The Hell of It February 25, 2015 The Hell of It Peter Orullian What will he wager? Schrödinger’s Gun February 18, 2015 Schrödinger’s Gun Ray Wood Maybe in some other timeline it would have gone smooth. Acrobatic Duality February 11, 2015 Acrobatic Duality Tamara Vardomskaya The two of her are perfectly synchronized. The Language of Knives February 4, 2015 The Language of Knives Haralambi Markov They share the rites of death, and grief.
From The Blog
February 26, 2015
Introducing the Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch
Keith DeCandido
February 23, 2015
Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed
Ilana C. Myer
February 20, 2015
Evil Eighties: The Paperback Horrors of Lisa Tuttle
Grady Hendrix
February 19, 2015
The Pinocchio Factor
Jen Williams
February 17, 2015
The Mummy was the Indiana Jones Successor that We Deserved
Emily Asher-Perrin
Showing posts tagged: steampunk click to see more stuff tagged with steampunk
Tue
Feb 3 2015 11:00am

Sleeps With Monsters: “She’d Die Like Joan of Arc First, and Spit Blood on You Through a Smile”

Karen Memory Elizabeth Bear excerptYou don’t understand how much I love Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory. Hell, I don’t understand how much I love Karen Memory: normally neither steampunk nor 19th century Americana have any great appeal for me.

But Karen Memory is a book I loved so much that I’ll seize any opportunity to extol its virtues. Because its narrator-protagonist, Karen, has the kind of voice that I’d be happy to read all day. And all the next day. And the day after that. Karen’s voice is funny and smart and confiding and so very sixteen—a sixteen possessed of a whole lot of pragmatism and with a whole lot of the innocence knocked off, but so very sixteen nonetheless.

Brit Mandelo’s review has already sketched some of the main points, so I won’t cover the same ground. (I disagree with my honourable colleague that Karen Memory lacks depth and reflection when it comes to itself and its characters—but every reader finds something different in their books.) I’m just going to... well, honestly? Probably gush.

[It’s embarrassing, but there it is.  Also, be prepared for spoilers.]

Thu
Jan 29 2015 9:00am

That Was Awesome: The Power of Voice in The Diabolical Miss Hyde

The Diabolical Miss Hyde Viola Carr I started reading The Diabolical Miss Hyde, and in the first paragraph, I found voice. Voice is such a nebulous yet vital element in writing. It’s attitude, rhythm, dialogue. It’s what makes a book come alive. Within a matter of sentences, Viola Carr’s novel snared me because of a perspective with blunt, ungrammatical charm:

In London, we’ve got murderers by the dozen. Rampsmen, garroters, wife beaters and baby farmers, poisoners and pie makers and folk who’ll crack you over the noddle with a ha’penny cosh for the sake of your flashy watch chain and leave your meat for the rats. Never mind what you read in them penny dreadfuls: there ain’t no romance in murder.

But every now and again, we gets us an artist.

[Read More]

Wed
Jan 28 2015 2:00pm

Sewing Machine Battles: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Karen Memory Elizabeth Bear reviewElizabeth Bear’s newest novel Karen Memory takes a different direction than her last several projects: it’s a steampunk romp set on the west coast during the late 19th century, narrated by the titular character, a young woman who works as a “seamstress” in a high end bordello.

One night, she helps (along with her housemates) to rescue two young women who have escaped the crib brothels down by the port—one the rescuer, one the rescue-ee. The incident brings the already-strained relationship between our antagonist, Peter Bantle, and the house’s Madame to a head; and, not long after, murdered women begin appearing around the city—also bringing to town the Federal Marshal Bass Reeves.

There are also dirigibles and steam-powered sewing machines like exoskeletons, of course, and the wider conflict over the future of the West lingers in the submerged layers of the narrative as well. There’s a mix of actual history and invented, real places and people and imaginary, that adds a certain depth to the fun—plus, there’s also a diverse cast, from our protagonist’s love interest Priya to the Marshal and his posseman.

[A review.]

Mon
Jan 26 2015 5:00pm

Steampunk Events for February 2015

Steampunk Events February

This month, the steampunk blogosphere is getting prepped for Year Two of Steampunk Hands Around the World, where dozens of bloggers from over 15 different countries plan to share about their local communities with the rest of the world. Come join the event at the Airship Ambassador website.

Besides the virtual world, steampunks across the globe can populate their social calendar with fantastic escapades. Party like its 1900 in Meiji-era Japan at Steam Garden 8 in Tokyo. Run away to Las Vegas for their inaugural steampunk convention or enjoy a convivial in Surrey, England. Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador and I have collected some of the most exciting events for February. It may be a short month, but it packs a lot of brass.

[February 2015 steampunk events]

Mon
Jan 12 2015 12:00pm
Excerpt

Karen Memory (Excerpt)

Karen Memory Elizabeth Bear excerpt Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, lives in Rapid City in the late 19th century—when airships plied the trade routes bringing would-be miners heading up to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront.

Karen is a “soiled dove,” a young woman on her own who is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable’s high-quality bordello. Through Karen’s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house—a resourceful group—and the poor and the powerful of the town. Trouble erupts into her world one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, seeking sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, who has a machine that can take over anyone’s mind and control their actions. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap—a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.

Elizabeth Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper-type story of the old west with the light touch of Karen’s own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science. Karen Memory is available February 3rd from Tor Books!

[Read an Excerpt]

Wed
Jan 7 2015 12:00pm

A Priest, a Nun and a Texas Ranger Walk into a Haunted Hotel: Cherie Priest’s Jacaranda

Jacaranda Cherie PriestOn an island that’s no more than a sandbar situated in the Gulf of Mexico stands a hotel with one bad rep. Over the years, the Jacaranda Hotel had been the epicenter of several gruesome deaths, starting with its original owners and eventually claiming both occupants and staff alike. The hotel’s skittish manager Sarah and long-term guest (and Irish nun) Sister Eileen are desperate for any help in stopping these grisly deaths.

The local authorities turn a blind eye. The former Republic (and now reluctant state) of Texas also ignores their repeated requests to send a Ranger to investigate. Padre Juan Miguel Quintero Rios, a former gunman turned man of God, however, receives Sister Eileen’s cry for help and makes his way to the Jacaranda.

Unsettling and creepy, Jacaranda, Cherie Priest’s latest novella in the Clockwork Century series, is a classic take upon a horror staple. This work is an outlier in her established universe of alt-hist steampunk zombie Civil War adventures, but fulfills its promise as a quick, chilling read.

[Welcome to the Jacaranda, and keep your eyes off the lobby floor.]

Tue
Jan 6 2015 4:00pm

Steampunk Events for January 2015

Steampunk Events January 2015

Many happy returns for 2015! As we prep for a new year and beyond, Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and I are already looking at the array of social events for the retrofuturist set. Meet and greets are happening across the globe, and we’re lighting some from Wales, Canada and the US. You can also pay a visit at the Steampunk Snowdown in Colorado or take a cruise aboard the Queen Mary!

[January 2015 Steampunk Events]

Fri
Dec 19 2014 4:00pm

Tim Powers Unlocks Another Gate in Nobody’s Home

Nobody's Home The Anubis Gate Tim Powers review The Anubis Gates, by Tim Powers, had been out a good dozen years when I first read it in 1995 or so. Published in 1983 and winner of the Philip K. Dick award, this landmark steampunk novel is the story of Brendan Doyle, an English professor who finds himself trapped in a 19th century alternate London where ghosts lurk in the shadows, magicians vie for power over old gods and time travel gates, and guilds of penniless beggars and confidence tricksters scramble to pick up any crumbs dropped by the wealthier and more magically privileged classes of their intensely stratified society.

In The Anubis Gates, Doyle runs afoul of a magician, Amenophis Fikee, more widely known as Dog-Face Joe. As a side-effect of a magical rituals gone wrong, Joe has become a grotesquely intimate form of serial killer. Every so often he must switch bodies, taking possession of a new victim. His new host immediately begins to grow a dense pelt of all-over body hair.

[Expanding The Anubis Gates universe]

Wed
Dec 3 2014 5:00pm

Steampunk Events for December 2014

Steampunk Events December

‘Tis the season everyone suddenly enjoys a touch of the (neo)-Victorian. To brighten up your holidays, check out some of these events in December. Put your dancing shoes on at steampunk balls happening across the United States and throughout the world. Pack a basket for the NYC Nostalgia Ride. With the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, we have gathered a selection of events for the retrofuturist in everyone.

[December 2014 Steampunk Events]

Wed
Nov 19 2014 1:10pm

Cover Reveal for Elizabeth Bear’s Karen Memory

Karen Memory Elizabeth Bear

I’m very excited to show-off the cover to Elizabeth Bear’s upcoming novel Karen Memorypublishing February 2015 from Tor Books. The art is by Cynthia Sheppard. She’s done a brilliant job of depicting a strong and resourceful character, someone that you believe has a story to tell. This is only the second time I have worked with Cynthia, I’m looking forward to many more covers from her in the future.

Head below the cut for the full cover art, and to learn more about Elizabeth Bear's new novel!

[Read More]

Thu
Nov 6 2014 11:30am

Cover Reveal for The Diabolical Miss Hyde

Tor.com is thrilled to reveal the cover for Viola Carr’s The Diabolical Miss Hyde—a steampunk fantasy retelling of the horror classic in which Dr. Eliza Jekyll, daughter of the infamous Dr. Henry Jekyll, pursues a dangerous murderer in an alternate Victorian London. The first in the Electric Empire series, The Diabolical Miss Hyde publishes February 2015 from HarperCollins.

See the full cover below, as well as some behind the scenes photos from the set!

[Read More]

Thu
Oct 30 2014 12:30pm

Steampunk Events for November 2014

As the days grow colder, we’re looking for more reasons to eat, drink, and be merry—with some historical subversiveness thrown in for good fun. Stop in for a dance (or a bite) at the historically-inclined vampire balls on All Hallow’s Day. Attend steampunk conventions in San Antonio, TX, Wichita, Kansas, or Lafayette, Louisiana. Gab with authors at Clockwork Couture’s book signing or party on the Prime Meridian at the Greenwich’s National Maritime Museum. These events and more are the gems that Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and I had pulled out from the brassy bits of the internetz to add to your social calendar.

[November steampunk events]

Mon
Oct 20 2014 10:30am

Download a Free Romulus Buckle Story from The Steampunk User’s Manual!

Desirina Boskovich pop quiz interviewIn discussing Steampunk fiction and wondering how to show readers an example of “thinking big,” one way was to illustrate a high-octane action scene. Richard Ellis Preston, Jr.’s Romulus Buckle series always tends to “go big” in terms of being fearless in that arena, so we thought a scene involving an airship and a giant squid made a lot of sense to include in the book. The books partake of an old-time pulp sense-of-wonder but with modern underpinnings. We’re also happy Preston’s been generous enough to offer his latest short story set in that universe for free to readers for two weeks (Update: three weeks!), in conjunction with The Steampunk User’s Manual’s release.
 
Thinking big can also, of course, be conceptual or about innovation or experimentation and we cover that in the Storytelling chapter as well. In addition to Preston’s diagram we’ve included words of wisdom from Nisi Shawl, Amal El-Mohtar, and more—some of which originated right here at Tor.com.

Find out more about the story and how to download it below!

[Plus the art from the giant squid battle!]

Fri
Oct 3 2014 3:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: R.S. Belcher

R.S. Belcher Pop Quiz interviewWelcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by R.S. Belcher, an award-winning newspaper and magazine editor and reporter. He’s also been a private investigator, a DJ, a comic book, and game store owner and has degrees in criminal law, psychology and justice and risk administration. Belcher is the author of The Six-Gun Tarot, a dark, western fantasy with steampunk elements. Its sequel, The Shotgun Arcana, is available October 7th from Tor Books. Check out an excerpt here on Tor.com!

[Join us!]

Mon
Sep 29 2014 1:00pm

Steampunk Events for October 2014

Photo credit: subversively

Finally! Welcome to the only time of the year where mainstream society thinks it’s okay to walk down the street in steampunk gear (not that many steampunks care about mainstream society anyway). To celebrate dropping temperatures, changing leaves, commercially-sponsored sugar-highs, and retrofuturist-gothic adventures, take a gander at events gathered with the help of Kevin Steil (the Airship Ambassador) and author S.J. Chambers.

This month, attend a Girl Genius-themed ball in California, party with Lord Saint Germain in Japan, or spend an evening with Edgar Allen Poe wherever he may pop up!

[October 2014 Steampunk Events]

Fri
Sep 26 2014 1:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: Beth Cato

Beth Cato pop quiz interview Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by author Beth Cato! Beth hails from Hanford, California, but currently writes and bakes cookies in a lair outside of Phoenix, Arizona. She shares the household with a hockey-loving husband, a numbers-obsessed son, and a cat the size of a canned ham. Beth's debut novel, The Clockwork Dagger, is available now from HarperVoyager. Check out an excerpt from the steampunk fantasy here on Tor.com!

[Read More]

Tue
Sep 23 2014 8:00am
Original Story

The Golden Apple of Shangri-La

Flying straight from the pages of the Gideon Smith steampunk novels is airship pilot Rowena Fanshawe, who in this tale pre-dating the books discovers that heroes do not necessarily always behave with honor.

This short story was acquired and edited for Tor.com by senior editor Claire Eddy.

[Read “The Golden Apple of Shangri-La” by David Barnett]

Fri
Sep 19 2014 8:00am

Angels and Ending: Jay Lake’s Last Plane to Heaven

Jay Lake Last Plane to Heaven The title story in Jay Lake’s Last Plane to Heaven: The Final Collection is about a girl who falls from the sky... and into the hands of those who see her, first and foremost, as a possible military asset. To that end, a team of mercenaries in the South Gobi desert is tasked with (really, blackmailed into) assessing her combat-readiness. Perhaps not surprisingly, this doesn’t end well for Team Free World.

“Last Plane to Heaven: A Love Story” is something of a tough love opener: it’s not without flashes of sweetness, but the mercenary at its core is rough-edged, unpleasant and at the end of his proverbial rope. The bleak backdrop of Outer Mongolia, vividly evoked in Lake’s always-precise prose, adds to the sense of menace in this piece. As an entry point into the book, it makes a definitive statement: these tales wind a path through places of shadow and fire.

[Read more...]

Tue
Sep 16 2014 3:00pm

The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe: David Barnett

David Barnett pop quiz interview Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on Tor.com featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by an award-winning journalist and author David Barnett! David is the multimedia content manager of the Telegraph & Argus, the cultural reviewer for The Guardian and the Independent on Sunday, and has done features for the Independent and Wired.

His steampunk/Victoriana novel Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl and its sequel, Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon, are both available from Tor Books. Read excerpts from Mechanical Girl and Brass Dragon here on Tor.com.

[Join us!]

Wed
Sep 3 2014 3:00pm
Excerpt

The Shotgun Arcana (Excerpt)

R S Belcher

RS Belcher The Shotgun Arcana excerpt 1870. A haven for the blessed and the damned, including a fallen angel, a mad scientist, a pirate queen, and a deputy who is kin to coyotes, Golgotha has come through many nightmarish trials, but now an army of thirty-two outlaws, lunatics, serial killers, and cannibals are converging on the town, drawn by a grisly relic that dates back to the Donner Party…and the dawn of humanity.

Sheriff Jon Highfather and his deputies already have their hands full dealing with train robbers, a mysterious series of brutal murders, and the usual outbreaks of weirdness. But with thirty-two of the most vicious killers on Earth riding into Golgotha in just a few day’s time, the town and its people will be tested as never before—and some of them will never be the same.

R.S. Belcher’s The Shotgun Arcana is the imaginative and ambitious follow-up to The Six-Gun Tarot. Read an excerpt below, and look for The Shotgun Arcana October 7th from Tor Books.

[Read an excerpt]