Where the Trains Turn November 19, 2014 Where the Trains Turn Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen His imagination runs wild. The Walk November 12, 2014 The Walk Dennis Etchison Creative differences can be brutal. Where the Lost Things Are November 5, 2014 Where the Lost Things Are Rudy Rucker and Terry Bisson Everything has to wind up somewhere. A Kiss with Teeth October 29, 2014 A Kiss with Teeth Max Gladstone Happy Halloween.
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November 21, 2014
Never Wait for a Sequel Again: 17 Standalone Fantasy Novels
Stubby the Rocket
November 18, 2014
The Hollow Crown: Shakespeare’s Histories in the Age of Netflix
Ada Palmer
November 17, 2014
In Defense of Indiana Jones, Archaeologist
Max Gladstone
November 14, 2014
An Uncut and Non-Remastered List of Star Wars Editions!
Leah Schnelbach
November 13, 2014
Why Do We Reject Love as a Powerful Force in Interstellar?
Natalie Zutter
Showing posts by: ay-leen the peacemaker click to see ay-leen the peacemaker's profile
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 27 2014 8:00am

That Old Black Magic: Katherine Howe on The Penguin Book of Witches

The Penguin Book of Witches‘Tis the season of growing cold, spooky tales, and things that go bump in the night. Before people ring in holiday cheer, they revel in the occult and mysterious as the days grow shorter and Halloween lurks around the corner. Witches have been one of the iconic symbols that remain in our cultural imagination year-round, however. From its origins in folklore and fairytales to Bewitched, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hocus Pocus, and, of course, Harry Potter, our ideas of witches are much more varied and benign than they were earlier in history.

Katherine Howe has explored the legend of the witch in her fiction before (The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, Conversion), but in The Penguin Book of Witches, she draws from historical accounts about English and North American witchcraft trials to undo misconceptions about the women and men who fell victim to them.

[“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” and beyond]

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
Aug 29 2014 9:00am

Power Plays and Indian Steampunk in Eric Brown’s Jani and the Greater Game

Jani and the Greater Game Eric BrownJanisha Chatterjee is a woman tangled up in layered identities. She lives during the heyday of British imperial rule, which is powered by mysterious technology known as Annapurnite. The privileged daughter of an Indian government official, Jani is an accomplished citizen of Empire—modern, secular, and studying medicine at Cambridge. She feels increasingly at odds, however, with the world around her: not fully fitting in as a mixed-race woman on the streets of London or in the market squares of Delhi. She also has growing reservations about the Raj, despite her father’s accomplishments as Minister of Security.

When her father falls gravely ill, she takes the first dirigible back east. The Rudyard Kipling’s journey, unfortunately, is cut short by a Russian attack that kills nearly everyone on board. One of the few survivors amongst the wreckage, Jani discovers that the airship had been transporting a most unusual prisoner. This stranger bestows a dangerous gift to Jani that reveals the British Empire’s source of military might…. and a dire warning about a threat which endangers the entire world.

[An account of certain dramatic events and several amazing revelations about the nature of reality]

Thu
Aug 28 2014 3:00pm

Steampunk Events for September 2014

Steampunk events September 2014

Autumn approaches, and along with copper, brass, and brown colors of the foliage, there are many steampunk events of note happening across the globe. Eurosteamcon prepares to take the entire continent by storm. Electro-swing inserts some retrofuturistic jazz into the Atlanta music scene. A murder mystery of sepia proportions is happening in Ohio. The steampunk band Abney Park takes the stage in New York City, along with Unwoman and Frenchy & the Punk. All of these events and more are featured this month, gathered together with the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador and Arthur Morgan, the proprietor of French Steampunk.

[September Steampunk!]

Wed
Jul 23 2014 4:00pm

Steampunk Events for August 2014

Mechanical Masquearade Atlantis

The hottest time of the summer is here, but you can stay cool at these fan- & propeller-friendly events. Attend a kinetic carnival in California or the Steampunk Experience in the UK. Stroll through retro-fitted small towns or party like its 20,000 Leagues Under the Seas at the Mechanical Masquerade: Atlantis in Atlanta, GA. All of these events and more are selected with the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador and this month’s guest contributor author Tee Morris.

[August 2014 steampunk events]

Wed
Jul 9 2014 1:00pm

SciFi in the Motor City: An Interview with the Committee of Detcon1

For SF/F fans who can’t make it out to London for Worldcon this summer, there is another event to put on your roster: Detcon1, this year’s North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC), happening in about two weeks in Detroit, Michigan. Recently, I’ve had the pleasure of talking to several of their committee members about what to expect at the convention, and more. Special kudos to Muhammad Aurangzeb Ahmad, member of Detcon1’s Diversity Advisory Board, for his help in arranging this chat.

 

[Rev up your engines and head down to Detroit, July 17-20]

Tue
Jul 1 2014 2:00pm

Steampunk Events for July 2014

Summer steampunk is underway for July. Dance the night away at full costume balls in Cornwell, England or Brisbane, Australia. Discover the Lost Circus or a secret speakeasy in New York City. Learn how to fight like Sherlock Holmes for a weekend, or race through the streets of Vallejo, CA, on your DIY ride to win the Obtainium Cup. All of these events, conventions and more are happening this month, gathered with help from Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and guest contributor Jean Martin, editor-in-chief, writer and photographer for Science Fiction/San Francisco.

[July 2014 Steampunk Events]

Fri
May 23 2014 3:00pm

Steampunk Events for June 2014

Steampunk events June 2014

Steampunk conventions are rolling in like wildfire this June. Take a trip to Scandinavia to attend festivals in Iceland or Sweden, or head further south for convivials in the UK or Italy. Stateside, party during a retro-futuristic club night in Los Angeles, check out the newest steampunk artworks in Colorado, or attend your nearest local event in Washington, Michigan, or North Carolina.

With the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and our guest contributor steampunk DJ and director of The Artifice Club, Doctor Q, check out some of the most exciting happenings to kick off the summer.

[June 2014 Steampunk Events]

Mon
Apr 28 2014 11:00am

In Conversation with Long Hidden Editors Rose Fox and Daniel José Older

Long Hidden anthology

“We need to talk about diversity,” has been the conversation starter in SF/F as of late. But the best fiction, as the saying goes, shows, not tells. The anthology Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History, edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older, reveals representation as more than a tally-count concerning diversity, and highlights how the act of reading across difference can be an intensely immersive experience.

Reading Long Hidden very much felt like sitting in on late-night conversations in a room full of strangers, darting from one conversation to the next. I might not immediately recognize the context of one tale or another, nor did I feel pressure or ridicule for not knowing something beforehand. What was important was recognizing the generosity and trust in which these stories were being told, and letting the conversation flow.

[Anthology-building, representation, and more]

Fri
Apr 25 2014 12:00pm

Steampunk Events for May 2014

May has always been a popular time of year for steampunk fests, this year being no exception. Conventions large and small abound: attend a steampunk con to help support women fighting cancer in West Virginia. Party like its 1899 at the Steampunk World’s fair in New Jersey. For the international folks, check out conventions and events in New Zealand, Germany, and France. As always, Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador brings the best that the aethernetz are touting; we’re also joined by guest contributor author and editor Sarah Hans.

[May 2014 Steampunk Events]

Fri
Mar 21 2014 12:00pm

Steampunk Events for April 2014

Spring is here (at last, at long last!) and steampunk events are popping out in time for the warmer weather. Party with pirates in Las Vegas. Watch the industrial histories come alive in Springfield, MA, Bridgeport, CT, and other towns across the United States. Or take trip to Paris to see Abney Park perform! All of these events and more are gathered right here, brought to you by Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and our guest contributor author Eileen Gunn. We also had help from the newest events listing for aether-gatherings: the Steampunk Events Calendar sponsored by Steampunk World’s Fair. So take a gander after the jump!

[April 2014 Steampunk Events Around the World]

Wed
Mar 12 2014 2:00pm

A Land without Leaders: A Country of Ghosts by Margaret Killjoy

A Country of Ghosts Margaret KilljoyThe most fantastical aspect of A Country of Ghosts is how it’s an earnest tale about an alternative society when dystopias fill today’s bookshelves. Full disclosure here: the author has written for Tor.com, and I did hold interest in reading his book once he described it to me as an “anarchist utopia.”

With that seed in mind, I couldn’t help but view A Country of Ghosts as the latest in a long tradition of utopian novels, starting with Thomas More’s as the most well-known early example (and a fantastic open source annotated edition can be read here).

[“The rules don’t really matter. It’s the spirit that matters, I think.”]

Fri
Feb 28 2014 1:00pm

Steampunk Events for March 2014

Nevermind thinking of lions and lambs, have some retrofuturistic adventures this March! Visit fesitvals in France, Argentina, and Tuscon, Arizona, get a taste of the Victorian Gothic in New York, or wander around Wales. Join Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, and our guest contributor author Ellie Ann Soderstrom as we highlight our favorite events from around the world.

Did we miss out on your event? Trumpet your horns in the comments below. Looking to be featured here next month? Email me at attic.hermit@gmail.com with the details by the Ides of March (otherwise known as the 15th, for the Shakepeaean-disinclined).

Descriptions are taken from the events Facebook or website, unless stated otherwise.

[March 2013 Steampunk Events]

Thu
Jan 23 2014 5:00pm

Steampunk Events for February 2014

Steampunk Events February 2014

February may be the shortest month of the year, but we have some big plans for it. Namely, check out the announcement from Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambassador, after the jump about “Steampunk Hands Around the World,” a new blogging even spanning the aetherwebz to highlight steampunk communities around the globe. If you are looking for some new people to meet, I highly recommend following along this month. For offline funtimes, people can check out the steampunk and “of-steam-interest” events below, gathered here with the help of our guest contributor & fellow Tor author Leanna Renee Hieber.

[Steampunk Events Around the World in 28 Days]

Tue
Dec 31 2013 1:00pm

Steampunk Events for January 2014

Still buzzing off the holiday cheer? Extend the celebration into 2014 by attending some steampunk events for your New Year’s Resolution. This is the third year that Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and I have brought you the latest retrofuturistically-inclinded events from around the world, and we’re excited to have a line-up of guest contributors to help give some additional insights. To begin 2014, we have returning contributor Pablo Vasquez, the co-chair for ’Aetherfest, on-hand to bring some Texas know-how to the list.’

Did we miss out on your event for January? Give a shout in the comments below. People can also submit future events to be featured too. Email attic.hermit@gmail.com by January 15th, 2014 with the details for upcoming February happenings.

All descriptions are taken from the event’s website or Facebook unless stated otherwise.

[Wind-up for 2014]

Tue
Dec 17 2013 5:00pm

The Magical Lives of Others: Sergei Lukyanenko’s Night Watch

Night Watch Sergei LukyanenkoSergei Lukyanenko’s Night Watch series may already be familiar to English-language sci-fi fans. In 2004, these Russian bestsellers got two high-octane film adaptations directed by Timor Bekmambetov; the movies broke box office records in their home country and garnered a cult following in the US. The Night Watch books were brought stateside, but didn’t grab as much attention as they should have (I blame the covers) and the books eventually went out of print. I’m glad the series, beginning with Night Watch, is making a comeback, however, in a slick new package that is way more attuned to the series’ vibe.

The premise of the book may sound a bit tired—individuals known as “Others” are divided into Light and Dark magicians that square off in Moscow—but the way that Lukyanenko spins the material turns oft-used tropes and makes them into instantly readable and increasingly addictive books with every installment. Lukyanenko writes an engrossing urban fantasy with a spy thriller bent for those who like their protagonists hard-boiled and their plots seasoned with ethical dilemmas and political brinkmanship. In the first book of this series, he takes the reader on a long, dark subway ride of the soul—figuratively and literally.

[But in the twilight there is no difference between the absence of darkness and the absence of light]

Fri
Dec 6 2013 11:00am

Describing the Craft of Writing is an Art: Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook

Wonderbook Jeff VanderMeer

What subject will always spark that light in a writer’s eyes? That gets writers going for hours in conversation? Gives them another reason to socialize on mailing lists and forums and then out of the house tot readings, salons, and conventions? What gets them more enthusiastic than their current project is the art of writing itself. For people aspiring to be published, “How do you do it?” is always the standby question they ask each other.

Thankfully, there is a new, craftily-assembled, and beautifully-designed resource to shelf beside your dog-eared copy of Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style. That’s Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction.

[More than “what you know”]

Tue
Dec 3 2013 5:00pm

Steampunk Events for December 2013

The end of 2013 is around the corner, but there are several steampunk events waiting to be enjoyed before the year is out. Ring in 2014 with The Clockwork Cabaret, attend a “Steampunk Camp” in Australia, or pay a tribute to A Christmas Carol at The Dickens Fair in California.

These celebrations and festivities, plus many more, are listed below, found with help from Kevin Steil the Airship Ambassador and this month’s guest contributor Jean Martin, the editor-in-chief, writer and photographer for Science Fiction/San Francisco.

[December 2013 steampunk events]

Fri
Nov 1 2013 1:00pm

Steampunk Events for November 2013

This November, conventions, galas, and art shows galore fill up the autumn calendar. With the help of Kevin Steil, the Airship Ambasador, and our guest contributor Lee Ann Farruga (a.k.a. Countessa Lenora) of Steampunk Canada, we bring to you a variety of interesting steampunk & steam-friendly events that the world has to offer.

Did we missed out on your gilded occasion? Give a shout-out in the comments below. Your event can also be featured here next month—feel free to email the details to me at attic.hermit@gmail.com before November 15th.

All descriptions taken from the event website or Facebook, unless stated otherwise.

[Steam on in November]