Category Archives: Announcement

Cover reveal for A. J. Hartley’s STEEPLEJACK


Click to see full cover on

See the full Steeplejack cover reveal on

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

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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

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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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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International Women’s Day 2015 Giveaway



March 8th marks International Women’s Day; this year’s theme is “Make it Happen!” What does it mean to “make it happen?” There are various examples cropping up today. Google created a doodle to emphasize jobs that had discriminated against women in the past (and present) and our need to recognize equality in all industries.

Bread and Roses Strike

Striking workers parade through the streets of Lawrence, Massachusetts, during the 1912 Bread and Roses strike. (Lawrence History Center). Click for source.

For me, the theme resonates with the song “Bread and Roses”, best known as the anthem during the Bread and Roses textile strike in Lawrence , MA in 1912.  The lyrics are especially inspiring because it is more than personal self-determination  and will that can make something positive “happen”. Greater equality is linked to solidarity across all genders. It is not just women fighting for women, but a call for everyone to fight for each other, because in the end, we are all affected by oppression.  International Women’s Day I also associate with the motto: “lifting as we climb”– that individual success is only as impactful as the amount of support and success you give to others in turn.

I first heard “Bread and Roses” in undergrad, for it’s my alma mater’s official song and sung during commencement as graduates and alumna carry a laurel wreath through the campus grounds. There is something particularly uplifting to see a line of women across all backgrounds united in song (and inevitably, drawing a chorus from the watching crowd as well).  You can listen to a rendition of “Bread and Roses” and read the lyrics below.

As we come marching, marching in the beauty of the day,
A million darkened kitchens, a thousand mill lofts gray,
Are touched with all the radiance that a sudden sun discloses,
For the people hear us singing: “Bread and roses! Bread and roses!”

As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
Yes, it is bread we fight for—but we fight for roses, too!

As we come marching, marching, we bring the greater days.
The rising of the women means the rising of the race.
No more the drudge and idler—ten that toil where one reposes,
But a sharing of life’s glories: Bread and roses! Bread and roses!

This year, we’re also celebrating IWD with a giveaway sponsored by Corset Story. Readers have a chance to win a prize package containing a pair of their Black Lace Ribbon Arm Warmers and their Steampunk Feather Fascinator. We have two sets we are giving away.


corset story lace arm warmerscoset story steampunk fascinator

Here are the rules for entering.

1) The giveaway will be open to all followers of Beyond Victoriana worldwide. Participants can enter between now and midnight, EST (-5 UTC) on Saturday, March 14th by commenting on this post with the name of a woman from history that inspires you and why.

2) Participants MUST leave their email address in the comment form.

3) Two (2) winners will be selected on Sunday, March 15th via the Random Number Generator and contacted via email. Those selected will have 24 hours to reply with their mailing address and contact info or else a new pair of winners will be selected.

And that’s it. Have fun folks!

UPDATE: Many congrats to Andrew Aulenback and dinenwen for being the winners of this giveaway!



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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 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!


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


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


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.


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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