Detcon1 & San Diego Comic Con Schedule

Detcon1

Over the next two weeks, I’ll be convention-hopping across the country.  First up is Detcon1, which is doing some amazing things for the sci-fi and local community. Afterwords, I’ll be hitting up the Mecca of all Geek Cons, San Diego Comic Con working at the Tor Books booth and appearing at the Witty Women of Steampunk panel. Details are below.


 

DETCON1 SCHEDULE

Friday

The League of Extraordinary Black People – 12 PM – Mackinac West
Multiculturalism has become a hot topic in the XYZ-punk community. How does this impact creators and their work in Steampunk, Dieselpunk and Alternate History? What issues arise in moving toward a more diverse retrofuturistic community?
Panelists: Emmy Jackson (moderator), Balogun Ojetade, Salathiel Palland, Pablo M.A Vazquez III

[I can assure you that I am the token non-black person on this panel.  :) ]

Dealing with Bad Apples – 2 PM — Ambassador Salon 2
Trolls, creepers, or just plain jerks. We’ve all encountered them at cons and online. Panelists discuss tools–like comment moderation and harassment policies–for keeping foul and prejudiced people from chasing others out of our community spaces, events, and organizations. And what to do when “they” are “us.”
Panelists: Steven H Silver (moderator), Tim Miller, Mark Oshiro, Jesi Pershing, John Scalzi

Steampunk Style — 3 PM — Duluth A
What makes a costume “steampunk”? What props do you need to do it right? Why is steampunk the hottest costuming craze right now?
Panelists: Janine, Balogun Ojetade

Saturday

What Am I Looking For? — 12 PM — Mackinac East
Agents and editors talk about the sorts of projects that interest them individually and answer general publishing questions.
Panelists: Self (moderator), Richard Flores IV, Kate Baker, Neil Clarke, Sam Morgan, Bryon Quertermous

Welcome to Night Vale: What You Should Know About It – 3PM — Mackinac East
Turn on your radio and hide. Our panelists share their love for Welcome to Night Vale, the viral podcast drama that combines surreal humor, human relationships, and weird creeping horror into a delightful community radio show. If you know Night Vale, come. If you don’t know Night Vale, come and bring your friends. There will be no hooded figures.
Panelists: Anne Harris (moderator), Rachael Acks, Bill Sutton


 

 

SAN DIEGO COMIC CON

Witty Women of Steampunk
The Witty Women of Steampunk — Friday, July 25 at 2:30 PM – San Diego Convention Center, Room 24ABC
Come join us for this witty panel, now celebrating its 3rd year at San Diego Comic-Con International!
While the Victorian era was known for its constraints on morals, behaviors and bosoms, steampunks have turned things on their head by reimagining a history that never was. Women creators have loosened those traditional corset laces and have begun to explore multiculturalism, science, sexuality, class politics and much more. Come join us for this always lively third-year panel as we explore just how liberating the age of steam can be with witty women Anina Bennett (Boilerplate: History’s Mechanical Marvel), Ay-leen the Peacemaker (Editor for BeyondVictoriana.com & Tor Books),Claire Hummel (Bioshock: Infinite), Robin Blackburn (The League of S.T.E.A.M.), Sarah Hunter (Steampunk Model/Performer), Sheyne Fleischer (The League of S.T.E.A.M.), and moderator Dina Kampmeyer (Lady Steam Designs).

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Huzzah! Year Two Win for Best Politically-Minded Steampunk

2014 Steampunk Reader's Choice Award Winner

Click to see the full listing of all winners

It is truly an honor and pleasure to receive the win for a second year in a row for Best Politically-Minded. My thanks go out to everyone who had voted and supported Beyond Victoriana. Also my appreciation goes to my fellow nominees Balogun Ojetade and Magpie Killjoy, who are also both equally accomplished (if not more so!) and who I consider great friends and allies, no matter what our particular political stripes may be. ^^

 

 

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In Conversation with Long Hidden Editors Rose Fox and Daniel José Older on Tor.com

Long Hidden anthology

“We need to talk about diversity,” has been the conversation starter in SF/F as of late. But the best fiction, as the saying goes, shows, not tells. The anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older, reveals representation as more than a tally-count concerning diversity, and highlights how the act of reading across difference can be an intensely immersive experience.

Reading Long Hidden very much felt like sitting in on late-night conversations in a room full of strangers, darting from one conversation to the next. I might not immediately recognize the context of one tale or another, nor did I feel pressure or ridicule for not knowing something beforehand. What was important was recognizing the generosity and trust in which these stories were being told, and letting the conversation flow.

I’ve had the pleasure of conducting such a conversation with Rose and Daniel after my read. We discuss their challenges and joys during the editing process, the logistics of outreach and crowd-funding, and the impact of marginalized voices in the future of speculative fiction.

 [Read our interview here.]

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A Land without Leaders: A Country of Ghosts by Margaret Killjoy on Tor.com

The most fantastical aspect of A Country of Ghosts is how it’s an earnest tale about an alternative society when dystopias fill today’s bookshelves. Full disclosure here:the author has written for Tor.com, and I did hold interest in reading his book once he described it to me as an “anarchist utopia.”

With that seed in mind, I couldn’t help but view A Country of Ghosts as the latest in a long tradition of utopian novels, starting with Thomas More’s as the most well-known early example (and a fantastic open source annotated edition can be read here).

Of course, utopias and speculative fiction go hand in hand. In the 19thcentury, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s Herland envisioned a society of women. Alexander Bogdanov wrote about communist utopia on Mars in his 1908 book Red Star. Later utopian novels include Ursula K. Le Guin’s take on anarchism in The Dispossessed, Arthur C. Clark’s peaceful alien invasion inChildhood’s End, Aldous Huxley’s utopian counterpart to Brave New World in Island, and the fulfillment of the radical movements of the 1960s in Marge Piercy’s Woman on the Edge of Time, along with many others.

In A Country of Ghosts a regional collective known as Hron (they’re only kinda, sorta a country) fights against a colonial empire, and Killjoy’s mix of politics and storytelling is at times intellectually engaging and at times winsome, though it’s also a curiosity to behold in the field today.

Read the rest of the review here: [“The rules don’t really matter. It’s the spirit that matters, I think.”]

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Exclusive! Jay Noel’s THE DRAGONFLY WARRIOR Excerpt

DragonflyWarrior ebook

Savage Machines Are Afoot…

At the age of twenty, Kanze Zenjiro’s bloody footprints mark the bodies of those who stood in his way to protect the throne of Nihon. Now, the tyrannical Iberian Empire is bent on destroying his kingdom, and they send their steam-powered giants and iron spiders against him.

Zen, affectionately called the Dragonfly Warrior, embarks on a quest that takes him on the most dangerous journey of his life. To succeed, Zen must kill all his enemies with only a sword and a pair of six guns and survive a test of faith and loyalty in a world so cruel and merciless, it borders on madness.

Beyond Victoriana is happy to present a preview of Jay Noel’s DRAGONFLY WARRIOR. Take a look at the prologue and first chapter after the jump, and interested readers can find more info to purchase his e-book here.
Continue reading

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Updates: New Books & New Conferences

SteamingVictorianPBK-2

Click to order on Amazon.

Exciting news everyone, which as news tends to do, comes in threes.

First of all, Steaming into the Victorian Future is now available in trade paperback! Now instead of paying $100+ for this collection, you can get the trade paperback for less than $25. This is the very first academic collection of steampunk essays, and, for those interested in helping this scholarship grow, please purchase a copy of the book. I’m being honest here — we have been very grateful for the support our publisher as given the editors Julie Ann Taddeo and Cynthia Miller by creating this low-cost edition, but in order for steampunk academia to continue, we have to show support with our wallets as well. If you are interested in writing or teaching about steampunk for the classroom, consider adding this to your bookshelf.

Already, this book has earned some great press from the Academy and the SFF community.

Winner of the 2013 Peter C. Rollins Award in Popular Culture Studies

Steaming into a Victorian Future looks at the potential that steampunk has to be a contributor to social change through consideration of its past and present. This collection is vast in its scope, critically evaluating ‘texts’ from an array of genres from the past, present, and future of this literary movement and its surrounding subculture, and is as valuable as an introduction to steampunk and its possibilities as any of the fiction collections available.” (Monsters and the Monstrous academic journal)

“The English major in me just finished up dancing a little jig. I always enjoy reading essays on steampunk, but there are essays… and then there are essays. Oh, yeah. I enjoyed it. Every. Single. Page.

If any fellow steampunk fans out there want some solid validation of our favorite genre and its literary effects, this is your book.” (Wired.com)

In other news, Steampunk World is on its way to the presses soon, you can check out the Table of Contents posted on SF Signal.

IAFA

Finally, I’m excited to say that I’ll be attending the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, an annual academic conference about SFF in Orlando, Florida. I won’t be presenting, but there representing the Tor Books crew, since the theme this year is “Fantastic Empires” and Guests of Honor line up include Nnedi Okorafor, Ian McDonald, Istvan Csicsery-Ronay (Scholar), Jr., and Brian Aldiss (Emeritus).

A summary of what to expect at the conference:

From space operas to medieval tales to seminal works of fantasy, imaginative fiction abounds in fabulous empires. ICFA 35 will investigate the widest range of topics relating to empire, including discussions of particular texts, analyses of the hegemonic and counterhegemonic forces of empire, evaluations of individual resistances to imperialism (and of empires striking back), and assays into various other aspects of the theme. We welcome proposals for scholarly papers and panels that seek to examine, interrogate, and expand any research related to empire and the fantastic.

Authors, agents & academics interested in meeting at the conference, feel free to contact me! I’m really looking forward to this. ^^

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Steampunk Hands Around the World: Good Gears and Good Works

This article is part of Steampunk Hands Around the World international event, running between Feb 2nd and Feb 28th. For a full listing of events, check out the Airship Ambassador blog.

steampunk hands around the world logo

Over the years in the steampunk community, I’ve seen its potential to work together for more than shared fandom reasons to impact the larger world around us. The community’s Maker influence could be a cause why: if people like to fiddle around with machines out of junk, their tinkering becomes a physical demonstration of how people can re-think an object to make it work better, breathe new mechanical life into it, as well as making it aesthetically pleasing in its functionality. I’ve seen that attitude transfer to other works that steampunks have done. On top of that, the types of people who are involved in the community — tinkerers, artists, educators of all stripes — create a space where ideas bounce off of one another, and perhaps, that creativity which stirs up a person’s inner initiative to try and change a bit of their own lives then spreads into other aspects of life too.

It’s not surprising then, that several initiatives have started up in the community with the aim of social and public betterment. I won’t deny that I have a certain perspective about this, given the people that I associate with tend to value ways that explore social causes, whether it be through increased artistic literacy, media critique and representation, environmental or political causes, or education. Many of these people are friends of the blog and you can check out their work here. Various steampunk conventions also have had a charity fundraiser at their event, as what usually happens at events such as TeslaCon, Dragon*Con’s Alternate History Track, and Steampunk World’s Fair. For Steampunk Hands Around the World this month, I wanted to highlight some various ways that the steampunk community is giving back, to show that we’re more than a group with a retrofuturistic side hobby.

Continue reading

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Happy Lunar New Year!

Mechanical Horse by Andrew Chase. Click for Source.

Mechanical Horse by Andrew Chase. Click for Source.

I’ve written about Lunar New Year in the past, and as one of my favorite holidays, I have to give a shout-out featuring some lovely steampunk steeds.

Happy Year of the Wood Horse, everyone!

Driftwood Horse by Heather Jansch. Click for Source.

Driftwood Horse by Heather Jansch. Click for Source.

Steam Horse by 19th-century artist Alain Giller. Click for Source.

Steam Horse by 19th-century artist Alain Giller. Click for Source.

Cavalique by Larry Agnello. Click for Source.

Cavalique by Larry Agnello. Click for Source.

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Announcing “Steampunk Hands Around the World”

Steampunk Hands Around the World

Image Credit: Raydeen Graffam

Earlier this week, I got an invitation for my good friend and steampunk colleague Kevin Steil of the Airship Ambassador to join a new community initiative that had stemmed from last TeslaCon: “Steam Hands Around the World.” Below is the press release about this worldwide blogging event, which is set to run this February. You can track all the events for this month here.

Just as current day expressions of steampunk are not limited to the literature where it began, the people in the steampunk community are not bound to any one geographical region. Steampunk appears in many forms, and with its popularity, the community has grown to encompass the world.

The celebration and sharing of that global association is at the heart of a new project, Steampunk Hands Around the World, by Kevin Steil, the creator and editor of steampunk news and information resource website, Airship Ambassador. With more than three dozen steampunk creators – bloggers, authors, event organizers, and others – also participating, the month long project is a multi format media presentation about the international connections and communications in the community, for steampunks and non-steampunks alike.

Beginning Sunday, February 2nd, and continuing until Friday, February 28th, the group will show and share that steampunks everywhere are linked together and that new friends are waiting in every conversation.

Steampunk, in its many forms, brings people together in an inclusive and helpful network of similar mind. From sharing book and music review opinions, to playing the newest games and sharing DIY information on fashion and props, the steampunk community easily and comfortably brings together people ages eight to eighty in ways not often seen in other communities.

The full and updated-daily list of participating websites, blogs and events will be posted in the kick-off blog on the Airship Ambassador blog site:
http://airshipambassador.wordpress.com

For more information, please contact Kevin Steil at Kevin@AirshipAmbassador.com

So far, over 50 individuals from more than 11 countries speaking across seven different languages are planning to participate. Watch this space for more to come!

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Steampunk World Kickstarter–Multicultural Steampunk Fiction Anthology Goes Live!

 

Steampunk world update 12-11-2013
I was going to post this when it went live, but I’m so excited to report that TWO DAYS after the launch of the Steampunk World Kickstarter, and we’re already halfway to our goal! Thank you to our followers on Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr for getting the word out and donating to this wonderful project.

For those who want to read more about the people involves, the prizes, and more crowd-sourcing details, check out the Kickstarter page and boost, boost, boost!

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