Signal Boosts: Steampunk Universe, Pseudopod, and Tiki cryptids

There are a few Kickstarters underway that I wanted to share–a little something for everyone:

7523c5a56c2c302b16ead8ac5545141a_originalSteampunk Universe is the long-anticipated follow-up to Sarah Hans‘ award-winning Steampunk World from Alliteration Ink. Like with World, this anthology is “a diverse steampunk anthology from your favorite award-winning authors featuring disabled and aneurotypical characters.” As far as I know, there isn’t anything like this out there, and I am eager to see what the Universes depicted in each story.

While this Kickstarter was fully funded yesterday, there are still 3 days to go, and we all know more $$$ means a better product as well as better pay for the writers. As the publisher outlined:

OUR GOALS

$6000 – Once we hit this fundraising goal, the project will be able to pay all the creative folks for their work. All authors will get at least the current SFWA professional rate.

$7000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, it will add value to all backers by adding interior line artwork to half the stories!

$8000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, it will add value to all backers by adding interior line artwork to (the other) half of the stories!

$9000 – Once we reach this fundraising goal, we will be able to give all the authors a pay increase for their stories!

There are still plenty of great Rewards to grab up, but if you are light on the pockets like yours truly, there are more frugal options as well. Every little bit helps.

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If horror is more your thing:  “Pseudopod, the world’s longest running free short horror fiction podcast, is celebrating its 10th Halloween and wants to raise funds to pay their narrators.”

I’ve been a long-time listener of Pseudopod, and while I have yet to crack their market, I have enjoyed their cinematic readings of some of my favorite writers like Thomas Ligotti and Orrin Grey, who has written an essay about the experience here. The goal is about $30,000, which sounds high, but this is actually to ensure professional payment for their narrators for the next several years. In other words, these funds go to ensuring the stability needed to continue to hire and create quality podcasts like they do.

As Rewards go–they’ve got some doozies like the Tiki Pseudopod Tower mugs designed by Horror in Clay:

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Currently, the Pseudopod Kickstarter is a little over half way funded, with 19 days left to go. For more information about Rewards and intentions, visit here.

And speaking of Tiki…

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Holy crap, would you look at Crazy Al Evans‘ Big Sea Serpent!!!!!  Can one be in love with a ceramic mug set? What will society think?

This Kickstarter has been fully funded with 28 more days to go. It is hella expensive compared to the others I have shared, and more than likely I won’t be able to participate because I have a black hole budget, but this is something worth sharing, and the images of process and inspiration make for wonderful virtual window shopping.

Story Sold: SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS

SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles. Innsmouth Free Press. October 2015.
SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles. Innsmouth Free Press. October 2015.

 

Pleased as punch that my story “Body to Body to Body” will be part of Innsmouth Free Press’ SHE WALKS IN SHADOWS, the first all-ladies writing about Lovecraft’s ladies anthology. Each author was assigned a specific character to treat, and my challenge was extracting 4000 words out of Eunice Babson, who exists on the pages of “The Thing on the Doorstep” in only three sentences, all involving the word “wench.” Many thanks to editors Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Paula R. Stiles for having me and throwing me the challenge.

As per usual with Innsmouth Free Press, the cover (by Sarah K. Diesel) is stunning, and the roster dazzling. Behold!

Table of Contents

“Bitter Perfume” Laura Blackwell
“Violet is the Color of Your Energy” Nadia Bulkin
“Body to Body to Body” S. J. Chambers
“De Deabus Minoribus Exterioris Theomagicae” Jilly Dreadful
“Hairwork” Gemma Files
“The Head of T’la-yub” Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas (translated by Silvia Moreno-Garcia)
“Bring the Moon to Me” Amelia Gorman
“Chosen” Lyndsey Holder
“Eight Seconds” Pandora Hope
“Cthulhu of the Dead Sea” Inkeri Kontro
“Turn out the Lights” Penelope Love
“The Adventurer’s Wife” Premee Mohamed
“Notes Found in a Decommissioned Asylum, December 1961″ Sharon Mock
“The Eye of Jupiter” Eugenie Mora
“Ammutseba Rising” Ann Schwader
“Cypress God” Rodopi Sisamis
“Lavinia’s Wood” Angela Slatter
“The Opera Singer” Priya Sridhar
“Provenance” Benjanun Sriduangkaew
“The Thing in The Cheerleading Squad” Molly Tanzer
“Lockbox” Elise Tobler
“When She Quickens” Mary Turzillo
“Shub-Niggurath’s Witnesses” Valerie Valdes
“Queen of a New America” Wendy Wagner

Interior artwork by

Sara Bardi
Shelby Denham
Lisa A. Grabenstetter
Karen Hollingsworth
Liv Rainey-Smith
Pia Ravenari
Diana Thung
Kathryn Weaver

 

Foxhound Favorites: Video Game Music Radio

Foxhound FavoritesI am highly influenced and inspired by my friends. Over my life I have connected with a lot of awe-inducing geniuses, and I try to celebrate them as much as I can. It gets hard, of course, because as we get older, we all move away and shift focus, and evolve in our lives, but even then there are people who can swoop in for a lunch or a drink, pick-up where you left off a few years ago, and enrich your life with their own, and hopefully vice versa. One of those friends is Brendan McLeod.

Brendan, my husband, and I became friends in college, and from the first time I’ve met him I have always been impressed with his optimism, will, and drive to keep owning. He is in the Video Game designing biz, and is a huge advocate of the culture around it, including its music. Last time he was in town, he told me he’d started a radio show podcast called Foxhound Favorites that celebrates a scene I was unaware of…musicians and bands and DJs remixing and covering and bringing to the forefront the video game scores that have always played in the background.

Every Thursday, Brendan a/k/a Fox, and his dog Pullo a/k/a Hound design a playlist based on a hand-picked and annotated theme from this community, most recently: Mega Man X.

I dabble in gaming. Right now, I am at an impasse with it because I failed a case in L.A. Noire and I’m pretty pissed about it. Apparently after thirty-years on this Earth, its taken a video game to tell me I don’t read people well and am pretty gullible. Thanks for the life assessment, Rockstar Games. Anyway, I tend to favor first-person shooter/mission games like Grand Theft Auto 5000 and Fallout 3, games that don’t necessarily have original scores. I have had Nintendo days and Sega days here and there, but I wouldn’t say I was an expert on any of it, so with all that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t recognize anything on Foxhound Favorites.

Curious, I tuned in and had so much fun listening that I started sweeping through the archive. I was really surprised by what I did recognize. First, scores in games I had played but never payed attention too like Silent Hill and Castlevania; then, games I’ve never played but somehow have become part of my collective consciousness like Mega Man and Chrono Trigger. Sensations were nostalgia, wonder, and the occasional “awwww, that’s my jam!” It was really nice experiencing the range without the visual distracting the ears, if that makes sense. Also, there is some real talent here. Who thought trills in Mega Man would translate into some Jimi Hendrix lightening-shreds? I also found it’s pretty fun stuff to work to. In fact, I’m listening to the 2014 Greatest Hits as I draft this. This episode is pretty great, and is among my favorite episodes that include Halloween and Castles.

If you are a dabbler like me, or a hard-core gamer, or just like pop-cultural allusions, you definitely should check out FOXHOUND FAVORITES’ archives and catch new episodes every Thursday.

Steampunk Hands Around the World 2015

Kevin D. Steil’s brilliant Valentine initiative to Steampunk’s legacy and future rides again. I will be participating–still brainstorming on the how there–so I will blog more about this as it gets underway. Meanwhile, for details on what you can expect and how you can participate in this year’s STEAMPUNK HANDS AROUND THE WORLD, check out the deets at Kevin’s awesome blog, AIRSHIP AMBASSADOR, here.

https://airshipambassador.wordpress.com/2015/01/17/announce-hands-2015/

She Walks In Shadows Stretch Goal Aimed at Illustrators

She Walks In Shadows Stretch Goal Aims at Illustrators

A few days ago, the indiegogo campaign to fund the first all-ladies anthology featuring all stories about Lovecraft’s women was fully funded! Now, with about 66 hours left, the campaign has kicked into a stretch-goal of $9,000 before it closes. That extra grand will go towards commissioning illustrations from female artists, and it looks like there’s only about $500 more to go before that is achieved.

I am afraid I do not know details about artist selection/submission, and all that, and that should be taken up with editor Silvia Moreno-Garcia, but I am really looking forward to seeing women illustrators represented in this sandbox, as they are perhaps even more overlooked in Lovecraftiana than female writers.

I know I’ve said it before, but I am excited to be a part of a very impressive TOC, and I wouldn’t be doing it without Silvia’s leadership and our readers support–so, a big thank you to everyone who tolerated my blasting of this campaign, who shared and linked to it, and the biggest thanks of all to everyone who threw their money at it.

Vintage Scenes and Stuckism in Mungbeing 54: New Directions

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The bottle that inspired my new story “Vintage Scenes #1: Bandol, Chateau La Rouvière, 2002” appearing in Mungbeing magazine.

After ten years of keeping the fringe and avant-garde alive and well, Mungbeing magazine has launched its final year with Issue 54: New Directions.  Editor Mark Givens has launched Pelekinesis, a small press that is specializing on promoting independent artists and writers across the myriad publishing platforms, and will be hanging the Mungbeing hat up to focus more on that.  But, Mungebeing has had an incredible history tackling many topical themes, and helping to bring to light underground and unclassifiable work under one roof.

I actually discovered Mungbeing through  Stuckism, when the magazine ran a Stuckist and Outsider Art Issue.  Throughout college, I was obsessed with movements like Stuckism and Kitsch, and even tried to start a Florida Stuckist group with a one-time issue online zine. Alas, it didn’t stick. However, I believe my interest in Stuckism and Remodernism shaped much of my sensibilities that have allowed me to appreciate, enjoy, and participate in retro movements like Steampunk.

Stuckism is now 15 years old, and this issue has an impressive amount of material covering the movement including exclusive art, interviews, and footage from people who have championed and observed the movement.

This issue also happens to have the first of my new series Vintage Scenes that involve pairings of a specific bottle of wine with a happening. Some of the stories are fictional memoir, others not so much, but one thing you can count on, the centerpiece of these stories have been or will be enjoyed by yours truly. This story focuses on the changing wine industry, and the best damn wine I’ve ever had, a 2002 Bandol which I actually drunk with my husband in a Genevan hotel after visiting Mont Blanc. God, memories in a bottle! You can read them here.

An Eddy Poe Birthday: Events, fan art, and cake

Today is Edgar Allan Poe’s 205th birthday.  This is one of those occasions where I make profuse apologies for not having a proper post prepared. Seriously, I do have some notes laying around about Poe’s ubiquitous presence in pop culture as well as some snarky remarks about recent Poe appearances in certain films that are available on Netflix, but that will have to wait until I finish a few other things.

Meanwhile, I did recover this painting I did in high school illustrating his poem “Lenore,” and I thought it’d be a nice placeholder for now.

Lenore Illuminated, by Selena Chambers.  “Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride, “And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her — that she died! “How shall the ritual, then, be read? — the requiem how be sung “By you — by yours, the evil eye, — by yours, the slanderous tongue “That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?”
Lenore Illuminated, by Selena Chambers.
“Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride,
“And when she fell in feeble health, ye blessed her — that she died!
“How shall the ritual, then, be read? — the requiem how be sung
“By you — by yours, the evil eye, — by yours, the slanderous tongue
“That did to death the innocence that died, and died so young?”

Most of my paintings make me cringe when I see them, but I kind of like this one because of the sausage curls. I was only able to scan a portion of it, but the entire poem is inscribed on the canvas in gold. This was done around 1998/99 when gel pens were new-fangled and mostly metallic and everyone in art school was obsessed with those Griffin & Sabine books….  Eh-yeah, I thought I was really doing something illuminating acrylic canvas boards.

Anyway, as usual, there are some really neat events happening up north.  Poe Forevermore has a really comprehensive list on their website, but I thought I’d highlight a few here.

Poepathists in the Boston area should check out The Edgar Allan Poe Foundation of Boston’s panel discussion about The Poe Statue Project, a dynamic public art project that will commemorate Bean town as Poe’s birthplace.

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In Philadelphia, the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is putting “The Tell-Tale” murderer on trail.  Visitors will be the jury, and my friend and gentleman scholar Ed Pettit will be judging the murders plea By Reason of Insanity at 1:30 pm.

Also, the Independence National Historical Park is celebrating both Poe and Benjamin Franklin’s days as well as their contribution to publishing.

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And it isn’t a birthday party without cupcakes!

Vaporiste! Bringing French Steampunk to the English-speaking masses

There is a new blog on the block in Steampunklandia.  Vaporiste!: Steampunk, Dieslepunk, and Retrofuturism in France was launched last week, and is edited by Arthur Morgan, co-author  of Le Guide Steampunk (with Etienne Bariller), co-author of “Touring Steampunk Paris” (with meeeee!), and editor-in-chief of www.French-Steampunk.fr, where I wrote a series of guests posts  in 2011 about the artistic roots in French Steampunk.

As the link above shows, that series is currently running in its original form (English) at Vaporiste!, and features meditations on commonalities and tradition between Steampunk artists like Sam van Olffen, Futuravapeur, and AnXiogène with French Symbolism, Surrealism, and Dadaism.  It was really an honor to take a stab at tracing this tradition, and I am thrilled it is available to French as well as English-speaking audiences.

Posing with the French Steampunks after the 2011 event "Selena Chambers and Etienne Barillier in Paris," sponsored by La Libraire de L'Antre-Monde. Left to Right:  Arthur Morgan, Moi, Franck Gouraud, Etienne, Vincent Bénard (Futuravapeur), and Annliz Bonin (AnXiogène ).
Posing with the French Steampunks after the 2011 event “Selena Chambers and Etienne Barillier in Paris,” sponsored by La Libraire de L’Antre-Monde. Left to Right: Arthur Morgan, Moi, Franck Gouraud, Etienne Barillier, Vincent Bénard (Futuravapeur), and Annliz Bonin (AnXiogène).