Special Call for Submissions: Steampunk Universe

Much like the award-winning anthology Steampunk World, Steampunk Universe will be a multicultural anthology of steampunk stories. But this time, the anthology will focus on characters with exceptionalities.*

This call for submissions is aimed particularly at marginalized writers, especially those who are identify as members of a minority, LGBTQ, or living with exceptionality. Whether or not you qualify and feel this call for submission is appropriate for your work is at your discretion.

Stories are due by June 1, 2016 to steampunkuniverseantho@gmail.com. Ideally, decisions will be made by July 1, and the anthology will be crowdfunded shortly thereafter. Writers will be paid $.06/word for original stories. I’m not looking for reprints at this time. Deadline extensions will not be granted. Your story should be submitted in Standard Manuscript Format (please check and double-check that your name and email address are on the first page!) as an email attachment in .doc, .docx or .rtf format. The subject of your message should read [Submission: Story Title by Author Name]. If your submission doesn’t conform to these specifications it may be deleted unread.

What I’m looking for:

Your story should take place in a non-Western culture. I’d love to have a variety of stories that take place in the diverse cultures of Central/South America, Asia, and Africa.

Your story should contain a character with at least one exceptionality. It should be a major element of the story, providing the character with extra challenges but maybe also special insight or abilities. I want to explore how steampunk technology changes the lives of people with exceptionalities, for better or for worse.  I’d love to see characters who are also members of other marginalized groups (such as LGBTQ characters).

Your story should contain steampunk elements. I get a lot of submissions with steampunk exoskeletons and dirigibles, but not many with spaceships or submarines. I’d really like authors to stretch themselves and instead of just writing alternate history, set the story in a parallel universe or on another planet. Read Tobias Buckell’s excellent story “Love Comes to Abyssal City” for an example.

If your story lacks one of these three elements, it will very likely be rejected, even if it’s an excellent story.

I’m unlikely to buy stories that:

-Take place in North America, England or China (or feature characters from those cultures)**

-Feature characters with prosthetic limbs, steam-powered hearts, or who are blind**

-Involve the protagonist bravely sacrificing himself/herself at the end of the story so the characters without exceptionalities can survive (seriously, this is becoming a cliché)

-Are longer than 5,000 words (bonus points if you can keep it under 4,000)**

-Contain graphic sex or violence, rape, women in refrigerators, etc.

-Have only magical elements and no technological ones. I love a good gaslamp fantasy, but this is not the market for it. I want gadgets and goggles!

If you have questions, please comment here or hit me up on twitter @steampunkpanda. You can also email me but I respond faster to blog comments and tweets. The best way to tell what kind of story I’m likely to buy is to read Steampunk World.

Now, go get your write on! ^_____^

*The publisher and I prefer the term “exceptionality” to the term “disability,” because disability is often heavily influenced by perception and culture.

**I’m unlikely to buy this type of story because I have already committed to purchase stories that fit this description.

Living the Fancy Life

The Steampunk lifestyle means a dedication to being fancy!

Image

Airship Archon Officers Gloria and Jennilee show us how it’s done at Ohayocon

The ever-dapper Master of Arts, Aaron, showing me how to straight-lace my boots

The ever-dapper Master of Arts, Aaron, showing me how to straight-lace my boots

Two of our newest members keepin' it fancy at the Laughing Ogre Comic Shop

Two of our newest members keepin’ it fancy at the Laughing Ogre Comic Shop

The Captain proves it's possible to be both fancy and silly at the Steampunk Empire Symposium

The Captain proves it’s possible to be both fancy and silly at the Steampunk Empire Symposium

For more pictures of fancy people, check out the Airship Archon Flickr Group or our Facebook Group. If you’d like to hang out with these fancy people, you’re in luck! This weekend we’re hosting our largest event yet (and possibly ever), the Privateer’s Promenade, featuring Ford Theater Reunion, Ooh La La Burlesque, a fire dancer, and more! This might be the only big event we ever have, so don’t miss it!

Only in Columbus, Ohio!

Only in Columbus, Ohio!

The Joy of Steampunk

Here are some of my favorite photographs from recent Airship Archon events:

TerAnn brings Steampunk to the streets of Chicago

Three of my favorite gents at the annual picnic

Burgundie explores the Olentangy Indian Caverns

For more pictures of the Airship Archon’s events, you can visit this flickr group. If you’ll be in the Central Ohio area and you’d like to join us for some Steampunk fun, we always welcome new members and visitors. You can find our website with an events calendar here, or join our facebook group here.

 

 

The Steampunk Empire Symposium in Review

Please click through to read my review at Doctor Fantastique’s!

I can’t stress enough what a great time I had at the Symposium. I’m so excited about World Steam Expo as a result that I started packing the day after I got home from the Symposium.

We also got the largest group photo of the Airship Archon in our history to date, but since it’s not my photo I’m waiting on permission from the photog before I can reproduce it here.

So who is going to the Symposium next year? What about World Steam Expo at the end of the month?

 

Airship Adventures

As you probably already know, I’m a member of the Airship Archon, a Steampunk costuming and funtime group based out of Columbus, Ohio. We’ve been in the news a bit lately: an interview with our Captain appeared on The Steampunk Chronicle last month, and a photograph of the group appeared in an io9 article (sadly taken before I became involved with the group). I’m proud to say that we’ve become one of the premiere Steampunk groups in the Midwest, and maybe even the nation–and we’re remarkably drama-free for such a large and diverse group.

We’ve had quite a few events lately, and I thought I’d share a few of my favorite photos:

The Airship Archon seeing "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows."

Ladies of the Archon outside Mozart's after High Tea

One for the ladies--Captain LaGrange at High Tea

The lovely Miss Dennison at High Tea

For more photographs of our group, you can visit the Airship Archon Flickr Group. There was another event, Cocktails at the Conservatory, last week, but unfortunately I was unable to attend due to a touch of the Consumption. Our next event will probably be a Build Day, and several of us will be attending  upcoming local conventions. To keep up with our activities, I recommend joining our facebook group. We do have a website, but it’s sporadically updated and less reliable than the facebook group. We always welcome new members and we’d love to help you put together a Steampunk look!

Steampunk Embroidery

My Steampunk embroidery panel at TeslaCon this weekend was VERY popular–much moreso than I expected! Because there were a few people who didn’t get handouts, I promised I’d post them here for anyone who wants a copy. I probably won’t be doing this panel again except possibly at a local convention, because the supplies took up too much space in my luggage!

Thanks to everyone who attended the panel; I had a great time and it’s nice to have so many people be so enthused about a craft I love!  I told you embroidery was easier than you thought! Also, thanks to Niamh, the designer behind Urban Threads, who made a surprise appearance at the panel and totally made my day.  More on TeslaCon when I have a chance to upload pictures and collect my thoughts!

Ohio: The Heart of Steampunk

Doc F’s Issue Two is here, and features an article by yours truly on steampunk vacations in Ohio. You can see a preview or buy a copy here!

And don’t forget about the Doctor Fantastique’s kickstarter, which hopefully will fund a print run of the magazine and possibly even allow Doc F’s to pay its contributors (one of whom is me). Please consider becoming a backer! There are many fabulous rewards for those who do…not least of which is my gratitude.

Steampunk Fun Times

September was chock full of steampunk events. Here are a few of my favorite photos. You can find more on my flickr set.

Corielle makes crochet sexy at the 2nd Annual Airship Archon picnic

TerAnn showing off her gorgeous hat and adorable puppy at the 2nd Annual Airship Archon picnic

Me and my beau before the Time Traveler's Ball. He cleans up nicely, don't you think?

Salena van Eycke at the Time Traveler's Ball in Newport, KY

Claudius Van Der Graffe at the Old West Festival

I don't know these people, but they were very well dressed at the Old West Festival

Guest Post: Lovecraft and Steampunk

My very first guest post is over at Shawn Wesley’s steampunk blog! He was looking for writers to expound on the relationship between Lovecraft and Steampunk, and since I’ve been published in both subgenres (Lovecraftian horror being its own subgenre of horror and steampunk being its own subgenre of science fiction) I thought I was uniquely qualified to discuss the topic.

I’m not sure that my thoughts are particularly original, but there they are!