#8: Mannerpunk With Author, Puppeteer, and Voice Actor Mary Robinette Kowal

Mary Robinette Kowal wrote The Glamourist Histories series, among many other works. In this episode we focus on how this series is mannerpunk, what the genre entails, and how Mary approaches writing.

A highlight for me was our discussion about Mary’s vintage typewriters, so be sure to check the video version on YouTube for a glimpse at those!

Mary’s work could also be described as fantasy of manners, alternate history, ghostpunk, spacepunk (or mercurypunk, or atompunk!), and maybe even ecopunk.

(So many punks, not enough time!)


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Watch on YouTube:



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Show Notes: What You’ll Find in Episode 8

Personal Update

Storypunks Podcast Widescreen B.00_29_54_06.Still091

This week I share my new Audible sponsorship, which was kindof inevitable because I’m pretty much a nerd for audiobooks!

Storypunks Social Audible D

I also created a running list of punk-related audiobooks you can check out here. It includes my recommendation of Mary’s first book in her mannerpunk series, Shades of Milk and Honey (again, it’s Jane Austen Regency-era stuff, plus magic!).

Shades of Milk and Honey Audio Book Mary


Interview With Mannerpunk Author, Puppeteer, and Voice Actor Mary Robinette Kowal

Here’s a list of questions I asked Mary:

  • In this show, we discuss “the punks”, and today we’re focusing on mannerpunk. I’ve seen your Glamourist Histories shelved as mannerpunk on sites like Goodreads. Since everyone defines mannerpunk a little bit differently, what’s your take on it?
  • And do you consider Ghost Talkers dieselpunk?




Mary’s Book List

  • How have you approached worldbuilding when writing about real-world or historical settings?
  • I’d love to hear more about a wonderful tweet pinned to the top of your Twitter feed. It reads: “It’s not about adding diversity for the sake of diversity, it’s about subtracting homogeneity for the sake of realism.” What would you say to those who might counter that certain societies or story settings are or were homogeneous, and that subtracting that homogeneity therefore makes things less realistic?
  • From puppetry to print books to audiobook narrations, your storytelling crosses many forms. How do story generation and story performance co-exist in your creative life? Does this pairing flow naturally for you, or does it take some internal management?
  • I once heard that Henry James could only create to the sound of a Remington typewriter. Since you are a typewriter collector, which gets your vote for the most beautiful sounding typewriter, or would you base your favorite on other criteria?

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