Let me preface this with: I am not a history buff. That said, the context of these novels is produced by historical deviations, and I will do my best to render those changes in broad strokes.
Though self-declared a member of the steampunk genre, the Iron Seas is less an extension of Victorian technologies and an exploration of their significance, and more an exploration of what a bit of hand-wave-y nanotechnology in the hands of certain imperial forces could do. Interestingly, it involves megalodons.
Beyond even the dramatic changes to colonial lines and habitable landmasses, the changes to human possibility inform the lives of our heroes, both as genetic mutations and nanotechnological enhancement.
Who colonizes whom underwrites a great deal of the story.
A short section, but necessary only so that no one is surprised that teeming undead masses are an enormous plotpoint.
A bit of a catch-all for features not addressed elsewhere — such as Meljean Brook's conversion of many specific euphemisms into a wholly new meanings, such as bugger.
sex and gender VII
Well, this is about romance novels.