#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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#SteampunkHands – On Crafting a Subcultural Lifestyle: Objects and the Search for Home in Steampunk (Part 2)

Victorian Carpenter's Kit

Victorian Carpenter’s Kit

“Home is a Woodshop”

Among my books on my self stands a French vodka bottle, sliced clean across the middle; this bottle I had cut myself using a diamond-edged rotary water blade. The process was not perfect, and chipped edges serve a cautionary purpose when I pick up the glass. A candle sits inside it, unlit, on my shelf, yet it nevertheless reminds me of the place where it was made.

***

In the shadow of the George Washington Bridge, I stood by the iron-barred gateway situated between two gray-faced, indiscriminate pre-war apartment buildings, dialing a number off my smart phone. An icy blast of wind coming in from the water cuts through my layers and my fingers tremble over the key pad. A warm, older voice answered, “I’ll be right up,” and in a minute, Stephen Ebinger, a broad-shouldered man with a peppery beard and Santa-Claus eyes, opened the gate. The stairs descended to the subbasement level and I teetered downwards precariously, clinging to the rust-stained railing. I followed my friend through the building’s back door into the basement apartment that serves both as his home, as a fully-equipped woodshop, and as the Steampunk Co-op in northern Manhattan.

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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 – 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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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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