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.
The long-awaited Kickstarter success, Sarah Han’s STEAMPUNK WORLD (Alliteration Ink), was released last August. It contains my Orientalism tourism story “”The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour.” I received my contributor copies last Thursday, and I am very impressed.
Featuring illustrations by James Ng, an excellent introduction by Beyond Victoriana’s Diana Pho, and stories by Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu, Jay Lake (whom the tome is dedicated too), Jaymee Goh, Balogun Ojetade, Pip Ballantine. and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (to name a few!), this collection aims to illustrate that Steampunk’s legacy lies outside of its common, mainstream Western trappings.
Sarah did a fine job, and I am not the only one who thinks so. Writing for EW.com, Jason Heller included STEAMPUNK WORLD in his overview of Steampunk slipping into the mainstream, and in doing so is garnering a broader appeal. One happy conclusion he draws is that the mainstream wants to see a multicultural steampunk: “Clearly, there’s a hunger for steampunk literature that looks through a different pair of goggles; Steampunk World is a strong step in the right direction.”
Rather than blog, I thought I’d vlog about a few reflections on Steampunk and Travel, in honor of Airship Ambassador’s Steampunk Hands Around the World, an international initiative that is celebrating the present and future of Steampunk.
Some months are quiet, and others are very loud with announcements and such. In the later case, those are often broadcasted reactively as they happen, and get lost in the shuffle of all the other news-bytes out there. So, I thought an end of the month summation would be a nice way to compromise the fragmented with the soft and clamorous, of which, January definitely fell into the former.
First, I am writing this during the polar vortex attack on everywhere, including the South. All day yesterday, people lost their cool as public building closures were gradually announced. Hysterical hyperboles floated from mouth to mouth faster than the flu, and after Atlanta and the more northern Southern areas were dusted with the white stuff, suddenly, we were in for God knows what—a blizzard?
While it has been drizzling sleet, I am sad to say there is no snow. I’m disappointed. The last time it snowed here was in 1989, unless you count that time in college when I saw one solitary snow flake fall and melt on my hand. Both were rare and magical moments. Today, just another cloudy and wet wintry day in North Florida. Even so, the gentle tapping of the sleet against the windows have been comforting, the cat wants to cuddle rather than play all day, and if I am good, I’ll get to have a hot toddy with a friend later on.
I know I am not the only one swathed in blankets and nursing hot tea. So what’s everyone else been up too in January? Does the cold have you down? Or does it have you deep in a book or project? What are you all doing to make the best of it?
As for me….
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.
Wow. So, I just checked in on Steampunk World, and it is gone, daddy, gone. Not only was it fully funded within its first week, but it is soaring through stretch goal after stretch goal. The most recent tier reached was $12,000, which allows the editors to pay the illustrious James Ng for illustrations for EVERY story in the book! The prospect of having my story “The Şehrazatın Diyoraması Tour” illustrated by James has had me beaming ear-to-ear all morning.
Thank you to everyone who has funded this project, and made it go above and beyond what anyone expected. If you have been on the fence about it, know that anymore proceeds in the next 56 hours will go towards continuing this community movement with a second volume that will have a open call to submissions.