Steampunk weekend, book, various readings, &c.

Mon 9 May 2011 - Filed under: Not a Journal., , , , | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Dropped by the International Steampunk City yesterday and really enjoyed wandering around seeing hundreds of people dressed to kill (or at least to adventure). There were blacksmiths smithing (and explaining the meaning of “eldritch” to someone as we walked by), drummers drumming and belly dancers dancing, bootmakers, jewellers, a mummers parade, people riding penny farthings—and a ton of other things, most of which we missed as we were only there Sunday afternoon. We caught up with Riv from purpleshiny who we met at Boskone—she made a lovely thing (involving a watch and a piece of metal hammered on the ground to pick up the texture of Waltham!) while we watched. Makers making: excellent.

I really hope they do it again next year. Waltham is a lovely spot for it: we were quite happy on the village green and wandered (the long way, oops on lack of signage) to the old watch factory (want an office there!) where there were tons of vendors, musicians, and nice people with dogs. This last category is an increasingly important one for Ursula who would sell us both up the river for one tiny chance at petting a dog.

Steampunk! An Anthology of Fantastically Rich and Strange StoriesSomewhat coincidentally last week we went over to talk to the lovely people at Candlewick about our YA Steampunk! anthology which comes out this October in the US and UK—there are different covers for each edition and they are both so energetic and fun. The UK one’s not online yet (ping me if you see it) so I will post it later. We’ll have a website and giveaways and so on as the pub date draws nearer. It will also be out on audio and I’m very curious to hear how the different stories are read.

Candlewick’s office is in Davis Square in Somerville and walking into it is like walking into someone’s fantasy of how a publisher’s office should look: there’s tons of light, tons of space, fantastic books on display (hello Leslie Patricelli! Lucy Cousins [esp. Yummy], M.T. Anderson!), and a lack of the overcrowded, too-many-manuscripts-and-boxes-of-books look that I expect from my own office. You could rollerskate through it, the floors are so smooth. We met loads of people and did a Q&A with them (it was fun to talk about steampunk as a huge and generous term encompassing many genres and ways of life rather than being a strictly defined thing) and then Kelly read part of her story from the book, “The Summer People.” All in all, a fun couple of (steampunked) days.

Invisible Things CoverSome recent reading included: “Items Found in a Box Belonging to Jonas Connolly” by Laura E. Price which was lovely. Did I mention Jenny Davidson’s Invisible Things? It’s a followup to the excellent alternate history, The Explosionist—which was a Tiptree Honor book a couple of years ago. I loved the first book (it’s partially set in Scotland which warmed this cold heart!) and have been looking forward to this one since. Invisible Things takes up a little after the first—and could probably be enjoyed without reading the previous one—with 16 y.o. Sophie living in Denmark at Niels Bohr’s Institute for Theoretical Physics. With the threat of war rising, she goes from there to the frozen north and meets the Snow Queen herself—an arms dealer who also knew her deceased parents and may know more about how they died. I’m not sure if there will be a third book, hope so, but in the meantime this was a very quick, quite different read.

Out on the webs, Kathe Koja writes about joyriding through the genres at Bookslut:

And don’t even get started on the marketing angle. Let’s see: the last novel was a YA about teenage girls in an exclusive, upscale boarding school, and this new one is a romance with sex puppets in a rundown Victorian brothel… OK. How do you expect — or why do you expect — or… You know, listen, thanks for the look, but we don’t really think it’s for us. And P.S., publishing is in a state of enormous flux these days, so now is probably not the best time to do whatever it is you’re doing. Don’t you want people to read what you write?

Of course I do.

Sometimes I forget how hilarious and scurrilous Hal Duncan is. Here he is on reader complaints about George R. R. Martin’s fantastic bricks of fiction not being delivered fast enough to satisfy. (Our still somewhat sekrit chapbook Of Hal’s continues to wend its way toward reality: we just received some more art on from Eric Schaller. More on that soonish, methinks.

Meanwhile, tomorrow we add Weird Tales subscriptions to Weightless. Pretty happy about that.

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