Category Archives: Conventions

#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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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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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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AnomalyCon Schedule

Denver, CO from March 27 - 29

Denver, CO from March 27 – 29

Just around the corner is my first convention of 2015 AnomalyCon. I’ve never been to Colorado before, so I’m looking forward to escape the NY cold a bit for some Rocky Mountain air. Below is my programming line-up. If anyone can bring me a coffee or brownie (no, not *that* kind) during one of my 4-hour paneling stints, you will earn a gold star for the weekend.

Friday

Developing Character through Costuming
Fri 5pm Fashion
A discussion of the Who behind your costume and developing character through design. M. Unruh, Ay-leen the Peacemaker.

Sexuality and Gender Identity in Fiction
Fri 6pm Safety/Sexuality (Fiction)
A discussion of the good and bad ways that mainstream fiction is exploring gender identity and sexuality, and how we can do better.
Panelists: K. Seibert (M), Ay-leen the Peacemaker, A. Rogers, M. Tanzer

Closing the Loop
Fri 7pm Writing
Editing and re-editing and outlining and reviewing and getting your book out to an agent…you have so much to do now that you’ve finished your first novel draft. Where do you go from here?
Panelists: B. Dornbusch, S. Chambers, J. Brawner, Ay-leen the Peacemaker

Steampunk Theater
Fri 8pm Fiction
What’s out there? What good could Steampunk do in theater?
Panelists: Ay-leen the Peacemaker, A. Rogers, S. Rahmsdorff

Saturday

Overcoming Barriers
Sat 10am Safety/Sexuality
Brilliant authors talk about breaking out of the stereotypes to be successful in art and fiction. Panelists: Ay-leen the Peacemaker, A. Rogers, J. Koyanagi, M. Mohanraj

With All Due Respect: Multicultural Fashion
Sat 11am Fashion
Steampunk isn’t just about Victorian England! Dive into costuming from every angle and discuss cultural respect without appropriation.
Panelists: Ay-leen the Peacemaker, A. Rogers, M. Unruh

Author Free-For-All
Sat 1pm Main Events
Don’t miss this wild answer to every question you never thought to ask your favorite authors! Twitter meets steroids.
Fellow authors: S. Chambers, C. Doctorow, K. Seibert (M), J. Nye, S. Litore, G. DeMarco, J. A. Owen, M. Tanzer, M. Mohanraj, J. Koyanagi, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, L.J. Hachmeister, T. Heermann

Coming Out in The Geek Community
Sat 2pm Safety/Sexuality
Sometimes we forget that not everyone is accepting, or that the community is there to support us. We’ll talk about our coming out stories, and about the help available to you if you need support.
Panelists: K. Seibert, L.J. Hachmeister, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, A. Rogers, M. Fowler

The -Gater Phenomenon
Sat 3pm Safety/Sexuality
What does it mean to be a gatekeeper? What does Gamergate even mean? Why do things like Gamergate happen, and how can people not caught in the crossfire help with these problems?
Panelists: Ay-leen the Peacemaker, A. Rogers, J. Koyanagi, A. Peter, S. Schafer

Cosplay is Not Consent
Sat 5pm Safety/Sexuality
What does this tagline mean? What kinds of expectations are we overlaying on male versus female cosplayers, and what is appropriate at a convention?
Panelists: Ay-leen the Peacemaker, A. Rogers, G. Feiner, C. Rose (M)

Sunday

Responsible Fandom
Sun 12pm Safety/Sexuality

Encouraging diversity through fandom and consuming problematic media responsibly.
Panelists: J. Koyanagi, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, M. Fowler (M), C. Rose

Becoming Uncomfortable
Sun 2pm Sexuality/Safety
Difficult Conversations to expand our understanding of community. Being willing to ask–and answer–the hard questions.
Panelists: T.A. Fowler, L.J. Hachmeister, Ay-leen the Peacemaker, A. Rogers, M. Mohanraj, C. Rose (M)

Attendees can check out their full schedule here.

 

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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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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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