Category Archives: Announcement

Steampunk Chronicle’s 2015 Readers Choice Awards — My Nomination Recommendations

Steampunk Reader's Choice Awards - Click to Nominate

Steampunk Reader’s Choice Awards – Click to Nominate

Last year, I bowed out of the nominations for Steampunk Chronicle’s Readers Choice Awards (having won two years in a row) but hadn’t had a chance to create my own suggested list. I’m catching the nomination period earlier this time around to throw in some two cents into the change bucket of suggestions. I’m basing my suggestions on the steampunk media that I’ve seen in 2014. Anything earlier, though I may have loved it, would have to be excluded from the list. I am also excluding convention nominations since I don’t feel as comfortable highlighting some while I hadn’t had a chance to attend as many steampunk ones in 2014. My suggestions are only for categories that I’m confident enough to speak about, and while I tend to linger in my reasoning for selecting some more than others, but it doesn’t mean I feel any less about anyone / anything I mention on this list. That being said… ~insert drumroll~

Best Solo Musician
Paul Shapera for The New Albion Trilogy. The whole trilogy is pure genius in concept and execution. An Atompunk Opera, the New Albion Guide to Analogue Consciousness and the bonus The Room Beneath New Albion came out in 2014. I’m nominating Shapera under Best Solo Musician, however, from the strength and vision of the entire project. Each opera is distinct in musical style, but follows the progression of the fantasy city of New Albion and its denizens to create one of the strongest storytelling pieces I’ve ever listened to in speculative music. I only wish he got more recognition for his work!

Best Young Adult Steampunk Fiction
Two recommendations for this category:
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger Her trademark droll wit is not lacking in any of her books, including this prequel series to the Parasol Protectorate series.
Dragonfly Warrior by Jay Noel His work caught my eye early last year when he reached out about his take of Asian steampunk. It’s a fun ride, and I look forward to picking up the rest of his trilogy.

Best Children’s Steampunk Fiction or Picture Book
The Jupiter Chronicles by Leonardo Ramirez
Ramirez has a ton of heart and it really shows in his storytelling about a pair of siblings who go on a steampunk space adventure in search of their father.

Best Fiction
Steampunk World, edited by Sarah Hans
(Full disclosure: I wrote the introduction for this book). This projects stemmed from a conversation in early 2013 about how steampunk would function in different cultures across the globe and in 2014, Hans and Alliteration Ink launched their Kickstarter to get this project running. Featuring several well-known and up-and-coming names in SF/F, Steampunk World also got great support from io9 and BoingBoing. I was pretty impressed the the selection on the list and the range of geographic places they cover.

Best Non- fiction and Best Maker Book
The Steampunk User’s Manual by Jeff VanderMeer and Desirina Boskovich (Full disclosure: I contributed an article for this book.)
The follow-up to The Steampunk Bible, VanderMeer and Boskovich explore the worlds of creativity and making. It reads one-part inspirational guidebook, two-parts DIY lovefest for the steampunk set.

Best Graphic Novel
Clockwork Watch Currently ongoing transmedia project, but I wanted to highlight the compact and beautifully-drawn graphic novels.

Best Steampunk Periodical (print or blog)
The Airship Ambassador
(Full disclosure: Until this year, Kevin Steil and I worked together for the Tor.com steampunk monthly event round-up). I rarely have time to follow many blogs consistently anymore, but the Airship Ambassador is one of them, and I have endless admiration for his stalwart dedication over the years.

Also tied with that is P. Djeli Clark’s The Musings of a Disgruntled Haradrim . . . (Full disclosure: I first found his blog years ago and had him as a contributor for Beyond Victoriana). His blog is speculative fiction in general as well as steampunk, but his writing is always consistently smart, articulate and on-point.

Best Themed Cafe or Bar
The Way Station This is my neighborhood bar, actually so I really have a bias there XD

Best TV Series
The Legend of Korra, Book 4 Despite the flaws I have with its pacing early in the series, Book 4 really pulled all the disparate threads of its previous seasons and gave a satisfying and television-moment changing of an ending. Bravo.

Best Politically-Minded Steampunk
I have several for this category, in no particular order:
Bruce & Melanie Rosenbaum of ModVic While not “typically” defined as political, ModVic’s charity work in disability communities has truly been an inspiration.
Jaymee Goh, for her years of tireless work analyzing steampunk from a postcolonial perspective and supporting steampunks of color at Silver Goggles
Lisa Hager, for her LGBTQQAI advocacy in the genre, especially being one of the first to introduce queer-focused panels a couple of years ago at TeslaCon
Margaret “Magpie” Killjoy, one of the first radical steampunks on the scene almost ten years ago at this point and founder of Steampunk Magazine. What more can I say?

Best Multicultural Steampunk
There’s some overlap with “Best-Political” given my inclinations, but again, in no particular order:
The Airship Ashanti They are a relatively new group, but seeing them give me hope to see other PoC-dominant groups arrive on the scene. Plus, they have done a ton of local work for outreach in their community to get more fans of color involved.
Balogun Ojetade & The Chronicles of Harriet A long time friend of the bog, I have seen Balogun grow by leaps and bounds as a writer and general creator.
Jaymee Goh & Silver Goggles. She continues to be awesome, plus, I should also add that she is the co-editor of the upcoming Southeast Asian steampunk anthology The SEA is Ours and is currently running a month-long round table featuring the international list of authors involved!
Suna Dasi of Steampunk India Suna’s online presence is always a delight – full of grace, poise, and welcoming to steampunks from all walks of life while always enthusiastically pursuing Indian steampunk.

Best Crowdfunded Project
The League of Steam, Season 3 or Steampunk World Criteria for both is that they got an overwhelmingly positive response, became fully-funded, and produced their final products that year or by this date & time (which is something that not all crowd-sourced funded projects actually achieve).

What do you folks think? I’m also open to hearing your thoughts about these nominations and ones for categories I didn’t list here.

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Happy Launch Day for Steampunk Hands Around the World!

steampunkhands_2015_xpk1

This February, the steampunk community gathers together to share individual and community achievements with the rest of the world. Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador takes the helm once again for Year Two of this online blogging event. People can follow on their Facebook page or the Twitter hashtag #SteampunkHands for more details– the Airship Ambassador will also host a list of all articles on their blog, updated daily.

As for Beyond Victoriana, watch this space for upcoming features & interviews throughout the month.

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Audio Recordings from TeslaCon & SE Wisconsin Festival of Books! Plus, Announcing THE BEST OF SPANISH STEAMPUNK

Before 2014 comes to a close, a couple of brief updates!

Back in November, I attended TeslaCon and the Southeastern Wisconsin Festival of Books as a guest. Below are the audio recordings of some of the panels I did at both, for your listening pleasure. If you’d like a copy of the audio file, contact me and I can email this to you.

Steampunk: A Genre Discussion (audio)
A panel discussion at the Southeastern Wisconsin Festival of Books at University of Wisconsin – Waukesha
Featuring Professor Lisa Hagar of University of Wisconsin-Waukesha

How to Publish Your Steampunk Novel (audio)
Featuring Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador & blogger at TeslaCon V in November 2014.

The Best of Spanish Steampunk cover

Additionally, The Best of Spanish Steampunk is coming out in early 2015. I’m thrilled to have been asked by editor Marian Womack to contribute an introduction to this new anthology of compelling steampunk fiction.

A brief description:

The Best of Spanish Steampunk will be the first English-language anthology to showcase the talented Spanish writers working in the Steampunk genre. It will be available in January 2015.

We are living a time of fast-paced change, in a decadent society in serious need of a rethink of its ethical and social principles. The values of our way of life, the system we uphold, are reaching their natural exhaustion point. The Steampunk sensibility has found fertile ground within the community of Spanish SF authors, who, in order to understand the problems of a country ravaged by the economic crisis, huge unemployment levels and frustration with the political and social system, are turning towards two major literary currents : the dystopian novel and Steampunk.

As Bruce Sterling has suggested, “Steampunk’s lessons are not about the past, but about the instability of our own times … Steampunk is popular now because we are unconsciously realising that the way we live has already died”. This is a succinct description of Spain’s approach to the genre. By engaging with a writing that focuses on the “glorious past” of an idealized Victorian age, Spanish authors are trying to highlight their disenchantment with their future. These are the inheritors of the first “wave” of English-language Steampunk.

Other trends are even more critical, connecting directly to the social and political commentary inspired by Steampunk’s forefather H.G. Wells. This second trend focuses on a conscious reimagining of our history as a direct literary comment on our present, in order to find in the past answers for the current situation, and in our present possible ways forward. Spanish writers are “critically” reimagining key moments of our modern history, such as the Spanish-American Cuban war, or the Anarchist revolts of the 1930s in Andalusia.

Steampunk’s engagement with these topics offers an invaluable opportunity to reevaluate our world, the choices which have brought us to the situations we are facing today. In its key position between the present, the future, and the past, together with its critical heritage, Steampunk becomes one of the key cultural movements for going forwards into the XXI century.

Find more info on the publisher’s website.

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FanBros: Sex, Lies & Steampunk

Fanbros_Diana

A quick plug for FanBros podcast:

Sex, Lies, & Steampunk. We actually talk about two of these things on the latest episode, and you know we never lie to you. We welcome Diana Pho the celebrated author, blogger and steampunker genius to speak on all things steampunk, steamfunk and steamsex. No wait I’m lying. We do discuss sexual and street harassment in the cosplay and geek worlds, and why cosplay is not consent. Stay with us as we continue to cover all of the topics and news that you need to know about. It’s the award winning FanBrosShow.

Check out the show here!

And while in the mood for plugging, this Sunday, I’ll be speaking on a panel for The Steampunk User’s Manual in NYC

SUM- Nov 23

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TeslaCon V & Southeast Wisconsin Festival of Books Schedule

TeslaConV

This weekend, I’ll be off at TeslaCon V, talking books, steampunks, and hanging out with dinosaurs. I have been excited about this convention for months.

My panel schedule will be light, but you can catch me at the below panels or wandering around the convention. Of course, any authors or agents interested in an appointment, feel free to contact me beforehand or on-site.

Friday, November 7, 2014
10:00 am, Room 2
So You Want to Publish Your Steampunk Novel – Publishing tips for the retrofuturist set. An exploration of the publishing process starting with looking for an agent and submitting your manuscript and continuing with an insider’s view about how the book business works. Led by Tor editor Diana Pho and others, the panel gives advice drawn from their various experiences across the industry. Plus, a frank discussion on where steampunk literature is heading, tropes to avoid, and how other steampunk media impacts your steampunk book.

Saturday, November 8, 2014
Queering Steampunk
2:30 – 4 PM, Room 1
Panel discussion with an emphasis on how gender identity and sexuality intersect with other identity categories in steampunk culture, literature, cosplay, and creative objects.

Strike A Pose: Queer Cultures, Steampunk, & Fashion
5:30 – 7 PM, Room 1
Panel discussion on Victorian fashion,gender non-conformity and steampunk.

SEWFoB

I’ll also be taking a brief stop on Friday at the Southeastern Wisconsin Festival of Books, paneling about steampunk with Lisa Hager and Austin Sirkin! You can RSVP for our talk on FB here.

Steampunk: Diana Pho, Austin Sirkin, Lisa Hager
Room: N140
3:00 – 4 PM
Victorian-era machinery and fashion, retro-futurism, and art-nouveau design: Steampunk is this, and so much more.

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#YesAllGeeks: Let’s Talk About Harassment in Fandom at New York Comic Con – Resources

Click to Download PDF of Presentation

Click to Download PDF of Presentation

UPDATE: Footage of the panel is now available on YouTube, courtesy of Lawrence Brenner Media. Check it out on our Video Page.

SOME STATS

25% of women at comic/pop culture conventions report being sexually harassed
(Source: Bitch magazine)

13% of people attending comic conventions report having unwanted comments of a sexual nature made about them at conventions. 8% of people of all genders reported they had been groped, assaulted, or raped at a comic convention. (Source: Game Skinny)

53% of all transgender/ non-binary individuals reported verbal harassment in places of “public accommodation”; this includes hotels, restaurants, buses, public spaces.
(Source: Transequality.org)

LGBTQ people of color were 1.82 times as likely to experience physical violence compared to white LGBTQ people. Transgender people were 1.67 times as likely to experience threats and intimidation compared to LGBTQ non-transgender survivors and victims. (Source: National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs)

***

RESOURCES

Track #YesAllGeeks & follow-up on Facebook

On Harassment Awareness & Prevention:

Back-up Ribbon Project

Cosplay is not Consent

Dummies Guide to Cosplay Photography in 2014

John Scalzi’s Convention Pledge on Anti-Harassment & Co-sign thread

Order of the White Feather

Reporting Harassment: What Happens

Yes Means Yes

On Gender, Race & Disability in Fandom

Anita Sarkeesian’s The Tropes vs Women in Video Games on Feminist Frequency

Cosplaying While Black

DisabledLife Media

“Facts About Geek Girls” via Geek Girl Con

GeekQuality

Jay Justice

The Mary Sue

Misa on Wheels

Racialious

Transequality

Panelist credits/ contacts:

Diana M. Pho (moderator) – BeyondVictoriana.com & Tor.com / @writersyndrome

Robert Anders, RN, NP-C

Emily Asher-Perrin – Tor.com / @use_theforce_em

Marlene Bonnelly – youtube.com/ilikecomicstoo / @ilikecomicstoo

Mikki Kendall – @karnythia

Kaye M – @gildedspine

Thank you to everyone who participated on the panel and online! If you have a resource you’d like to share, drop a comment below or tweet to #YesAllGeeks!

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New York Comic Con 2014 Schedule

NYCC logo

New York Comic Con is around the corner, and I’m pleased to announce two panels that I will be moderating.

Geeks of Color_matrix

Thursday, October 9th
8- 8:45 PM
Room: 1A18

How can fans of color become successful creators? Experienced PoC in TV, publishing, comic books, gaming, and pop culture journalism offer their advice. With LeSean Thomas (producer, BLACK DYNAMITE: THE ANIMATED SERIES; animator, THE LEGEND OF KORRA; Director/Lead Character Designer, THE BOONDOCKS), Tracey J. John (Journalist, MTV.com; Gameloft), Alice Meichi Li (illustrator, Dark Horse), Daniel José Older (author, HALF-RESSURECTION BLUES); Jennifer Cruté (illustrator/writer, JENNIFER’S JOURNAL), & I.W. Gregorio (author, #WeNeedDiverseBooks). Moderated by Diana Pho (editor, Tor Books).

Full panelist bios & RSVP on Facebook.

YesAllGeeks banner

Saturday, October 11th
3 – 3:45 PM
Room: 1A21

After years of silence, people have become more vocal about speaking against harassment in fandom. How can our community unite and make our spaces – online and offline – safer from creepers of all stripes? Featuring panelists Mikki Kendall (writer & activist, @karnythia), Marlene Bonnelly (blogger, @ilikecomicstoo), Kaye M (writer & founder of #YesAllWomen), Emily Asher-Perrin (blogger, Tor.com), Robert Anders (nurse practitioner). Moderated by Diana M. Pho (editor, Tor Books).

HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE PANEL? We’re creating a Q & A from questions submitted to us beforehand. You can post those on our event page or submit via Twitter hashtag #YesAllGeeks by October 10th.

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Kriti Festival Schedule

Kriti Logo

This weekend, I’ll be at the Kriti South Asian arts and literature festival in Chicago from September 25-28, 2014, at the University of Illinois as a guest editor for science fiction & fantasy. My schedule is below — hope to see some of you there!

Friday, September 26th:

Friday 10 – 10:50
Q&A with Editor Diana Pho: Daley Library, Room 1-470
Pho answers every question you’ve ever had about book editors and publishers — or as many as she can fit into an hour. An informal discussion with Diana Pho.

Friday 12 – 12:50
What are today’s alternatives to “traditional” publishing, and how do you decide if one of them is good fit for you?  The publishing industry has undergone, and continues to undergo, massive and rapid change. The array of publishing options now runs the gamut from traditional publishing to self-publishing, each with its own characteristics. What is happening in the middle of the spectrum? How is a writer to decide what path to follow? What are the relative pros and cons, and what are the questions to ask oneself in order to ensure a positive publishing experience?  This panel will address small press publishing, self-publishing, crowdfunding, social media, and more.  As it occurs over lunchtime, please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch. (Anjali Mitter Duva, Mary Anne Mohanraj (m.), Rajdeep Paulus, Diana Pho)

Friday 2:00 – 2:50
Writing and Arts Activism: Institute for the Humanities, open room
Writers discuss the intersection between art and activism; how can we use our work to support / challenge society’s assumptions and strictures?  What pitfalls stand in the way of the artist-activist?  What strategies can we use to make our activism more effective?

(Shikha Malaviya, Fawzia Mirza (m.), Anu Singh Chaudhary, Meeta Kaur, Diana Pho)

Saturday, September 27th

Saturday, 11:00 – 11:50
Crossing Genre Boundaries: Daley Library, Room 1-470
We’ve all seen the epic South Asian family novel, a tale of marriage and politics and history and social conflict. What other kinds of S. Asian fiction is out there? Who are our science fiction and fantasy writers, our mystery, spy novel, romance, and political thriller authors? Writers discuss the challenges of breaking out of the ‘literary’ ghetto as an ethnic writer, and recommend favorite work in other genres. (Vidhu Aggarwal, Sonali Dev, Phiroozeh Romer, Mina Khan, Diana Pho (m.))

Saturday 12:00 – 12:50
Q&A with Editor Diana Pho: Institute for the Humanities, open room
Pho answers every question you’ve ever had about book editors and publishers — or as many as she can fit into an hour. An informal discussion with Diana Pho.

Sunday, September 28th

Sunday, 12:00 – 12:50
Ask the Editor: Institute for the Humanities, open room
Editors gather to discuss their work, and invite your questions.
(Syed Haider, Pooja Garg Singh, Diana Pho)

***

Addresses:
The main event locations are in buildings very close to each other; SSB is half a block away, and JST is a few blocks away.  All venues are wheelchair-accessible.
AARCC (Asian American Resource and Cultural Center), 101 Taft Hall, 826 S. Halsted Street
Daley Library, 801 S. Morgan Street
Institute for the Humanities, 701 South Morgan, Lower Level / Stevenson Hall
James Stukel Towers Event Space, 718 W. Rochford Street
SSB:  Student Services Building, 1200 West Harrison Street
University Hall, 601 S. Morgan Street
Ward Gallery, 2nd floor, Student Center East, 750 S. Halsted Street

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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 (EDIT 8/25: NEW LINK HERE). 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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