I'm writing up a brief thing for SPWF on this book, but I just wanted to say, as fun as it is in being a direct tribute to old pulp fiction and adventure stories, and as interesting as the construction of English identity is, this was a terrible book. I literally cringed at more passages in the novel than I should have been. It's alienating because it was just so clearly written for a straight, white, male audience and just glossed over so many problematic racist and sexist tropes, accepting them as part of the setting without truly interrogating them. If you wanted fluff, if you wanted a light read (and you can deal with a fuckton of problematic colonialism), then sure, this is the book for you, but I do expect more from my entertainment. So while I'm getting a lot out of this book in terms Shit To Get Angry About and Analyse To fuckin' Death, I think the world would be better off without books like this that perpetuate racist discourse in the guise of entertainment.
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Sunday, May 8, 2011
Folks, I was really nervous about CNSE. Liana Kerzner gave me the two program items I pitched to her, and then I didn’t hear from her for the longest time until maybe a week before, just to be neurotic about whether I’ll have a projector for the Steam Around the World presentation. I also knew just about two people attending, the awesome Steampunk Scholar Mike Perschon, and Countess Lenora, or Lee Ann Farruga.
The hotel was in a decent location, out in Markham in a fairly commercial area. The convention was sharing the same space as a couple of kids’ hockey teams, it seems, so all weekend, the three elevators were extremely slow as the kids monopolized them, which was extremely frustrating because aside from a stairwell that was either hard to find or just plain locked, most of us who just wanted to go between the lower level, the first, and second floors had to wait an inordinate amount of time.
Monday, May 2, 2011
Folks! The Steampunk Bible, edited by Jeff Vandermeer (who edited both Steampunk anthologies from Tachyon Publishing) and S.J. Chambers, is now out!
Here is the blurb:
Steampunk—a grafting of Victorian aesthetic and punk rock attitude onto various forms of science-fiction culture—is a phenomenon that has come to influence film, literature, art, music, fashion, and more. The Steampunk Bible is the first compendium about the movement, tracing its roots in the works of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells through its most recent expression in movies such asSherlock Holmes. Its adherents celebrate the inventor as an artist and hero, re-envisioning and crafting retro technologies including antiquated airships and robots. A burgeoning DIY community has brought a distinctive Victorian-fantasy style to their crafts and art. Steampunk evokes a sense of adventure and discovery, and embraces extinct technologies as a way of talking about the future. This ultimate manual will appeal to aficionados and novices alike as author Jeff VanderMeer takes the reader on a wild ride through the clockwork corridors of Steampunk history.
The Steampunk Bible features a ton of awesome and wonderful people in the steampunk community, a ton of lovely art, articles with lots of writers, and yours truly is in it!
Have some pretty pictures under the cut!