In our ongoing series of podcast articles, we want to introduce you to another story in the Steampunk realm – The Tales of Sage and Savant. A fascinating mix of the Victorian era with one of fiction’s most notable ideas – time travel and all the questions it raises.
The two main protagonists Doctor Sage and her friend Erasmus Savant set out on an adventure through time that will make them question reality and death itself. The twist of the story is the way they achieve time travel and the moral questions it raises. Without more of our philosophical nonsense, we will leave the author to present her work.
Below you will find an interview with Eddie Louise – Head Writer of The Tales of Sage and Savant and responsible for the novelization of the story (check it out here)
Q: What is The Tales of Sage and Savant?
A: Sage and Savant is an episodic audio-drama podcast with new episodes on the first of each month from August through May. Doctor Petronella Sage is a galvanist on a quest for reanimating dead limbs when a laboratory accident sends her consciousness, along with that of her dear friend, Erasmus Savant, careening through time and space to land on the battlefield at Auerstedt. Believing she has discovered time travel, the Doctor declares that ‘Death is no barrier to science!’ and works to refine and control these ‘Transmigrations’ and earn her place in the annuls of famous scientists. In Sage and Savant, Frankenstein meets Quantum Leap.
Q: Where did the idea for Sage and Savant come from and what makes it Steampunk?
A: Like most of my stories, Sage and Savant came to me in a dream. Over the period of a couple of weeks back in 2015, I dreamed every single night that I was electrocuting myself for science! Unable to shake the dream, I started to write to discover WHY someone would do such a thing. I set it in a Steampunk Universe because there were certain anomalies in the story that just wouldn’t fit into history – first and foremost, the freedom to BE a woman and scientist with University backing in 1894. In addition, I have drawn on the work of Nikola Tesla and Michael Faraday in electricity, Albert Einstein and Richard Feynman in quantum theory and Nobuyoshi Terashima in neuro-technology. Only the alternate history science fiction of Steampunk allowed for this mash-up of past and future science. For me, Steampunk is the perfect blending of retro focus infused with future tech to create alternate realities and Sage and Savant embodies that.
Q: You mentioned Quantum Leap, is each episode a stand-alone? Can we dive in and listen out of order?
A: Yes and no, though similar to that TV show in structure, we more closely mirror the new series of Doctor Who – each episode is an adventure all of its own, but there are long arcs that occur over many episodes and even seasons. This summer we will be working on creating master synopsis for Season One and Two that will catch you up on the critical plot points. This way, folks can start fresh at Season Three knowing all the details they need to stay on top of the action.
Q: You have recently released a novelization for the podcast entitled TransMIGRATIONS. Is the book simply a retelling of the stories in the audio-drama?
A: TransMIGRATIONS is both a novelization of the podcast itself and a chance to pull back the curtain and figure out the circumstances of our Narrator, Justin Bremer. Who is he, and how is he able to see everything Sage and Savant do and know everything they think?
The novel begins in the year 4063 and we learn how Justin got his job and what his brief is. Through his eyes we see the adventures of Sage and Savant as they bounce through time.
As is the case with the podcast, I have a four year plot outlined and year by year we will learn more of the future and the mysterious organization that funds the Doctor’s research and has tasked Justin with observing her transmigrations.
Q: Does that mean there will be more books?
A: Yes, I have inked a multi-book deal Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing. Book Two will come out at Christmas this year, and then additional books after each of the following Seasons conclude.
Q: One feature of your podcast is the musical break where you feature music from an ever changing variety of artists. Where do you find artists who guest on your show?
A: There are so many remarkably talented Steampunk, Cabaret and Roots music groups out there just now. We find them at Steampunk events, at Cons, at local dive bars and via social media. Then, we try and match the group and song that play well with the episode theme. We have fans from all over the world write to tell us how they love discovering new music with our podcast. I’m very proud of that.
Q: You include a lot of history in your episodes, how much research goes into what you write?
A: Tons, actually. Every episode requires dead bodies for our heroes to jump into. I use books like Bad Days in History, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers and Cause of Death: A writer’s Guide and of course the aetherverse available via our keyboards. Once I have a likely spot for them to land, then I need to search out what the circumstances were – what was the clothing like? The streets? It can be a real rabbit hole – at some point I must stop and write – in the end run, my best episodes are the ones where the research fades to the background and I concentrate on the very human stories at the center of our tale. Anyone who is interested in learning more of the history can visit the Sage and Savant websire and review the tidbits I discover along the way.
Q: What is the hardest part of writing an audio-drama?
A: There are two hard parts actually – first is the looming deadline. I am on the hook to write a thirty page script each and every month. AND I have to get that script completed early enough in the month to give our sound engineer enough time for recording, sound effects and music. No slacking off for me! The second thing that is challenging is keeping all the long-running plot lines clear in my head so that I am teasing out the right bits of information at the right time to keep the tension up, but not give away the farm before the plot has fully developed. I spend a lot of time drawing mad charts and talking to myself to get it right.
Q: What is next for Sage and Savant?
A: Well, the novels are opening up a whole new dimension of story for me and I am really looking forward to incorporating some of those ideas in Season Three. As for the podcast itself – we are in the Top One Percent of podcasts on Apple – and considering that there are more than half a million podcasts uploaded every month, that is no small achievement. Chip and I love going to Cons and meeting the fans, and we hope to travel more in the future and maybe even expand to live shows at more than just our hometown events.