Brenda Cooper

Weekend Report: Norwescon, #Amazonfail, and Stories

I spent the weekend at Norwescon.  It was a lovely con.  I also, finally and slowly (hit me on the head as a slow learner) understood why there have been so many alternate history sf stories set in the 1800’s in my magazines of late.  Having decided to look up and look around, I think the whole steampunk think is lovely (yes, I’ve read and enjoyed a lot of it, but I hadn’t stuck a name on it and have been simply wondering where all this delightful weirdness came from.  Must be a syndrome that comes of having three jobs.  So in case you are as far behind the times as me, here is a a lovely link to some steampunk pictures. Hopefully I haven’t noticed this just in time to be late to the party.

On a more futurist note, the various global warming, climate change, geo-engineering, alternate power sources, and other save the world panels had a very lovely new tone.  I think Obama (and the stimulus plan) has produced some hope.  The panelists and audiences were both almost the same as last year, but the questions and answers and audience offerings were all decidedly more confident.  The conversation have moved from “woe is us” through “what do we do” and on to “solution, solution, solution.”

#Amazonfail (Amazon has apparently been lowering rankings and making GLBT and other select content hard to find) is interesting:  either it’s a hijack by the religious right, a hacker attack, or a bunch of real corporate stupidity at Amazon.  I can’t tell which yet.  But we watched Milk tonight and so the timing of all this is kind of interesting.

On the bits of lovely news side:

Page proofs for my story in the Footprints anthology coming out from Hadley-Rille books dropped into my email box.  This is going to be good.

I got a story through second draft, and Toni (my sweetheart first reader) liked it.  It’s out to two more readers, both of whom I trust and I’m looking forward to their feedback.  Nice to be writing more short fiction.

Science Fiction is multiplying girls.  I saw Ken and Jen Scholes who are pregnant with twin girls, and Tobias Buckell and his wife had their twin girls this weekend.

3 Responses so far

  1. 1. Kim Sannes

    My first experience with Steam Punk was with the boot “The Difference Engine”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Difference_Engine
    I found it somewhat hard to read, but never having read anything like this before, I was quite captured by it.

    Another notable example for me is the movie “Steam Boy”
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0348121/

    My wife pointed out a few months ago that lots of Steam Punk examples can be found on ebay and youtube, when she became interested in the steam art.

    While discussing the subject with another friend of ours who is quite interested in this, he explained that there are sub categories, such as clock punk, as in “Edward Scissorhands”.

  2. 2. brenda

    Thanks Kim. I’ve actually read a lot of Steampunk, and also Jay’s Lake’s clockpunk (or at least I’ve heard him refer to “Escapement” that way). Ian MacLeod’s “The Light Ages,” which I also loved. I just hadn’t quite put it together with all the lovely feathered goggly dressy costumes until this weekend. I think I’m actually going to a bit of steampunk costumery before Orycon, which is probably the next chance I have to show it off. My grandfather actually worked on antique clocks so I’m hoping dad has a bucket of parts around somewhere I can dig through.

  3. 3. Amy

    Brenda,

    Great to hear that a spirit of optimism is taking hold in a new excitement for global solutions!