Posts Tagged ‘steampunk culture’

Today, as Steampunkapalooza continues, please welcome YA author Jay Kristoff.

Jay Kristoff is a Perth-born, Melbourne-based author. His first trilogy, THE LOTUS WAR, was purchased in the three-way auction by US publishing houses in 2011. He is as surprised about it as you are. The first installment, STORMDANCER, is set to be published in September 2012 in the US, UK and Australia.

Jay is 6’7, has approximately 13870 days to live and does not believe in happy endings.


 by Jay Kristoff

Once upon a time, there was this fellow called Neanderthal man. He was handy in a scrap, well-suited to the freezing climates in which he hung his furs, and possessed of a brain larger than the average human. He was an apex predator, had a language and complex societal groups. Maybe not complex enough to develop grand concepts like us (reality TV, 4-chan, Sarah Palin) but you know, close.

And around 25,000 years ago, he and all his buddies disappear from the fossil record.

No-one quite knows why. The most popular theory is that he was wiped out by a more complex evolution of his genome that we now call homo sapiens, who essentially rolled up in his cabbage patch and a) Killed every Neanderthal he saw, or b) Did the sexah with every Neanderthal lady he saw, and essentially bred poor Neanderthal right the frack out of a job. Some scientists hypothesise that rapid climate change did him in. But in any event, Neanderthal’s inability to adapt cashed his check for him.

In short he didn’t change. He liked the way he was and he was going to stay that way, dammit. Extinction be damned.

Which brings me to steampunk (See what I did there? No? Maybe I need to work on my segues…)

25 years after KW Jeter coined the term ‘steampunk’, the tropes of the SP genre are pretty well established. Any geek worthy of his Browncoats membership will have a clear image in mind when you mention the word – an industrialized Victorian setting, with technology you wouldn’t expect to find in said setting, either flitting about the air or clanking about the streets amidst clouds of phlogiston or aether or another fantastical fuel source. And this is all good. Tropes need to be established. There needs to be rules before you can break them.


My personal theory is that steampunk sits at a crossroads in its evolution. Down one fork lies experimentation – the challenging of rules and norms, spectacular failures and amazing successes. And down the other lies the tropes we’re all familiar with; all goggles and corsetry and top hats and howdoyoudo’s, and Mr Neanderthal crouched on his haunches wondering WTF hit him.

I’m not saying steampunk is at risk of dying anytime soon – I’m just saying evolution from what we know and expect from it is probably a good thing. And granted, any novel, no matter how steeped in tropes it is, can be wonderful. ‘Write it well’ should always be the golden rule when it comes to fiction, genre or otherwise. But take a look at the more successful acknowledged steampunk authors around – people like Scott Westerfeld (NYT bestseller) or Cherie Priest (awards goddess) or Alan Moore (yeah, he’d probably pop an artery if anyone called him that, but hey…). These folks took the tropes and fracked with them. They took the norm and challenged it, and came up with books that really woke people up to the idea that steampunk can be almost anything we want it to be.

I like the idea of a world where people aren’t quite sure what Steampunk is. I like the idea of we as creators and community members doing our best to defy codification and tropes and convention. Steampunk doesn’t have to be corsets and goggles and phlogiston. It can be the siege tanks in Avatar: The Last Airbender. It can be iron walkers clashing with genetically engineered warbears in the Leviathan series. It can be clockwork ballerinas in The Music of Razors. You can crossbreed it faeries and other, less friendly fae. It can be set in the frontier age of colonial America. Or a magic-inspired version of tsarist Russia.

Or maybe even the samurai age of Japan.

Yeah, that segue was much better… J

Point is, it can be almost anything you want it to be, within a few sketchy guidelines. The only limit should be your imagination, and that shouldn’t be any kind of limit at all.

Go forth and evolve!

–Jay Kristoff


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Today we welcome Andrew Mayer, author of the Society of Steam Trilogy.

Andrew Mayer was born on the tiny island of Manhattan, and is still fascinated by their strange customs and simple ways.  When he’s not writing new stories he works as a videogame designer and digital entertainment consultant. Over the years he has has created numerous concepts, characters, and worlds including the original Dogz and Catz digital pets.  These days he resides in Oakland, CA where he spends too much time on the internet, and not enough time playing his ukulele.

Steampunk is coming to town

by Andrew Mayer

Have you seen the latest Jusin Bieber video? A breakdancing Santa Claus is breaking it down in Victorian underwear, and Justin is there to meet him in a gear-studded vest with a mechanical glove.  It is, for better or worse, absolutely steampunk.

And according to some very irate (and some very gleeful) nerds, it’s also supposedly the end of steampunk as we know it. And I’m here to say that while they may just be right, but it also may also be the dawn of something new.

Of all the people who seemed to be the most gleeful at the genre’s imminent demise, the ones who amuse me the most are fantasy fans. They rub their hands together with joy, claiming that steampunk is getting too watered down and too mainstream.

From my point of view, it’s all jealousy and glass houses. After all, while steampunk may have its tropes of gears and goggles, fantasy has had decades to commit far worse sins. Anyone remember Tom Cruise as the elf-boy in Legend? How about the shelves of gift stores in malls across the world that are sagging with “adorable” dragon figurines? And we’ve just survived a decade of Harry Potter with light plastic wands and vibrating nimbus brooms, and yet somehow fantasy seems to have thrived, with Peter Jackson about to send us back to Middle Earth for two more films.

But success does have its cost, and the truth is that Fantasy had been splashing around in the mainstream (and doing mostly a poor job of it) for almost forty years before it found the more genuine “gritty” aesthetic that powers so much of the modern day genre (like Song of Ice and Fire). And even so, for every gritty elf assassin, there’s a Galadriel Barbie doll.

So fantasy fans, may you mock us for Justin Bieber, but remember that it wasn’t all that long after Tolkien had finished his genre-defining masterpiece that Leonard Nimoy (still sporting his Mr. Spock hair cut) sang about Hobbits in a video that definitely feels a very, very long way from Bag End…

Besides, this isn’t the first time that we’ve heard that steampunk is “over”. It isn’t even the first time this year. Back in January there were plenty of folks claiming that its appearance in thousands of gear-encrusted tchotchkes on Etsy was proof of the apocalypse. And yet, somehow, in the last year we’ve not only gotten Justin Bieber interested, but there’s also another Sherlock Holmes film, a steampunk spinoff for Warehouse 13, and books of all types (from Romance, to my own superhero benders and beyond). There’s even more movies on the way. And every time the things take a new twist or turn, thousands more people ask the all-important question, “Hey, what is this steampunk stuff all about?”

So, while people want to see the mainstreaming of steampunk as the beginning of the end of a genre, having it appear in a huge mainstream video is probably the end of the beginning. It’s understandable that people are feeling a sense of loss. You always do when something you love grows up. And it’s always more fun when you and your friends “own” something that nobody knows about than it is telling your parents why there’s a clockwork doll hanging out with the breakdancing Santa. But, as we’ve seen with other genres, that can also be the moment of greatest opportunity as well.

Steampunk may have started out with the grit intact, but if it’s going to stick around it has to show a softer, more family-friendly side as well. Seeing that happen as it enters in the mainstream isn’t a sign of failure, it’s an opportunity for more people to discover the charms of our neo-Victorian aesthetic, and that means it’s going to stick around for just a little bit longer, even if we have to endure plush zeppelins and plastic goggles.

But that success goes both ways, and the longer steampunk lasts in the mainstream, the more likely it is that people will push the edges of the genre as well, finding ways to create something that you will love more than you thought possible.

– Andrew Mayer

twitter: @andrewmayer

facebook: www.facebook.com/societyofsteam

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Tee Morris began his writing career with his 2002 historical epic fantasy, MOREVI The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana. In 2005 Tee took MOREVI into the then-unknown podosphere, making his novel the first book podcast in its entirety. That experience led to the founding of Podiobooks.com and collaborating with Evo Terra and Chuck Tomasi on Podcasting for Dummies and its follow-up, Expert Podcasting Practices for Dummies. He won acclaim and accolades for his cross-genre fantasy-detective Billibub Baddings Mysteries, the podcast of The Case of the Singing Sword winning him the 2008 Parsec Award for Best Audio Drama. Along with those titles, Tee has written articles and short stories for BenBella Books’s Farscape Forever: Sex, Drugs, and Killer Muppets, the podcast anthology VOICES: New Media Fiction, BenBella Books’ So Say We All: Collected Thoughts and Opinions of Battlestar Galactica, and Dragon Moon Press’ Podthology: The Pod Complex.  When he is not writing, Tee enjoys life in Virginia alongside Philippa Ballantine, his daughter, and five cats (3 female, 2 males). Considering the male-to-female ratio in his house, Tee understands how General Custer felt near his end.


Foggy Goggles:  The Problem with Steampunk Sub-genres

by Tee Morris

When reading a recent blogpost from the Parasol Protectorate’s Gail Carriger, I felt my hackles rise. They stood a hint taller when I followed a link to The Steampunk Scholar who gives an in-depth look at what I believe to be the silliest trend currently running amuck in steampunk. The gist of both posts is that Gail’s New York Times bestselling series really shouldn’t be considered “Steampunk” but a softer cousin of the genre — “Bustlepunk.” Gail, as she is a class act, opens her commentary on this as follows:

I tend to not weigh in, Gentle Reader, on the controversial subject of bustlepunk, and prefer to let the experts argue amongst themselves as to whether my books are officially steampunk… Since Soulless came out in 2009 I have obeyed to the letter the old Internet adage “do not engage.”

I admit—I’m a new kid in the community. I know this. It was only in March of this year when I (with Pip Ballantine) stepped fully into the fray. Our first steps into steampunk were with the launch of a steampunk podcast anthology. We followed this first step with our second step — the book, Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, now just over two months old.

And yet, reading both of the earlier cited columns, I’m asking the same question:




With the accomplishments Gail has achieved with the Parasol Protectorate series, I’m stunned that there are Steampunk SMOFs (Secret Masters/Mistresses of Fandom) who believe she doesn’t write steampunk on account of — as described by Gail herself — her books being unabashedly frivolous and fun. “Of course that can’t be steampunk!” these SSMOFs trumpet from pulpits on high. “We must give it its own classification — bustlepunk! Yes! That’s it! Bustlepunk! The softer side of nitty, gritty, icky, grimy, and dirty steampunk!”

Yes, I’m the new guy, but I’m just going to say it — Enough with the sub-genres!

It’s not just bustlepunk (and yes, every time I say that word, a kitten dies) that I speak of. It’s all of these contrived sub-genres that are cropping up in order to distinguish themselves from “true” steampunk. I first discovered this segregation when explaining to a curious bystander what steampunk was. When asked for some examples from film and television, I went with a favorite example: Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang.

One of the steampunks in our group turned to me and said:

 “Well, Tee, Chitty Chitty, Bang Bangis more dieselpunk.”

Not only was the steam-curious furrowing his brow at that, so was I. Dieselpunk? What the hell is dieselpunk?

The hair-splitting continued, particularly at WorldCon 68, when I heard bandied about the other “just-like-steampunk-but-different” sub-genres:

  • Sailpunk
  • Sandalpunk
  • Ricepunk
  • Atompunk
  • Teslapunk
  • Stonepunk (No kidding — Stonepunk. Think The Flintstones.)

To those in the mainstream struggling to understand what steampunk is, dropping sub-genres like these only muddy the boiler’s water, making for a really poor performance and a bad stink coming from your analytical engine’s exhaust.

So if this rule of “a case of the whimsies” applies and Gail Carriger therefore doesn’t write steampunk, then you better tell Kaja and Phil Foglio they aren’t writing steampunk either. And someone call The League of S.T.E.A.M. They are having their steampunk card revoked, regardless of their delightfully witty writing and artistic direction.

And while you’re at it — best proceed with caution when reading Phoenix Rising. Between the explosions and intrigue, our whimsies are strong.

Part of what appeals to me (and, I imagine, outsiders of the steampunk circles) with this Science Fiction sub-genre is the passion, wit, and downright cleverness and creativity of “what could be.”  From the possibilities K.W. Jeter, Tim Powers, and James Blaylock first envisioned back in the late-1980’s came a “future-that-never-was” along with a wide definition of what steampunk is all about. When Pip and I attended The 2011 Steampunk World’s Fair, we were struggling not to gawk and gape at what people defined as steampunk, but never did I hear anyone describe someone’s outfit as being a great ricepunk outfit or how their elaborate cannon and teapot was an amazing dieselpunk creation. And when I saw rayguns of Grordbortian inspiration, never did the term retropunk ever bandy about people’s lips. What we were a part of was a celebration of ingenuity and do-it-yourself technology with style. It wasn’t about the niche you fit into, but what you as an artist were defining as steampunk.

Now as steampunk begins to approach mainstream in its appeal, we as writers, costumers, and artisans of various media should stop and ask ourselves how wise it is to search for that magic genre we fit in. If we are not edgy enough are we merely writing bustlepunk? (And there goes another kitten…) If we decide to set our steampunk in Calcutta, have we ventured into currypunk? What if our steampunk traces its true origins back to the earlier era of the Restoration? Do we dare explore the possibilities of powderpunk?

How silly can this hair-splitting get?

Steampunk is more than an era, more than Victorian London, and far more than the technology of Babbage taken to a higher plane. Steampunk is a celebration of what you can accomplish when your heart and your imagination is behind it. It is adventure. It is wonder. It is, as Nathan Fillion’s Richard Castle so eloquently puts it, “…a subculture that embraces the simplicity and romance of the past but at the same time couples it with the hope and promise and sheer super coolness of futuristic design.”

Not ricepunk.

Not retropunk.

And certainly not bustlepunk.

This is steampunk.

Let’s keep our sights on what we do together, not searching for our own little niches. That way, we are better artists, a stronger community, and an artistic movement that changes perspectives.

-Tee Morris



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Today we welcome Jon Heartless, author of Romanticism Lost. 

The “Greying Down” of Culture

by Jon Heartless

Is anyone else worried about the ‘greying down’ of culture which seems to be increasing all around us? Society does it by scorning anything outside the conventional. Our employers do it by demanding that we wear their uniform, use their methodology, and even use their word forms when dealing with customers. Governments do it by promoting bland manifestos, even blander politicians, and only supporting media-friendly, populist policies which can all be measured and quantified. The UK Government is especially target-obsessed, and exhibits the belief that everything can be fed into a spreadsheet of tick boxes which will yield statistical data on every part of our lives. “Real life doesn’t comply with forms AH139 to VT9735 inclusive? Then reality is wrong. We have the paperwork to prove it…”

In short, we are being homogenized in a variety of ways, usually by having bits chopped off so we fit a pre-determined shape, and I’m rather peeved about it. It’s at times like this that I truly understand why a diabolical mastermind wants to create a death ray and zap everyone. It’s not an insane desire to take over the world; it’s just table-chewing frustration at the way we’re treated by those who have power over us. Give me a death ray and I would quite happily point it at the Houses of Parliament. Or corporate employers. Or the tabloid press, with its insular attitudes and hatred of anything unlike.

This got me thinking one day on what the Sherlock Holmes stories would be like if Conan Doyle were writing today. We’re used to the idea of Holmes and Watson receiving a telegram pleading for help, dashing off in a hansom cab to Waterloo, the luxurious railway carriage, the hiring of a dog cart at the rural station, the investigation, the deduction, and the unmasking of the villain. Can you imagine what that would be like in the modern world? Holmes would be prosecuted for breaching health and safety laws after lighting his pipe, while the criminal, after being unmasked, would be able to sue the consulting detective for slander, emotional belittlement, loss of confidence etc etc. And this pre-supposes Holmes could get anywhere near the crime scene at all with our modern rail companies, who seem to view the transportation of passengers as being a distraction from their true calling of taking our money in ever increasing amounts in return for an ever decreasing service.

From all this was born my novella, Romanticism Lost, and only after I’d written it did I realise that I had something a bit ‘steampunkish’. (Please note I hesitate to label it as a definite steampunk work, though it does feature a nineteenth century setting and a Calculating Man made from glass, brass, and clockwork). And this, finally, leads to the point of today’s blog: when we create something that doesn’t fit into a preconceived set of values or opinions, do we create something more imaginative, something more enjoyable, something ‘better’?

After all, if we sit down and say, ‘I’m going to write a western,’ we immediately limit ourselves to a certain set of rules; cowboys, the sheriff, high noon etc.  Even in a wider context we still do this – consider the British Empire. Immediately, our thoughts are channelled into a few well-established streams; it was good/bad, it did this, it caused that etc. So when we sit down to write steampunk, do we similarly limit ourselves to predetermined rules and thus a predetermined outcome?

I am in no way a steampunk expert, but I do know that it is now a genre, and genres often feed off themselves and in doing so they can lose originality. Witness the ‘steampunkiness’ of Doctor Who over the years, in which the past was represented by the Doctor with his Victorian/Edwardian clothing and old fashioned heroism, while the TARDIS was the new world of technology. Together they were incongruous, yet they worked. Now compare that to the modern day version, where deliberate quirkiness is forced into the concept, and you can see quite a shift in our creativity; we are retro-eccentric for the sake of it, rather than because it just happens to fit the artistic demands of the story.

Does this sort of thing limit us? And if so, is this true to the spirit of steampunk, which theoretically has no limits other than being set in an alternative, tech-heavy past? Are we now creating steampunk rather than creating something that can be labelled (often retrospectively) as steampunk? If we are starting with the intention that there will be warlords, airships, unconventional heroines, modern technology enclosed in Victorian aesthetic design etc, does this mean that we are sealing ourselves into a self-replicating loop?

I’m guilty of doing exactly this, incidentally, in that I’m writing a story inspired by Charles Stross’ blog complaining that the genre isn’t realistic enough about the horrors of the Victorian era. From this infamous rant, an idea lodged in my head about creating a steampunk story that does show the appalling social conditions of the Victorian age, and hence was born my work in progress, Steampunk Imperialism. However, I fear I am working to Mr. Stross’ agenda as to what the genre should be. I also fear that in trying to create a recognisable steampunk story I am heading through the door marked ‘Conventional’ rather than the door marked ‘Innovative’.

Given the individual artistic craft that goes into creating a steampunk-style computer, dress, or ray gun, it would be ironic indeed if we are succumbing to a rigid mindset on what is, and isn’t, acceptable. Is steampunk’s success going to be its downfall? Would it really make a difference if you could buy steampunk off the shelf in a supermarket? Is Steampunk really in danger of becoming SteamcorporateTM?

Of course, even is this is true, and I do emphasise I am only speculating here, you may well think it doesn’t matter, and you could be right. Some great things can still be achieved within the well-defined parameters of a genre, and in any case, it depends on what you want to do; are you writing a Dickensian tale of misery designed to show the inequality of Victorian life, or are you creating an adventure romp, or something which can inspire young readers, or something else again? There’s no law on this, just personal likes and dislikes.

Is Romanticism Lost a better work for not being bogged down in the minutiae of being a particular type of fiction? Or will Steampunk Imperialism be superior for having a definite genre and philosophy? (It certainly helps that I am interested in the Victorian age, although I am out of my comfort zone in setting the story at the start of the Victorian era rather than the fin-de-siècle). In the end, I suppose it all depends on the individual. And if that isn’t steampunk, I don’t know what is.

Speculation over, and I still haven’t reached a conclusion, but I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this and, more importantly, I also hope you continue to enjoy steampunk for many years to come, no matter what guise is presents itself under.

Romanticism Lost can be purchased direct from Double Dragon Publishing, or from third party retailers such as Kindle. My YA werewolf tale The Wolves of Androcolus will be available from BloodMoonPublishing.com shortly, under my pen name Barnabas Corbin. Steampunk Imperialism will hopefully appear one day, assuming it doesn’t depress me to the extent that I give up on it.

–Jon Heartless

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Dear Reader,

I would like to begin by saying while I revel in the science and enjoy the Victorian splendor that is in today’s steampunk, I find that there is often something missing…and it’s not steam…it’s steaminess.

Now before you get your bustle in an uproar, take a look at some of the most celebrated authors of other science fiction and action genres, like James Rollins, Michael Crichton and James Patterson. More often that not, they include some relationship (dare I say romantic) element between their characters within the context of the story. And while steampunks are full of science and fantasy elements, I believe they would benefit from a heavier dose of the relationship aspects between the characters.

Why? Because it’s human nature to be interested in the human condition. That’s part of what makes even dystopian fiction possible. There’s been a long-standing tradition among those in the science-fiction genre that says too much steaminess in a story somehow lowers its quality. Why?

After all, when you read a book, is it simply because that character has the coolest raygun in existence, or is it because you actually are curious what will happen to the character once he shoots said raygun and mayhem errupts?

When you meet a couple, do you ask how they met, or do you want to know how often they polish their brass buttons on their captain’s jacket to get them to gleam so well?

Part of the reason I adore Gail Carriger’s steampunk Parasol Protectorate series is because of the relationship between her main characters. The first book especially got me hooked because there was an attraction between Alexa Tarbotti and Lord Macon that was nothing if not steamy.

While the Victorian era was indeed a little more straight-laced about the kinds of affections that could be touted in public, we must remember that this is steampunk. Perhaps being a little steamier requires us to be a little more punk about our perceptions of the era and let those relationships out in the open.

After all, if a woman can wear her undergarments on the outside without steampunk social circles batting an eyelash, why should we not have more steaminess in our steampunk stories? What do you think? Are you for more steam in your steampunk or not? 

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Steampunk for everyone?

Is Steampunk for everyone?

Not everyone gets Steampunk.

Does that mean that they couldn’t eventually get or enjoy Steampunk?

Yes, I think they can.

The very reason why is also the reason why I love Steampunk–the sheer depth and breadth of the genre.

Not everyone might enjoy writing–or reading–Steampunk. But Steampunk extends so much further then just the written word.

Also, just because I don’t knit doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy handknitted things. Of course, it also means I don’t like every hat someone knits. I have to figure out what I like.

The same things goes for Steampunk.

Maybe they’d be inspired by the sounds of Clockwork Cabaret or Abney Park.

Perhaps it’s the handcrafted jewerly that has them scouring Etsy for the newest creations or flocking to flea markets for broken pocket watches to male their own. There’s more than jewelry–there’s tatted lace, tiaras made of clockhands, and hats.

Oh the hats.

Someone who loves hats–the bowler or the derby or even the cloche–might appreciate the simply elegance of a grey silk top hat or a black derby festooned with feathers and a small veil.

The fashion of Steampunk can be spectacular. Someone who’d always loved Victorian elegance, the rustle of silk, the bounce of the bustle, wide ball gowns worn over a hoop, is bound to find something among the many made to order and off the rack Steampunk fashions. They might even get inspired to sew their own.

Steampunk even has art, everything from big-eyed faeries to sweeping scapes.

Don’t even get me started in the science and technology. That’s the heart of Steampunk. Build a difference engine or a raygun (it’s okay of it doesn’t work). Rip the keys off your keyboard and replace them with typewriter keys (or buy one.) Steampunk your car.

Every single one of these holds variations from lowbrown to classy. The possibilities are endless. I’ve only began to touch on the many facets of Steampunk.

So, yes, Steampunk really has something for everyone.

You just have to look.

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First off, before we get to today’s visiting Lolita, I’d like to announce the *finalists* of the Clockwork Couture ensemble contest. Thank you so much to everyone who entered, we had 44 entries! I am so glad I wasn’t the judge because there were so many amazing ensembles. Also, thank you to Donna at Clockwork Couture for sponsoring the contest.

The five finalists will each receive a tiara (because I’m all about tiaras, lol). The grand prize winner wins a $150 gift certificate to Clockwork couture. All winners, please email me at suzannelazear (@) hotmail so you can get your prize. The winner will be announced tomorrow.

The finalists and winner were chosen by our esteemed guest judge Gail Carriger. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to judge our contest.

The finalists are (in no particular order):

OM Grey’s “Gothic Steampunk Lolita” ensemble:

Marissa’s photoshopped creation:

Sangu’s Steampunk Outfit:

Steampunk Outfit

Mithril Designs’ “Absinthe Afternoon”:

Absinthe Afternoon

and VBunny’s “Black and White Tea”:

Black and White and Tea

Thank you again to everyone who entered, stay tuned for the winner!

Today let’s give a big Steampunkapalooza welcome to Edanna of EJP Creations, makers of fabulous clockhand jewelry, including my favorite–tiaras.  She will also be giving away a beautiful pair of earrings.

Recently, I was at an event that was attended by a horde of Steampunkians. My heart swelled with pride at the diversity, and enthusiasm emanating from it’s handsomely coiffed participants. There were brisk airship captains, elegantly refined Victorian ladies, dapper aristocratic gentlemen, cog-encrusted machinists, noir neo-Victorian mavens, burlesque carnival consorts, rakish goggle-donning scientists, and adventurers aplenty. Upon looking over this entire crowd the only thought that kept running through my head was, “THIS… this was the future I had always dreamed of. And if we can’t have zeppelins taking us to work each day, or adventures under the sea in great diesel-powered mechanized tubs then, by god, we shall make our own reality. Our groupthink will force it to happen, and we shall live as if this existence spans our entire globe!” I make my accessories for a clear and selfish reason. In adorning the coif of that elegant lady, or ornamenting the lapel of that mad scientist , my accessories help to flush out their character and accompany them on their next adventure. Fostering that reality into being by contributing a little of my vision for the world with a tangible, wearable bobble.

Distressed imperial elegance is the main thrust of my current designs. Apocalyptic chic, one might say, containing all the grandeur of toppled gilded empires, of their opulent treasures covered in dust and rubble. Encased for eons in their forgotten tombs only to be unearthed millennia later, shined up, and repurposed by a mad scientist of a woman wielding a hammer, and a pair of pliers. Using design elements from a bygone time, giving them a modern, urban spin. EJPcreations specializes in tiaras, chokers, earrings, necklaces, fascinators, and hair combs with a noir, and gothic flair. Creating body adornments with a hint of vampire elegance, a dash of Steampunk bravado, and plenty of Neo-Victorian sensibilities. Perfect for prowling the streets, haunting the clubs, or adding an aristocratic air to any outfit.

I have been creating unique and obscure items my entire life. Anything my little mind could dream up was instantly put on paper so I could work out the puzzle of making it a reality. Coming from a very creative family, this notion of making artwork in any form has been ingrained in me since birth. As an adult, this has primarily taken the form of wearable art, but I also enjoy creating other kinds of functional and mixed media creations as well. Contained in my artistic arsenal is an AA degree in Visual Presentation, a BFA in Crafts and Metalsmithing, and a BA in Anthropology with a focus in Japanese Urban culture and Primatology (specifically prosimians). In some amazingly mystic and extremely bizarre way all these studies have funneled into the work I produce today.


Thank you so much, Edanna, for visiting us. We really appreciate it. One lucky poster will get a pair of these earrings, which can be converted into clip-ons.  I have a pair just like them and they go with everything from jeans to corsets to little black dresses.  All you have to do for a chance to win is post a comment.

To get an extra entry, you can join EJP Creation’s Facebook Group and/or the Steamed! facebook group. Please let us know in your posts so we can give you your entry. If you already are a memeber let us know and you’ll still get the entry.

Blogging/posting/tweeting about this post and/or Steampunkapalooza also gets you another entry. Please let us know where and please don’t spam. For a final extra entry, you can subscribe to our blog. If you already are a subscriber, let us know so you get credit, too.

Contest ends Tuesday, April 20th at 11:59 pm PST and the winner will be announced on Thursday, April 22nd when YA rockstar Scott Westerfeld comes to visit. John from Steampunk Tales swings by on Monday, April 19th. Hang onto your fishnets when the Smutketeers join us Tuesday April 20th. Artist Simply Willow will be our guest on Wednesday, April 21st as Steampunkapalooza continues all April long.

I’m going to close with a really pretty tiara, because I can, lol.

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It’s Friday! We have a number of contests going on. The contest to win a signed print by Jasmine Becket-Griffith ends tonight. You can also win a copy of Jana Oliver’s SOUJURN. If you haven’t entered our ensemble contest yet, you have until Sunday — the winner gets a $150 gift certificate to Clockwork Couture.

Today we welcome back the fabulous Donna Ricci of Clockwork Couture, Steampunk Clothier extraordinaire. She has another fabulous post on Steampunk culture for us.


Steampunk Mickey Mouse at Disneystore.com

People have been up in arms about Steampunk showing up in Hot Topic, on Disney’s new products and anyplace they deem “mainstream”. This secret subculture that only they and another few thousand knew about, that somehow most members feel they have contributed to it’s creation has created a by product;


“Oh Steampunk is DEAD!” say many. “It’s now MAINSTREAM!” *firmly place back of wrist against forehead and look piteously at the sky*.

Wouldn’t it awesome to walk into *gosh forbid I enter one* a 7-11 and see one of those dreadful hot dog cookers with brass fittings, a boiler pot underneath pouring steam into the case to cook them, and mechanical hands holding each (lips and assholes log) between it’s fingers, turning them around for an even roasting.

“Steam Machine” line by Lip Service Clothing Co.

How COOL would that be? Ladies are wearing hats again, men are opening doors, showing a bit of romantic chivalry and the art of letter writing without an “lol” is back, with pen and paper, and wax sealed closures.

AIrship rides are not only affordable, but more plentiful and etsy is now outselling ebay for hand made inventions.

I gotta be honest, this sounds like a dreamy Heaven, and far from the Hell people are making it out to be.

Okay, so people like Tarina Tarantino, Victoria’s Secret and Disney are jumping on the Steam Engine. They are now making items that don’t look like some truckstop day shift whore would wear, and frankly, they have set the bar higher.

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

If Steampunk goes mainstream, I’m all too happy for it. Don’t worry, you’re all still unique little snowflakes to me.

Long live Steampunk and beautiful Neo-Victorian fashions.

Gear necklace at Hot Topic

-Donna Ricci, the Gothic Supermodel




Thank you so much, Donna, for taking time out of your busy schedule to blog for us this week.  We loved having you as a visiting lolita and your insightful posts and hope you’ll visit us again soon.

Steampunkapalooza continues with The Royal Ladies’ & Gentle-mens’ Experimental Madness Society’s represented by Joseph CR Vourteque IV on Saturday, April 10th. Artist TotusMel will be visiting on Sunday the 11th.  On Monday, April 12th our visiting Lolita will be Aimee Stewart of Foxfire Art. Tuesday, April 13th we’ll be joined by none other than author Gail Dayton.

Keep tuning in all April long for Steampunkapalooza with more special guests, prizes, and mayhem.

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