I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure

I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West

drew's writing:

  • "Always Forever Now," Ideomancer volume 13, issue 2
  • "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
  • "Bread or Cake" and "Pride/Shame,"2nd Annual Philadelphia One-Minute Play Festival
  • "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
  • "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
  • "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
  • "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
  • "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest

Friday, October 02, 2009

i am curious steampunk




I asked the photographer Nadya Lev if I could reproduce this beautiful photo here; Nadia is a progenitor of Coilhouse, which I dare not look at too often lest I lose many hours. Rather than attempt to describe the magazine I'll link you to their mission statement. I've been hanging on to Nadya's steampunk hunk for a while not sure when I should premiere him. He seemed too suave and sleek a thing for my little scrapbook.


Today's the day! Polluto's Steampunk Orange issue is now available. My story, "Copper Heart," is a queer mash-up of Clockwork Orange with Poe's "Berenice." I love the cover art for this. Obsessed with imagery here, so I get very excited when something I'm in looks pretty:


























Of all the new genres that have arisen in the past few decades steampunk is the only one I've attempted to write in. I make free with old surrealist, gothic, and magical realist tropes in my writing, but when I write in the steampunk genre I become a rule-follower. More established genres seem a bit more resilient, I don't imagine that they'll be harmed if I use them roughly. A budding genre requires more delicacy.

You don't want to be the guy who slaughtered steampunk.

The definition of steampunk I rely on is the one given on Jeff VanderMeer's Ecstatic Days blog by guest blogger Catherynne M. Valente. It's given in the form of an admonition. Here's a sample:

If you’re going to go prowling for tophatted villains at night, seek out the pure stuff, the real, filthy, ugly, euphoric sludge at the bottom of a spoon, because that’s the Victorian era, that’s steam power, that’s a world shredding itself to death on the spindle of industry, hoping to wake up to a prince in a hundred years.

I'm sure my pre-Raphealite heroes would find it odd and unsettling that I'm interested in all the early-industrial imagery that so horrified them that they constructed a life and an aesthetic in opposition to it.





Maybe good steampunk is steampunk that honors and shares that horror.

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