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Monday, November 22, 2010
6:48 PM | Posted by Maureen | | Edit Post
By popular demand, I’m going with this on Black Friday instead of my general whine about the holidays. (Yes, Quantum is the popular demander. And he’s such a sweetheart, I bowed to his demands.) (And I know, it’s Tuesday because I switched with Terrio… Confused yet?)
I don’t really want to try to define steampunk, I’m gonna list the panels I went to and see what the crew can extrapolate from the topics! (I love being evil.)
I went to 7 hours of steampunk panels, five specifically on writing. And it was really interesting!
First was Becoming A Writer. Pretty basic stuff but interesting to hear the three writers speak of their path to publication. From a right out of college English major who started with fanfic (hear this, Sin?) and was bought with her first original urban fantasy. She has a ton of books pubbed now. In fact, over a dozen. Then there was the scifi guy, who waited eleven years for his first novel sale, but sold a lot of short stores before that. And he was one of the first to talk about how he wished his books were classified as romance, since that sells the best. (hee, hee!) The mystery author said her path was seven years long. Why were these three at this con? They all had crossed in and out of what is considered steampunk.
Then I went to Magic in Steampunk. Wow! This was fascinating and gave me some real ideas for another blog. So, I’m not going to talk much about this here. It was good.
I spent a fascinating hour listening to a scholar speak of The NeoVictorian Retrofuture. He was interesting, the subject was wonderful and again, gave me food for a future blog. I will share this right now… His take on what makes a book fit into the aesthetic of steampunk is one of three elements. One, technofantasy. Two, neo-victorian. And three, retrofuture.
(I can see a bunch of pirates at this point, pulling out their cutlass and coming at me with fire in their eyes. Here! Have a nice big tankard of techno-neo-future rum!)
The Future of Steampunk Publication was an okay panel. The three people leading it had left careers working for a big bookstore chain and started their own publishing house. What made this panel new for me was they all felt that what steampunk needed to gain recognition and survive into the future (the real future, not the retrofuture) was an official writers guild. Along the lines of the Mystery Writers of America or the RWA. (hee, hee!)
What Makes A Novel Steampunk covered ground I’d already heard, but had a few interesting new bits of info…the idea that ‘punk’ came from the a reaction to authority, which could take part as rebellion, resistance or ignoring authority in general. (Piratepunk, anyone!?)
The next was a bit mind-numbing. Effects of Victorian Industrialization. The three scholars on the panel addressed the reality of the Victorian age and how it impacted the world, both negatively and positively. One of the scholars was a specialist in the American partner to Victorian England. The Guilded Age, with the years before and after. One thing I got from this was the entire concept that because people were reacting to the strict rules of the Victorian Age…one could say this is where woman’s rights was born, children’s rights, and the concept of the rights of the working man. So…give credit where credit is due?
On my last morning, I crawled out of bed and made the Character or Setting panel. Which in the first ten minutes consisted of three authors, their spouses…and me! We were preparing to adjourn to the coffee shop and chat when seven more people wandered in. Drat! Again, another wonderfully diverse group of authors on the panel, two who also wrote romance and will be at RT! This panel ended up meandering about the topic of the setting as a character and touched on the idea of plausibility verses reality when inventing contraptions for your characters to fiddle with. Like a clockwork horse that must be wound up in the middle of a chase. (hee, hee)
All in all, my brain got a workout. My eyes feasted on costumes that were amazing. I ordered a custom made under-the-bust corset and picked up a frippery to give away during Decadent Publishing’s special Holiday blog month. I froze my nose and my toes objected to the new shoes (though not until I’d worn them for six hours, so not bad!) and I got no writing done.
Just still wa-a-a-a-a-a-ay too tired from my shingles.
Next year will be better. The theme this year was Weird Weird West (Hellion, you would have loved some of the costumes I saw!). Next year is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea! Kraken lovers of the world, UNITE! Weeeeeeeeeeeeee!
So, questions? I’ll do my best to answer without giving away too much of what I want to blog about during December…
Labels: Loader's Logic (2nd Chance)