Tor Books to Release The Three-Body Problem, the First Chinese Science Fiction Novel Translated Into English
Hey, J Taliaferro and Niall: I believe that Ken and CEPIEC were limiting their definition to mainland China, and to what we would consider intentional science fiction rather than slipstream or satire. With those restrictions they do think it's the first, but the ones you cite are certainly worth mentioning in the lineage.
A. G. Carpenter and Hans Brouwer: Just stopped by this page--by accident, really--while updating the subs guidelines. The reason there's no action here is that they've moved to http://www.tor.com/page/submissions-guidelines , which is permalinked from the bottom of every page. The new guidelines have been around since August 2010 and do state that we don't take sim-subs. These days the vast majority of submissions are turned around in 8-9 months, though anything that makes it to a second look pile takes a bit longer.
Arconna: That's a reasonable point, though I tried to stick to a pretty rigorous definition here, which I think all of these shows fairly fall under. The one I was really debating was Adding Machine , a musical adaptation of the Elmer Rice play in which a man is essentially driven mad by being misunderstood by his job/family/society. And of course there's some individual selection at play--the kindest thing that I personally can say about Wicked is that it's got the best lighting design on Broadway. A friend pointed out that Repo: the Genetic Opera probably belongs here, though I haven't seen it--my excuse is that I see too much theatre to be any good at film.
Yay! I've been watching the videos on my lunch break and am riveted. If you haven't seen them yet, they're all available from youtube user Rashad8821.
Hey, all: Belatedly, I just added Gaslight, Chrononaut, Renovation, and the exhibit of the Forrester Gallery, Euchronia, the Tekniska Museet steampunk weekend (tentative),Asylum, and the World Steam Expo, the Mechanical Masquerade, the Midwinter Fling, the STEAM Fest 2011, Frozen in Time, and the Clockwork Ball; and adjusted the location of the World's Fair. Chris: Argh, I wish I could find those, but I did a bunch of the obvious google searches and all I could find were some Victorian events from the Sociedad Victoriana Augusta (http://www.sociedadaugusta.com/sociedad/eventos/) Michael_GR, Therru, and International?: you're right, the title was a poor choice (I just lifted it from last year's post on the same topic), but I do genuinely want to hear about things I'm missing, which I was trying to indicate with the line, "I'm sure I'm missing something (especially international events), but if you comment with something that I missed, I'd be happy to add it to the list." I listed everything my initial research turned up, but I knew I must be missing thingsespecially outside of the USwhich is why I was hoping our readers would have something to say. There's a great list of International Steampunk blogs at the Steampunk Tribune (http://www.steampunktribune.com/), but I'm afraid I don't read the languages well enough to discern anything.
Whoops. This is NOT an entry, but an "edited to add"--the copies of Rise of the Iron Moon will actually be galleys, not finished books. We meant to mention this, but my original version of the post crashed and Chris recreated it but didn't know that. Sorry for any confusion.
Debbie: I don't know if we can set a single definition for "a steampunk event," but the DoVs I've gone to have had a pretty good amount of overlap with the steampunk community and Neo-Victorian garb. I suspect it also depends on which events you go to: obviously a Victorian-themed event would be more obviously steampunk than something in the 30s and 40s.
Yes! I know I'm not supposed to play favorites, but I was so honored that we could host this post. It was really lovely to hear the backstory behind your costume.
Rob Blake: I don't think we disagree, actually: just look at your last paragraph. While I'm certainly not trying to diminish the amazing things the community is producing (heck, I edited Boneshaker), that's still worlds away from the multiple millions of people that, say, see the average studio movie. Until we get to the point where the word "steampunk" doesn't produce blank looks in most people who aren't self-identified SF fans, it's not mainstream. But I'm pretty confident (and excited!) that we'll get there in the next few years.
Laughingrat: Eeek, thanks for catching that. The missig words were "clockwork fairies," so perhaps a find and replace error with the title of the story.
Irene just let me know that we've had a few comments piling up here. Thanks for your patience. abwells: I'm afraid if it's available somewhere in full, it counts as published. John Vincent Vale: We're asking for electronic exclusive for a year, non-exclusive after that, and the right (with additional royalties) to include in a Best of Tor.com antho if we ever do one. Mina Bo / Jeff Alan Brown: Sorry, Tor.com is exclusively a short story publisher at this point. sabbersolo: A few people have been doing this, but we'd really prefer people submitted one at a time--it slows down the entire pile and seems unfair to others. I just responded to Lisa Von Biela privately, but I'll mention that her query prompted us to realize that we didn't really have an adequate system for dealing with queries--I respond to all the ones I notice, usually within a week or so, but there were clearly some that were slipping through the cracks. I've added some new filters that I hope will deal with this, and we'll also address it in our submissions guidelines mark 2. BigDave: I don't think this is the place to get into our finances, but one thing that is certainly true is that Tor.com is an experimental wing of a large publishing corporation (though, we hope, with a great big soul) and the excellent Strange Horizons is entirely driven by donations. StartEric: We are certainly reading--admittedly slowly, but we're two full-time editors doing this in whatever spare moments we can grab. Given that we have about a dozen submissions left in '09, it seems likely that yours was overlooked somehow. Please feel free to resubmit. kyleaisteach: As you can tell from my response to Lisa above, we hadn't really thought about the need for query filters--I've been trying to catch them by eye, but clearly a few have gotten through (usually the ones that aren't clearly labeled). We'll definitely address this in the next version of the subguidelines.
Milo1313: I see what you did there! Actually, my parents cursed all the time when I was a kid, so in a strange form of rebellion, I barely do it at all. Torie: Yeah, I kept wanting to reference the Mulder Goes Crazy episodes, but that felt a little too much like cheating. Is anyone else alarmed by the fact that *everyone* in Jason's family appears to be both awesome and evil?
Oh, my, we seem to have gotten some questions here. Let me catch up: MitchWagner: No, there's no autoresponse right now. We could set one up, but it would probably trigger even if something went into the spam filter, so I think we've got to stick with the standard wait-and-query method. Dannygirl: We will definitely reply as soon as we know we won't be taking a particular submission. The response time is a moving target--especially so at the moment--but I can tell you that we're a week or two shy of being done with 2009 and that the only things left are the twenty or so submissions in our second-look piles. Once we clear that hurdle, we'll make an announcement in twitterland. I do fear that we may have lost track of some submissions we got before the move to gmail, but at least once we can let people know that we've cleared 2009, they can let us know if they think we're wrong. Ashton_Jones / Dannygirl: Just to fend off further confusion, we want to be clear that the submission process for Tor bears no relation to the process for Tor.com. The Tor Books submission guidelines are at http://us.macmillan.com/Content.aspx?publisher=torforge&id=255#ctl00_cphContent_ctl30_lblQuestion, and they explicitly say, "If you have not heard back from us after six months, please resubmit." Doorock42: You can query at the same address. Right now we're about six months behind, so if you query any sooner than four months out, it will most likely just be a "haven't gotten to it yet."
Holy cow, we've apparently been suffering from some massive date confusion. Friday is right. We'll fix that ASAP.
dlong41 @ 19: They're at http://www.tor.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=blog&id=58076. Sorry, should have posted a link here.
August: drop me a line at (tordotcomics) (at) (gmail.com). It says it up there, but it is admittedly somewhat mired in details. Congrats!
Joshua @ 1: Got it! iObject @ 2: I wish I could, but I don't know of anything. Where are you, Boston-area steampunks? Nolly @ 3: Got it! Cool theme. Brigid @ 4: Thanks for the correction. So many links--I'm surprised I only messed one up. And I'm happy to add your gallery show.
Man, I want to read novels set in all of these environments. What a lot of cool ideas!
Hey, everyone! Just wanted to thank you for continuing to post your links and references to your favorite bits of the steampunk world. I couldn't hope to cover all of the cool stuff out there in my puny intro post, and indeed I keep discovering MORE stuff that I'd like to try to include. But this is a great place to share links with other readers, and I bet our bloggers will pick up on some of these as the month goes on.
I was wondering if that was you! I think it's an excellent touch. :) Great interview, and I look forward to reaping the benefits of Diana's insight at SteamCon in a couple of weeks.
Serge: I haven't seen it, so I can't say, but some people seem to think so. I don't know if I'd apply a strict cut-off date--usually I consider the period, the tone, the language, the plotline, the clothes, and the gadgets, and if some subsection of them seem to feel right, then I'm happy to call it steampunk. Jah: Sorry for using your alias instead of your name. I wasn't sure what you'd be blogging under. :) DKT: I had no idea that that story existed. How cool!
Thanks, all! dwndrgn: I hadn't thought about asking Kyle (my brain is clearly addled by all of our preparation), but I love his work. I can't find a specific repository of his steampunk stuff, but all of it is gorgeous. aedifica: That's an excellent point, and there's certainly a dearth of those perspectives in a lot of the work that's currently out there. But I think as we start to see more steampunk that's taken out of the "high Victorian" milieu it will be a lot easier to incorporate them: to use an example I'm exceptionally biased toward, Cherie Priest's Boneshaker has a fair number of PoC characters and (IMHO) treats them fairly well. And I'm also hopeful that your concerns will be reflected in our blogger pool: perhaps Cherie will talk a bit about her choices in this regard, and Jha'Meia has done some excellent writing in this arena. Ay-leen the Peacemaker's "'From the Wilds of America' Analyzing the Idea of 'British Colonial America' in Steampunk" is also a must-read if you haven't seen it yet.
RobMRobM: I guess I'm of the possibly-non-rigorous view that all works involving sentient, talking animals qualify as SF, but even if that were not the case, I think that singing, dancing, word-processing, pizza-ordering cows would certainly put it over the edge. The four-year-old I saw this with didn't quite grok the collective bargaining aspects, but I think he had about as good a time as I did. cdt: I'm hoping to see Powerhouse this Friday, but unfortunately by that point it will be too late to spread the word. Unless, of course, they remount it in one of those Fringe spotlight series.
DPZora: Nothing so complicated as that, it just didn't occur to me to put in individual links. I have now done so.
Whoops. Should have said so earlier, but the contest is over. Daniel is busy putting your entries through a complicated and important set of field tests, and we will announce the winners as soon as he is ready, hopefully tomorrow. Good luck!
Aaah! Sorry for the delay in following through here. WisCon was very intense but very good, but the few days since have been Very Not Good, mostly due to real life monsters like airlines. So, belatedly: Kate @ 12: That would be great! (I'm at first dot last at tor dot com or gmail dot com if you don't know already). And in case you're not watching this thread anymore, I'll try to dig up your e-mail address and get in touch with you. Richard @ 13: That's an interesting point, and I'm amused in retrospect that I've never for a second thought about whether it was worth examining how fantastical books measure up to my real-life politics; I've just done it. I'm going to give an over-hasty and ill-thought-out response to your questions, but I'm sure I'll keep rolling this around in the back of my head and refining my position. Basically, I can't buy the argument that what happens in fiction doesn't matter in the real world because to most of the people I know, it *does* matter: I'm sure I'm not the only one here whose greatest and most reliable friends through my early teen years were books, and although I spent many of those years reading indiscriminately, there was certainly a point when I started to form an ethical compass and a sense of identity and wanted the books I kept company with to fit within the former and not undermine the latter. And, sure, if something takes place in a universe that's radically different than ours, it will affect how many of the lessons contained therein we can apply to our own lives. But the more fiction one reads the easier it is to see how a work does on this front relative to other works, and if one is a reader who has (for example) a preference for books where white males are not the only characters with agency, one might prefer some fantasy books that do a markedly better job at this than others. I totally agree with you that it can be tough to get across exactly what one means to say (and only that) in a purely textual medium, but I think highlighting aspects of fictional works that do well on this front, and addressing concerns about the ones that don't, is of interest and value to enough readers and watchers that it's worth jumping into the fray.
All: thanks for your comments, and sorry for the delay in responding. The con tends to eat one's brains once it gets underway. Kate: I do share your concerns about how the Tor.com readership would react to an increased emphasis on social issues--I haven't been reading the WoT threads myself because they're not my bag, but I've been discouraged by some of the comments on the Star Trek threads--but I think there's plenty of people around here that would like to get beyond that point, which is part of the reason why I'd like to start thinking about what steps we can take to have some more useful discussions around here. Tor.com has thousands of commenters and hundreds of thousands of readers, and although some of them are here to have conversations about one or several very specific things, there's also a more generalist community that could both benefit from and eventually start enjoying meatier conversations about the political implications of the media they're enjoying. It's also worth noting that while the comment threads are a large part of what we do, they're far from the only thing, and I'd love to get the word out / get everyone's thoughts about increasing diversity (of both opinion and background) in our blogger pool, the stories and comics we publish, the artists in our gallery, and everything else we do. I'm not saying we're going to be amazing at this overnight, but I'm hopeful that Tor.com can somehow contribute something useful to the discussion or the community and would love to talk to anyone who has ideas or suggestions about how we can start. Edited to clarify: In my comment yesterday I mentioned Tor.com's fine community manager Torie Atkinson in a context that was misleading and unfair, accidentally attributing some opinions to her that were really my own. This was thoughtless of me and I'm sorry. I have amended the comment to correct this attribution. More generally, I've also started a discussion about how we might improve one particular aspect of Tor.com without mentioning the many things that Tor.com is doing right already. Fact is, it's because I love the site that I think it's worth encouraging growth in this direction, and I'm hoping that most of the people who show up for the conversation will also be there because they see a lot of potential in the site and want to take it the extra mile. From a purely practical perspective, I've also realized that I should let everyone know that if you're looking for me in Michaelangelo's, I'll be the tall lady with long dark-blonde hair wearing black and white.
Oh, man. It's 3:03, so I think we need to stop reading entries so we can award some prizes. You can feel free to keep posting (awesome) Naughty Puns, but after this point we will not be considering them as contest entries. Thanks for everyone's contributions!
Dude, these are awesome beyond my wildest dreams. Just wanted to let everyone know that there's a bit less than four hours left before we start judging. Get your perv on!
AndrewWillet @ 3: Apologies, my tagging was not nearly as equal opportunity as Pinchbottom is. Jonny himself always does at least one number, and since Tigger!--who is probably the reigning king of boylesque--is in the show, there will be at least two. The formidable Bastard Keith and Scott Rayow will be there too, and though they are slightly less likely to take their clothes off, they are admirable nonetheless.
mmSeason: I'm sure Mathew and Robbi would love to take a look at a creation they inspired. Would you be comfortable posting a link here, or do you want me to send it to them?
dofnup @6: Foxit is also pretty swell.
Crackers, Bridget, crackers! (Assuming the inability to cut your tubers infinitely thin.) It's not Rectangular Solid Root Day.
Awww, man. I also saw her on Broadway (in The Wild Party) about eight years ago, and fell in love with her utterly. I've been meaning to pick up some of her albums ever since, so it's really sad that I never got around to it while she was still here.
NateTheGreat @ 1: You're totally right--not about the posting schedule, but that we screwed up. The first strip went up on the 22nd, not the 19th. So we're on schedule, but we put the wrong start date on all our posts. Not sure how we all managed to miss that, but I'm grateful that you pointed it out.
Zathras @ 2: Not this year, alas, since we can't really show them off in advance, but I'd love to see that happen for next year. We'll see if there's anything we can do to help it along.
Yay, crowd participation! Chris @ 3: Sorry if I accidentally left off your rationale. Plenty of people picked big fat books to burn just because of their size, so we needn't necessarily assume you were burning on merit. :) Ellen @ 8: Thank you, but I can't take *too* much credit--it's really just a twist on the old forced choice scenarios. I often think about taking reading vacations as well, only to realize that they would be ruined by the guilt of all the things I'm actually *supposed* to be reading. aamcnamara @ 12: I had the same experience--about as many cries of "But there are so many!" for each half of the scenario. I thought of my "burn" answer immediately because I'm a dirty cop-out, but there are any number of giant tomes I'd love to escape to a cabin with for a week.
I'm coming. But I'm reserving judgement about whether I'll participate in any tomfoolery.
Jason, have you heard anything about these guys? I don't know if you're remotely into into gaming, but they seem like they might be a nice bunch.
@9, @10: Yeah, I'd pin this one on Newsweek. Obama's Trek enthusiasm is clearly not an isolated incident.
Yeah, sorry guys. Apparently integrating tooltips into CMSes is insanely complicated for some reason. But our programmers know about the problem and are working on it. Bleah.
paultjessup @ 1: I would say that I was shocked that there's a short story out there that made reference to Schrodinger's work, but...actually, I'm not. :)
Hrm. Alright, thanks, guys. I'll see if our developers have any ideas.
Robert @ 13: If you ever see this again, do you happen to recall what route you followed to get here? There's an interesting bug that causes that to happen for most link behaviors. I thought we'd routed out all the places where it appeared, but I'd love to know if there was one that I missed.
Okay, we have finally achieved alt text! Apologies for the delay--due in part to Joey thinking the comic worked just fine without it (which it does!) and in part to functionality issues which we have now resolved--and thanks for your patience. I love it when my job requires showily seeding the internet with yet more instances of the word "manhood."
I don't believe in fate or karma, but I can't help feeling like the universe has had it in for Tor this past week. But this is just too, too much. Argh.
Paul @ 5: Thanks for clarifying. It's funny how I both mentally inserted the leading article when you almost certainly didn't say it, and then left it off in my post. I was intrigued by how this question was very tough for some people and others could answer instantly, almost without thinking. In this case, I was in the latter camp, not because I was certain that The Kindly Ones was a favorite for all or even most of high school, but because it was the book that started off a second wave of comics fandom that dominated my pleasure reading for the latter half of my teen years. So in this case the biographical significance might have loomed even larger than the favoritism itself.
tobiathan @ 26 (and everyone else who was perplexed): I certainly have my own ideas about what's going on, but I edited the piece, which is obviously an unfair advantage. I would be very curious to see what kind of explanation someone who is not me would give. :)
Hewii @ 4: I'm just seeing this now, but I confess I'm a bit confused since Henning's wikipedia entry says he's, um, dead. Is there something I'm missing?
A roving corespondent who calls himself Cardenio recently got in touch with his review of the Classic Stage Company's The Tempest:
Classic Stage Company's production of The Tempest benefits from a strong performance by Mandy Patinkim as Propsero, the deposed duke of Milan who uses his spellbinding powers to undo his enemies, retake the throne, and secure a princely husband for his daughter. The show also benefits from the clever and effective staging of director Brian Kulick. The rest of the cast is competent or better, especially the actors playing Ariel, Caliban, Prince Ferdinand, and the clowns Stephano and Trinculo. The costumes, which include elaborate (body paint) tattoos, are well done, too.I'll be seeing it next weekend. I'm quite excited, since I've never seen The Tempest produced before.
cdthomas @ 1: What an amazing biography. I'm sorry that I never got to see his work. supertailz @ 2: Ah, I've heard of these Vampire Cowboy guys (one of them went to the same MFA program a friend of mine is about to start) but haven't seen them. Not sure I can make the expo, but I'll keep them in mind.
Yokozuna @ 10:
Your response to my post...tells me I accidentally came off like a pompous, sneering butthead. Apologies.Goodness, no, not at all. I was just replying to a fair criticism with a sheepish response. I'm sorry if my tone accidentally conveyed anything other. I tried the "throw a bunch of darts at the Fringe board and see what sticks" method for the one summer I spent in NYC during college, volunteering at Fringe Central for free admission. I didn't come out with anything that blew my mind, but wasn't scarred for life either. The only other surefire method I've found for picking shows is following through on companies I know already (which would have led me to Silent Theater's Noir this year, if time hadn't been so tight). Supertailz @ 13: So sorry I didn't get out to see Thoroughly Stupid Things, but it's exciting to hear that you'll be remounting it off-Broadway.
Uncle Pilot @ 8: Amusingly enough, I linked to The House Theatre in my opening paragraph, from the phrase "inventive stagings". I'm not in Chicago that often, so I've only seen a handful of their showsDave DaVinci, The Boy Detective Fails, and Hope Springs Infernalbut they've been almost uniformly great, and are definitely on my list of companies I will see whenever possible.
Dave @ 1: Hrm... I didn't think that it was officially sold out when I posted, but maybe I just missed the notice. I do wish I could have seen and reviewed it earlier, but unfortunately I had conflicts with all the earlier showings. But this is why we need an events page at tor.com; so you could have known about it regardless! Anyway, for future reference, it often is worth trying to do these things on standby: there are always no-shows, and smaller theatre companies are always eager to get as many people in as possible to see the show. Yokozuna @ 3: You're right, in that I'm definitely not seeing enough Fringe shows for that line to be particularly meaningful praise, though it seemed worth stating nonetheless. My first year at Fringe was mind-stoppingly good, including The Black Rider and Clive Barker's Crazyface. So I've tried to go to a handful of shows (usually the buzz shows) every year since then, and have mostly been disappointed. I know I'm not doing it right, but there's so much amazing work going on on the New York stage in general that it's often hard to fit in guest shows that are only around for five performances at odd times. Thanks for your thoughts, though: it's always good to hear a wider perspective. Alex @ 6: I'm glad you got a chance to see Urinetown. It's one of my favorite things in the world, and I've always thought it was a shame that so many of my SF friends have never experienced it.
jhwoodyatt @ 13: Ha. Had to actually pull out a copy of Cosmonaut Keep to look that one up.
Exclusive interview with Jim Mallon, Trace Beaulieu, and Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theatre 3000
Black Bart @ 4: Your devotion is incredible, but it does trigger my guilt at having sort-of snuck in. Though I ultimately blame CCI for poor information: I got there about a half-hour early (as early as I could given other commitments) and they were already telling people the line was closed. At this point I got desperate--I had an interview scheduled the next morning and it would have been terrible to miss the panel--so I took the opportunity I saw, and let out my breath when there were 50 or so empty seats in the back of the room at start time.
What question were you planning on asking? It's sad that there wasn't time for everything, but Oswalt did do a great job at covering the basics.
What question were you planning on asking? It's sad that there wasn't time for everything, but Oswalt did do a great job at covering the basics.
Exclusive interview with Jim Mallon, Trace Beaulieu, and Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theatre 3000
Mjfrig: Interesting how many people I've heard say that about the panel. It was definitely one of my two hell-or-high-water panels, and MST3K is definitely one of those "small but devoted band of fanatical minions" type of shows. Serge: Alas! I imagine rights-clearing for MST3K DVDs must be all kinds of nightmare, but in this case maybe they just can't *find* anyone from the Finnish or Russian studios to give them permission.
The secret is that we aren't surviving. The convention has turned us all into zombies that feed on audio input and expel the information into blog-post sized tablets.
Gotcha, Kevin. Then I'm guessing that the problem was that you weren't logged in on your last two comments. To my credit, I did actually find it implausible that you might not actually have an account.
Womzilla (am I allowed to call you by your name if you don't have a profile? :)): I agree that it's difficult to question the methodology when the end result winds up being so great. I'm sure I'm not alone in considering the fact that I got to participate both an honer and a strong impetus to ponder and prepare for the panel topics in an attempt to live up to the caliber set by the rest of the con. dd-b: Now that you mention it, the person that made that comment might not have been from either coast, so perhaps it can be taken as a generic comment about transportation options near cities. I'm absolutely certain that the west coast is miles better equipped than us in many ways, especially if you consider the price of train tickets.
Mr. GHG: you're an angel. I'm sorry we didn't see each other on Sunday afternoon to say goodbye. Why aren't we in the same city more often?
Alison, I didn't mean to place a value judgment in that footnote at all (note the scare quotes!). I emphatically agree with Patrick's point, and if I hadn't been rambling on long enough already, I might have spoke more about it myself. I just barely made it onto programming at the convention myself--after all, I've only been at this for five years--so it's an issue I'm particularly sensitive about at the moment.