Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Making Steampunk Preparations

Once you've: bought your membership to Steamcon, Seattle's inaugural steampunk symposium; secured tickets to the Saturday Tea and Couture event and Saturday evening Airship Invasion concert featuring Unwoman, Vernian Process and Abney Park; read The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers; and learned about the history of Victorian era robots courtesy of artist Paul Guinan — however will you pass the time until the event Oct. 23-25 and get into the punk Victorian spirit?

Might we suggest some further distractions:

• Review the latest from SteamPunk Magazine.
• Visit Emilie P. Bush's new Web site
CoalCitySteam.com, devoted to all things steampunk, and peruse the first chapter of her forthcoming novel, Chenda and the Airship Brofman.
• Hear Scott Westerfeld read from his new novel Leviathan, a foray into steampunk, 7 p.m., Mon., Oct. 12 at Third Place Books,
17171 Bothell Way NE, Lake Forest Park.
• Play The Spoils, steampunkery in a card game.
• Read Steampunk (2008,
Tachyon Publications), an anthology edited by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer. Get an introduction to the genre in "The 19th-Century Roots of Steampunk," by Jess Nevins with a great explanation of what puts the punk in steampunk. Then, enter the coal-drenched environs and brassy invention of stories including Ian R. McLeod's The Giving Mouth.
• Read Against the Day, Thomas Pynchon's "steampunk homage," as recommended by Ann and Jeff Vandermeer in the preface to Steampunk.
• Adventure off to find some new steampunk music at Sepiachord.
• Eye some pretties from steampunk vendors and watch this new video by steampunk jewelry designer
Daniel Proulx. Comment on the video by Oct. 12 to enter a giveaway to win a $100 shopping spree from CatherinetteRings.Etsy.com, steampunk jewelry inspired by Victorian science fiction.
• Generate some fiction using the Electro-Plasmic Hydrocephalic Genre-Fiction Generator 2000. It comes up with lovely bits such as this:
"The Cyber Wars"
In a coal-powered one-way spaceflight, a young author self-insert stumbles across an arcane prophecy which spurs him into conflict with his own insecurity vis-à-vis girls, with the help of a cherubic girl with pigtails and spunk and her closet full of assault rifles, culminating in convoluted nonsense that squanders the readers’ goodwill.
— and so much easier than writing your own stuff. With thanks to CoilHouse.net for the tip.
• Contrariwise, generate some fiction the old-fashioned way. Take quill in hand.
• Recommend to us your own favorite diversions. What have we missed?

Or, you could always help organize the event.

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