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#SteampunkHands My Favorite Things Giveaway: Clockwork Canada, edited by Dominik Parisien

Clockwork Canada book

 

Our third giveaway for Steampunk Hands Around the World, is an advanced reader’s copy of the upcoming anthology Clockwork Canada, edited by Dominik Parisien and featuring fresh new stories from fifteen Canuck authors. This anthology’s description is after the jump with details on how readers can enter.

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Link Round-up: Beyoncé’s “Formation” Of Cultural Perseverance and Historical Trauma

Still from "Formation", a reference to Storyville, the red light district in New Orleans.

Still from “Formation”, a reference to Storyville, the red light district in New Orleans.

One week after Beyoncé ‘s newest single and music video “Formation” was dropped, voices from across the aethernets are still buzzing. The video collapses historical linear time,  unapologetic and demanding in its visual college of the complicated history of southern US black culture. It is not steampunk, but engages in the historical narrative in the tradition of other African diasporic art movements I admire, such as afrofuturism and steamfunk, and deserves to be highlighted.

“Formation”‘s launch is deliberately-timed for powerful political, commercial, and mainstream impact: released on Trayvon Martin’s birthday and two days before Sandra Bland’s, and also before Beyoncé’s planned performance at the SuperBowl. Many commentators, black and non-black alike, have taken to the task of analyzing and critiquing the levels of meaning behind it. Below are some of the many insightful, dynamic viewpoints from the black community written over the past week.

But first, check this video out:

If You Ain’t Got In-“Formation” by Tiffany Lee from Black Girl Dangerous

If these aren’t your experiences, references or reactions, that’s okay. And if this video didn’t give you life, that’s okay too. But if these aren’t your experiences and you’re out here saying any variation of “this video makes no sense/is dumb/kinda scary,” “she’s not even singing,” “Beyoncé fans are stupid,” “what’s she even saying?” or anything that has anything to do with a politics of respectability, then you need to stop.

We know that Beyoncé isn’t necessarily our Black Feminist Hero – there are way too many activists and folk who are out there fighting, supporting, and holding together Black communities for us to be under the simplistic illusion that Beyoncé does all of that for us. And I look forward to all the juicy Black folk critiques  – because nothing is Blacker than reading and being read.

Getting in Line: Working Through Beyonce’s “Formation” from Red Clay Scholar

Beyoncé said “I’ma make me a world.” She conjured New Orleans’ past, present, and future, calling upon the memories and sounds of New Orleans pre- and post Hurricane Katrina. Because rule number 1 in the south is that the past is always present and the past and present is always future. Still shots of preaching reverends, half-drowned buildings, the weave shop, and plantation houses against a sparse synthesizer that sounds like a tweaked electronic banjo from the Bayou sonically position Beyoncé squarely in the middle of a messy Black South. Katrina is not just a historical event. It is a springboard for re-rendering southern trauma and its association with blackness. Trauma is the spring board of southern blackness. But its foundation is resilience and creativity. Beyoncé’s New Orleans – because there are multiple New Orleans and this one is undeniably hers and her sister Solange’s rendering/conjuring – doubly signifies resurrection and the city of the dead.

Dear Beyoncé, Katrina is Not Your Story by Maris Jones from Black Girl Dangerous

This could have all been different, Beyoncé. The disconnect between what is being said in “Formation” and what is being shown cannot be ignored. You inspire while you slay, but know that all of the glorious Blackness in this video is really just a film reel for a sound bite espousing Western capitalist ideology with lines like, and “Earned all this money but they never take the country out me.” Even in showing me how down with the struggle you might be, you are still dredging up images of Black suffering without forewarning an audience that continues to be marginalized in both their city and country or following through by critically engaging with those images. Your anthem doesn’t match your outfit. You might get me to turn up at a party, but you’ll only find me in formation when your words and actions line up.

Hot Sauce in Her Bag: Southern Black identity, Beyoncé, Jim Crow, and the pleasure of well-seasoned food by Mikki Kendall from Eater

During Jim Crow, Black people could pick up food at establishments that served white people, but they often could not eat in them. When custom demanded that Black people be served separately from whites, they were often required to have their own utensils, serving dishes, and condiments. So it was customary for Black families who were traveling to carry everything they might possibly need so that (with the help of the Green Book, the guide that helped Black travelers eat, sleep, and move as safely as possible) they could navigate America in relative comfort.

On ‘Jackson Five Nostrils,’ Creole vs. ‘Negro’ and Beefing Over Beyoncé’s ‘Formation’ by Yaba Blay from Colorlines

I cheer Bey on as she sings, “I like my Negro nose with Jackson Five nostrils.” But I cringe when I hear her chant, “You mix that Negro with that Creole make a Texas bamma” about her Alabama-born dad and her mom from Louisiana. This is the same reason I cringed at the L’Oreal ad that identified Beyonce as African-American, Native American and French and why I don’t appreciate her largely unknown song “Creole.”

Having grown up black-Black (read: dark-skinned) in colorstruck New Awlins, hearing someone, particularly a woman, make a distinction between Creole and “Negro” is deeply triggering. This isn’t just for me but for many New Orleanians.

For generations, Creoles—people descended from a cultural/racial mixture of African, French, Spanish and/or Native American people—have distinguished themselves racially from “regular Negroes.” In New Orleans, phenotype—namely “pretty color and good hair”—translates to (relative) power.

Slay Trick: Queer Solidarity (?) in Formation from Queer Black Feminist

But, this movement is all about self-identified Black queer women, transwomen and genderqueer folks leading this movement. So, in some ways this call ignores that, a movement already established. I know folks say it calls attention to it, but it feels just the opposite to me when we have a full fledged movement happening that is full of leaders, actually, predominately led by Black queer women, transfolk and our allies. Just look at the leadership in almost every BLM chapter: Chicago (BYP), Minneapolis, Oakland, Los Angeles. The “ladies” are already in formation, leading the work. So, though this may be a “nod,” a recognition as many are suggesting, the explicit acknowledgement of the queer work in this movement–the queerness of strategy, tactic, and focus–is muddied by the safe position that Beyonce continues to occupy. And while she is being targeted in some ways (I’ll say more when endorsements/collaborations start to fall), can we put that into context of the everyday targeting that Black Lives Matter activists face on the front lines? That Black queer (cis and trans) women and transmen face everyday?

We Slay, Part 1 by zandria from New South Negress

“Formation” is an homage to and recognition of the werk of the “punks, bulldaggers, and welfare queens” in these southern streets and parking lots, in these second lines, in these chocolate cities and neighborhoods, in front of these bands and drumlines. Movements for black liberation are led by black folks at the margins who know we must all get free to sink that car. Folks who know that we must be coordinated, and we must slay. And because I recognize black southern country fence-jumping feminism as a birthright and imperative, I have no tolerance for the uncoordinated–those who cannot dance and move for black queer liberation, black trans liberation, black women’s liberation, at all intersections.

Black Lives Matter Co-Founder to Beyonce: ‘Welcome to the Movement by Alicia Garza on Rolling Stone

Black Lives Matter is rooted in some of these fundamental principles. We have come together to fight back against anti-black racism and state-sanctioned violence, in all forms. We are complex, multi-faceted, and led by what are still unfortunately considered to be non-traditional leaders: folks who are women, queer, trans, disabled, immigrant, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated, poor and working class, Southern and rural, urban and coastal. We are comprised of the complexity of who black people are, not just in the U.S., but around the world.

Response to Formation in List Form by rad fag on Radical Faggot
(The whole list is worth reading for some pithy points of critique)

21. Beyoncé is a logo. Beyoncé is a commodity. Beyoncé is a production. Beyoncé is a distraction. Beyoncé is a ruse. Beyoncé does not actually exist.

22. You–not her–are the Black visionary, the budding potential for revolution.

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#SteampunkHands My Favorite Things Giveaway: Steeplejack by A.J. Hartley

9780765383426

For our second giveaway for Steampunk Hands Around the World, I’ll be giving one lucky reader an advanced reader’s copy of A.J. Hartley’s Steeplejack, which will be published this June from Tor Teen. This book has already gotten some nice reviews, and I’ve already shared some of my thoughts about it too in my recent podcast with Minorities in Publishing. After the jump is a brief book description, and how readers can enter.

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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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Happy 2016 & New Year’s Giveaway!

Beyond Victoriana has been a bit quiet as of late, but I wanted to kick out the new year — and BV’s seventh year on the aethernetz — by offering a gesture of appreciation towards our readers, with the help of some generous sponsors.

I’ll be giving away two prize packs, consisting of the following items:

One limited edition spray from Nyxworks / Wild Marjoram, which was offered at this year’s TeslaCon.

nyx spray

One wearable necktie from Redfield Designs (I’m modeling them both to show off their awesomeness).

red necktieIMG_20160102_134043998

green necktie IMG_20160102_134031563

One custom made corset from The Violet Vixen. (Note about this item: it may take up to three weeks to deliver once the order is placed, and availability depends on current stock.)

vixen sticker

How to enter:

  1. Reply to this post with a resource *you* use for steampunk, whether it be a costuming site, history book, film/documentary, website, museum, etc. People who do not include a resource will have their entry disqualified. You must also include your email in the comment info box when entering.
  2. Readers can only submit one entry per household. US and International entries are fine!
  3. Enter between January 2nd 2016, through January 10th 2016, at midnight EST (GMT -5:00).
  4. 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.

And that’s it! Have fun, folks, and looking forward to the coming year.

***

Note: Congrats to Hannah R. and Kat A. for being the selected winners of this giveaway!

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Cover reveal for A. J. Hartley’s STEEPLEJACK

steeeplejack_reveal

Click to see full cover on Tor.com

See the full Steeplejack cover reveal on Tor.com

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

Pre- order
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Steeplejack-Alternative-Detective-J-Hartley/dp/076538342X/

Macmillan.com: http://us.macmillan.com/books/9780765383426

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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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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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“Breaking Mirrors” — Guest post on Jim C. Hines’s Blog

Many thanks to Jim for letting me participate in his “Representation in SF/F series”. All posts in this series will be collected as part of Invisible 2, and all proceeds from the sale of this collection will go toward Con or Bust and other diversity initiatives in fandom.


Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, Andalite Prince from the Animorphs series, and one of my childhood book buddies. Taken from the ceiling of my childhood bedroom wall.

Junot Diaz—rightly so—gets quoted often in the representation convo. One of his truth bombs stuck with me:

“You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all.”

But here’s another truth valid in my life: when I didn’t see myself in a mirror, I smashed it and saw myself in the pieces.

Read the rest of the piece here.

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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 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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