Tag Archives: steampunk

Publishing News Roundup: Steampunk Serial and Much More

Hello blog readers! Hope you’ve had a good summer (or winter, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere). Here’s what’s new(ish) over here…

Coat of Scarlet

I’m doing a free serial story over at Turtleduck Press. Coat of Scarlet is a M/M (gay) romance set in an 18th-century steampunk/clockpunk universe. Part 2 has just been posted, so it’s a good time to catch up.

Here’s the blurb:

Marius the tailor is minding his own business when Niko walks into his shop with a beautiful coat and sets him a challenge he can’t refuse. But when you’re dealing with devastatingly handsome airship pirates, they have a habit of changing the terms…

Part 1 | Part 2

Fun fact: when you’re writing a serial, it helps to reread previous installments as you’re writing later ones. I almost forgot a plot point from Part 1 and had to shoehorn it into Part 2 at the last minute. Oops?

Fractured World News

City of Hope and Ruin ebook coverIf you look at the cover of my debut novel, City of Hope and Ruin, you’ll notice that the subtitle is A Fractured World Novel. So far it is the only Fractured World novel, but that’s going to change, because my co-author, Kit Campbell, and I are working on book 2 in the series!

Novels take a while, though. In the meantime, Kit and I and our two partners in crime at Turtleduck Press, KD and Erin, are working on a prequel anthology set in the same world, which will be released before book 2. More details to come…

To tide you over while you’re waiting for that, we do have two short stories also set in the same world:

  • A Constant Companion (a Briony prequel short story) by Kit Campbell
  • Brothers (a short story featuring secondary character Astrolabe, set during the events of City of Hope and Ruin) by Siri Paulson

Non-TDP Release: Timeshift anthology

I told you before about my flash fiction piece “When the World Stopped” being accepted into an anthology called Timeshift, which released in August. Initially the anthology was an ebook-only release, but there is now a print edition due to popular demand. Here’s the blurb:

Timeshift is a reprint anthology collecting time and time travel flash fiction stories from 36 authors in the genre. In the anthology are time stories spanning the adventures (and mishaps) of time travel, time manipulation, time zones, time loops, paradoxes, accidents, twisted futures and so many more penned by both established and emerging authors in the genre.

Kindle | Print

Non-TDP Release: Impact anthology

Also as mentioned previously, I helped judge a flash fiction contest this spring for the website Queer Sci Fi (my reward for placing third in last year’s contest!). It was a fun experience and I got to read a ton of good stories — doubly impressive when you consider that the stories had to be no more than 300 words long.

Impact: Queer Sci Fi’s Fifth Annual Flash Fiction Contest was released in July and is available on ebook from all the usual suspects.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Angus & Robertson

Blog Recap: Ursula K. Le Guin (re)read

This year I’ve been reading and blogging about Ursula K. Le Guin’s early Hainish novels and short stories. So far I’ve covered “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas”, two novels, and three other shorts. It’s been fascinating to watch her early development as a writer. We have one more novel to go (and maybe a couple of shorts) and then it’s on to The Left Hand of Darkness! You can find links to all the posts here: Genre Classics (Re)read: Ursula K. Le Guin. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well.

 

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Health Update and Book Sale!

First, a health update: My wrists are still causing trouble, two weeks after this all started. I’ll know more tomorrow, I hope, but in the meantime I’ve been trying to minimize non-job-related computer use. (My job involves being on the computer all day, most days, so that doesn’t help….)

Funny how I spend so much time avoiding writing, and now that I’m avoiding it for health reasons, I’m getting really antsy to start writing again. Oh, brain, why must you be so weird?

In the meantime I’ve been busy with story intake instead of output, if you get my drift. I zoomed through Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown in a week (that’s pretty fast for me these days) and am now making my way through Justin Cronin’s The Passage (which is taking me longer, because that sucker is huge). And I’ve settled down for — finally — some dedicated watching of Doctor Who. So it’s definitely not all bad.

Turtleduck Press book sale 2014

Second, the happy news — Turtleduck Press is having a book sale! All of our books are 99 cents from now until October 7. For details and recommendations, drop by the book sale announcement on our site.

I happen to think everything we’ve published is pretty cool, but if you’d like to support me in particular, pick up our latest anthologyUnder Her Protection — or one of our other anthologies. I have stories in each of them, but if you like…

…Gothic steampunk about mad cellists, read my story in The Best of Turtleduck Press, Volume I

…post-apocalyptic steampunk with crash-landing dirigibles, check out Seasons Eternal (which also has a cool premise for the anthology as a whole: each of the authors wrote a story about a different season on a planet where the seasons have stopped turning)

…secondary-world fantasy based on Inuit mythology, try Winter’s Night (all winter-themed stories — and hey, Christmas is coming! *ducks barrage of rotten fruit*)

Enjoy!

A Fantasy Short Story Inspired by Rajasthan, India

Last month, Turtleduck Press released this anthology:

Under Her Protection edited by Siri Paulson

My contribution (besides editing the anthology) was a story about a maidservant and an inventor, set in a fantasy/clockpunk version of Mughal-era India. I spent six weeks in India last year and fell in love with…well, many things, but especially the historical architecture. So writing about it was a no-brainer. And as a bonus, that means I can put up related photos…

The story opens at Amber Fort (also called Amer Fort), a fortified palace in Rajasthan, which looks like this. Click to enlarge any of the photos (all copyright 2013 Siri Paulson).

Amber or Amer Fort

Amber or Amer Fort

Gateway in Amer Fort

Gateway in Amber Fort

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Convention Report: FanExpo 2014

Fair warning: I’ll start with some explanations, but I can’t explain every reference. This post will get geekier as it goes on…

What Is FanExpo?

Yes, that's a person in the Stormtrooper suit. Photo by Louise Kiner.

Yes, that’s a person in the Stormtrooper suit. Photo by Louise Kiner.

Labo(u)r Day weekend saw Toronto’s biggest fan convention — FanExpo. It’s a comic-con for people who like comics, anime, gaming, anything to do with science fiction and fantasy and horror (mostly TV and movies), and related activities such as steampunk and LARPing. Actors show up and sign autographs and do photo ops. (This year’s celebrity guests included Elijah Wood, several actors from Doctor Who, William Shatner, and Patrick Stewart.) Hundreds of thousands of people flood the convention centre. It’s crazy and geeky and overwhelming and exciting all at once.

This year I didn’t go to any of the panels or Q&As. My geekery tends to revolve around books, and although I do watch genre movies and TV, I’m not terribly interested in seeing the actors involved. (I tend to be disappointed when they’re less articulate than their characters — probably the fault of the sharp dialogue that’s in vogue these days. Plus you have to pay extra for autographs and photo ops, and it’s not cheap.) However…

The Cosplay

Star Wars cosplayers

Star Wars cosplayers. Photo by me.

One of the biggest parts of FanExpo is cosplay — people dressing up as their favourite characters. Part of the fun is watching the effort that people put into their costumes, either replicating the originals with as much attention to detail as they possibly can, or putting a twist on them (like genderswapping). For more on cosplay, see Kit Campbell’s Introductory Guide to Cosplay and my own post from last year’s FanExpo.

Many years ago, I used to cosplay as Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. I haven’t done it in a long time. But this year, my two partners in FanExpo crime decided to dress up as two of the Doctors from Doctor Who. So I pulled together a last-minute Amy Pond costume (based on this outfit).

Me, Ninth Doctor, and Fifth Doctor. Photo by a kind Doctor Who Society of Canada volunteer.

Me (left) and my partners in crime, Ninth Doctor (kneeling) and Fifth Doctor. (Why yes, that is celery in his lapel.) Photo by a kind Doctor Who Society of Canada volunteer.

It wasn’t a total success — for one thing, my hair isn’t red enough to be noticeable anymore — but it was fun. I don’t think I’m going to be hooked into cosplaying again (I have too many hobbies already) but I did enjoy taking pictures with — and of — all the Doctor Who paraphernalia and the other Whovian cosplayers.

(And then I bought a T-shirt with some Game of Thrones snark, but I digress.)

Even more fun was drooling at all the other cosplay. I saw:

  • lots and lots of Doctors (mostly Eleven since Matt Smith was there — saw an excellent Ten and several Nines, and one of my companions went as Five, but no Twelves), Amy Ponds, and River Songs
  • also lots and lots of anime cosplay that went over my head (since that’s not my preferred style of geekery), and video game cosplay ditto
  • a fair number of superheroes and other comics characters, though fewer than last year (I guess because it’s been a few years since the last really major superhero movie)
  • lots of Stormtroopers (but not much else from Star Wars)
  • several great steampunk outfits
  • genderswapped Mal Reynolds and several Jayne hats (but not much else from Firefly)
  • one Ms. Marvel / Kamala Khan in hijab — didn’t get a picture, but more power to you, lady!

(Warning: more large photos after the jump.)

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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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