Steampunk note: This story contains the classic 'what if?' premise of steampunk that asks what would have happened if certain very modern innovations had been made in the Victorian era rather than more recently. In a 2014 interview, Harland noted that the novel is
gothic cum Victoriana rather than full-on steampunk – or it’s the special category of steampunk that American publishers call ‘gaslight romance’. Less emphasis on imaginary Steam Age hardware, more emphasis on emotions, characters and relationships. But Song of the Slums still needs its setting in Steam Age society. The very premise of the novel – what would happen if rock ‘n roll was invented 100 years before Elvis Presley? – depends on it.
Source: Snapshot 2014: Richard Harland (http://tsanasreads.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/snapshot-2014-richard-harland.html). (Sighted: 10/01/2017)