#SteampunkHands – On Crafting a Subcultural Lifestyle: Objects and the Search for Home in Steampunk (Part 1)

A picture of my steampunk self way back in 2009 during one of the first events I attended in NYC for International Steampunk Day

A picture of my steampunk self in 2009 during one of the first events I attended in NYC for International Steampunk Day

Thinking about my contributions for “Steampunk Hands Around the World” this year made me reflect upon my time spent in the community. There have been highs and lows, and admittedly enough, I had no idea how much my life would change in the past eight years because of this aesthetic and the creative community inspired by it. One of the reasons why I have stuck around has been the belonging I have found through the people, places, and things we have created.

A few years ago in graduate school, I took a class called “Performance of Everyday Life”, which interrogated how we understand ourselves and the way we move through the world as acts of performance. From religious ritual to amateur hobbies, from gender roles to cosplay, from sports to clubbing to fashion — what all of these activities have in common is the idea of how different levels of theatricality, presentation, and action is incorporated into our daily identities.

My final paper was an ethnographic study contemplating making and community spaces in New York City and the convention scene.  Reading this over, I see how this can be interpreted as a counterargument of a recent critique of the maker movement written in The Atlantic. Unlike The Atlantic‘s critique of the capital-driven, competition-oriented DIY movement, I think steampunk community’s values provide an alternate view to making which is tied into group identity and fostering spaces of non-competitive creativity that values both traditional masculine and feminine arts.  Artistic camaraderie endows the steampunk object with affect value that grows into something greater than the object itself.  Though it was written in 2012, and some of the steampunks featured in this article I have lost touch with or left the community for one reason or another, this essay overall embodies many thoughts I have about the inherent beauty of creation and sense of home I get with fellow steampunks. This is, more than anything, a love letter to an art movement.

I’ll be posting a new part of this essay every Sunday this month.

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#SteampunkHands My Favorite Things: Motor City Steam Con Giveaway

Motor City Steam Logo

Undoubtedly, some of my favorite aspects of the steampunk community are the social gatherings, especially conventions. Motor City Steam Con is a new convention in Detroit, and I’m excited to be one of their guests this year. Beyond Victoriana will be offering one free weekend pass to a lucky reader this week. Follow the rules below to enter!

1) This giveaway will be for one free weekend pass.  Readers can only submit one entry per household. US and International entries are welcome.
2) Enter between February 1st 2016, through February 6th, 2016, at midnight EST (GMT -5:00).
3) Winners will be chosen via their comment number using Random.org. Winners will be contacted via email and must reply within 24 hours with their mailing address to claim their prize. Otherwise a new winner will be selected.

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Welcome to Steampunk Hands Around the World!

steampunk hands around the world logo

Image courtesy of El Investigador

For the third year in a row, Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassdor and steampunks around the globe will be celebrating as part of “Steampunk Hands Around the World,” running from February 1st – 29th. This year’s theme will be “My Favorite Things”, where some of the community’s loves will be highlighted across several blogs and websites, including this one.

Readers can follow the blogging event on the Airship Ambassador blog site. You can also check out links via this event’s Twitter hashtags #SteampunkHands and #SHaW , and on the official Facebook event page.

Stay tuned here for some special contributions BV will be making this month as well.

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Happy 2016 & New Year’s Giveaway!

Beyond Victoriana has been a bit quiet as of late, but I wanted to kick out the new year — and BV’s seventh year on the aethernetz — by offering a gesture of appreciation towards our readers, with the help of some generous sponsors.

I’ll be giving away two prize packs, consisting of the following items:

One limited edition spray from Nyxworks / Wild Marjoram, which was offered at this year’s TeslaCon.

nyx spray

One wearable necktie from Redfield Designs (I’m modeling them both to show off their awesomeness).

red necktieIMG_20160102_134043998

green necktie IMG_20160102_134031563

One custom made corset from The Violet Vixen. (Note about this item: it may take up to three weeks to deliver once the order is placed, and availability depends on current stock.)

vixen sticker

How to enter:

  1. Reply to this post with a resource *you* use for steampunk, whether it be a costuming site, history book, film/documentary, website, museum, etc. People who do not include a resource will have their entry disqualified. You must also include your email in the comment info box when entering.
  2. Readers can only submit one entry per household. US and International entries are fine!
  3. Enter between January 2nd 2016, through January 10th 2016, at midnight EST (GMT -5:00).
  4. Winners will be chosen via their comment number using Random.org. Winners will be contacted via email and must reply within 24 hours with their mailing address to claim their prize. Otherwise a new winner will be selected.

And that’s it! Have fun, folks, and looking forward to the coming year.

***

Note: Congrats to Hannah R. and Kat A. for being the selected winners of this giveaway!

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Cover reveal for A. J. Hartley’s STEEPLEJACK

steeeplejack_reveal

Click to see full cover on Tor.com

See the full Steeplejack cover reveal on Tor.com

I’m very excited to launch the cover reveal for this book.  Steeplejack was one of my first acquisitions, and has been in the pipeline for several months. I can’t wait until this book is put out into the world.
I share further thoughts at the link above. Plus, the art is gorgeous.

Book description:

Seventeen-year-old Anglet Sutonga, Ang for short, works repairing the chimneys, towers, and spires of Bar-Selehm, the ethnically-diverse industrial capital of a land resembling Victorian South Africa. The city was built on the trade of luxorite, a priceless glowing mineral. When the Beacon, a historical icon made of the largest piece of luxorite known to exist, is stolen, this news commands the headlines. Yet no one seems to care about the murder of Ang’s new apprentice Berrit. But when Josiah Willinghouse, an enigmatic young politician, offers her a job investigating his death, she plunges headlong into dangers she could not foresee. On top of this legwork, Ang struggles with the responsibility of caring for her sister’s newborn child.

As political secrets unfold and racial tensions surrounding the Beacon’s theft rise, Ang must navigate the constricting traditions of her people, the murderous intentions of her former boss, and the conflicting impulses of a fledgling romance. With no one to help her except a savvy newspaper girl and a kindhearted herder from the savannah, Ang must rely on her creative intellect and strength to resolve the mysterious link between Berrit and the missing Beacon before the city is plunged into riotous chaos.

Some Advanced Praise:

“A richly realized world, an intensely likable character, and a mystery to die for.“ — Cory Doctorow, New York Times-bestselling author of Little Brother

“With its unique South African-inspired setting, richly-drawn and diverse cast of characters, and unstoppable plot, readers of any age won’t be able to putSteeplejack down!” – Carrie Ryan, New York Times bestselling author of the Forest of Hands and Teeth series

“Smart and socially-aware, from its captivating opening line to an end promising adventures to come, this fabulous debut adds to the growing library of multicultural fantasy and is a loudly resounding success.” —Nisi Shawl, James Tiptree Jr. Award-winning author of Filter House and Everfair, and co-author of Writing the Other: A Practical Approach

“A captivating read! Main character Anglet is a compelling young woman who defies gravity and the constricting rules of her world. Readers will soar with her through murder mystery, romance, and political intrigue in a fresh landscape that riffs on South Africa’s multicultural history but touches our 21st century moment too. A.J. Hartley’s wonderfully plotted prose is full of surprise, insight, and hard-earned joy. I want the next book now!“ – Andrea Hairston, James Tiptree, Jr. and Carl Brandon Parallax Award-winning author

Steeplejack combines a lively and intelligent plot with an intriguing and well-drawn world, and caps all this goodness with a determined and indefatigable heroine. I would read the further adventures of Ang in a heartbeat.” — Kate Elliott, author of Court of Fives

“In Steeplejack, Hartley has created a world so gritty and real I could taste the soot. Once you pick this book up, you won’t be putting it down until you’re done.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”  — Maurice Broaddus, author of the Knights of Breton Court trilogy

“You can feel the grit and glory of Bar-Selehm, a many-spired city teetering on the edge of the savannah, and the verge of war.  The perfect setting for a street-smart young woman who is caught between three cultures, yet refuses to be trapped by them.”  – Sherri L. Smith, award-winning author of Flygirls and Orleans

Pre- order
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Steeplejack-Alternative-Detective-J-Hartley/dp/076538342X/

Macmillan.com: http://us.macmillan.com/books/9780765383426

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Boosting! THE SEA IS OURS: A New ‪Steampunk‬ anthology, edited by Jaymee Goh & Joyce Chng

the SEA is Ours

Jaymee Goh of Silver Goggles and SFF author Joyce Chng have launched a fundraiser for a new steampunk anthology based on Southeast Asia to be published by Rosarium Publishing. According to their press release, The SEA is Ours was conceived with a specific intent in mind:

Both editors have long been involved in speculative fiction. Joyce Chng is the author of several urban fantasy and Young Adult novels written from a Singaporean perspective. Jaymee Goh, currently a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Riverside, has published short fiction and poetry, including a series of short stories set in a re-imagined Malaysia uncolonized by the West. Both are also consistent critics of the genre’s Eurocentrism. “We felt unsatisfied by representations of Southeast Asia in most of speculative fiction,” Goh says in an interview with Asian American Press, “and felt very strongly that steampunk would be a really great way of talking about the myriad histories in the region.

Very excited to see this book go out into the world, and more details about the book and how to support it can be found after the jump.

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Coming to New York Comic Con! Geeks of Color, Third Edition: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Geeks of Color 2015 logo

Geeks of Color, Third Edition: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger
Fri. October 9| 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM | Room 1A01

Geeks of Color returns to discuss representation in comics, pop journalism, gaming, podcasting & book publishing and much more. Featuring Shelley Diaz (Editor, School Library Journal), Melissa Grey (The Girl at Midnight), N. Steven Harris (Illustrator, Ajala, DC Comic, Marvel), Tracey John (Narrative Designer & Journalist, Gameloft, MTV), Tatiana G. King-Jones (Podcaster, FanBrosShow) & Camilla Zhang (DC Comics, Marvel). Moderated by Diana M. Pho (Editor, Tor Books).

UPDATE (9/18/2015):  A big welcome to a new addition to our panel: Eric Dean Seaton, a two-time NAACP Image Award-nominated episodic television director.

Geeks of Color Meet-up

Geeks of Color Meet-up! 
Fri. October 9| 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM | 1E03
NEW PANEL ADDED!

Want to mingle with fellow geeks of color? How about getting some insider’s knowledge of the industry with some one-on-one honest convos with creators of color?

Come join fellow fans of color and panelists from the Geeks of Color panel in a casual meet-up setting where we can discuss our nerd loves, fandom head canons and an in-depth insider’s look into the world of comics, YA publishing, pop culture blogging, video games & more. Hosted by Diana M. Pho (editor, Tor Books) and featuring Shelley Diaz (Editor, School Library Journal), Melissa Grey (The Girl at Midnight), Tracey John (Narrative Designer & Journalist, Gameloft, MTV), and others!

Full panelist details are after the jump. Hope to see some of our readers there!
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Islam and Science Fiction: An Interview with Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad

islamic_future_deviant_art

Islam and Science Fiction has been a resource in the SFF community for 10 years, and it’s with great pleasure that I got in touch with its founding editor, Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad. Since 2005, Islam and Science Fiction‘s goal has been to gather depictions of Islam and Islamic themes in science fiction and spotlight science fiction written by Muslims. Muhammad has even co-edited an anthology about the topic, A Mosque Among the Stars,with Ahmed A. Khan. In our interview we talk about the state of Islam in sci-fi, its global reach in speculative fiction, and much more.

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Call for Submissions — Steampunk Universe

Print from Harmonia Macrocosmica, A. Cellarius (detail) [1660] (Public Domain Image)

Print from Harmonia Macrocosmica, A. Cellarius (detail) [1660] (Public Domain Image)

Sarah Hans, editor behind the award-winning anthology Steampunk World, is currently looking for short fiction for its follow-up, Steampunk Universe.

According to her website, the type of work she’s looking for:

Your story should take place in a non-Western culture. I’d love to have a variety of stories that take place in the diverse cultures of Central/South America, Asia, and Africa.

Your story should contain a character with at least one exceptionality. It should be a major element of the story, providing the character with extra challenges but maybe also special insight or abilities. I want to explore how steampunk technology changes the lives of people with exceptionalities, for better or for worse.  I’d love to see characters who are also members of other marginalized groups (such as LGBTQ characters).

Your story should contain steampunk elements. I get a lot of submissions with steampunk exoskeletons and dirigibles, but not many with spaceships or submarines. I’d really like authors to stretch themselves and instead of just writing alternate history, set the story in a parallel universe or on another planet. Read Tobias Buckell’s excellent story “Love Comes to Abyssal City” for an example.

All submissions are due June 1, 2016. More info can be found  here.

 

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JordanCon & International Steampunk Symposium Schedules

For the latter half of April, I’m doing back-to-back conventions (wheeee!) Check out my schedule for both below.

And, as always, if you are an author/agent looking to have a meeting, please contact me.

JordanCon

Click to view convention website.

Friday

Query Letters
5:30 PM Madison
Description: A discussion over what to include in your query letter and how to approaching publishers and agents as a newer author in general.
Panelists: Diana Pho, Michael Livingston

The Maharaja of Sweden hosts Sci-fi Mashups
10:00 PM Washington
Description: Join the Maharaja of Sweden as he serves chai and discusses the great stories that blend cultures. Explorers, subjects taken out of context, subversions of culture, misplacement of values, subjegation, historical inaccuracies, and twists of time. Confederates with atom bombs? Musketeers with airships? Amish Zombies? Where does it end?! And should it…
Panelists: Diana Pho, Peter B. Slayer, Emilie P. Bush

Saturday
JordanCon Annual Pitch Critique
2:30 PM Madison
Description: Get practice on those first crucial moments with an agent or editor. No stakes, just honest feedback.
Panelists: Diana Pho, Saladin Ahmed, Harriett McDougal

Sunday
Turning Feedback into useful Critique
11:30 AM Madison
Description: So people have read your work and told you what they thought. Now what?
Panelists: Diana Pho, Saladin Ahmed, Jim Hodgson, Anthony Taylor

Foreshadowing
2:30 PM Madison
Description: Prophecy, Thematic Hints, Ominous Portents, and everything in between. Come here some great ways and reasons to Foreshadow.
Panelists: Todd McCaffrey, Anthony Taylor, Diana Pho

ISS_banner

Cincinnati, OH, April 24 – 26th. Click to view website.

Last week to pre-register!

Friday

Writer’s Workshop Part 1–Hemingway Happy Hour
6 PM in the Pompeii Room
Description: Mingle with fellow writers and other publishing folk. Hosted by Emilie P Bush

Safer Spaces for Steampunks: Addressing Harassment in Fandom
8pm in the Naples Room
Description: Join us in an upfront and forward-thinking conversation lead by Ay-leen the Peacemaker (Diana M. Pho) on how to create safer spaces in fandom against harassment, with a particular focus on sexual harassment awareness, reporting, and prevention tactics. All genders and orientations are encouraged to attend.

Saturday

Writer’s Workshop Part 2–The Boiler Room
10:00 am in the Pompeii Room
Description: Discussion of the craft of writing with Emilie P Bush & Ay-leen the Peacemaker (Diana M. Pho).

Beyond Victoriana: Multicultural Steampunk
7 pm in the Naples Room
Description: How does multicultural steampunk look Beyond Victoriana? Updated & expanded since its previous presentation at the Steampunk Symposium.

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