Tag Archives: conventions

What Happens When We Speak: On Con Harassment and Fandom on Tor.com

Image Courtesy of the Back-up Ribbon Project

“So I heard that you won Tumblr,” a coworker joked with me the other day.

He was referring to the maelstrom of activity that was triggered when I posted about my con harassment experience at New York Comic Con by the film crew of the YouTube web series Man Banter, hosted by Mike Babchik. I won’t reiterate everything that happened, but kept pretty good documentation. Other industry professionals and geek news sources had done the sametooThere is a petition out, created by the activist group 18 Million Rising in order to hold Babchik’s employer, Sirius XM Radio, accountable for his actions since Babchik had gotten into the convention using his job credentials. Since the incident happened, New York Comic Con had assured that they will tighten their safety policies, and I even had a nice wrap-up interview about making convention spaces safer with NYCC show manager Lance Fensterman.

Okay, that ugly event got all wrapped up with a nice li’l bow of resolution; we can leave this in the fandom corner until the next big misogynistic thing that happens to women at conventions hits the fan (but oh wait, it just did as I typed this). At this moment, I feel like I can voice something that I’ve been holding in this whole time: I am lucky. And it shouldn’t have to be that way.

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New York Comic Con Schedule

NYCC

Running from one convention and diving headfirst into the next — that seems to be how my fall season is. I’m sorry about the flurry of “announcement” posts as of late, but at least you know that there are opportunities to see what I do “offline” as well as on the interwebz.

For those of you planning to go to New York Comic Con on October 10 – 13th, I shall be attending all four days, and am thrilled to be moderating a trio of panels featuring some very wonderful and talented folk. So, check out my schedule after the jump!

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Steampunk Empire Symposium this weekend!

Already have my bags packed for my early morning flight to Cincinnati for the Steampunk Empire Symposium. My schedule is under the cut — hope to see some of you guys there!

I’ll also be on tumblr and twitter throughout the event, so you can follow me there!

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Steampunk Chronicle Readers Choice Awards, Conventions, Crowdfunding & More

SPC_RCA_logo_2013_400I have several exciting contributions in queue for April, so pardon the delay here on the blog.  In the meantime, other things have happened!

Firstly, I already mentioned it on Facebook & tumblr already, but I’ve been nominated twice for 2013 Steampunk Chronicle Reader’s Choice Awards. Last year, I was honored to win four awards and that was enough ego-bloating for one year. XD  Again, thank you, Dear Readers, for thinking of Beyond Victoriana’s work for a second year in a row.

This year, I’m up for both Best Multicultural Steampunk and Best Politically-Minded Steampunk. My fellow nominees — Magpie Killjoy (better known as the founder of Steampunk Magazine), Balogun Ojetade, Steampunk Emma Goldman, and Jeni Hellum — have also done extensive work in their own right too, and I’m pleased to see the community recognizing the growing number of influential steampunks who are doing things that can impact the substance of our subculture. I encourage you to check out all the nominees and cast your vote before April 12th.

Steampunk at GettysburgThis weekend, I will also be heading out to Pennsylvania for Steampunk@Gettysburg with The Copper Claw. For this convention, I’ll be putting down the PowerPoint and taking up  my bow and arrows as a performer and not an educator (though I’d still be educating too, I think. Like in stage combat. Or shooting imperialists for fun and profit. That sort of thing.)

More details about my schedule & other news after the jump.

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Bidding is open for Con or Bust — Please show your support!

con or bust logo

Click to visit their website

I’m a believer in stronger fandom participation = more representation and vice versa. Often (especially when flipping through pics of steampunk events) fan spaces appear to be whitewashed. Well, fans of color are here, we love stuff, but sometimes, conventions seem intimidating. But why? An oft-heard response I get from fellow fans of color is that, “Well, I don’t want to be the only one there.” (or “I’m not sure if people like me are welcome.”) Also, it all comes down to stats: minority households in the US have significantly lower median incomes than white households. So many fans of color just can’t afford it.

I’m not saying that convention-going is the only way to participate in fandom (that would be the most ridic thing to say, especially since I’m writing here from the Internetz!) But I do want everyone to have more opportunities to share, to network, to engage with people from all walks of life. And sometimes, the best way to bond is in meatspace and not just through the wires (ex. far less flamewars erupt IRL in my experience, when people can actually sit down and discuss things). That’s why organizations like Con or Bust are a great initiative to help fandom as a whole by enabling people to gain different con experiences. They work by raising money through auction-style bidding on donations, with all proceeds going to help sponsor PoC to attend SF/F cons.

More about them from their website:

Con or Bust began as a response to RaceFail ’09, when people of color expressed the desire to help each other attend WisCon (a prominent feminist SFF convention). We ran an auction and took donations, and through the generosity, hard work, and good will of a lot of people, raised enough money to help nine fans of color attend WisCon (2009 final report). Subsequently, the Carl Brandon Society agreed to take over the financial management of Con or Bust, allowing it to become an ongoing project.

This year, I donated several books that are being auctioned off.  Other cool things have been donated too: story/manuscript critiques by SF/F editors and authors, graphic novels, clothes, & BUNCHES of signed swag!

So, if you can, please stop by and take a look (and place a bid — things start cheap!) to help out the greater SF/F community. The annual Con or Bust fundraiser is going on from now until Sunday, February 24th.

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OctopodiCon & New York Comic Con

This October, I’ll be kicking off the first two weekends doing the con thang once more– the first being OctopodiCon, from October 4th – 6th in Oklahoma City!

Friday
6:00 – 7:00 – Steampunk in Anime
A media presentation about different steampunk animes and how each anime incorporates its steampunk elements. We will conduct a powerpoint presentation, show video clips, and encourage audience discussion about how steampunk manifests itself in anime. We will talk about several series and films including Fullmetal Alchemist, D.Gray Man, Last Exile, Steamboy, Samurai Seven, Steam Detectives and more! We’ll also discuss the history of the steampunk aesthetic in Japan and why it is so popular.

Saturday
2:00 – 3:30  Envisioning a Better Steam Society: Beyond Victoriana (with Lucretia Dearfour)
One of my standard discussion panels and race, class, and gender, in the nineteenth century, in steampunk today, and what we can do to make steampunk a more positive movement concerning social justice issues.

4:00  – 5:00  Scriptorium signing
I will be signing a very limited number of copies of Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style for those interested. But I will also be holding an impromptu Q & A about steampunk in publishing for those interested and giving away stuff from Tor.com and Tor Books.

Sunday
10:00 – 11:30 – Steam Around the World (with Lucretia Dearfour)
Beyond Victoriana, what steampunk possibilities exist? Come join us as we take you on a trip around the world to see how steampunk manifests in the minds of those who don’t think within an Eurocentric context, whether they blend Western influences, or use recognizably steampunk elements within a distinct flavor outside of Europe. We will also approach the ethical challenges that come up when engaging in multicultural steampunk and discuss matters of race, privilege, and cultural appropriation.

Also, I will be presenting at NYCC on the publishing side of things on Saturday, October 13th–

Ladies Who Steam: The Publishing Industry on Women in Steampunk
Time: 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM  Location: 1A01

The steampunk subgenre has attracted lots of attention–especially for women writers. Join Tor editor Liz Gorinsky, Orbit Books art director Lauren Panepinto and authors Leanna Renee Hieber, Anina Bennett, and PJ Schnyder to talk about what steampunk offers for the ladies. Moderated by Ay-leen the Peacemaker of Tor.com.

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This coming weekend: Otakon!

A quick note to say that I will be a-wandering again this weekend: this time, to Otakon, the largest anime convention on the East Coast! There, Lucretia Deafour and I will be assisting friend-of-the-blog Jonathan Nori at the con’s steampunk events. See our schedule below.

Steampunk 203: A DIY Workshop
Friday, 5:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Workshop 2 (BCC 343-344)

In this workshop, you will learn the beginnings of making steampunk gear all on your own! Learn from a real artisan crafter, Thomas Willeford of Brute Force Leather and leave with your very own steampunk ray gun!

Steampunk 201
Saturday, 9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Panel 6 (Hilton Key Ballroom 1-6)

The Fantastic Made Real! Retro-futurism and the merging of the technological and industrial is a common theme in anime. The uneasy merger of technology and culture, and the variable progression between the two, offer a way to explore very human themes in contrast to cold, hard mechanics. This panel explores Steampunk in anime, literature, art, fashion, and science.

Hope to see some readers there! :D

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Steampunk Industrial Revolution, PortCon & Fashion Talks

A couple of cons coming up this month, and a special announcement:

In two weeks the revolution returns to Nashua, New Hampshire: the Steampunk Industrial Revolution will be telegraphed from June 8-10. From what I’ve heard, the theme is “Year of the Dragon” and the convention is preparing for an inter-dimensional beast to who visits this realm once every twelve years…with the smoldering threat coming from the heavens, can enough clockwork gadgets and a pirate ship bar be enough for this weekend? Yup, immersive storytelling strikes again at this con, and I’m looking forward to it.

The con schedule isn’t up yet, but I know that I’ll be doing my standard panels, plus a couple new in-character ones (you’ll have to come to see what they’re about…) — and hanging out with cool folks such as Guest of Honor Dr. Grymm,  The Wandering Legion of the Thomas Tew, Jake von Slatt, Mr. Saturday & Sixpence, Platform One, and many, many more musicians, entertainers and other ne’er-do-wells!

And as a reminder later that month, I will be in PortCon in Maine from June 21 – 24, where Lucretia Dearfour and I will be their Steampunk Guests of Honor.

I’ll be hanging around this weekend, presenting two new events:

Costume as Character, Character as Costume - Friday 11 AM – 12 PM in the Monhegan Room
Steampunk Meetup – Sunday 10 AM – 11 AM in the Monhegan Room

Plus, news from the ivory tower: I am very excited to announce that Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com!

Waaaaay back in 2009 (!), Jaymee Goh and I co-wrote an article about the imperialist — and postcolonial — leanings in steampunk fashion, our first academic venture together. Now, the anthology it is included in —  Fashion Talks: Undressing the Power of Style from SUNY Press – can be pre-ordered on Amazon.com and will pub in September! Fashion Talks is all about the roles race, class, gender, and sexuality play in everyday style, and the other chapters range from Lolita and goth to hijabs and stripper shoes to emo and hipsters & more. If you are into fashion, pop culture, politics, and how all three collide, this book is for you. Read the description after the jump.

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Aetherfest 2012 Review–Guest blog by Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador

Note: This review is cross-posted with permission from the Airship Ambassador.

When AetherFest’s chairmen, Pablo Vazquez and Cameron Hare, invited me as a guest to AetherFest in San Antonio, Texas, I instantly thought of three things:

“The stars at night

Are big and bright,

Deep in the heart of Texas!”

And then Pee Wee Herman’s Big Adventure when he went to find his stolen bicycle in the basement of the Alamo (Note: Alamo website plays music and sounds).

And finally this:

Oops, wait, wrong city.

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Announcing the Peter & The Starcatcher Giveaway Winners!

Just a quick post to announce the three winners for our Peter & the Starcatcher ticket giveaway! All from New York:

Linda T.

Sarah P.

Adrienne O.

Congrats to the winners and thanks to everyone who entered! :)

And, as a quick reminder, this weekend is the Watch City Festival in Waltham, MA!  My schedule is already up, and hope to see some of you readers there. :)

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