Photo Friday: Written Words, A Bit of Fun and Moving Pictures

Adding to the library: First my latest haul from the local library. They have a wall shelf of books they have de-listed - for only $1 each. Adding my collections of Nancy Drew, Buffy archives and a book of dicourses and articles on cyborg and cyberpunk (for the research library of course). Shopping at the specials table at QBD: two more books for the research shelf. Incredible Elements has an updated periodic table (and history on the discovery of various elements). Old and new: I have a lot of second hand reference books. I can't afford a new book every time, so I search out good condition pre-loved ones (especially if they are out of print). The Dickens Dictionary of London has contemporary descriptions of many everyday places and people. Squee! And I collected the latest Writing Magazine this week from my standing order at the newsagent. A bit of fun: Last weekend we dropped in on the ABC Garden expo and collected a new set of 'support our ABC stickers'. Couldn't resist this poster. Do it; Retaliate! Tell our government to return funding to our ABC. Also saw a unique aerial safety end in a local shopping centre carpark.

Videos: And lastly, spend a few days grappling with a new video editing program (it will be amazing when I learn how to use it) - cropping, pulling out the narration from garbled background noise and condensing video of our recent writers' talk at Adelaide Oz Comic Con. Thanks to Matt J Pike for the title graphics.

  

You can watch the talk on my youTube channel HERE.

And finally, my Oz Comic Con video is live.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHSpZ69IOw4&feature=youtu.be[/embed]

Photos and video ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Oz Comic Con Wrap Up

It's Monday. I think. This year's Adelaide Oz Comic Con is over. Thank you to everyone who stopped by for a chat, bought books (and t-shirts, mugs, badges. And the lucky owner of the red octoscarf). I met up with a few regulars, including Kristian and his family <waves>. It was great to see you again. I missed out getting a photo of your costumes. Too busy chatting. Sigh. For those who signed up for my newsletter, Tea & Tidings: Thank you! You will receive an email this week with regards to the short story compilation.

 

Artists' Alley was full of colour and fantasy, showcasing the work of local indie writers and artists. Firebear (local chainmail maker) even sold a chainmail tie to Brent Spiner (congrats!)

   

Jess Cate and  Jana Hoffmann (of Heart of Millyera comics),  Rosanna Lam and Miranda Richardson talked about producing comics for a female audience.

On Sunday I did a talk on self publishing, with fellow Adelaide independent authors KE (Katie) Fraser, Kylie Leane and Matt Pike. Thanks to everyone attended. It was a fantastic turn out. Some of you even took notes. I'm hoping to get video of the talk onto our youTube channels (just need to sort out the sound - lots of background noise in the con areas) So watch this space. And what would a con be without fantastic costumes. There were many. Here's just a few:

        

And I finished my secret project - my TARDIS corset (over six years to finally achieve!)

More photos can be found on my flickr page and on my Facebook page.

Photos: ©2017 Karen J Carlisle / ©2017 David Carlisle.

Re-imagining a Better World

Historical re-enactment is often accused of avoiding the real world, ignoring history's atrocities or hiding in the past. Sometimes all three. In my experience this is not the case. Most re-enactors (and historians) will tell you it is important to look back and analyse history so we can learn from past mistakes, to improve our future.

One of the most important reasons to look back into and analyse the past is to learn from society's mistakes. Steampunk looks into the past, but with modern eyes; it is a re-imagination of the past, not a slavish re-creation. Colonial England was all about domination and power, a way to fuel the economy of mother England. Instead, we can embrace the diversity of cultures. The 'punk philosophy' inspires us to question authority, society's ethics, politics and gender roles and encourages us to look for solutions for society's short-falls. Doing so allows us to embrace cultures and celebrate diversity.

Suna Dasi of Steampunk India is one example: "Transferring this and many other aspects of Victorian society to an alternate, Post-Mutiny India, incorporating native characters unhampered by traditional gender roles, seems an opportunity for fiction that is too good to let lie."

Through steampunk, and Steampunk Hands, I discovered Josué Ramos  award winning writer of science fiction, terror and historic tales. Josué is part of the Spanish steampunk community, organising the EuroSteamCon Madrid and posts regularly on (huzzah, for google translation) his blog Mundosteampunk. You can find my 2015 Steampunk Hands guest blog on Mundosteampunk here.

El Investigator is part of the Mexican steampunk community and has been involved in varied steampunk anthologies.

Beyond Victoriana is another blog celebrating multicultural steampunk. Its founding editor, Diana M. Pho, wrote the introduction for Steampunk World, an anthology published in 2014, and funded via Kickstarter. It contained stories from around the world, showcasing the diversity to be found. I'm eagerly awaiting the follow-up anthology, Steampunk Universe - also funded via Kickstarter. Stories highlight disabled and aneurotypical characters. Both have cover art by steampunk artist, James Ng.

The way we express steampunk is wide-ranging. Events range from family picnics, fundraising events and conventions to music events. Music style varies; rap, punk, folk, jazz, swing and rock are all represented in bands such as Professor Elemental, The Cog is Dead and The Men That Will Not Be Blamed for Nothing.

At a local level, we also have participants of varied educational and vocational backgrounds. Even the degree to which individuals experience steampunk is diverse. Some dip their toe in the genre by reading books, watching movies, listening to music or wearing costumes to the local convention. Others delve deeper - creating alternate personas and joining forums. Some immerse themselves, living the steampunk lifestyle to the full or embarking on steampunk-related careers.

For me, the diversity of those who enjoy steampunk is one of its attractions. Steampunk is inclusive. I can be myself, part of a welcoming and diverse community. And it has made my life richer as a result.