so on.


Thank you, Elizabeth, for introducing us to darquepunk. I'm not one for futuristic novels, but I have to admit, I am very curious about this.



Elizabeth Watasin is the author of the Gothic steampunk series The Dark Victorian, The Elle Black Penny Dreads, the sci-fi noir Darquepunk series, and the creator/artist of the indie comics series Charm School, which was nominated for a Gaylactic Spectrum Award. A twenty year veteran of animation and comics, she lives in Los Angeles with her black cat named Draw, busy bringing readers uncanny heroines in adventuress tales.

Follow the news of her latest projects at A-Girl Studio.


Follow Elizabeth
Website | Facebook | @ewatasin | Goodreads








Talk Supe


37 comments:

  1. I don't think I've ever tried something in this specific genre but I cofess that I'm quite curious to discover a story. thanks for sharing!

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  2. Darquepunk, eh? I love that word, can't say exactly why, but I do! And paranormals and celestials in a world 400 lightyears from earth - that sounds amazing!
    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. Same here. I as like, DARQUEPUNK? TELL ME MORE!

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  3. Certainly sounds unique! I like the idea that it's set in the future. Very interesting, Braine. :)

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  4. That's sounds wild and fantastic! I like the cover too!

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. When in doubt, go for the naked chest ;)

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    2. LOL

      Sorry! I was catching up with my comments and obviously this reply was supposed to go to a different post!

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  5. How have I never even heard of this genre before? I am so fascinated by it now! Thanks for sharing this!

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    1. It's new so that explains it. Like she said, she came up with it just recently so it's still in the beginning stages. Hopefully it catches on

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  6. Oh now, hold up. This sounds really good. This is definitely going in my wish list.

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    Replies
    1. Contact her, I'm sure she'll be thrilled to have an eager reviewer :)

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  7. I am always up to try something creative and original, plus I like futuristic books. Thanks for the recommendation.

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    1. You're welcome. I'm sure she'll be happy to stop by your blog one of these days. What author doesn't?!

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  8. Oh, heck - I'm adding this right now!

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  9. Color me intrigued. <3 "Blade Runner with vampires"

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    1. True confession, I am not familiar with Blade Runner :D

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  10. Wow Braine, a new genre, and just in time too!
    Thanks for putting it on my radar

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    1. You're welcome and thanks for checking it out!

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  11. So creative! And you had me at 'gothic'.

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    1. Goth will always be "in" even lightyears into the future ;)

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  12. I'm all in favor of 'the dark'. Sounds good, and an interesting twist.

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  13. Darquepunk? Okay, I'm curious. Plus getting to know a world in which an author creates a genre is very interesting to me.

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    1. Big props for creativity and coming up with something unique, right?

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  14. I've never heard of darquepunk before but it sounds like an interesting combination. I will admit that I'm not one for steampunk but maybe the sci-fi futuristic part will be different enough that I'd enjoy darquepunk.

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    1. You'll never know until you've tried :)

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  15. Oh this sounds fantastic. Are there plans for an audiobook?

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  16. Huh this book sounds like it would make an interesting read! I would want to see it in audiobook form like Kimberly, too!

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  17. Darquepunk. Hm. Sounds interesting. I like the sound of the combo of all the elements here too.Neat!

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