jhameia: ME! (Default)
There was a cabaret show titled Steampunk Titanic, which didn't have too much to do with the Titanic, but it was a nice nautical theme to commemorate its sinking.

Pictures! )
jhameia: ME! (Default)
This guy is a character:

Yes, that is Jose Rizal with a jetpack, for all you lovely pinoys.

"Rocket Launcher Rizal" drawn by Gerry Alanguilan


Feb. 19th, 2011 02:44 pm
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So, remember all that dithering I was doing about the mandarin necklace for my Nova Albion costume?

Well, it's done!

Pics! )

jhameia: ME! (Default)
So, so, so, in preparation for Nova Albion, with its "Wild Wild East" theme (yeah, I know, the potential), I asked the Costume Mercenary Jeanette Ng for a custom commission: a magistrate's robe. snip )

Originally posted at my Tumblr.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I've been considering what to do for my MA project. I asked my supervisor-to-be and the head of the English department if it's okay for me to incorporate creative writing into my project, and they like the idea. I'm gonna copy-paste what I wrote sometime last month about this on Silver Goggles:

Step 1: Identify postcolonial approaches on / readings of fiction.

Step 2: Attempt reading of primary texts using postcolonial approaches.

Step 3: Apply postcolonial approach to a new primary text, i.e., explore through some creative writing how a postcolonial approach might look like with the steampunk aesthetic.

I'm guessing I'll try to identify different schools of postcolonialism, and dedicated one chapter and particular readings to each, and then execute the approach I used at the end of the chapter. So it'll be an evolving story, of sorts. I haven't decided yet what the story will be, and likely, I won't know until I actually start the writing. But it'll probably follow my usual MO of exploring a particular setting and certain characters.

So, I have two choices right now:
Cut for thinky thoughts )
jhameia: A sprocket tilted on its side, with the caption, "Have a wheel. I just invented it." (steampunk)
So so so on the heels of my second Straits Steampunk story, I am now co-editor of an upcoming anthology, called The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter: A Steampunk's Shakespeare Anthology! Submission guidelines here. I hope many people contribute. I've already had one person ask, "does it have to be in an European setting?" and I was like OMG NO! and I told my co-editor and he was like "I assumed people would know they don't have to use an Euro setting" and I was like "well sometimes people aren't sure," BUT NOW YOU KNOW, SO PUNK SHAKESPEARE UP ANY WHICH LOCATION YOU PLEASE, PPLZ.
jhameia: ME! (Steampunk Wheel)

Professor Elemental performing his new single "Fighting Trousers" which is pretty hilarious. I'll admit the first time I saw his costume and persona I was put off by it, but listening to his "pith hop" (pith, as in pithy) (which is interesting because it plays with language) (apparently it's called "chap-hop" right now) it's amusing, and watching him perform at Steampunk World's Fair* is quite fun too. He doesn't wear the helmet all the time, and he doesn't have an explorer persona. So, like [livejournal.com profile] holzman and I were discussing, does Professor Elemental's performance mitigate the colonialism telegraphed by the costume?

* As a random aside, the girl at 1:52 in the linked video came with her white mom and Chinese dad and they were this very adorable steampunk'd Wild West family.

Anyway, he's a very lovely person in real life too. And his excruciatingly obvious Britishness rather put to shame all the people faking British accents at SPWF.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Somewhere buried in comments Cat Valente asked "What's so important about steampunk we have to help it along?"

I have no desire to post where my comment won't be noticed, so here it is:

It's not that important, if you frame the question that way.

It just so happens to be that one subgenre which so flagrantly displays Western European hegemony, white supremacy, glorification of imperialism, capitalist consumerism, technophiliac fetish dedicated to destruction... all under the banner of post-modernist irony, post-racial/feminist sensitivities and apolitically harmless fun.

No other subgenre at the moment is such a grandiose example of the spectacle that is capitalist consumerism today. Few other subgenres are so rooted in possible fact that possibilities for unrooting hidden truths are so wide open. No other subgenre is so rooted in deeply personal and cultural histories -- whose history is being altered? Who is being mimicked and glorified as great adventurers? In what other subculture can you dress up and meet people who, not being part of the subculture, say "my grandmother owned something like this"? -- and no other subgenre has been so gaily taken up as such a pleasurable pasttime. No other subgenre has that same potential to interrogate and subvert current narratives -- who can be slave and who can be master? Who is part of the marginalized group that can find its voice? -- and no other subgenre begins from such a problematic space. No other subgenre is so ripe for the myriad of representations of truth to come out and no other subgenre opens itself so openly to the experiences of the marginalized to assert itself not just in the far distance future beyond the stars but right at the kernel of where we all started getting fucked over.

That, at least, is why I care about steampunk. You better believe I'm going to enjoy writing my Qing Dynasty period novel whupping the British by way of airship pirates for introducing and poisoning the population with opium. Just sayin'.

You want to hate on steampunk? Steampunk's not the problem. Imperialism is the problem. White supremacy is the problem. Consumerism is the problem. Implicit, microaggressive racism is the problem. Steampunk's just the aesthetic being run over by the usual bullshit, because, guess what? Of course it's going to be! HELLO CAPITALISM, HOW R U. US OF A SENDS ITS LOVE AS USUAL.

You know what? I'm sick of mainstream steampunk too! I'm sick of white folk running around in pith helmets pretending to be adventurers looking for treasure in the depths of uncharted territory (whose map are you referring to, white folk?) and I am sick of corsets worn on the outside (we get it, ladies are sexy in corsets, now get your Male Gaze offa us) and I am sick of this "anything goes, steampunks love everybody" naivete (even bigots? Do we have to tolerate bigots?) and I am sick of death rays and the Tesla cannon worship (GUYS! EINSTEIN WAS APPALLED AT THE ATOM BOMB FOR A REASON OKAY? and I'm sorry but Agatha's love for death rays falls right into this trap; love the comic, not so hot on the very USian warmongering technophilia reflected in it, reading it for Gil) and I am sick of Orientalist imagery (WHY OH WHY DID PAOLO BACIGALUPI WIN THE FUCKING HUGO?) and I'm sick of generalized statements on how history was like which refuses to engage in the problematic issues of the past (like amandaw once said, "fuckin' nuance, how does it work?") and I am sick of populist lets-vote-for-the-most-visible-pretty-people (the "oh shiny!" factor should only carry us so far).

That doesn't mean I hate steampunk though. It just means I hate rubbishy Boobieships and Titrockets style skiffy. And to be fair, nothing in the world could improve on that, not even my beloved steampunk.

OK I am done hating on the world now.

Have I mentioned I wrote a sequel to Between Islands? I did! I submitted it to Crossed Genres. It's not the sequel I'm planning for Expanded Horizons but if CG doesn't want it I'll send it over [livejournal.com profile] spacehawk's way.

Also, for my CSCT 700 course, I think I'm going to take the readings we did on Jameson and Adorno and apply their anxieties on capitalist consumerism to steampunk (because I can!), drawing on the example of what happened to the punk and goth aesthetics. I'm still wading through a lot of postcolonial and race theories to make sense of how I want to go about my MRP.

And in the middle of all this, Cherie Priest is a terrifically funny person. I look forward to meeting her at Nova Albion. And reading Clementin.

ETA: And to end, a quote on my Tumblr dashboard:

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” -- Mary Anne Radmacher
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
So, I sold a steampunk short story to Expanded Horizons =)

And you can find it here: Between Islands


May. 19th, 2010 12:47 am
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)


I didn't update all weekend and stuff is escaping me at the moment since I've been travelling about non-stop since Sunday evening. So, I shall do a quick update, and then go to bed. Because it's been a couple of days since I've been in a proper bed for anything longer than 5 hours. This may not last long because the guest room I've been given is in the basement. Which is, oh, about five degrees cooler than the rest of the house. WHICH MEANS IT IS FREEZING.

- Woke up early, as usual. Did the Social Issues in Steampunk Roundtable. Which. Um. Well, shall we say WE DIDN'T EXPECT SUCH A LARGE TURNOUT? ALL the chairs were filled. We had people standing a lot. We also had people who couldn't get in because of the setup. It was simply amazing. We never expected such a huge reception. The people were awesome as well. After the Roundtable, we moved out into the bar area and proceeded to continue chatting in a less orderly fashion and eat cupcakes.

- I hung out wiith Tempest and Spiralred, and we went to see Jake von Slatt's bus. YAY BUS!

- We then proceeded to have lunch! Me, Jake, Tempest, Spiralred, Ay-Leen, Lucretia, and Professor Fumolataro from Steampunk Empire. It was awesome. I was scared of committing GSF #4, but then Tempest started talking about Dr. Who and we were all on common ground then. It was such a great time. I couldn't help but feel very grown-up sitting at the table with all my grown-up friends and just... I don't know, I felt really proud of myself for having made it there.

- Then I went over to the Ambassy Suites to attend a talk on Victorian Dance Etiquette. Lovely talk.

- I also bought the parasol. In fact, I bought two. The green one I was talking about, and a blue one to match my pinafore outfit. Picture here. Yes, there was a little shoot in the evening.

... I don't actually remember much of what else happened on Saturday, to be honest. I think the Art and History of Kissing was that evening. Also attended the Gaslamp Cabaret. I know I went back in to see HUMANWINE.

- Then I went back up, and instead of going right to bed, I packed my bag.

- Woke up early and packed some more. Then I went downstairs, checked out, and while waiting for the presentation timeslot, helped clear the Performers Green room.

This day was by far the busiest. Let me recall...

The presentation was a huge success. People loved the presentation. Jake von Slatt gave me a hug and went all, "YOU WERE A ROCK STAR." So much so, he's going to rec me and Ay-Leen to the folks at Steam Con and see if we can be invited to give a talk there, woo!

I went to pick up my new green parasol and drop off the blue one. Ay-Leen, Lucretia and I went to have a shoot in the Ambassy Suites, and after that I went looking for Jake to find out what to do with the box he made us. I chatted with a couple of folks on his bus for a while, and one of the TV crew who came to get something. I kinda wish I was a bit more on the ball, because I would have liked to have met the TV crew, because they're from Canada, and Steampunk Canada was represented! Gah. Sometime in there, I went to the Fashion Show, which was pretty okay. After the fashion show, Liz Gorinsky, who will be sitting with me at the Politics of Steampunk panel, introduced herself, and OMG! She has stuff!!! She gave me Boneshaker and Ay-Leen Dreadnaught which is the sequel and YAY! I told her I had more books to read before WisCon, and she said, "I will be very impressed if you finish them all before WisCon" and this is a CHALLENGE I shall attempt to meet!

Back at the parasol place, called the Shady Emporium because... they sell parasols and fans.... and the proprieter dresses like a Chinaman.... ANYWAY, I got one of them to take pictures of me myself and I in my green outfit and new parasol. On the way back, ran into GD Falksen and gave him a James Ng print that I'd promised him. He was very pleased with it, gave me a hug, and called me an "excellent creature". The TV crew was around so I didn't want to hang around to chat too much, but in retrospect, I really should have. I don't think I've met anyone who affected a British accent as much as he did. (He hosted the Fashion Show as well.)

At the Shady Emporium, I told them about the free food that was being distributed, went upstairs to scope out the foodage, chatted up some people, especially this black dude dressed as a Chinese steampunk, ran downstairs to tell the Shady Emporium folks (on the way down, because I couldn't be arsed to wait for the elevator, I noted a couple off the side of the stairwell, she was on her knees and there was stuff on the floor) and continued to hang out variously.

I finished off with Professor Elemental's show and the closing ceremonies. FINALLY I got to see Professor Elemental in concert! He was a dreadful lot of fun. I've got a video, and we'll see if I can manage to get it up on youtube or not. Then it was closing ceremonies, and then Ay-Leen and I got changed out into civvies.

There was some drama, and I hung out with Whisper Merlot, one of the organizers, and we gossiped a GOODLY LONG WHILE about someone who appears to loom large on the steampunk scene and spent a long time bitching.

Then there was pizza in the Courtyard, and some absinthe-tasting. On the way out, I ran into GD, said my goodbyes. He's... oddly really friendly to me. I'm not sure why. HOWEVER, should I run into him again and am feeling better, I will probably flirt incorrigibly with him for shits and giggles.

We FINALLY went out for dinner and didn't actually leave until 1.30am. Which meant we got to Ay-Leen's friend's place at 2am. Did not sleep until 2.30am.

.... Woke up at 5am. Surprisingly, I had a really good nap. That was one awesome air mattress.

I am so so so so so so so happy that Lucretia and Ay-Leen and Max woke up to send me off, and I got to the train station, got all my tickets, with minimal fuss. Got the train to Washington DC. Had a hella long time before the train to Chicago, so what do to?


You are all so goddamn lucky I do not have Twitter set up to my cellphone because you would have been privy to a long inane stream of twitter chatter that runs like this:

"At the Smithsonian. Where is Abe Lincoln?"
"Wow big park is big"
"In the Museum of Native Americans!"
"In the Smithsonian Castle. Wow it really is a castle. Wtf is a castle doing here?"
"This National Monument thing is really tall. And pointy. Um, that's it?"
"Good day, Mr. Lincoln!"
"relaxing to admire Mr. Lincoln's vastness"
"Relaxing some more to read Mr. Lincoln's speech"
"Off to the White House!"
"Shit Washington DC is huge what's the easiest way back to Union Station?"
"I don't understand Washington subway system =("

Luckily, aside from the fact that I got more damp, which couldn't have helped my cold any, and should have left my backpack at the locker because it was REALLY FUCKING HEAVY, I had a great time in Washington!

Train out to Chicago left at 4pm, and arrived today at 8am. I sat next to this lovely young black man who's studying a Masters in Clinical Counselling in Chicago, but neglected to ask for his name. I finished Changeless (ending made me go >:{ ) and started Perdido Street Station (which was bothersome to start because, whew, it sure sounded pretentious at the beginning) and am now halfway. From Chicago, I caught a train out to Milwaukee, and from there, a bus to Stevens Point.

And so here I am. OK, I think this is enough chattering. ... I am attempting to upload a video of Professor Elemental, but it is taking entirely too long and I need sleep, so I will try doing it tomorrow.
jhameia: ME! (Sparklez for Efferyvun!)
Check it out! James Ng sent me stuff!

And then as if that wasn't obnoxiously awesome enough...


*dances with joy*


Apr. 29th, 2010 04:46 pm
jhameia: (RAEG!)
I should be participating in the Great Steampunk Debate.

It will be interesting, at the very least. It'll be very heavily moderated. Allegra Hawksmoor of Steampunk Magazine, one of the moderators, will be watching very closely and I like her.

But I don't really want to.

When I think about the last great steampunk debate I was heavily involved in, the one surrounding Victorientalism, I feel really weary.

I don't want to enter a space where known racists dwell. And yes, I refuse to participate because the Gatehouse Gazette will probably be involved.

I don't want to participate in a conversation where I know if I cannot set the terms, my voice will be talked over.

I don't know what meaningful discourse will mean in this debate.

Are we supposed to learn that we're all different? Because we already know that.

Are we supposed to learn how to get along? Because although steampunk is outwardly very civil, there is no way we can all live with one another.

Are we supposed to define what steampunk is? Because that seems counterproductive and limiting.

I don't care much for civil discourse. You know how easy it is for bigots to be civil? Very easy, because they have nothing to lose.

Also, I will be moving around the States for half the month. And I doubt I'll have the energy.

Just had to get this out.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Just got my rejection from Beneath Ceaseless Skies. I LIKE them. They gave me some actual constructive feedback that I can use. <3

Also, Karin Lowachee is going to be at WisCon! I wrote a review of her book, the Gaslight Dogs, and [livejournal.com profile] dmp interviewed her. I must take my copy with me to get her signature.

I think I'm going to have to shift my flight - I leave Madison at 2pm on Monday, 31st... but there is still stuff going on at WisCon then! I doubt I'll make it to the Dead Dog Party, but I want to spend as much time there as possible, so I'm going to see if I can change the time of my flight... probably not without a hefty fee. Sigh.

I'm test-packing a bag for my US trip - might I be able to make it through the entire thing with just one shoulder bag? It seems possible! Because I would really like to avoid lugging around the roller bag if it's at all possible.

I'm arranging to take the Amtrak Train from New Brunswick, NJ, out to Chicago, and from there take a bus to Madison or Stevens Point. Stevens Point is where my dad's friend lives, and she's agreed to let me stay over for the time in between cons. The only problem is that I don't really know how to get to Madison from Stevens Point - turns out there are no buses directly to Madison from Stevens Point. Kerry from Steam Century offered to take me down to Madison if I can get to Portage the night before WisCon starts - NakamaCon is the same weekend (as is World Steam Expo, which Parliament and Wake wanted me to attend), and if I have nothing on during the evening that Steam Century is hosting their event, I'll pop in to hang out.

Working on a new short story right now. It's not coming. Then again, a lot of things are not coming. =( My analysis of Gaslight Dogs and Alchemy of Stone should be finished by now but I can't seem to bring myself to write them. I think I need a time out.

In the meantime, the cloth I bought to make pockets for my pinafore mod didn't work out, so I've abandoned that idea. I did, however, use the tulle for a handsome bowtie at the back. Pictures soon!
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
So, for those who have been mulling over contributing to Steampunk Nusantara but were unsure whether you'd be able to contribute much, have a gander at our prompts post! Membership is still open to all ASEAN-identified/derived peoples ^^

It's going to be SO AWESOME. I can't wait to see what people come up with!
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
Steampunk Nusantara is up and running and already has entries and SQUEE! It feels a bit like I'm committing a GSF here but I don't care. I stayed up until 4am setting up Steampunk Nusantara. I woke up at 9am this morning and refused to get out of bed before 11am as a result.

I'm still working out my flight schedule for May. I think I'll take a bus from NJ to WI, see more scenery and whatnot, and drop in on folks on the way. Might you be on my way?

I have a new Silver Goggles essay on the way on imperialism and kyriarchy (because theory is so SEXY).

But I also have a temp assignment tomorrow. Four full-day assignments, ya'll! But, different environment. This should be fun.

Umm... yeah, that's it.

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