20,001: A Steampunk Odyssey

Attention all Steampunk writers! Kindling Press has made a call for submissions to their latest anthology effort, 20,001: A Steampunk Odyssey, a collection of Steampunk short stories.

Check out the specifics of the call right here, straight from the Kindling Press site:

Preference will be given to stories involving the Sea and its mysterious Denizens; submarine travel and related Contrivances; transoceanic Escapades, mysterious Islands, &c.

The preferred length of submissions is 2000 to 6000 words, but longer or shorter works may be considered on a case by case basis.  All submissions must be original works and cannot have previously appeared in any form. Only submissions formatted in Microsoft Word and written for the Steampunk genre will be accepted.

Send all submissions as attachments to submissions@kindlingpress.com no later than July 31, 2011.  Accepted submissions will be paid a modest fee, with a further advance to be paid if sales are sufficient to cover it.  Authors will retain full rights to their work beyond this original publishing, which will extend to both e-formats and a small run of traditionally printed copies.

Paid work for writers and you get to keep the rights to what you create?! Don’t miss this opportunity to get your work read by many a Steampunk with Kindling Press.

Stories in the Ether

Attention all writers! Stories in the Ether, an upcoming anthology of fantasy, science fiction, and Steampunk flash fiction and short stories, is looking for submissions to be included in the seminal edition. Stories In The Ether will be published individually through Nevermet Press as a blog series, and will later be collected for a physical anthology to be published in early 2012.

Submissions will be open from now until the end of 2011, and will be accepted for inclusion in the anthology on a rolling basis. There is no deadline, but they will only publish one story a week until the end of 2011, so try to get those submissions in early!

Click here to see the full details for the call for submissions. Also, do be sure to thoroughly read their Submissions Guidelines before sending something in. Email your story to submissions@nevermetpress.com and in the subject line include “Stories in the Ether Submission: [TITLE]“.

Happy writing, and good luck!

Steampunk Literature the World Over

Steampunk’s popularity is catching on all around the world. It’s impossible to resist our fashion, culture, and literature. Brazil came out with their first Steampunk anthology back in 2009 (you can read excerpts here if you read Portuguese).

Now the Romanians have followed with their own Steampunk anthology, Steampunk – A Doua Revolute (Steampunk – The Second Revolution) edited by Adrian Crăciun and published by Millennium Books.

The collection is comprised the following authors and their tales:

  • Prefață (Introduction) by Ștefan Ghidoveanu
  • Plimbarea de dimineață a domnișoarei Vu (The Morning Walk of Miss Vu) by Ioana Vișan
  • Cetatea Neagră (The Black Citadel) by Costi Gurgu
  • De la țigani (From the Gypsies) by George Lazăr
  • Povestea lui Calistrat Hadîmbu din Vizireni, ucis mișelește de nenicul Raul Colentina într-un han de la marginea Bucureștilor (The Story of Calistrat Hadîmbu, Meanly Murdered by Nuncle Raul Colentina in an Inn at Bucharest Outskirts) by Michael Haulică
  • Suflete de plumb (Lead Souls) by Ștefana Cristina Czeller
  • Lungul drum din cer acasă (The Long Road from Sky to Home) by Marian Truță
  • Ultima clepsidră (The Last Hourglass) by Oliviu Crâznic
  • Alchimistul (The Alchemist) by Mircea Opriță
  • Profeții despre trecut (Prophecies about the Past) by Aron Biro
  • Nostalgia revoluției (The Nostalgia of the Revolution) by Florin Pîtea

Unfortunately, I’ve yet to find any information on purchasing the anthology in either Portuguese other than that it will be available some time in the Spring. I’ve also heard nothing about plans to have the collection translated into other languages. I’ll update accordingly if anything changes.

Steampunk II

The sequel to Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s Steampunk, Steampunk II Reloaded has be released.

Like its predecessor, Steampunk II Reloaded is an anthology of Steampunk works by some of the Steampunk world’s most well known authors. For those who are wishing to learn more about the literary inspirations behind Steampunk as a genre and subculture, there’s no better way to get a wide range of exposure in a short period of time than by reading short fiction.

Reprints account for a large portion of Steampunk II Reloaded’s content, but there are some original stories as well as non fiction articles that comment on Steampunk. The full list of stories, and their authors, is below:

Original stories:

  • Ekaterina Sedia, “Two Short Excerpts from the Russian Book of the Improbable”
  • Jeffrey Ford, “Dr. Lash Remembers”
  • Matthew Cheney, “Confessions and Complaints of a True Man”
  • Ramsey Shehadeh, “The Unbecoming of Virgil Smythe”
  • Vilhelm Bergsoe, “Flying Fish (Prometheus)”, translated by Dwight R. Decker
  • As well as contributions by Fabio Fernandes, Brian Stableford, Jess Nevins, and the Steampunk heretic known only as “The Mecha-Ostrich.”

Original Non-fiction Articles by:

  • Gail Carriger, author of Soulless (fashion and fiction)
  • Jake Von Slatt of the Steampunk Workshop (maker movement)
  • Mike Perschon, the Steampunk Scholar (the future)

Reprints:

  • Daniel Abraham, “Balfour and Meriwether in the Adventure of the Emperor’s Vengeance”
  • Stephen Baxter, “The Unblinking Eye”
  • Winona Cookie, “The Unlikely Career of Portia Dreadnought,” “Artemesia’s Absinthe,” and “Obadiah Theremin, MD”
  • G.D. Falksen, “The Strange Case of Mr. Salad Monday”
  • William Gibson, “The Gernsback Continuum”
  • Samantha Henderson, “Wild Copper”
  • Caitlín R. Kiernan “The Steam Dancer (1896)”
  • Andrew Knighton, “The Cast-Iron Kid”
  • Marc Laidlaw, “Great Breakthroughs in Darkness”
  • Margo Lanagan, “Machine Maid”
  • Lisa Mantchev & James Grant, “As Recorded on Brass Cylinders: Adagio for Two Dancers”
  • Shweta Narayan, “The Mechanical Aviary of Emperor Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar”
  • David Erik Nelson, “The Bold Explorer in the Place Beyond”
  • Cherie Priest “Tanglefoot”
  • Chris Roberson, “O One”
  • Margaret Ronald, “A Serpent in the Gears”
  • Catherynne M. Valente, “The Anachronist’s Cookbook”

You can purchase Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded from Amazon.

H. G. Wells Anthology

H.G. Wells, along with Jules Verne, is one of the most influential writers not only for modern Steampunk, but also for science fiction in general. Where would we be without such classics as The Time Machine or The Invisible Man?

Through the course of the average American’s high school education, a student will be lucky to read one of Wells’ groundbreaking stories. I know that my familiarity with these stories came only through my own independent reading, despite that I enjoyed placement in the highest level English language and literature classes. Wells and Verne were, quite simply, not a priority to my instructors.

To remedy this situation, I am recommending a leather bound presentation of Well’s seven novels for your reading pleasure. This tome contains The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The Island of Doctor Moreau, War of the Worlds, First Men In the Moon, Food of the Gods and In the Days of the Comet.

Happy reading, everyone! These stories will be sure to provide a wonderful escape on a summer afternoon.

Steampunk Anthologies

This evening, I bring you two different Steampunk short story anthologies for your reading pleasure: Extraordinary Engines edited by Nick Gevers, and Steampunk by Jeff and Ann Vandermeer.

Both are collections of short stories from the Steampunk fiction genre, so if you are a fan of short fiction, these works will be sure to excite.

These anthologies explore the many facets of Steampunk fiction. Steampunk attempts to look at all the things that could be considered as having Steampunk elements, while Extraordinary Engines takes a bit more or a traditionalist focus in the pieces selected for it.

It sometimes felt that Steampunk tried so hard to include a little bit of everything, rather than focus on any core idea of Steampunk and as a result, it was all over the place. I had a hard time picking out a unifying theme for all of the pieces. Steampunk seemed to focus more on what Steampunk could be rather than what it is at present.  Also, there are a few pieces in here that aren’t child appropriate, particularly The Steam Man of the Prairie and the Dark Rider Get Down. You have been warned!

Extraordinary Engines does a better job of sticking to one idea of Steampunk, and I personally think that the anthology benefits from this narrower vision. I personally think that more Steampunks will identify with the pieces in Extraordinary Engines… I know I did.

Overall, I gave Steampunk a 3 out of 5 Gears of Approval. Extraordinary Engines receives 4.5 out of 5 Gears of Approval.

If you’d like to read either of these anthologies, click on the images of their covers to visit Amazon, or visit the science-fiction section your local bookstore.

I do hope you enjoy this reading material. Perhaps consider picking one up for the approaching weekend!