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Archive for July, 2013

Finished

This is probably worth announcing here:

On July 10th, I turned in my final research paper for my Master’s Degree in History at McGill University.  My program officially ended on July 15th.

So, where do I go from here?

To be honest, I don’t know.  But whatever the path, I’ll at least pursue it with a slightly greater sense of accomplishment than before.

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steaming-into-a-victorian-future

Julie Anne Taddeo and Cynthia J. Miller, editors. Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology. London: The Scarecrow Press, Inc., 2013.

Jeff VanderMeer voices the following lament in the Afterward to Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology:

Much of what we see about steampunk is in the form of received ideas—someone reads something about it and then he blogs, or someone reads a couple of books, and maybe not the best ones, and she’s got a sense what the subgenre is or isn’t from one small sample. It’s an easy target because the term itself may conjure up for some escapism and perhaps a false romanticism for a bygone age. But steampunk is more complicated than that, as you must know by now. (299)

At the risk of incurring VanderMeer’s wrath, I’m afraid he is too optimistic on the last point. I have just read the entirety of this first collection of scholarly articles about the steampunk and am left feeling decidedly dissatisfied. Back when I was into steampunk, I was gung-ho for the subversive potential of the subgenre only to find my expectations in not only the literary side but also the community consistently dashed; there sure is a lot of potential there, it’s just mostly unrealized. There came a point when I had to admit the only reason I was still interested were the zeppelins. Steaming tries to play up the potentials, but provides little payoff.

(more…)

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