Alison and Theresa have already discussed the Steampunk genre, and I have only one thought-- question really.
Let's say you are going to submit a Steampunk novel. You might have noticed, and if not, Alison made a good case for it, that the current Sherlock Holmes movie has certain important Steampunk markers.
(It also has Jude Law, and you remember I said that if Jude Law planning to star in an adaptation of your book, that would get me to read it? Well, I am modifying that. Jude Law plus Robert Downey, Jr., making googly eyes at each other in your book? Sold!!!!)
Now Steampunk isn't a genre and doesn't have its own publishing lines, as far as I know. So you can't count on that YA editor or that s/f editor knowing as much as Alison knows (or Theresa knows now, having edited one). My question is:
You naturally want to provide some notion of how your book fits in with a trend and how it might be marketed. And so you might refer to the Sherlock Holmes film in your query letter. How would you do that without being annoying (I for one get annoyed with those breezy brain-teasers: "It's like Sleepless in Seattle meets Pulp Fiction!")?
The purpose would be, I presume, twofold-- one to give a quick way to understand what the approach is, and second to say it's really cool and trendy now. So give me a couple sentences or a paragraph where you might insert the mention of the film in a subtle and effective way, connecting it to your own Steampunk story.