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Posts Tagged ‘steampunk conventions’

Today we welcome Maureen O. Betita

I’m Maureen O. Betita, creator of The Kraken’s Caribbean Series and A Caribbean Spell Series. I live in California and am so damned lucky to find Steampunk conventions flourish on the west coast.

 

Steampunk Convention(s)

By Maureen O. Betita

LoreleiΓÇÖs-Song200x300There is nothing like attending a Steampunk convention. Big, little, in a hotel, on a cruise ship, wearing a corset or overalls. It’s just…a world outside of itself. And inside itself. I often feel as if anything could happen at one of these conventions.

Dr. Who could wander thru one of these wonderful events and no one would blink. Captain Jack Sparrow, Sherlock Holmes (pick your favorite)…and Jack the Ripper, Mr. Hyde, Dracula. As if there is a huge neon sign blinking into the cosmos – ALL ARE WELCOME!

Flash Gordon? Come on in! Ming the Merciless? We have a table for you right over here. Miles Vorkosigan? Luke Skywalker? Captain Nemo! Love the turbin, let me set your sword over here…

Wander any Steampunk conference and you’ll see it all. If you open your eyes and look. James West and Artemis Gordon just wandered thru the ballroom, Jim took a spin with that redhead sporting tentacles under her skirt…

Music plays, commerce takes place, couples wander, arm in arm, posing for pictures. Tea is served, battles are discussed, as are great scientific accomplishments. The man from SETI is in the forward meeting room, setting up a slideshow. The company following whales from the dirigible are babbling about how close they got to a mother and calf, migrating to Alaska.

And off in a corner, there are shadows and strange meetings. Beneath the haunting music of Unwoman  a writer huddles, scratching away at her tablet, beset with an idea…

I was that writer. Aboard the Queen Mary at Her Majesties Royal Steampunk Symposium, Long Beach, California. I thought, what if…

smallprayerAnd Lorelei’s Song was born. My newest release from Decadent Publishing, a mix of Steampunk/horror/erotic romance. What makes it Steampunk? It takes place at a Steampunk convention, mostly. What makes it horror? Well, the descendants of Cthulhu are stalking their prey. What makes it erotic romance? There are two of them and one of her and she wants to be caught.

Cthulhu was part of the Steampunk con on the Queen Mary. The Sunday morning service was in homage to his great tentacleness and from there…I knew. I had to see his horribleness wander a convention.

For those who don’t know who Cthulhu is…get thee to Wikipedia! His immensity has become a bit of the patron god of Steampunk. Born of the imagination of H.P. Lovecraft…or channeled, who knows… he’s taken the world by steam! And his distant sons take Lorelei…

Here’s an excerpt, the men are setting up the Steampunk convention, hoping to find the one woman who can help them remain sane and handle the strength of their passion… Unknown to them, she’s in the room. Instincts try to take control…

His nostrils caught the perfume of something different. Spicy, with a hint of dry driftwood, it wafted in the air and he froze. Damn, what the hell was that? He started at a sharp rap on the table. “Fuck.”

“Get up here!” A kick arrived with the plea.

He rose, rubbing his head, to find Jerrod snatching up a pair of goggles and sliding them on.

“What the hell?”

“My eyes. I can’t—” His kinsman turned his back on the nearly empty room. “I smelled something odd and—”

“Okay, okay. Sit and—”

“Get me the hell out of here!”

Jerrod gripped his arm tightly, head turned so Nicholas could glimpse the shadow of the change on his cheek bones.

Nicholas didn’t think. He wrapped his arms around his cousin and pulled him down to the shadow of the table. Lowering a hand, he gripped the steel-rod erection he knew he’d find beneath the loose pants.

Holding the rigid cock, he whispered, “I smelled her, too. She’s out there. You just have to be stealthy. Be the monster who stalks. Blend in. We’ll find her.”

 “I…want….”

The hollow echo of the deepest crevasse of the ocean reverberated against Nicholas’s bones in the low voice.

“Yeah, we’re gonna find her, and we’re gonna fuck her, and this time, we aren’t going to hold back.”

……

Lorelei’s Song – available as an ebook at Decadent, Amazon, Smashwords and most e-outlets.

Tell me of your favorite monster and who you would like to see wander a Steampunk convention. One random comment will win a copy of Lorelei’s Song.

~Maureen

www.maureenobetita.com

 

Decadent http://www.decadentpublishing.com/product_info.php?products_id=751&osCsid=od4lb7goki9vvlpaa1t5519og7

 Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Loreleis-Song-ebook/dp/B00C2FCZ4U/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1364509074&sr=8-3&keywords=Lorelei%27s+Song

 Smashwords http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/300475

 

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I thought I’d pass this along to everyone.  This makes me wish I lived closer to the East Coast.

Steampunk Festival Fears Mother Nature

Steampunk World’s Fair takes unusual step to keep inclement weather from raining on parade

This May, the Steampunk World’s Fair will hit Piscataway, New Jersey with three days of the largest steampunk festival in the country – last year’s fair garnered about 3000 guests in total. With a nation of steampunks fondly reminiscing on the jam-packed events of the 2011 event and expectations just as high this year, any inclement weather could only result in soggy sadness. But this year, Mother Nature will not stand in the way. In preparation for unwanted precipitation, the event has specifically planned a special set of programs to take place in the rain.

This solution may be unusual, but The Steampunk World’s Fair is used to travelling unorthodox routes. Three years ago, it was among the very first of Steampunk events to approach Steampunk gatherings from a festival, rather than a convention, standpoint. The performance-heavy event focuses on creating the boisterous, exuberant atmosphere of a carnival or faire, rather than the calmer atmosphere of a convention. Says event creator, Jeff Mach, “rather than a situation where, if it rains, we just ‘make do,’ we’re going to actually have activities and programs which will blow your socks off!” It will take a grand amount of planning to get the rain program on its feet, but organizers are excited about its potential, urging guests to “Hope for rain!”

Of course, if it doesn’t end up raining at the fair, there will be plenty of delightful activities for guests to revel in. In addition to the largest array of Steampunk performances available anywhere, festivals of the past have featured everything from Why Not Cake, an imaginative company of gourmet cake artists; to visits from award-winning author Leanna Renee Hieber. So stick an umbrella in your top hat, because the Steampunk World’s Fair promises imaginative entertainment, rain or shine.

The creators of Steampunk World’s Fair are also notable for their annual Wicked Winter Renaissance Faire and Geeky Kink Event. More information on The Steampunk World’s Fair can be found at steampunkworldsfair.com

 

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Today I am very excited to welcome author Jana Oliver to Steamed! as Steampunkapalooza 2010 continues. Visiting Lolita Jana is going to share with us her insights on the power of Steampunk.  She’ll also be giving away a copy of her book  SOJOURN, Time Rovers Book 1.

Jana Oliver admits to a certain fondness for almost all things Victorian and her continued search for the world’s most perfect single malt. Her multi-award winning Time Rovers Series has earned the praise of historians and readers alike for its gritty portrayal of London during the reign of Jack the Ripper. For more about Jana please visit her website: http://www.JanaOliver.com

I am not an oblivious person, but I must confess that steampunk rather crept up on me. It probably was making lots of noise with all those steam fittings and outlandish gadgets, but somehow I missed its creation.

The term steampunk first dropped into my world in 2005 when a friend asked if the book I was working on (SOJOURN from my Time Rovers Series) was in that sub-genre. Well, it is set in the late Victorian Era. It does involve time travel but frankly I wasn’t sure, even after my friend politely explained exactly what steampunk was.

Steampunk fell out of my life Dragon*Con 2008. Now if you’re not familiar with Dragon the best way to explain it is The World’s Largest Summer Camp for Adults (as per a friend). Anywhere from 40-60K souls converge on downtown Atlanta over Labor Day weekend each year and attend what is a very amazing multi-media convention. You got elves, you got Buffy, you got Dr. Who, anime and robots. And you got steampunk.

I was scheduled to be on a panel about the topic. I dutifully did my research, reading various steampunk novels to try to capture the essence of the “movement”. My mistake was that I was caught up with the results, not the creative spark.

My fellow panelists included a very knowledgeable gent (his name escapes, I apologize) and Carole Nelson Douglas who writes the Irene Adler series. Carole knows the Victorian Era inside and out and the gent knew steampunk. I was moderating so after a while I opened up the discussion to the audience. They had packed the room to overflowing (I’m guessing at least one hundred folks) and the rest had taken over another room for an impromptu steampunk panel on costuming and equipment. That was my first hint this was a big deal.

And here is where I learned about the dynamo that is steampunk. I threw out open ended questions – What does steampunk mean to you? How you think it relates to the “real” world? Where do you think steampunk is headed? The answers were incredibly deep and thoughtful. Though the audience ranged in age from teens to gray hairs, everyone had something in common – they were freethinkers. They didn’t see life through a certain kind of lens, but examined issues from all sides. They were inventive (can you imagine what it’s like to be in a roomful of MacGyvers?) And they’d brought that creativity into the steampunk world and into their lives. They bemoaned our “throw away” culture and the loss of beautiful objects which reflect the love of the master craftsman. They saw around corners, looking for solutions. They debated each other with respect and they cited their references. In short they were highly intelligent, engaged and energized.

I listened in awe, realizing that because of these folks this energy was at work in our society. Beyond the incredible costumes, the nifty gadgets, the airships and the goggles was a dynamic spirit that echoes the Victorian Era’s greatest strengths. Victorians believed they could master just about anything. They valued craftsmanship and ingenuity. It’s my opinion those remarkable traits are exactly what our disposable society craves.

Though I went into the panel a bit nervous as to how it would go, the hour ended too quickly for me. To my delight Dragon*Con read the tea leaves and in response to the growing steampunk culture they green-lighted a separate programming track devoted to Alternate History/Steampunk for 2009. It was jammed with people last fall and I know this September won’t be any different.

I’m currently prepping for AnachroCon, a smaller steampunk convention here in Atlanta. I’m hoping to get another dose of that spirit, that drive I felt in 2008. Another shovelful of coal into the boiler of imagination. That is the hidden gift of steampunk and it’s available to all. No airship required.

Thank you so much for visiting us, Jana.  I can’t wait to pick up the Time Rovers series.

Visiting Lolita Jana is going to give a copy of SOJOURN to one lucky poster.

London, September 1888
An aged Queen Victoria rules. The threat of anarchy hovers in the air. A new kind of evil lurks in the back alleys of Whitechapel. Enter Jacynda Lassiter, a Time Rover on a mission—find an overdue ‘tourist’ and return him to 2057 before he changes history.

Victorian London is a dangerous place for the unwary. Mysterious shape-shifters haunt the streets, making friend and foe indistinguishable. When a fellow Time Rover is murdered, Jacynda’s mission becomes personal. Can she trust the two gentlemen who come to her aid or do they harbor their own dark secrets? In a few days Jack the Ripper will add to his bloody legacy. But old Jack isn’t the only threat in Whitechapel. Unless Jacynda can outwit a madman, her Victorian sojourn will rewrite history— and end at the point of a blade.

The book was a finalist for ten awards and won seven, including the Prism for Time Travel and the Daphne du Maurier Award (Paranormal).

Winning is easy.  Just post a comment below and you get an entry.

Earn an extra entry by blogging/posting/facebooking/tweeting about Jana’s visit and the contest (please, don’t spam, and let us know how you promoted the contest.)   You can also earn an extra extra by subscribing to the steamed! blog or by joining our Facebook Group (let us know you did, if you’re already a subscriber let us know and you’ll get an extra entry, too!)  Good luck!

It’s also not too late win an autographed print by artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith.

Don’t forget to enter our Ensemble Contest for a chance to win a $150 gift certificate to Clockwork Couture. Contest ends Sunday, April 11th. Winner will be announced on Monday, April 12th.

On Saturday, April 10th we’ll be visited by The Royal Ladies’ & Gentle-mens’ Experimental Madness Society’s represented by Joseph CR Vourteque IV. Artist TotusMel will be visiting on Sunday the 11th. On Monday, April 12th our visiting Lolita will be Aimee Stewart of Foxfire Art.

Thank you for joining us for Steampunkapalooza and keep stopping by all month long for more special guests, prizes, and mayhem.

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