Tag Archives: books

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.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Announcement, Beyond Victoriana Odds and Ends

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.”]

Leave a comment

Filed under Beyond Victoriana Odds and Ends, Review

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.
Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under Beyond Victoriana Odds and Ends

Steampunk World Kickstarter–Multicultural Steampunk Fiction Anthology Goes Live!

 

Steampunk world update 12-11-2013
I was going to post this when it went live, but I’m so excited to report that TWO DAYS after the launch of the Steampunk World Kickstarter, and we’re already halfway to our goal! Thank you to our followers on Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr for getting the word out and donating to this wonderful project.

For those who want to read more about the people involves, the prizes, and more crowd-sourcing details, check out the Kickstarter page and boost, boost, boost!

1 Comment

Filed under Announcement

Mad Max Meets Apache Steampunk in Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac

Killer of Enemies

Link to Killer of Enemies on Lee and Low’s website.

Nowadays, I read so many steampunk-labeled books that very few retain the innovation factor for me. It’s fine to see tropes that establishes the aesthetic as a subgenre, but it takes a lot to make a steampunk book read fresh to me.

Then, comes along Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac: a book that’a steampunk by way of Mad Max rather than gaslamp London. Killer of Enemies is not just a gulp of fresh air, but a hyperventilating-inducing adrenaline rush. Oh, and did I mention that this young adult book was initially pitched to me as “post-apoc Apache steampunk?” Yeah, let that catchphrase sink in a bit.

[Shoot first, ask questions later. Mild spoilers ahead.]

2 Comments

Filed under Review

Le Guide Steampunk by Etienne Barillier and Arthur Morgan

Le Guide Steampunk

Click to order from the French Publisher’s website — International shipping and e-book editions also available!

Want to lean more about the French steampunk community? Friend of the blog  Arthur Morgan, the owner of French Steampunk, contacted me about the publication of his newest book, which pubs today in France!

Book description:

Gigantic machinery driven by steam, heroes in top hats and monocles, heroines in crinolines holding parasols … The imagery of steampunk has been endlessly fascinating since the creation of the genre in the 1980s. But what are its origins? And what are its key works in literature, film or comic book form?

Written by Stephen Barillier, indisputable French expert on the genre, and Arthur Morgan, co-founder of the French Steampunk community and editor in chief of French-steampunk.fr website, this guide provides an inventory of steampunk today, drawing, in particular, on interviews with Tim Powers, K. W. Jeter, James Blaylock, Greg Broadmore or Jess Nevins.

This book is an introductory guide to the steampunk movement. Among the articles on literature, movies, music, comic books, the book gathers interviews of many renown characters of the subculture. Foreword by SJ Chambers. Featuring interviews from Ann Vandermeer, James P. Blaylock, KW Jeter, Tim Powers, Greg Broadmore, Jess Nevins, Mark Hodder, George Mann, Captain Brown of Abney Park, Mike Perschon and artists from the French steampunk community.

Au français

Des machines gigantesques mues par la vapeur, des héros en hauts-de-forme et monocles, des héroïnes en crinolines et ombrelles… L’imagerie du steampunk ne cesse de fasciner depuis la création du genre dans les années 1980. Mais, quelles en sont les origines ? Et quelles sont les oeuvres majeures en littérature, au cinéma ou en bande dessinée ?

Rédigé par Étienne Barillier, spécialiste incontournable du genre, et Arthur Morgan, cofondateur de la communauté French Steampunk, ce guide dresse un état des lieux du steampunk aujourd’hui autour, notamment, de rencontres avec Tim Powers, K. W. Jeter, James Blaylock, Greg Broadmore ou Mathieu Gaborit.

Bonus

Etienne Barillier et Arthur Morgan en interview sur le site d’Actusf

A découvrir aussi en papier :
Le Guide Philip K. Dick d’Etienne Barillier (et on vous rappelle que vous recevrez l’anthologie Contrepoint gratuitement si vous achetez les deux guides)

Des nouvelles steampunk en numérique :
Celui qui bave et qui glougloute de Roland C. WAGNER
Muchamor de Christian VILA
La Chose du lac de Laurence SUHNER
L’Assassinat de la Maison du Peuple de Sylvie DENIS

Comments Off

Filed under Announcement, Beyond Victoriana Odds and Ends

“Going Native” in Steampunk: James H. Carrott and Brian David Johnson’s Vintage Tomorrows on Tor.com

Recently, everyone and their grandmother are trying to place steampunk in the grander scope of things. Most of pop culture has poked at it at this point. Many in the SF/F community gives the subculture a passing nod (or are slowly edging away, since, being early adapters by nature, quite a few in sci-fi are tired of it already).

Still, questions about steampunk have set people in pursuit of the deeper meanings behind the aesthetic movement. Two years ago, Intel’s futurist Brian David Johnson wanted to answer the biggest one about steampunk’s rise: “Why now?” He was joined by a cultural historian James Carrott and they filmed a documentary, which permutated into a book by the same name: Vintage Tomorrows (or two books, actually. Steampunking Our Future: An Embedded Historian’s Notebook is the free e-book companion you can get online).

I had the pleasure of meeting them at NYCC a couple of years ago to hear their idea first-hand: steampunk has the potential to be a counterculture. I’m actually on the fence about this (surprised, right?). Because, as much as I love the subculture, radical change isn’t a given to participate. Lo and behold, however, when a copy handed on my desk awhile back, I gave their research a gander.

[How to fall in love with a subculture in 10 easy steps -- Read the rest of Tor.com]

5 Comments

Filed under Review

Black Empire: George Schulyer, Black Radicalism and Dieselpunk–Guest blog by P. Djeli Clark

[Note from Ay-leen: Cross-posting P. Djeli Clark's blog The Disgruntled Haradrim]

blackempire3232011Sometime in the 1930s, a black journalist is kidnapped in Harlem by the charismatic Dr. Henry Belsidius, leader of the Black Internationale–a shadowy organization determined to build a Black Empire and overthrow the world of white racial hegemony with cunning and super science. Journalist George S. Schulyer’s fantastic tale was written in serials in the black Pittsburgh Courier between 1936 and 1938 under the pseudonym Samuel I. Brooks. It quickly found a loyal following among African-American readers, who saw in Dr. Belsidius and the Black Internationale a heroic, sci-fi tale of black nationalism, triumph and race pride. The newspaper was surprised at the serials’ growing popularity, and pushed for more–sixty-two in all. Yet no one was as surprised at the story’s success than George Schulyer who, disdaining what he saw as the excesses of black nationalism and race pride, had written Black Empire as satire.

Continue reading

3 Comments

Filed under Essays, History, Review

BV4 Giveaway: Vintage Tomorrows & Fashion Talks


Vintage Tomorrows_eraly release cover

For the academically-inclined or the subculturally-curious, two books that will spark your interest.

Vintage Tomorrows by James Carrott and Brian David Johnson first pinged on my radar with their documentary sponsored by Intel as part of the Tomorrow Project, which explores how real science and science fiction are changing our future. This companion book to the film is told as an accessible first-hand account about their dive into the steampunk community. Vintage Tomorrows address what steampunk means for today’s technological future, and features dozens of interviews from academics, artists, writers, and makers from the community. Right now, you can download an  early release copy from their publisher’s website, but you can also get your hands on the published, hard copy final edition as part of this giveaway!

Still aren’t convinced about your need to own this book? Well, try taking a gander at the description and the documentary trailer below.

Book Description:

Can you imagine what today’s technology would have looked like in the Victorian Era? That’s the world Steampunk envisions: a mad-inventor collection of 21st Century-inspired contraptions powered by stream and driven by gears. It’s more than just a whimsical idea. In the past few years, the Steampunk genre has captivated makers, hackers, artists, designers, writers, and others throughout the world.

In this fascinating book, futurist Brian David Johnson and cultural historian James Carrott offer insights into what Steampunk’s alternative history says about our own world and its technological future. Interviews with experts such as William Gibson, Cory Doctorow, Bruce Sterling, James Gleick, and Margaret Atwood explore how this vision of stylish craftsmen making fantastic and beautiful hand-tooled gadgets has become a cultural movement—and perhaps an important countercultural moment.

Steampunk is everywhere—as gadget prototypes at Maker Faire, novels and comic books, paintings and photography, sculptures, fashion design, and music. Discover how this elaborate view of a future that never existed can help us look forward.

We also have one free copy of Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style, edited by Shira Tarrant and Marjorie Jolles . This featured my academic debut with Jaymee Goh in our article about the meaning of steampunk fashion, but also contains TONS of great articles about the politics of fashion and its place in pop culture today.

Fashion Tallks

Book Description:

Essays on the politics of everyday style.

Fashion Talks is a vibrant look at the politics of everyday style. Shira Tarrant and Marjorie Jolles bring together essays that cover topics such as lifestyle Lolitas, Hollywood baby bumps, haute couture hijab, gender fluidity, steampunk, and stripper shoes, and engage readers with accessible and thoughtful analyses of real-world issues. This collection explores whether style can shift the limiting boundaries of race, class, gender, and sexuality, while avoiding the traps with which it attempts to rein us in. Fashion Talks will appeal to cultural critics, industry insiders, mainstream readers, and academic experts who are curious about the role fashion plays in the struggles over identity, power, and the status quo.

“Think of this book as your contemporary style guide. With wit and verve, these fine thinkers redress fashion as a force both frivolous and profound, offering the kind of intelligent, entertaining analysis that transcends trendiness. Topics vary widely—think: baby bumps, little-girl looks, steampunk, colonial chic, feminism, fur, emirati couture. The result is an elegant mix-and-match that brings thoughtful consideration to everyday issues (like getting dressed!), while deepening understanding of our sartorial worlds.” — Deborah Siegel, author of Sisterhood, Interrupted: From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild

“From indie brides to Islamic abayas to emo-hipster style, Fashion Talks speaks volumes about the sophistication of contemporary feminist scholarship. Its essays bring together a wide range of different, occasionally divergent perspectives on how style has been applied, critiqued, analyzed, and of course donned for political ends, in ways that encourage readers to truly reconsider the popular slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like.’ This book is an invaluable source of new scholarship on the subject that will have tremendous appeal to those interested in gender studies, popular culture, and their sartorial expression.” — Maria Elena Buszek, author of Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture

Shira Tarrant is Associate Professor in the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at California State University, Long Beach. She is the author of Men and Feminism and When Sex Became Gender and the editor of Men Speak Out: Views on Gender, Sex, and Power. Marjorie Jolles is Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Roosevelt University.

Comment on this post before midnight EST on February 19th in order to enter.

22 Comments

Filed under Announcement

The Battle for Seattle Continues in Cherie Priest’s The Inexplicables

http://www.tor.com/images/stories/blogs/12_11/Inexplicables.jpg

The Inexplicables, Cherie Priest’s fourth novel in the Clockwork Century series, breaks from her previous books in several ways. Most significantly, instead of being set in a new location in her Civil War-torn US, we return to Seattle with a new perspective: that of the drug-addled Rector Sherman, the kid who had a brief appearance in Boneshaker as the boy who showed Zeke Wilkes how to enter the city. This is the first full-length novel with only a male protagonist (though she did have Captain Hainey starring in her novella Clementine, and Andan Cly shared the spotlight with Josephine Early in Ganymede). There isn’t a mechanical showpiece that serves as the title’s namesake, either–though discovering exactly what the “Inexplicables” are surprised me.

The breaks from her previous storytelling don’t hinder her, however. In fact, The Inexplicables doesn’t rehash as much as it refocuses on the aspects that got readers to love her world in the first place: a gritty survival tale where gas masks and goggles are necessary to live another day, and the aesthetic’s rough edges feel natural and real. Like all of the books in the Clockwork Century, The Inexplicables is a stand-alone novel, but is accessible enough to pull in new readers while giving nods to longstanding fans.

Read the rest on Tor.com

Comments Off

Filed under Review