The Two Weddings of Bronwyn Hyatt
@Bethynyc: There is another short story on Tor set in the Tufa world, "Shall We Gather": Hope you enjoy that one too!
Protecting What You Love: On the Difference Between Criticism, Rage, and Vilification
Just because something is meant to be fun and is intended to be enjoyed by a large percentage of people does not mean that it is above (or below) criticism. In fact, criticism becomes even more relevant when a piece of media enjoys widespread popularity because it then occupies such a substantial space in our culture. Have you heard of Moff's Law? I pull it up all the time when people protest intellectual discussions of fannish things. Great article overall. On the other hand, if a creative continues to make creative choices that are racist. sexist, other ish, etc, etc, that leads me to trust less and less of them as a creator and suspect there are biases that person has which is refected in their art.
“They’ll Rue the Day a Metanatural Visits the Raj”: Gail Carriger’s Prudence
@Aeryl: Genevive makes an all too brief appearance in this book, but I'd love to see more of her in future ones.
“They’ll Rue the Day a Metanatural Visits the Raj”: Gail Carriger’s Prudence
Okay, more slight spoilers ahead. . . . . . . The portrayal of the PoC I'm really on the fence about in Prudence, to be honest. Part of it is because Rue has some contact with the shapeshifters of India more than the vampires, and the one encounter she does have with the Indian vampire sounds much more demonizing than what I included in the review. Her view of the shapeshifter group (I won't mention what they are for spoilers) is more extensive. It is obvious they have their own power and autonomy in Indian society based on their religious beliefs, but essentially many of the British characters save one are dismissive of that worldview in general. Rue does, however, gives that group a lot of respect for trying hard not to engage in violent combat in the final third, and works in the end to their favor. The Egyptian vampire set from Timeless are referenced in the beginning of Prudence--notably for their impact on fashion -- I suppose an alternate look on how the craze for Orientalism is brought to Britain, which I thought was cute. Another character also shows up briefly to help the plot along, and I think she was presented well, despite Rue's confusion about her (since they never met). Miss Sekhmet I actually liked a lot, despite her veiled intentions, which you still aren't fully sure of by the end of the book. She's certainly sticking around, though.
Terry Pratchett, Author and Satirist, Passes Away at Age 66
My heart is so heavy by this news. If you check out Pratchett's Twitter, there is a lovely little series of tweets of him leaving with Death.
A Russian Brown Bear is the Best Patronus! Our Pop Quiz Interview with Sergei Lukyanenko
@shellywb: Harper Voyager picked up and re-issued his Night Watch novels (which I adore). Have to check out The Genome now....
“Believe the Victim” and Other Anti-Harassment Guidelines We Learned From NYCC’s #YesAllGeeks Panel
Fantastic coverage! I'm glad that we could get this information out there. I also want to add that our digital correspondent is Kaye M (@gildedspine) -- she is the creator of the #YesAllWomen hashtag & a real inspiration, so I want to be sure she's properly credited. :)
Geeks of Color Go Pro! Diversity and Careers in Geek Culture at NYCC
Thanks for the great coverage! :D Cross your fingers for "Geeks of Color: Bigger, Longer & Uncut" for next year.
“The Litany of Earth” and a New Generation Doing Wonderful Things
I didn't realize how much a part of the "up & coming" SFF generation I was until you pointed out that all of these writers are around the same age as me. Guess it makes this an exciting time to be a young editor too, huh? (born 1985, when Neuromancer won the Hugo. Octavia Butler's "Bloodchild" also won for Best Novelette, which I only mention because it is one of my favorite short works ever)
Steampunk Events for March 2014
Of course! How could I forget AnomalyCon! People, check them out ^^
Freemasons Will Fight the Devil! Fan Theories About Sleepy Hollow
As soon as they introduced Jenny, I also thought it was obvious that she was the other Witness and not Ichabod. I think it'd be interesting, however, to see diversive factions among both sides in the oncoming march to the Apocolypse. I suspect that Moloch is the head of one faction (with John Cho has his sidekick), but other demons having their own agendas, including the Four Horsemen themselves and the separate covens of witches. I've also been placing my bets on Ivring knowing more than he lets on
Geeks of Color Assemble! Minorities in Fandom and Geek Culture at NYCC 2013!
Thanks for your thorough coverage, Leah! I really appreciate the reception that we had gotten at NYCC. @Braid_Tug: Hollywood & the media's homogenization of Native culture is never cool (~kills The Lone Ranger movie with fire~) In terms of books, I at least can offer some suggestions. Sherman Alexie is a big rec in YA. Carla Speed McNeil has an award-winning comic called Finder that covers aboriginal sci-fi in a near-future world. And I just read Killer of Enemies by Joseph Bruchac, which in a nutshell is "post-apoc, Apache steampunk" and had me in the edge of my seat the whole way through. Cynthia Leitich Smith has some great resrouces for children's & YA on her website, and Beth Lameman is a Native artist/filmmaker/comic book writer who has some work out there. Hope these are a good start!
Sleeps With Monsters: Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit
I really glad you enjoyed Moribito! The animation quality really blew me away when I first watched it. I also appreciate that Balsa is a naginata warrior -- a traditional female martial art that not many people know about in the US (c'mon, people can't *all* be samurais!). That, and the different cultural groups in the show are based off of Japan's indiginous peoples too.
Steampunk Events for August 2013
Adding in this event for next weekend that I forgot to include! "If you are in the area, you won't want to miss the RFE Steampunk Embassy to WaterFire Providence. Great art and an amazing lineup of performers including Frenchy & the Punk, Eli August & the Abandoned Buildings, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, Painless Parker and a bunch more. August 24 & 25 It's absolutely free and all are welcome."
Steampunk Events for August 2013
@Tori - Thanks for the rec, and that panel looks exciting! I'm glad to see Zen and Alex participating on it.
Steampunk Events for June 2013
Dang, I had a nagging feeling there was a typo somewhere. Fixed!
Seven Science Fiction/Fantasy Martyrs Who Give Saint Valentine a Run for His Money
Dipping into anime (which is rife with self-sacrificing), one of the biggest in recent memory is Madoka from Puella Magi Magica Madoka. Her choice of martrydom in order to save all magical girls (or ascension into Goddess-hood, whatever you prefer) was one of the best conclusions to an anime that sought to deconstruct the whole magical girl genre.
Steampunk Hits the Mainstream! (Again)
Yes, the Toy Soldiers! I didn't know whether the organization as a whole considered yourselves still under the steampunk umberalla, or if you've become an entire entity of your own (or, perhaps, just both).
Gearing up for 2013: A Steampunk Convention Listing
Thanks for the heads-up, Elisabet! I will add that into our steampunk events round-up for February ^^
Sleeps With Monsters: Kameron Hurley Answers Six Questions
Fantastic interview here! I haven't read Kameron's work yet, but she will certainly be someone I'll look out for on the bookshelves.
The New Doctor Who TARDIS Interior Revealed
Can anyone tell if Matt Smith is sporting John Smith/Tenth Doctor's watch fob there? Because if so-- that's is awesome!
What is to Be Done?: Ann Vandermeer’s Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution
@radicaljoeyjung: Thanks for pointing out that oversight--! And I did enjoy the tense, survivalist mode of her piece.
Steampunk Events for December 2012
@Birthrite: Oops -- sorry about the location mix-up! I'll be sure that gets corrected. Thanks.
Steampunk Week 2012 on
@Mfenger: I'm glad that you've enjoyed our Steampunk blogging events here at Tor, and hope this Week lives up to your expectations. @RobHansen: We don't have anyone covering Moorcock this year, but Mike Perschon (who reviews steampunk books and others for us) did a great write-up of Warlord of the Air over on his blog The Steampunk Scholar some years back.
Queering SFF: Pride Month Extravaganza!
Hurrah! Looking forward to reading your posts this month :)
We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We’re Spec Fic: Lee Mandelo’s Beyond Binary
@Tobi: Thank you for commenting on my review, and I regret that error about your story. Certainly having a transgender identity wouldn't change a person's perception of their own gender, even if their biological sex may change. I sincerely apologize for not expressing that clearly, and appreciate your correction.
What You Never Knew about Neverland: Peter and the Starcatcher
A heads-up for folks -- readers of Beyond Victoriana can enter to win a pair of tickets to this show. Details here: @Louisa: Thanks for your comment -- sorry for the confusion, but if you want to enter the contest, please reply to my post on Beyond Victoriana, not here. :)
What You Never Knew about Neverland: Peter and the Starcatcher
@earbox: LoL, I'll see if in-house can tweak that -- thanks for the correction XD @nutmeag: You can still catch this show, actually -- it *just* opened on Broadway last week! :D And if you watch this space, I might make an announcement soon on this thread for people interested in seeing this show...
Steampunk Events for April 2012
Just got word from Jeff Mach about a worthy steampunk fundraising event happening this Sunday in NYC: The Anachronism 4.5: Dracula Meets the Clockwork Man Gil Cnaan, the producer behind Dorian's Parlor in Philly, has been recently hospitalized and could use some community support. "Dracula Meets The Clockwork Man" is a name we created to symbolize a joining together of all manner of unusual people as we unite to help one of our own. Sunday, April 1st, at Drom, NYC, featuring Voltaire (; Platform One (, the Royal Baritarian Players (; Psyche Corporation (; Dame Ashley Rogers; Steam-Funk Productions, and more. FB Page for details Buy advance tickets here.
Steampunk Events for January 2012
Geez, how could I forget that the Edwardian World's Faire & Edwardian Ball is happening on Jan 20th & 21st?
Rhyme meets Reason in Miranda, the Steampunk Murder Mystery Opera
Kamala Sankaram and Rob Reese also stopped by Beyond Victoriana to amswer some questions about the creation of the show. You can read their interview here.
Steampunk Events for January 2012
I'm working on the 2012 Steampunk Convention list at the moment -- thanks for reminding me of that one!
Cherie Priest’s Boneshaker to Shake Up Cinemas
I'm thrilled to finally hear that this book got green-lit. Looking forward to seeing this process unfold :)
5 Things You Need to Know About Boilerplate, 20th Century Steampunk Robot
Thanks for this panel review, Natalie! I had no idea you were in the crowd, or else I would've said hi afterwards. :)
“Can Steampunk Look Towards the Future?” Vintage Tomorrows Screening Report
Thanks Warren! Yes, Alan is amazing, but I didn't get a chance to catch his full name -- I'll have that credit fixed. :)
So Long & Thanks for All the Brass!
Annnnd, I didn't have the chance to thank the last-minute additions to this week, which made it all that more fantastic. Scott Brundage -- Thanks for contributing with the clever Ada Lovelace illustrated tribute today. Sometimes, pictures can say 1,000 words, and yours did so while transcending time & space too (and that *pug!*) Delia Sherman - Thank you for offering your short story as well to add to our fictional delights. Much love to Gavin Grant and Kelly Link, the editors of Steampunk! too, and I hope readers can get a glimpse of how fantastic the whole anthology is.
Happy Ada Lovelace Day!
@Gerry__Quinn: While there has been speculation that Babbage worked jointly on the mathematical theories about his Engines with Lovelace, scholars credit Lovelace as the person who figured out the grunt-work mathematical equations for the programs that could be processed by Babbage's machine.
As Ada Lovelace → ∞
Win! Thanks for pulling this together Scott. :)
Steampunk Appreciations: This is American Steampunk (And How!): Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century Series
Why does a woman have to dismiss men entirely to be considered feminist? Is being strong and self reliant no longer valued? I do point out that all of Priest's female leads are strong and self-reliant people, which is admirable. I'm not shutting down any of them for having emotional baggage and being flawed, but when their emotional baggage is distinctly takes to men and *only* men, as in Briar's case, it raises some questions in my mind. Like, why are male-female relationships more emotionally important than female-female ones? (Notice that Josephine never had that problem, which makes her a more well-rounded character in general, not only a feminist one). Furthermore, in the case of Briar, at least, it's more complicated by the fact that everyone else around her associates her with her husband, father, or son; to many people, she can't be seen as separate outside of them. I agree with you that she's strong by inwardly resists these associations (especially with the reveal at the end), but for her character arc, I never fully accept the fact that she finally is free of them enough to be herself because she takes her father's title as sheriff. (I know that action can also be interpreted that she's overcome her past by integrating it into her individual self, but I just don't read it that way). What I don't get is the claim that just because her son is what makes her address this issue, it's not okay. Would it have been feminist if she'd had a daughter? It would not be "more feminist" if she had a daughter, but, again, it shows that her character does not have any strong female ties, and that makes me question why. Since it was Priest's decision to give her a son, and thus, only surrounding her with certain types of relationships, then I think it's fair game to wonder how that set-up is reflective both of Briar as a character and the general world she is placed in. And that's where my problem with your analysis comes in - after a certain point, these kinds of arguments become "find the penis and make a problem of it". Because for anything else Briar is, she's smart, strong, and driven to finally face her past for the first time. As much as any male character I've read in the hundreds of novels I've devoured. Why poke holes in that? Poking holes isn't the same as being dismissive, by the way. I never said that I hated Briar, after all, but that her character arc didn't satisfy me as a reader.
Steampunk Will Never Be Afraid Of Politics
@Alexander: You'll see a little bit of everything this week, which I especially tried to emphasize with today's line-up. Have you gotten a chance to read Andrew Fogel & Lord Bobbin's articles today yet? Both provide alternate perspectives involving technology, fandom, and storytelling performances that I think have become equally as interesting for creative types in the steampunk community. Donna's article on fashion is more than just about pretty hats too. :) @Jon: Good to hear from you too! I agree with Jha on this point too -- because steampunk is hitting a sudden growth spurt, you keep getting new people involved. Thought this can lead to repetitive 101 convos, the influx of new people can be very productive as well -- last con I was at, I ran into several politically interested folks who had never gone to steampunk events before, and were very pleased to know it wasn't all just a superficial love of Victoriana. Moreover, there has actually been a couple of political rallies I've attended at steampunk events, which is *never* something I'd expect a couple of years ago. There was one back at SPWF supporting the Wisconsin strikers & unions, and another at Great New England Steampunk Exhibition supporting LGBTQ causes. I suggest looking up "Steampunk Emma Goldman" who is the gal that organizes these things, along with "A Steam-Powered Cause" which is a nascent activist movement in San Antonio, TX. (Whether you can fully believe that effective rallies can be held at conventions, or whether the spectacle of steampunk diminishes the effectiveness of political activities is another story... and brings up a lot of interesting questions about the current state of political involvement for everyday people. I can talk *much* more about this elsewhere, though).
Steampunk Will Never Be Afraid Of Politics
@Brian: I think you and Magpie are coming from the same place here. True, he does not advocate sweeping the problematic elements concerning the 19th century under the rug, either. Moreover, however, I think he just considers *anything* that questions the historical norms of the era as being "radical," including your female commander and non-Western explorer. I highly suggest you check out Steampunk Magazine's previous publications too, which also include the dystopian-friendly, how-to "Guide to the Apocalypse".
Tumultuous Travels Around a Steampunk’d World in Scott Westerfeld’s Goliath
Oh, Bovril got a lot of mileage, but I also think there was a certain level of scientific ethics that the books never fully address about engineering animals, especially with the burgeoning animal rights movement that started in the Victorian era. Or maybe Bovril just had so much Rise of the Apes potential to me that I expected him to have *that* moment where he shocks everyone with almost unpredicatble human-level intelligence, instead of just mulling things together like an animal computer. But you're spot-on about Lilit, though.
Puzzle Your Way Out of Nemo’s Submarine in 5 Wits’s “20,000 Leagues” Interactive Adventure
@Longtimefan: 20,000 Leagues is a real-life, interactive game with separate, physical rooms that you have to manuver through. The pictures are of the actual rooms -- is it a compliment to think that the rooms are so detailed, they almost don't look like they could be real? :)
This is What a Feminist Science Fiction Convention Looks Like: A Con Report from WisCon
A general comment about my take on panels at cons: I don't mean to include presentations, demonstrations, and workshops into the mix. Those tend to be more structured in my opinion and I definitely go to more of those at cons than just straight up panels (aka discussion-based panels or open topic fan panels). In my experience those have the potential to be very disorganized or run by inexperienced people who don't know how to facilitate a conversation very well. In the past, I've usually gone to anime conventions, where the focus would be more on the masquerade, the dealer's room, and demonstrations (like kimono-folding, tea ceremony, etc). At gaming cons, the focus is, well, at the tables. Steampunk cons tend to have a good mix of panels, but the focus is more on other things like crafting, presentations (like on histories or literature), demonstrations, and musical bands. @EmmetAOBrien Funny thing is that I've never heard of ReaderCon until after I left Massachusetts; I should really go to that one some day.
Mischief Managed: An Appreciation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Thanks everyone for your feedback & outpouring of PoA love! @sofrina: I never had much love for Peter, but he does get my pity vote for how his cowardice had trapped him twofold: both in a body that isn't human for a dozen years and then in his service to Voldemort, to whom he was dedicated because of his fear of the repercussions as much as it was loyalty. @Serp: That's awesome you & your friends made your own map! My friends and I totally made our own painted wands and stuff before they started being sold with the onset of the movies (I even still have mine!) And it is frustrating that JKR never did anything more awesome with Lupin in the later books (I feel the same way for Sirius too, especially since it seemed like he was on a tragic spiral even after he got out.) And you're right about praising Lupin's cool head in dealing with Snape too; though I think in that case it was also a "keep your friends close but your enemies closer" situation for both of them, and Lupin knew Snape well enough that he wouldn't risk do anything to him (in a way that could be traced back to him, at least), and Snape wouldn't want to be responsible for a situation where Lupin's werewolf went out of control because of something he did. @EmmetAP: Yeah, as young & hip Tonks is, I never really got to liking her; the puppies just work so much better! @Lsana I think Snape was probably 95% sure that the Marauders' Map was created James & Co, but wasn't couldn't fling off the accusation until he could be 100% sure with proof and that Lupin was a thus a threat to Harry by giving him it. And then Ron came running in saying that he got it at the joke shop and ruined any moment Snape had to accuse Lupin of anything. @Stefan: Me too! Which is also why I read it again after, so I could "read between the lines" for everything. @SusanSipal PoA was just one of the better constructed books in the series, overall. The plotting, the characterization, and the world-building all balanced each other out. And I agree this was the book that made everyone start reading into every single detail thereafter. @Jeff Dougan Yes about the time travel! I've read a lot of different explanations of time travel in books, but to see a simple "time is a loop and here we go" is quite refreshing.
Reporting from Steampunk World’s Fair, Part Deux: The Fairening
@TWGrace: There was plenty going on that wasn't political, if that's not your thing. Especially the music (which was such a big thing for me last year, but I didn't have a chance to see much of it this year!), including performances from Professor Elemental, Emperor Norton's Stationary Marching Band, Psyche Corporation, Eli August, This Way to Egress, Murder by Death, Frenchy and the Punk, and others. Plus, there was a Queen Victoria's Birthday Party, a fashion show, a Mad Science fair, a Dandy Stroll, a Tweed Ride and dozens of craft & Victorian-era workshops & panels. I couldn't see it all, but others did, and you can check out their con reports and pictures on Beyond Victoriana tomorrow. Bloggers Matt and Jordan Get Struck By Lightning, Married. (And Huey Lewis Was There.)
@Jordan & Matt: Awwwww, congrats to you both! And what an electrifying ceremony, if you pardon my pun :)
Morning Roundup: George Lucas Strikes Back
@Stubby: LARPing in Steampunk's already happened-- check out Steam & Cinders:
Goggles and Top Hats in the House: Photos from Steampunk Stylin’ at The Way Station
Hi Jim, Tor has certainly had events at The Way Station for years, but these were always one-night events only, since the bar hadn't officially opened to the public yet. The Way Station has been on a long journey these past two years in order to officially open, and didn't actually do so until this February. I've been keeping in touch with the bar owner, Anders, following his progress. We're really excited that he can finally open the doors to everyone, and so far, the bar has been trememdously successful. I hope you have a chance to see it one day!
Steampunk Kitchens & More at the Alternative Living Expo
Glad to see people excited about this! Just remember, you have to comment on the separate raffle post linked at the end of this article in order to enter for free tickets, NOT this one. :)
Queering SFF: The Bone Palace by Amanda Downum
Great review--I had no idea about the queer elements in the book when it first pubbed, but now I'll have to add this book in my TBR pile!
Gearing up for 2011: A Steampunk Convention List
@Professor Oilcan: Thanks for the shoutout about the Kew Bridge Steam Museum. ^^ @Ardlark: I'm attending TempleCon too, and am so excited for it. Hope to see you there (perhaps even at one of my panels). @Lia: Thanks! I hope people find it helpful. And one more correction: The Victoria Steam Expo hasn't announced their 2011 dates yet. You can keep up with the latest news on their website.
Gearing up for 2011: A Steampunk Convention List
@Helen: World Steam Expo is included on the list; SDCC got misplaced above it. And it looks like another steampunk convention was just announced today too: Aetherfest April 29th - May 1st, San Antonio, TX "ÆtherFest is Texas' first and (currently) only three-day steampunk convention and festival! It's full of all the panels, workshops, musical events, vendors and wonderful people from the Steampunk community you expect to find at any such convention in an exceedingly historic and immersive hotel environment with a light theme tying it all together."
How to Suppress Women’s Writing by Joanna Russ
Thanks for the rec. I've never heard of this book before, but now it is going on the To Read list.
Is Boston the hub of steampunk?
I'm not surprised about the steampunk community of New England. I've travelled the convention circuit there for the past few years talking about steampunk, with my fellow ruffians The Wandering Legion and every year, we draw in more and more interested folks, and everyone there is so creative and generous! Glad to see it spotlighted!
Steampunk Archetypes
@jackdaw: Lolita actually refers to the Japanese fashion subculture of the same name: It started in the 1970s and is based on the philosophy that women should take pride in being feminine, and the style is based on a neo-Victorian aesthetic with an emphasis on cuteness and looking beautful for their own enjoyment and not for the attention of men.

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