The Divine Warriors series is all about magical girls in a steampunk setting and you probably know by now that it’s an homage to the Sailor Moon series. There are lots of great storylines in Sailor Moon but I especially love the circus arc in season 4. Circuses are a great match for steampunk and other Victorian-era settings so I knew that I had to incorporate a circus in some way.
But I also knew that I wanted to get away from the typical arc of meeting an enemy, fighting with the enemy in a series of escalating battles, and finally defeating the enemy with the warriors leveling up their powers. Riwenne is getting tired of fighting with her fists and beating people down physically isn’t enough to change the world. It was time for a new challenge.
There is also a running theme of technology in the series (since we are steampunk, after all). So far, technology and magic have worked together hand-in-hand, even combining into magitek. But what if someone wanted to use technology without relying on divine magic to power it?
It’s always assumed that the steampunk era ends when steam power is replaced by electricity. But the two worked side by side for several decades in our own history while technology advanced. The early research into electricity is fascinating to read about. I wanted to capture some of that excitement in a new way. Enter the Scientific Circus, a traveling show which entertains people while teaching them about scientific experiments and new discoveries like electricity. They’re spreading the Electrical Prophecy.
The Electrical Prophecy is misleading as a term. It sounds like a mystical religious thing. The Scientific Circus doesn’t believe in relying on visions or other magic to view the future. But the scientists know that most people still believe in religion and they’re borrowing the language from the priestesses to bring across their new ideas. When they predict that electricity can change the future, they know that only means there is a possibility but they have to encourage people to embrace it.
One thing that really inspired me in this novel is the band, Nightwish. I like to listen to their music while I write. They’ve actually had a sort of circus theme in two albums, Imaginaerum and Endless Forms Most Beautiful. The first one is based on fantasy and imagination while the second one is about science and reason. Songs like “The Greatest Show on Earth” about evolution are beautiful and make a great soundtrack for writing.
Magic in this world can create large spectacles, so I knew that science had to be the same to match. It will be up to the characters to see what place science can have in a society where magic and religion play such a huge role in their daily lives.
Putting the “science” into “science fantasy” is a challenge so this book has taken a lot of research. But I’m also having fun. I hope the finished book will be entertaining to read!