Dragon*Con Announcements: Black Ribbons for #Mike Brown and #Ferguson

Viceroy Chang, cyborg steampunk panda and my convention companion,  has an very important message to our readers:

Viceroy_hands-up

“Hands up! Don’t shoot!”

See? He’s a pretty up with current events and both of us have been upset about the violence happening in Ferguson against protesters after the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO.  Often, it’s easy to slip into the “convention bubble” and ignore the serious issues affecting others. Like how we should keep the “punk” in steampunk, we should also work toward dismantling historically-created systems of oppression when we see it, and not just make it our Alt Hist fantasy.

Dragon*Con is coming up in less than a week. Along with conducting an array of panels and meeting with book people (contact me for available appointments), at the convention I will be wearing and selling black ribbons in protest against police brutality and the death of Mike Brown. Ribbons will be “pay-as-you-wish” — I’ll accept anything from a copper Abe Lincoln to a Benjamin.

Black Ribbon Against Police Brutality

Black Ribbon Against Police Brutality

All proceeds will be donated to several organizations to help the citizens of Ferguson & the Brown family when I return from the convention. The orgs haven’t been chosen yet, because I don’t know which ones will still need support in a couple of weeks, but it will be one or two on this list of grassroots organizations. People are, of course, welcome to donate directly to any of them now.

For those of you who don’t know my face (and hey, with thousands of congoers, it can get pretty hectic), I’ll be sporting this arm band while walking around the con. Feel free to flag me down to donate and ask for a ribbon.

hands up

Look for the black armband

Please signal-boost widely, and I’ll see some of you in Atlanta!

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Pre-order STEAMPUNK WORLD from Alliteration Ink

Steampunk World

Steampunk World_Kickstarter

 

The day has come. STEAMPUNK WORLD is now available for pre-order!  The top image is the regular cover, and our special Kickstarter supporters will receive a limited-edition version with that epic new cover designed by James Ng.

I strongly recommend folks pre-order the books if they are planning to purchase for two reasons. One–it guarantees that you get this awesome book ASAP for your immediate enjoyment. And Two–from a publishing standpoint, books that have strong pre-orders look good in the eyes of distributors and will help keep the book in stock in the long run.

Need more convincing? See the official description after the jump.

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Dragon*Con 2014 Schedule

Alt Hist Dragon Con logo

Excited to announce my schedule for Dragon*Con this year! I’ll also be taking appointments with any interested authors & agents — feel free to email me at attic [dot] hermit [at] gmail [dot] com to get started.


Title:
Fiction & the Silk Road
Description: Open discussion about scifi & fantasy literature written about and inspired by the Silk Road.
Time: Fri 04:00 pm Location: Piedmont – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

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Title: Adventurous Women-Traveling in the 19th Century
Description: This roundtable discussion will encompass women and detailed travels during the 19th and early 20th century.
Time: Sat 05:30 pm Location: Augusta 3 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)

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Title: Race & Gender Issues in Alternate History
Description: Do we pick the best parts of the past and ignore the rest? How do we handle gender and race roles? This discussion panel explores this and more.
Time: Sat 07:00 pm Location: Augusta 3 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel
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Title: TOR To Come
Description: TOR gives us a glimpse of what is upcoming from them in a good opportunity to plan your reading.
Time: Sun 01:00 pm Location: Regency V – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
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Title: Crossculture in History
Description: Non-English and non-American cultures in history focusing on Africa and India. Warning: may blow the mind.
Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: Augusta 3 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
Moderator / MC for panel

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Signal-boost: Uncanny Magazine Year One

Uncanny Magazine

Click on image to see their Kickstarter

New project alert! Recently, I was contacted by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, former editors-in-chief of Apex Magazine to be a contributor for their latest project: UNCANNY, whose Kickstarter just launched today. Managing Editor Michi Trota already posted about all of the wonderful things about this new mag, so I’m handing over the soapbox, below:

Ok, folks, you’ve waited patiently, so here it is: In addition to the number of projects I’m involved in (and the FT day job), I’m now MANAGING EDITOR of the new professional online magazine, UNCANNY: A MAGAZINE OF SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY! I’m unbelievably excited and honored that Lynne Marie Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas asked me to join this fantastic new project of theirs. I’ve been a fan of their work ever since picking up Chicks Dig Time Lords on a whim a few years ago, and it’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know them as friends and colleagues.

We have an award-winning line up of contributing authors, poets and artists who have committed to providing stories, essays, poems and art for the first six issues of Uncanny Magazine, which will run on a bimonthly basis. Contributors include Neil Gaiman, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jim C. Hines, Liz Argall, Carrie Ann Baade, Galen Dara, Emily Jiang, Diana Pho, Kameron Hurley, Charlie Jane Anders, Ken Liu, Amal El-Mohtar, and so many more.

You all know how much I love SF/F and the geek community, and getting to be managing editor for a publication like this is a dream come true. I can’t wait to put my stamp on what promises to be a stellar publication.

But this can’t happen without your help – we’re raising funds for the first year of operations through Kickstarter and we have until Aug. 28th to meet our goal of $26K. Please feel free to share our Kickstarter and help spread the word. We have nifty backer rewards, including a copy of the first issue, postcards of cover art by Tran Nguyen and Julie Dillon, shinies by Rachel Swirky (one of our authors for year one!), manuscript critiques by select authors, and even dinner with the editors and Uncanny contributing authors!

Thanks for all your support and for helping us bring the Uncanny to life!

There are many awesome people on board with this project beyond those listed above. PLUS great prize offerings for supporters (I’m offering a manuscript critique, blog post, Google Hangout or even an awesome dinner at a convention where you can pick my brain in person.)

Find out more info & contribute to their Kickstarter here.

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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.
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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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