Posts Tagged ‘steampunk’

…about my story “Strange Things Done” in Clockwork Canada.

Part One.

Part Two.

Part Three.

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You can now pre-order Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction from the links below, for release in May. The anthology contains my story “Strange Things Done”, a science fiction secret history set during the Klondike Gold Rush.

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EDIT: The web serial site has been set to “private” until further notice.

My steampunk parody novella series Zeppelins are what Dreams are Made of wrapped up on Saturday. It’s time for Jennifer Asten to take a well-deserved rest.

You can read from the beginning here if you’re so inclined.

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…at Black Gate.

My story, “Strange Things Done”, among them, in which the Klondike holds more than mere gold in its soil.

The anthology will see print in the spring of 2016.

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Zeppelins online

EDIT: The web serial site has been set to “private” until further notice.

A while back I posted about my dilemma after Eggplant Literary Productions shut down: what was I going to do with my novella serial Zeppelins are What Dreams are Made of, which was set for publication no longer?

Turns out I’m going for Option 4: publishing it as a serial online.

As I initially wrote the first short story in a serial-like format, i.e., releasing it in small chunks to my friends, it seems like a natural fit.

Follow the adventures of dimension-hopping assassin Jennifer Asten as she faces perils untold by following the link below!


There are some things you should probably know about Jennifer Asten. She was born in Winnipeg and spent her early days as a bounty hunter when her degrees in Philosophy and Religious Studies didn’t pan out. If she hadn’t met Dr. Malgrave, she wouldn’t currently be entering the main lounge of a first class airship flying Paris to Peking. Next, she was commonly beautiful…the uncommonly beautiful would have drawn too much attention to themselves. Dusky hair, thin eyebrows, sharp nose, pursed small lips, general expression of content on most occasions. While some young gentlemen might find her “absolutely ravishing”, she hadn’t found one on this flight. Finally, within the book Jennifer held lay a short coded message that she probably should have burned but, in not carrying out such an act, she felt put her at a most interesting advantage.

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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.


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And off we go, into the wild blue yonder…

Today I’m joined by a special guest, Alasdair Czyrnyj.  Join us as we take to the skies on the back of a hydrogen-filled whale to discuss the perils of the steampunk genre.

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Alasdair’s Ferretbrain Contributor Page

Source of our Theme Song

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Below the cut, please find my cohesive visual response to Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker.  It was heavily inspired by Kyra’s visual review of The Book of Words on Ferretbrain.  It’s also done entirely in pencil, and is a bit rougher than other comics on this blog, but I really didn’t want to redraw it in pen.  Obviously, spoilers abound.  This is also fairly light-hearted, and I don’t mean to offend Cherie Priest or her fans with its contents (and if she sees this, then: Sorry!).


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I’ve decided to depart from the usual sketches and silly pictures today, and instead, uh, actually write something.   And it’s about steampunk.

I have a bit of trouble with the word “steampunk” and with the vague, lax realm the literary subgenre has become.  We can trace the term back to K.W. Jetter, but what he coined comes from simply grasping for the right descriptor:

“Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like ‘steampunks’, perhaps…” (1987)


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