Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Steampunk Postcolonialist at SDCC!

Yeap, I'll be at San Diego Comic Con this weekend, at least for Thursday and Friday! 

Thursday morning I'll be on "The Witty Women of Steampunk" with the incredible Anina Bennet, the super-sweet Kaja Foglio, and the talented Claire Hummel! I have no idea what I'm doing on there among pros, but what the hey. We're on at 11am, in room 5AB, so come join us! I am of course assuming I don't get lost. 

I plan on making myself scarce and hiding out in nearby cafes or hanging out with friends in between panels I might go to, because I don't do well with very large crowds for long periods of time. But I will at least be around for Friday's Steampunk Drinkup at the Hopping Pig starting at 6pm. 

See you there!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Interruptions: Search Engine Fun

Also y'all only come in droves whenever I say something super angry that riles up the community and that makes me sad, so I went into my analytics to see what amusement I could derive thence:

anachrocon "goh" 2010 -- Nope, never been, sorry. Still, my surname obviously never fails to confuse!

beth dillon disseration -- I don't know if this person found what they were looking for, but I would think one ought to just ask Beth herself.

from eurocentrism to polycentrism questions -- So many, so many. 

how can one deal with racist -- Questions for our generation... and the previous one... and the previous one....

idris elba steampunk -- CAN I GET A HELL YEAH?

is+it+racist+to+wear+a+kimono -- If you have to ask, then yes, the situation will probably make it so...

people wearing other people's things -- A more common occurrence than it sounds.

the coconut and bamboo are trees? -- Well apparently bamboo is a kind of grass... but yes, do not doubt the tree-ness of the coconut.

why you shoul duse people of color -- Actually you shouldn't, because people of colour are human beings who are ends unto themselves, not means.

what+not+to+wear+and+look+racist -- A question for the ages. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Jha's Very Own Steampunk 101

So, SDCC, where I am next scheduled to appear (alongside Kaja Foglio! And Anina Bennett! And Claire Hummel! And Dina Kampmeyer! It will be a righteous all-girls'-morning-in and you all should come) will have a Steampunk 101 panel. 

I get a bit confused because it seems to me that many times Steampunk 101 panels always get scheduled after several panels have been scheduled, and wouldn't you want the 101 to come first? (Of course, upon further reflection, it then occurs to me that the 101 panel tends to be scheduled on a day when more people can make the con.)

Then it makes me wonder what happens when people come onto my site and whether they think their definition of steampunk is in line with mine. I am sure that my definition of steampunk is in no way contradictory with theirs, but I have met people whose definition of steampunk seem to me a woefully inadequate way of speaking about it in a way that encourages growth and inclusivity (I am looking at you, "Victorian science fiction" people!) rather than continued derivatives.

For Dickens Fest in January, the minister of the local UU invited me to speak about steampunk, just for a few minutes. One of my department colleagues snarked at me and said, "oh? can you REALLY give an introduction to steampunk in less than five minutes??" And I was like, "sure, why the fuck not?" Nobody needs an accurate history of the nuances of steampunk; folks just need a general outline of how it coalesced and a description of what it is now.

So here it is, after, haha, four years of blogging, my definition of steampunk, paraphrased the best I can from my Dickens Fest speech (the outline of which I have since lost but I sort of remember the basics). Let's see if we're on the same page!

Call for Submissions: Long Hidden

Crossed Genres is accepting submissions for their anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction From The Margins of History! Click through for the guidelines, and submit by July 31, 2013! The anthology is in the hands of Daniel Josè Older and Rose Fox. 

While not specifically steampunk, they do accept alternate-history type spec fic, which can also include steampunk. If you're not sure whether or not your story will work, you can email them (questions@longhidden.com) to find out! PLEASE make sure you address it "Dear Long Hidden editors," "Dear Mr. Older and Mx. Fox" OR "Dear Rose and Daniel". This makes sure you're addressing both editors; the editorial team is working as a team, and you should acknowledge them as such.

Happy writing!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A Follow-Up: Apologies for Irresponsibility

Someone nudged me about my post about the Order of the White Feather. She pointed out to me that it was irresponsible for me to name someone as a sexual assailant without there being any formal accusations. So if you're looking for what I said about the certain someone, it's gone. I fully admit my actions in this.

I also would like to specify that neither Silver Goggles nor I personally are formally associated with the Order of the White Feather beyond solidarity; therefore, any attacks upon the Order of the White Feather are completely unjustified and nonsensical, as they are not culpable for my actions. 

Since it has gone up, with a record of a thousand pageviews in about a day, I'm given to understand that the situation has escalated, with emotions running high, lawsuits being waved about, and yelling, a lot of yelling, across the aether.

For this, I apologize.

Con Moments: Asian Dolls

SPWF was very much an overdose of stimuli for me in many ways; Jeff Mach likes to put on damned good spectacles. This might not be so bad if it didn't mean panels where we get to talk about also get sidelines and even the musicians get kind of pretty awful deals. 

The cool thing about SPWF 2012 though was that we had two bands come in, Victor Sierra from France and Strange Artifact from Japan. Victor Sierra had very unfortunate set problems: fuses blown due to incompatible voltages on their technology which meant their playing time was extremely limited. It was really a shame because they put a lot of effort into their live show and Anouk sang her heart out, plus their music is actually hella delicious.

Strange Artifact had put together a Kickstarter to help them get to the States, and it was their very first time visiting the U.S. Their first show on Friday went well, and though Mary and Yuki don't speak much English, they had two translators, one of whom was Dan, an energetic manager who doesn't actually manage for work, but shoots punk shows in Japan. I got a picture with them, plus Allison Curval, because I was quite determined to record the presence of Asians at this SPWF. 

Then on Saturday night, while I was recording one of their songs on my camera, well, this happened, check 1:10:

Monday, July 8, 2013

Con Moments: "What Are Your Credentials?"

Aetherfest was by and large pretty fun. I would have to say that the most successful panel was the "Mad Science!: Mental Illness in Steampunk" one: we had a full house of people who were probably expecting us to talk about mad scientists. My co-panelists were the wonderful JoSelle Vanderhooft and O.M.Grey, who I specifically picked to be on the panel because they both also had issues with mental health and would be able to speaking truthfully to the matter. I know some people dislike the tokenizing thing where venues will have black people talking about black issues and a gay person writing about gay issues, but for something like this, in this context, where often people with mental health issues are sidelined in favour of psychologists treating them (because we can't be trusted to talk about ourselves, I guess), it was very important that my panel be peopled ONLY by people who live with mental health problems, chronic ones, not things that can be easily fixed.

Afterward though, O.M. Grey told us that apparently, some big dude, all white-haired and bespectacled, walked up to her and practically demanded, "Excuse me but I would like to know your credentials for speaking about this subject."

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Solidarity Link! Order of the White Feather

Some of you may know, or may not know, that about slightly over a year ago, steampunk authoress O. M. Grey was subject to harassment, followed by sexual violence, both physical and emotional. Instead of rallying to support her when she came out of the shock of it all, many people rallied around her attacker, the well-esteemed Professor Elemental, further driving her towards the fringes of the community.

In response, some members (plus her) have started the Order of the White Feather, the website which she built, to support members of the community and display solidarity by wearing a white feather.