Last Saturday, I spent a lovely day at the Steampunk World’s Fair with my illustrious co-editor, Bernie Mojzes, and event-blogger and photographer extraordinaire, Steve Schultz. We arrived shortly before noon, and were greeted by none other than Jesus himself (aka Gil Cnaan), who informed us the Rapture would take place promptly at 6pm. It didn’t, but we still had a wonderful time.
As one might expect a steampunk fair to be, the event was a chaos of things – incredible and elaborate costumes, cane fighting demonstrations, belly dancers, vendors, musicians, fashion shows, author readings, and, of course, absinthe. Being too dazzled by the oohprettyshiny, I didn’t think to take many pictures. I did however follow Steve around with a light on a stick and assist in his photographic efforts for a while. Some highlights of the experience below the cut.
Dream-logic is a tricky thing. When handled poorly, dream sequences can spell death for a narrative. When they’re given structure and related linearly, too often dreams merely become a convenient way for an author to dump information on the reader. On the other hand, realistic dreams are usually a complete mess. Alice becomes Bob, and the picnic that started out in the countryside is suddenly in a shopping mall. There are unapologetic jumps in space and time, and the reader is left scrambling to make sense of a hopelessly tangled thread.
But the spirit of a dream, handled skillfully, is a beautiful thing…
Despite December being a fairly quiet month, I fell behind on my short fiction/online reading. There’s something to be said for ‘the less you have to do, the less you feel like doing’ axiom. (If that isn’t an axiom, it really should be.) With a slew of new issues coming out in January, however, I felt I should attempt to catch up, or at least not fall further behind. While I’m not even close to being caught up, what I have read so far seems to indicate that the year is starting off strong. So, for your reading pleasure, I recommend:
Pretty much all the fiction from Issue #39 of ChiZine, though I especially enjoyed Nub Hut by Kurt Dinan.
And both fiction pieces from Clarkesworld #28, though again, I especially enjoyed Celadon by Desirina Boskovich
For your dead-tree variety reading pleasure:
I would highly recommend The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia and Fast Ships, Black Sails edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
And finally, speaking of recommending stuff – Fantasy Magazine is conducting their Second Annual Reader’s Poll. Head on over to their site and vote for your favorite story (or three favorite stories as the case may be). As an extra bonus, this year the author of the winning story gets a nifty prize. Readers also have a chance to win a nifty prize by commenting on their favorite stories.