Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Various Writings’ Category

February is a party month, a birthday party month that is for many great 19th century writers, scientist, and innovators, who had a huge impact on the Victorian era and beyond:

  • Charles Dickens, February 7, 1812
  • Jules Verne, February 8, 1828
  • Thomas Edison, February 11, 1847
  • Abraham Lincoln, February 12, 1809
  • Charles Darwin, February 12, 1809
  • George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., inventor of the Ferris Wheel, February 14, 1859
  • Susan B. Anthony, February 15, 1820
  • 288Levi Strauss, inventor of blue jeans, February 26, 1829
  • Buffalo Bill Cody, February 26, 1846
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, February 27, 1807

And in Houston, Texas on February 8th we partied like it was 1849, celebrating the 165th birthday of the Father of Science Fiction, Jules Verne. Thanks to the Alternate Reality Group of Houston (ARGH), who put on the fun event at Katy Budget books with cakes and games and giveaways to honor Jules Verne. The  luscious cakes , one vanilla, one chocolate, were decorated with the image of a French postage stamp honoring Jules Verne and the cover of Around the World in 80 Days.  My favorite Jules’Verne quote is from Around the World in Eighty Days –  “Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.”

The Big Kahuna of ARGH gives away a Jules Verne book to the proud winner of the Jules Verne quiz.

Speaking of quotes and other Jules Verne’s trivia, the ARGH created a fun Jules Verne quiz and gave the winner a Jules Verne hardcover book.

We all had a blast celebrating and many of us came decked out in our finest Steampunk attire to celebrate this Science Ficiton pioneer. Jules Verne had fifty four books published in his lifetime.

  • 1863 – Five Weeks in a Balloon – Cinq semaines en ballon
  • 1866 – The Adventures of Captain Hatteras – Voyages et aventures du capitaine Hatteras
  • 1864 – revised 1867 – Journey to the Center of the Earth -Voyage au centre de la Terre
  •  1865 – From the Earth to the Moon -De la terre à la lune
  • 1867 – In Search of the Castaways – Les Enfants du capitaine Grant
  • 1869 – Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea – Vingt mille lieues sous les mers
  • 1870 – Around The Moon – Autour de la lune
  • 1871 – A Floating City – Une ville flottante
  • 1872 – The Adventures of Three Englishmen and Three Russians in South Africa –  Aventures de trois Russes et de trois Anglais
  • 1873 – The Fur Country – Le Pays des fourrures
  • 1873 – Around the World in Eighty Days – Le Tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours
  •  1874 – The Mysterious Island – L’Île mystérieuse
  • 1875 – The Survivors of the Chancellor – Le Chancellor
  • 1876 – Michel Strogoff
  • 1877 – Off on a Comet – Hector Servadac
  • 1877 – The Child of the Cavern – Les Indes noires
  • 2751878 – Dick Sand, A Captain at Fifteen – Un capitaine de quinze ans
  • 1879 – The Begum’s Millions, – Les Cinq Cents Millions de la Bégum
  • 2811879 – Tribulations of a Chinaman in China – Les Tribulations d’un chinois en Chine
  • 1880 – The Steam House – La Maison à vapeur
  • 1881 – Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon – La Jangada
  • 1882 – Godfrey Morgan – L’École des Robinsons
  • 1882 – The Green Ray – Le Rayon vert
  • 1883 – Kéraban the Inflexible – Kéraban-le-têtu
  • 1884 – The Vanished Diamond – L’Étoile du sud
  • 1884 – The Archipelago on Fire – L’Archipel en feu
  • 1885 – Mathias Sandorf
  • 1886 – The Lottery Ticket – Un billet de loterie
  • 1886 – Robur the Conqueror – Robur-le-Conquérant
  • 1887 – North Against South – Nord contre Sud
  • 1887 – The Flight to France – Le Chemin de France
  • 1888- Two Years’ Vacation – Deux Ans de vacances
  • 1889- Family Without a Name -Famille-sans-nom
  • 1889 – The Purchase of the North Pole -Sans dessus dessous
  • 1890 – César Cascabel
  • 1891 – Mistress Branican
  • 1892 – Carpathian Castle – Le Château des Carpathes
  • 1892 – Claudius Bombarnac
  • 1893 – Foundling Mick – P’tit-Bonhomme
  • 1894 – Captain Antifer – Mirifiques Aventures de Maître Antifer
  • 1895 – Propeller Island – L’Île à hélice
  • 1896 – Facing the Flag – Face au drapeau
  • 1896 – Clovis Dardentor
  • 1897 – An Antarctic Mystery – Le Sphinx des glaces
  • 1898 – The Mighty Orinoco – Le Superbe Orénoque
  • 1899 – The Will of an Eccentric – Le Testament d’un excentrique
  • 1900 – The Castaways of the Flag – Seconde Patrie
  • 1901 – The Village in the Treetops – Le Village aérien
  • 1901 – The Sea Serpent – Les Histoires de Jean-Marie Cabidoulin\
  • 1902 – The Kip Brothers – Les Frères Kip
  • 903 – Traveling Scholarships – Bourses de voyage
  • 1904 – A Drama in Livonia – Un drame en Livonie
  • 1904 – Master of the World – Maître du monde
  • 1905 – Invasion of the Sea – L’Invasion de la mer

He was a busy writer. And he wrote all his books in careful longhand – he didn’t use a typewriter, though they were invented in the 1860s. What is your favorite Jules Verne book? Feel free to answer in the comments below.

~      ~      ~

Maeve Alpin, who also writes as Cornelia Amiri, is the author of 19 books. She creates stories with kilts, corsets, fantasy and happy endings. Her latest Steampunk/Romance is Conquistadors In Outer Space. She lives in Houston Texas with her son, granddaughter, and her cat, Severus.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

GoS_WebBetween now and October 31st I’m giving away several Kindle copies of my works, including the new Avalon Revamped, the eclectic collection Caught in the Cogs, and the teen romance The Zombies of Mesmer. The last is in preparation of The Ghosts of Southwark (its sequel) release on November 1st.

A few of these giveaways have already come and gone. Those who “like” my FB Fan Page were the only ones in the know, so go “like” that page now. You wouldn’t want to miss out on future freebies!

For the others, stay tuned to my Amazon Author Page to see what’s free when between now and Halloween. You’ll get hints as to when the next free book is available on my FB Fan Page.

Additionally, I’ve put up several new, never-before-seen short stories on the Kindle, all for under $2. Steampunk readers will especially be interested in “The Clockwork Heart,” written in the style of H. G. Wells. Here’s what one reader says about it.

This author has captured the feel of a period piece and still engaged the reader in the manner of a modern piece of fiction. Very engaging, her writing casually sneaks in and demands your attention. I enjoyed this story thoroughly.

Here’s a list of all the short stories recently listed on Kindle:

“The Clockwork Heart” – Written in the style of H. G. Wells, this Gothic Steampunk story will make your heart bleed and your skin crawl. $1.49 (FREE with PRIME, as are the rest below)

Inevitable Enlightenment.” Trace the existential thoughts of a zombie after the apocalypse. $0.99

Come to Me.” Jason’s boring Monday turns into one full of adventure and horror when his mother’s strange affliction takes him and his sister around the world. Based in Scottish Mythology. $0.99

The Handy Man.” After losing his hand in a work accident, Linus Cosgriff adapts a new invention to please women and relieve them from symptoms of hysteria. Adult Content. $1.99

Heart of Stone, Flesh of Ice.” Several men mysteriously disappear after a night of passion during a ski vacation. Based in Japanese Mythology. $1.99

Hannah & Gabriel.” Dark Fantasy Steampunk retelling of Hansel & Gretel. $1.99 (This story is also available along with 11 others, poetry, and articles in the collection Caught in the Cogs: An Eclectic Collection for only $2.99.)

-_Q

OMG_2013Olivia M. Grey lives in the cobwebbed corners of her mind writing paranormal romance with a Steampunk twist, like the Amazon Gothic Romance bestseller Avalon Revisited and its sequel Avalon Revamped. Her short stories and poetry have been published in various magazines and anthologies, like SNM Horror Magazine and How the West Was Wicked. Ms. Grey also blogs and podcasts relationship essays covering such topics as alternative lifestyles, deepening intimacy, ending a relationship with love and respect, and other deliciously dark and decadent matters of the heart and soul.

Read more by O. M. Grey on her blog Caught in the Cogs, http://omgrey.wordpress.com

Read Full Post »

Although I may be familiar to many of you from my guest posts on Steampunkapalooza for the last two years, today marks my debut as a regular contributor. I recently had the delightful opportunity of meeting several of my fellow Lolitas at the Romantic Times Convention in Chicago, and I couldn’t be more excited about joining their number. For any gentle readers not acquainted with my name or work, my name is Cindy Spencer Pape (three words, no hyphens) and I write the Gaslight Chronicles from Carina Press, along with a variety of other, non-steampunkish, romances, though we won’t be talking about those here.

In the real world, I’m married to a wonderful man who indulges my love of dressing up in silly costumes and can maintain his equanimity when I muse out loud about how to describe the sound of a cudgel striking a human head, how one would build a steam-powered ice maker, or what to call a secret order of vampyre hunters in Victorian London. Being something of a mad scientist himself, he actually encourages me. Furthermore I have two college-aged sons who remain remarkably unembarrassed by their mother’s occupation, which is really as much as one can hope for. As I write, two spoiled-rotten dogs lounge at my feet and an iguana who considers humans his personal servants is glaring at me from across the room. It appears his luncheon is a few moments late. Beyond that, I live a deceptively ordinary suburban life in southern Michigan, and survive by passing amongst the others unnoticed.

My Gaslight books are a willy-nilly mix of steampunk, gaslight fantasy, mystery and romance. As a child I was told that my too-vivid imagination would get me in trouble one day. Instead, it gives me the opportunity to have endless amounts of fun, writing fantastical stories about a world that might have been. One of my favorite plotting techniques is to take as many disparate ideas as I can, toss them in a mixing bowl, bake and see what comes out. Ultimately, those end up being madcap tales populated with oddball characters against a backdrop of fantasy, science and history.I’m certain I’ll be talking more about the series as time goes on.

You can find out more about me and my books by visiting my website. I also love to meet new friends on Facebook and Twitter. I’m charmed to meet each and every one of you, and hope that if anyone has any particular requests for future posts, you’ll let me know. Toodles!

Read Full Post »

If you were to tell the story of this gal what would it be? Is she an airship pirate, or military general?

What is the eye piece for? Does it replace her own eye or is it an add on to detect automatons passing for humans? Did she steal that fancy coat?

And what about those wires on her left shoulders?

Read Full Post »

 

Goblin Market has been one of my favorite poems for a long time.  I actually quote part of it in my upcoming YA, Innocent Darkness. Goblin Market is an incredible Victorian poem full of double meaning.  Today I have invited my friend Cassandra Joffre, antiquarian book dealer for Dragon Books to tell us more about it.

“Goblin Market” — a booksellers point of view

by Cassandra Joffre

 

“She cried ‘Laura,’ up the garden,

‘Did you miss me? Come and kiss me.

Never mind my bruises, hug me, kiss me, suck my juices,

Squeezed from goblin fruits for you, goblin pulp and goblin dew.

Eat me, drink me, love me;

Laura, make much of me…”

 

My first encounter with “Goblin Market” was in my AP English class in high school. I was about 16 or so – just old enough to realize that there was some deeper meaning to the poem, but not quite old enough to really grasp what that meaning was. It left me uneasy – I had a vague notion that something sexual was being hinted at, and that they weren’t really talking about fruit and goblins, but my sixteen-year-old self just couldn’t believe that we would be reading something sexy in English, especially since the last book we read for class was the Odyssey.

It has been seventeen years (really??) since that English class, and I now find myself working as a rare book dealer- the absolute greatest job I can possibly think of (besides being an astronaut maybe). All kinds of amazing books and manuscripts pass through my hands, ranging from medieval illuminated manuscripts and Shakespeare folios, to signed first editions by Charles Darwin and Ernest Hemingway. I literally see and learn something new everyday, and when I am eighty I may just have learned enough to finally get the nerve to audition for Jeopardy! I never know what new books I will find, and I had pretty much forgotten about “Goblin Market” until about three years ago, when we purchased a collection of books on drugs and erotica that included a first edition of Goblin Market and Other Poems. In the original blue ribbed-cloth binding with gold rules to the covers and gold lettering on the spine, the book runs anywhere from $1,200-$3,000, depending on the condition.

 

First printed in London in 1862 during the height of the Victorian era, it became Rossetti’s best-known book of poems, the book is now considered one of the most important nineteenth century volumes of poetry to be written by a woman. To the modern reader, the subject matter seems shocking given our view of the Victorian era as prudish and repressed. With its subtly erotic undertones, its thinly veiled allusions to drug addiction and rape, and its at times confusing themes of sisterly love and sacrifice, it truly is one of the most seductive and haunting poems of any period.

Born in 1830, Rossetti was the daughter of the Italian poet Gabriele Rossetti and the sister of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, poet, artist and founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. At the age of fourteen, she had a mental breakdown, which some biographers believe was the result of sexual abuse, possibly at the hands of her father. She was plagued with debilitating bouts of depression for the rest of her life, and often sought solace in religion. She became increasingly devout, and even turned down two marriage proposals because of religious differences. She wrote Goblin Market when she was thirty-one years old, unmarried and living with her mother.

Since its publication, there have been over twenty-two different illustrators for “Goblin Market”, including Laurence Housman, Hilary Paynter, Willy Pogany, Dion Clayton Calthrop and Margaret Tarrant. The first, and my favorite, was Rossetti’s brother, Dante Gabriel Rossetti. His illustrations are still what I picture when I think of the poem, with his slightly masculine but strikingly beautiful and sensual women, and his goblins in the shape of little animal-men.

Probably the most famous and collectible illustrator for “Goblin Market” is Arthur Rackham (1867-1939). Rackham was extremely prolific, illustrating numerous books of fairy tales, but also the works of Shakespeare and Wagner’s Ring Cycle. His illustrations have an ethereal quality, the result of a special three color printing technique he was fond of using. They truly are beautiful – you can expect to pay around $3,000 for a signed limited edition (1933) – $36,000 will get you a deluxe limited edition with an original watercolor by Rackham laid in.

Prior to Rackham’s edition of “Goblin Market,” the poem was never really intended for  children, and in fact Rossetti said as much in a letter to her publisher. Perhaps because most of Rackham’s illustrations had been primarily for children’s books, the “Goblin Market” has apparently ever since been considered a children’s poem! I didn’t really believe people when they told me this, until recently. At a bookfair a few months ago, I found (and bought for $35) an edition of “Goblin Market” illustrated by Ellen Raskin. The illustrations are definitely intended for children, and while Raskin edited many of the verses (including the one I quote at the beginning of this post), I still find it ridiculous that anyone would consider this to be a poem for children!

Whoever the intended audience is, the influence that the poem has had on poetry, art and film (Guillermo Del Toro is said to have drawn inspiration from it for his films “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Hellboy”) are undeniable. The poem’s ongoing popularity proves that sex and drugs never go out of style!

~Cassandra Joffre

www.dragonbooks.com

Read Full Post »

by Marie-Claude Bourque

STEAMPUNK WORD OF THE WEEK:  Abbess – Brothel Madam (from Steampunk Lexican for iPhone)

Doing those workshops with Lolita Theresa gave me lots to think about, especially when we started to talk about steampunk archetypes.

Since I’m writing an adventure, I was pretty much focus on plot, looking at my 3 acts and the main conflicts both internal (my mystic witch heroine confronted with characters that are not quite human) and external (fighting the bad guys).

But then, as I always do, I dug out my good old Donald Maass workbook to fill up the questionnaires, mostly those about characters, and especially the secondary ones.

And a funny thing happened, I fell in love with them. I already love my hero and heroine but now, I feel for my “fallen” Victorian lady and her love of beauty, my witch/widow/emporium owner who believes in love and also for my silent chief engineer who sacrifices his life to give a good future to his orphan niece.

I realize that all stories are mostly about characters (and you do want to see them sort stuff out, i.e. plot). Loving our characters is the true solution to writers block because you can’t wait to spend time with them!

So tell me, writers out there! Plot or characters or both?

Read Full Post »

by Marie-Claude Bourque

The Steampunk novel is progressing quite nicely, thank you very much! I am solidly 2/3 in with a good grip on the story.

Plus the first chapter is totally done and revised. This is a good time to get this proposal done with most of NYC literary world either shut or slow down for August.

I am very please to have now filled 2 entire notebooks. Yep, it feels good to see this body of work before me. I know it takes more time, but having a physical reminder of the work I did already is really encouraging.

A fun/strange thing happened in my writing session today. I usually have a pretty good handle on my plot and characters. This book is planned way ahead and I have this scene where my heroine, a pretty aloof mystic witch decide to leave the hero behind.

They are stuck in a cave with all kinds of ghosts and the hero, your typical airship captain, has run away to save a crew member and he is not coming back. Meanwhile, the heroine, still on the right path with the Chief engineer, decides that they must plow ahead and leave the deadwood behind.

I wanted to have her convince the Chief that he had to leave his Captain behind to fulfill his own mission. The witch herself is on her life mission to save the world. I want this heroine to be flawed. I wanted to show that she is willing to leave a few people behind to save the whole world. I wanted her complex and I guess somewhat unlikeable.

But no, she surprised me this morning. This is the first time that I have a character behaving differently. She turned out to be heroic and runs to save the Captain.

I’m shaking my head here because it does complicates things. It would have been easier to have the Captain mad at her. Oh well… another situation to deal with!

Don’t you love fiction?!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: