Prophets of Science Fiction

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 “Science fiction is our speculations, our dreams, and our fears of what the future will bring. Many of these ideas are seemingly far fetched and wild, things that would only be accepted in fiction, but those ideas open the door of possibility…”

For the rest of my blog post go to Vaguely Circular, run by several of my writing friends. This month they’re having an awesome blogathon entitled “Imagine This” focused on speculative fiction. Be sure to check out all the great blog posts!

~~Lady of the Pen~~

SteamCon 2013

I went to SteamCon V in Seattle last weekend and decided to share some of the highlights. If you’re not aware of what Steampunk is, it can be hard to define. But I’ll give you the Wikipedia version if it and allow the photos to say the rest.

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery,[1]especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era orAmerican “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.”

Yeah, it’s a little confusing. But with its rise in popularity it is likely that you’ve seen steampunk in movies, clothes and jewelry without even realizing it.

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Classic Victorian-esk gentleman, with steampunk elements.

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This year’s theme was around the world and there were some awesome variations from classic steampunk.

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Steampunk Dorothy and Tin Man XD

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Wicked Witch of the East on a steampunk broom ^^

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Steampunk Pokemon Trainers.

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Not sure if this is steampunk or not, but it is awesome!

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My costume. I was quite pleased with how it turned out.

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Went for Steampunk assassin. The rifle was tough, but I made it with the help of a couple of very handy men (:

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Gentleman Rabbit.

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Posing with some of the merchandise. The vender took this photo and posted it on his Facebook page, you should check it out (: https://www.facebook.com/AetherAnvil

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Love his swords! Check out his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AetherAnvil

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Getting ready for a mass photo.

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Hit hat was awesome. The screen lit up 😀

Influences

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I believe that many of a writer’s greatest influences come from their childhood, especially those who write fiction. For me it started with my mom reading to me. She read “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” to me–and did a great Gollum voice. I read many books on my own as well and was especially fond of Tamora Pierce’s books when I was young, I remember being excited that girls could be cool too and have adventures.

I spent a lot of time in our woods surrounded by massive big leaf maples that could easily be a part of Middle Earth or some other grand fantasy realm. This was the perfect place to create an active imagination. I played countless imaginary games with my next door neighbors in those woods and later on, when they moved away, I walked the woods alone, with a machete and acted out stories in my head. I remember trying to write a couple of stories when I was 12 or 13, they were total ripoffs of Lord of the Rings and quickly died, though they’re entertaining to read now. I didn’t truly get into writing until I was 15. By then I knew I could no longer play imaginary games. I still tried from time to time, because I hated to let that part of my childhood go, but I’d quickly become bored. I couldn’t do it any longer and I mourned that loss and that’s when I turned to writing. I started a bad fantasy novel about a dutiful street guard, a mischievous thief, and a mysterious elven warrior and her flying tiger and their quest to save the kingdom of Dragoon from a deadly manmade plague. And 40,000 words and a year later I actually finished it. Since then I’ve continued writing pretty regularly. I’ve done NaNoWriMo for five years and written several short stories. But all my writing traces back to my childhood and my mom reading me Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and playing games in the woods. I believe that most writers write because they fell deeply in love with books as a child and they’re not willing to put that world of imagination aside. Maybe we can no longer loose ourselves in imaginary worlds like we could as children, but we can still try through the words we write and the stories we create.

Where do you Write?

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Where do you write? I’m curious where different people do their best writing.

Personally, I do my best writing when I go to my favorite local coffee shop and bookstore. I find the action of going somewhere to write helps put me in the right mindset to actually get some writing done. Another perk is that I associate going to write with rewards, such as coffee and lovely cinnamon pull-aparts. The disadvantage is that after awhile I get to know the people at the coffee shop so well that I end up chatting with them for hours instead of writing–but hey, we’re usually talking about books and writing, so at least we’re on subject 😉 But even with the distractions that pop up while I’m there, I still love going to write there and when I do write I usually get a lot done. I can write at home, but I find myself getting distracted and surfing the net or watching Tv more often than not. Come November I’ll be spending all my free time at the coffee shop, pounding out my word count for the day, but it will also force me to write at home more, since I have to write consistently everyday or else risk falling behind.

But I do do my best writing when I go out and find just the right atmosphere, not just any old coffee shop will do: It has to be the right size so that I can people watch, but not be completely distracted by their conversations; It has to have good music or else I will get annoyed and won’t be able to get into my writing; It also needs the right atmosphere, one that promotes comfort and creativity. So once I find a coffee shop I like, I’m extremely loyal.

So now that I’ve ranted about my preferred writing conditions, I’d be interested in hears what some other people’s are.

~~Lady of the Pen~~

How Many Punks Can You Fit Into Speculative Fiction?

Alright does anyone else find the volume of Cyberpunk Derivatives intimidating? I’m well versed in Steampunk and am quite a fan of the genre, but today I decided to look up what Dieselpunk was, because I wasn’t familiar with it. I soon discovered that it’s a genre that takes its inspiration from the 1920s-1950s, much in the same way that Steampunk takes much of its inspiration from the Victorian era. I also learned that ‘Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow’ is considered dieselpunk, which up until this point I’d considered some strange steampunk hybrid. Well I’ve been set straight there. OO! And ‘The Rucketeer’ falls under this genre too! Great old movie, if you haven’t seen it ^^

From there I discovered that there is also Biopunk! which gets into genetic engineering. So it ends up the tv show Dark Angel falls under this genre. I’m still trying to figure out if there are other stipulations that have to be met,or if having your genetic makeup tampered with is enough to make you Biopunk.

Then there are all these other subgenres! There’s Decopunk which is like Dieselpunk except it’s sleeker, while Dieselpunk is grittier.

And there’s Nanopunk which is like Biopunk but with nanotechnology.

There’s Splatterpunk, which discribes starkly gory horror films. Once again I’m not certain if there’s more needed than excessive amounts of blood to make something Splatterpunk.

There’s Stonepunk which takes place in the stone age. I couldn’t imagine how this one worked until Wikipedia mentioned the Flintstones and then it all made sense.

We’ve also got Clockpunk, which seems to be identical to Steampunk, but focuses on the clocks instead of the steam…yeah.

There’s also Teslapunk, which focused on advanced electrical technology in a setting similar to the Industrial age. I guess it often has to do with clean energy that has been lost or hidden.

There’s Atompunk and Nowpunk which I didn’t get into.

There’s also Elfpunk! Now that brings up some interesting imagery. I guess it’s a subgenre of Urban Fantasy where elves, faires and the like are placed in an urban setting vs. their traditional rural. And there’s Mythpunk! Which at this point I really don’t care how it’s different from Elfpunk.

I meant for this to just be a brief rant on the many “punk” genres, but it ended up as an exercise to get it all sorted out in my brain. Anyway as you can see there are a lot of subgenres here, my goodness!

~~Lady of the Pen~~