A 2010 Retrospective & Ringing in the New Year with New Features

2010 has been a momentous year, both blog-wise and in general steampunk-wise. Looking back, a lot of amazing things happened: I attended dozens of cons and steampunk events, corresponded with many interesting and smart steampunks, won an award, and got a cool side job. I’ve worked with a growing network of steampunk hobbyists, academics, tinkerers, activists, and costumers. Many of these people I now consider friends of the blog and in real life as well. Because of efforts from everyone here, Beyond Victoriana has been recognized and signal boosted by many different sites and folks across the steampunk community & the general SF/F community around the world– including The Steampunk Workshop, Steampunk Magazine, The Steampunk Tribune, The Steampunk Scholar, Silver Goggles, Edwardian Promenade, Dru Pagliassotti, Jeff Vandermeer, Scott Westerfeld, Bruce Sterling, Racialicious, Tor.com, SFSignal, Bibliophile Stalker, Free the Princess, Leanne Renee Hieber, The Steampunk Librarian, Overbury Ink, Doc Fantastique’s Show of Wonders, Airship Ambassador, World SF News Blog, Steampunk Conselho, and Clockworker.de.

Maintaining this blog has been extremely busy for me, and it couldn’t have been the success it is without YOU: the readers and the contributors. At the beginning of 2010, what started off as a personal project has grown to become a community venture, and it wouldn’t have happened without the numerous volunteer writers, reporters, and photographers who have helped me out. I feel like a broken record of saying this all the time to people, but that’s because THIS is what multiculturalism means to me: it isn’t just one person standing on a soapbox spewing encyclopedic facts, but a community of people interested in sharing their intellectual and artistic knowledge and personal experiences. I recently read an interview with Maegan la Mala Ortiz, Managing Editor and Co-Publisher of Vivirlatino, who said something that had really struck a chord:

Diversity has become such a buzzword almost to the point of meaninglessness. Diversity is not about holding hands to cover up difference. It is about acknowledging how difference works, good and bad and how we can build across not through or over difference.

That has always been the mission behind Beyond Victoriana: we are not simply celebrating, but also debating, confronting, and discovering through critical listening and learning. Because to post up content without context is equal to empty hand-holding. We’re not talking about historical facts alone, but how these facts shouldn’t be separated from how they affect our lives today. And it’s about time we did more than hold hands, but raise them up. Together.

That being said, the content for 2011 kicks off with some great news.

Beyond Victoriana will host a brand-new exclusive feature. Jess Nevins, an expert in science fiction & pulp history, will be sponsoring a new weekly column called The Quest for Unusual & Adventurous International Notations & Tales (QUAINT).

You might know Jess from that encyclopedia he wrote a few years back, which got nominated for a World Fantasy Award. Or, if you’re into comics, as that guy who annotated Alan Moore’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen series and is now working on Neil Gaiman’s 1602.

For the QUAINT series, Beyond Victoriana will re-publish excerpts from his Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana, which is indeed fantastic, even moreso since the book’s gone out-of-print and is hard to find. But, every Wednesday, readers can have a tidbit from this valuable resource to enjoy and intrigue.

Read more information about QUAINT here.

In January, we will also host a special limited series in addition to our Sunday updates. Eccentric Yoruba returns to repost her fascinating history on African-Chinese relations, a little-known dynamic that has been going on for centuries before Europeans set a foothold in either area. Stay tuned every Friday starting January 7th, for the latest from her.

And as Beyond Victoriana continues on, we’re always looking for new contributors and reporters for steampunk & retrofuturist conventions–including TempleCon and AnachroCon, coming in February 2011. Interested in sharing your voice? Contact me for consideration.

In the meantime have a safe & joyous New Year!

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