winneganfake: (Default)
Now, as you may be aware, Phil Foglio and Kaja Foglio, creators of the famed Girl Genius comic, are about to release their first full-length Girl Genius novel, for which they're running a bunch of promo stuff places, doing their best to get readers to order a copy on the 12th (as a bit of a birthday present for Kaja), and all sorts of other bits. What you may not know, is that next week there's a great chance to hear them reading some of the book live.

Next Thursday, the 13th, they'll be presenting a live reading at the Night Kitchen (and also enjoying some of the tasty foodstuffs available as well) with some of the material from the new book. They'll be coming in around 8pm to eat, then read, so if you want to show up and grab a table in time to enjoy the event, that'd be about the time to do it! They will also be doing a full signing and everything, so it's definitely a good opportunity to hit, if you're a fan.

 Hope to see a bunch of you there.
winneganfake: (Default)
Honestly, I keep seeing more and more people weighing in with long bloggish posts about what is or is not Steampunk, or about the appropriate steam-to-punk ratio, or about the necessary environmentalist aspects of steampunk (new readers, jog back a couple of years, there's a great rant in there.), or even just how many kilos of steam it would take to lift one's petticoats appropriately.  To be honest, I'm getting largely sick of hearing it. As it is, though, [ profile] robert_from_ap did a damned good job of hitting it out of the park with his own post today on the subject.

Personally, I'd like to take things a bit further, mostly because the one thing I see in the scene, the one thing that constantly pisses me off, is this dependence on Victorian aesthetics, or worse, people denigrating something simply because it isn't Victorian enough to be Steampunk.

These kind of things boggle the hell out of me. Partly because I came to the aesthetic from fiction, including works that don't have a thing to do with Victoriana, as well as comics and videogames that, while steampunk, also didn't have a goddamned thing to do with anything Victorian.

Honestly, for me, the Victorian era and Steampunk are about as congruent as a fish and a pickup truck, respectively.

Sure, you can carry a fish around in your truck, should you desire it. But the fish does not normally, or necessarily belong inside of said truck. And the truck does it's own purpose just fine, regardless of whether or not there's a fish in the back end. Neither one requires the other, and, in fact, they can both exist separate of each other just fine. 

It's the same with Steampunk. Most definitions of it start talking about how Steampunk had its roots in Victorian Science Fiction, and then utterly fail to realize that that's not the end of things- that about the only thing that really defines steampunk as a literary genre is high adventure, wild unknown factors, and steam-driven technology. Note the lack of fashion references in that list? That's because there aren't any. Characters in Verne's novels were dressed in a victorian manner because he was writing contemporary novels- had Verne been doing the same writing in our own time, his characters might have just as easily been wearing t-shirts and jeans. Would the book still be considerable as Steampunk lit? Absolutely,  provided it had the other elements of the genre.

So, to the costume nazis desperate to see everyone in corsetry, waistcoats and such? Stow it. Their choices in costuming and everything are just as valid as yours.

And let's face it. Over a long enough time, a truck simply needs more fuel added to it to keep it going. Whereas a fish will only develop a rather bad smell, and need to get thrown over for a fresher fish.

And for the record, there's no way in hell you're going to catch me defining steampunk any further than this. It's a growing genre/subculture and is still finding it's own definition, which isn't helped by everyone trying to slap labels on it to justify their own choices. Leave it for the historians to do in a century, if it makes it that far. 

winneganfake: (Default)
Tomorrow Night:

And yes, Tormented Artifacts will be there vending! Come check out the latest additions to the line, including items from the Arcanepunk Collection, jewelry from our newest artist, new mask designs, plasterworks, and more!
winneganfake: (Default)
Ok, I'm going to aggregate for a moment here. Go check out Five Thoughts on the Popularity of Steampunk over on Weird Tales. And I just have to quote one small chunk of that:

"Having 120 gigabytes of information storage in solid-state flash memory is like having the entire knowledge of a hundred ancient libraries of Alexandria in your pocket. But who the hell wants to explore your pocket?'

Steampunk says: Let’s store that knowledge in a colossal mechanical brain the size of a skyscraper that runs on punch cards, and whenever we want to know something, we’ll get to feed in our punch card and watch it go zipping and flipping through a behemoth full of gears, all the way summoning little clockwork librarians to spring up from behind panels and inscribe notes on it with miniature styluses, and they will all be well-oiled except that one that’s just screech-screech-screeching up a storm all along its track, and the spectacle will be
frakking awesome."

If I can ever aspire to that level of crafting, mechanics, and outright sheer arrogant design, my life will be complete.

winneganfake: (Default)
Now, don't get me wrong before I really start in on this post- I like steampunk. I think it's a great aesthetic, and the potential for fantastic and awesome stuff to come out of it is definitely there.

At the same time though, I have to admit that there's some people into the same aesthetic, like any subculture, that really make me wonder if they're coming from anything approaching the same reality as the rest of us. Mostly because I keep seeing the same argument being made in different forums and elsewhere by them, and just about every time I see it, I end up falling out of my chair. Here- let me try to sum it up in a sentence:

Steampunk is an environmentally positive movement. (click through while I get back into my chair.) )
winneganfake: (Default)
"Started as a concession to the modesty of nobly-born gunners who wished to preserve their good looks from the inevitable scars from the breech discharge of their own guns, the gunnery mask was quickly seized upon by the Corps as a suitable method for increasing the longevity of airship gunners in general.

The basic ideas were quickly taken and improved- a housing made of sturdy brass, to protect from both blowback and shrapnel. Smoked-glass optics to protect from the harsh glare of weapons-fire. Baffles to deflect incoming shot. An alchymical ward-sign, to stave off the more toxic effects of both friendly and enemy chymical weaponry. And finally, a breather- connection with an independent filter and hose, allowing the wearer to simply filter the outside air, or connect to a bottled air supply, should the ship have to rise to an extreme altitude.

Aviators instantly seized on the newly designed protective gear, and for many, the masked faces of ship-gunners quickly became a new symbol for the Corps itself."


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October 2012



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