Tag Archives: steampunk

Writing a Short Story for Seasons Eternal

Seasons EternalToday I’m talking a little bit more about Seasons Eternal, the second SF&F anthology from Turtleduck Press. (The first one is here.) I’m the editor there, and I also publish short stories through them. When we put together an anthology, I get to do both at the same time.

For this year’s anthology, we chose a shared premise — what might happen to a world where the seasons stopped changing? Each side of the planet is frozen in a different season. A century later, various societies have evolved to cope, but they’re still struggling under the pressures of the change.

But you can’t write a story about a society. Stories are about people.

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Friday Link: Free Short Story

Happy Friday! This week, I’m pointing you to Turtleduck Press because I have a new short story out, and you can read it for free online. It’s a Halloween-ish, steampunk-y, Gothic sort of tale called “The Dangers of Creation; or, A Machine to Rival Man”.

Here’s a teaser….

It is a sad and peculiar tale that I set to paper today, in this year of Our Lord 18–. In this modern age of science and industry, such events as I am about to relate could not have occurred. But pray cast your mind back to an earlier time, when Her Majesty was just beginning her reign and all the realms of possibility seemed open to us.

I was a young man then, a student of music at an ancient and esteemed university that you would know if I said its name, eager for knowledge and mastery of my art, and I chose as my companions those who had a similar thirst. One of them was a Mr. L—, a peculiar gentleman who was fixated on the philosophy of music with a fervour that even I could barely match. Still, he was a pleasant enough conversationalist, and when he invited me to take dinner at his home, I accepted readily with thoughts of passing the evening in stimulating discourse.

The directions he gave led me out of the university town proper and into the countryside, a charming walk. When I reached the gates he had described and passed into a dark tangled wood, I felt some hesitation. However, he had mentioned wanting to show me a most curious instrument he kept at home, and this prospect drew me onward.

Read the rest at Turtleduck Press.

That’s it for this week. Have a lovely weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday!

Convention Report: Fan Expo 2012

Usually Mondays on this blog are devoted to books, sometimes movies. But in my head, the theme is “Media Mondays”, so today I’m going to write about something media-related that hasn’t been featured on this blog before.

You Must Be Over 18

Photo by Louise K. (link at bottom of post)

I’m talking about a con — a science fiction/fantasy convention.

First, a brief primer on cons. There are two main types. The first is literature-oriented, focusing on books and book-related discussions. Guests tend to be authors and editors. The second is all about visual media — movies, TV, comics, anime/manga, gaming. Guests tend to be TV stars and comic book artists. This is the kind of con where people dress up in costume (cosplay). It’s much larger than the first kind.

I’ve been to both kinds over the years. The con I’m writing about today is of the second type — Fan Expo, an annual convention held in Toronto.

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Friday Link: Queen Victoria’s Diary

Today’s nifty historical discovery: Queen Victoria’s diary is now online. Sounds like an invaluable resource for historical writers, steampunks, history buffs, Anglophiles, and anybody whose curiosity leans that way.

From the Toronto Star:

The ruler who reigned over the British Empire for more than 60 years gushed to her diary about meeting her future husband and how “delightful” it was to go swimming.

For the first time, the public can access those passages and others from Queen Victoria’s diaries with a few clicks of the mouse. A website featuring the personal journals of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, who wrote exhaustively during her 63 years on the throne, was launched on Thursday, the 193rd anniversary of her birth.

Previously, the journals were only accessible by appointment at the Royal Archives at Windsor Castle, meaning it was mostly academics who read them.

“It’s quite unusual for the entire journal of a leader who reigned over the country for over 60 years to be made available,” said Suzanne de la Rosa, head of communications at the Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University.

Read the rest of the article, including some choice quotations, here.

One line that caught my eye: “Only 13 of the journal volumes are in the Queen’s handwriting. After her death, her youngest daughter Princess Beatrice spent more than 30 years transcribing and redacting her mother’s diaries.” Which makes me wonder how much Beatrice changed…

Happy long weekend to my American readers! It’s just a regular weekend here in Canada, so I’ll be blogging on Monday as usual. So long for now.

Friday Video: Automata in the Modern Age

For your Friday viewing pleasure, I’ve found a short BBC slideshow/video about antique automata. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to embed it, but if you like steampunk, vintage toys, or old things in general, do have a look. (Don’t click if you have a fear of mannequins or clockwork toys.) It’s quite wonderful.

Automata in the Modern Age

Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday!

New Book: Steampunk Shakespeare

Steampunk Shakespeare coverThis week we’re highlighting a new steampunk anthology. The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter is a multi-author anthology that re-imagines Shakespeare in a steampunk setting. Can I have this now, please?

The editors are Jaymee Goh of the postcolonial blog Silver Goggles and Matt Delman of Doctor Fantastique. Along with writer Lia Keyes, they are also the founders of #steampunkchat, a weekly Twitter chat that ranges across many aspects of steampunk culture, literature, and music, from author chats to explaining steampunk to brainstorming a steampunk circus. It’s an excellent chat, and new people are always welcome.

If steampunk Shakespeare sounds like your thing, you can preorder the print version of the anthology through Doctor Fantastique (release on May 11), and an ebook version will be available soon — check steampunkshakespeare.com for the latest updates.

Do you have any anthology recommendations, steampunk or otherwise? Please share!

Author Spotlight: China Mieville

Railsea by China Mieville

Mieville's next book is out May 15, 2012.

In this Author Spotlight series, I’m talking about other writers you might not be familiar with, or you may have heard of but not read. The aim is to give you enough information to decide whether you might enjoy their work.

Today’s featured author is China Miéville. He’s a British speculative fiction writer whose novel Embassytown is up for a Hugo Award this year. That’s nothing new for him — almost all his novels have been nominated for, and often won, multiple genre awards. My thoughts below the cut…

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