The Future of SteamPunk Magazine

Pardon the ominous subject line. We won’t be going away. Issue #5 nears completion and I expect it will be our strongest issue yet. But the big news is that we’re taking on a new format.

SteamPunk Magazine has always been a journal masquerading as a periodical. We launched at a time when small magazines were disappearing and even the big-time magazines were suffering, yet we reach at least 50,000 readers (albeit our print runs are closer to 1,000). And we’re doing fine. In fact, we’re looking at beginning to pay our contributors in more than copies and prestige. More on that at a later date.

But one big change is that we’re no longer going to say “We’ll put out X number of issues this year”. What we’re going to do is have open submissions on various themes, and when those themes have enough content, those issues will be made and released.

Upcoming themes for which we are accepting submissions:

  • Feminism and Gender: steampunk as it addresses victorian and current gender norms
  • Nuts & Bolts: what’s the difference between external and internal combustion? who invented the steam boat? what is the status of zeppelin aviation today?
  • Post-Petrol Steampunk: How can we use steampunk to create a better future for our injured world?

As we work on making SteamPunk magazine tighter, more beautiful, and more worth keeping around, one thing that will be de-emphasized is the fiction. We will continue to run fiction, but far less: probably only one or two stories an issue.

If you want steampunk magazine to be released on a regular basis, submit articles and how-to’s. We’ll figure out what is worthy, thematic, and generally floats our steamboat and publish as much as we can.

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14 Responses to “The Future of SteamPunk Magazine”

  1. What can I say, the de-emphasis on fiction won’t leave me too happy.
    Splitting the magazine in two separate ones, one all-fiction and the other “technical” (articles, how-tos, etc.), with maybe some fiction sprinked here and there, could it be a (feasible) “solution”?
    Well, that’s just thinking aloud, eh.

  2. “Feminism and Gender”?
    I hope you folks aren’t about to go all gender binary and sexist on me. 🙁

  3. It -is- a shame about the reduction in fiction, but that just means there’s an oppertunity for someone else to do something with a stronger fiction focus, right?

    I do like the idea of open themed submissions, it’s a very interesting idea. More than anything I am deeply happy that we shall soon be seeing Issue #5!

  4. When it comes to steam or steampunk, I’m a nuts-and-bolts sort of person. But I do write and read speculative fiction, too. Both fiction and nonfiction power my steam engine.

    And speaking of steam engines, if you like them please use the below connection to view my slide show (with audio): Steam without Steampunk (2472 Working Steam at the Speed of Light?)

  5. To Archi:
    I’m not certain exactly what you’re getting at with this, but I promise you that the last thing we aim to promote with the magazine is binary gender or sexism.

  6. As for the reduced fiction content, Allegra has it just right. There are other steampunk fiction venues out there, and we will continue to support and read those magazines (and books!).

  7. Very glad to see that the magazine is going so successfully! I am well geared up to produce material for the ‘post petrol’ angle and will be preparing a submission for #6.

    What troubles me as much as you is that ‘post democracy’ is probably on the horizon before ‘post petrol’. From what is filtering through the aethers it would seem that it could occurr quite soon and could catch much of the world off-guard with the swift brutality the authorities have evidently planned for.

    People power may delay things but I fear the world will not come out of this as well as the mainstream hope.

    The most important and the most steampunk thing we can do is to educate and get educated for survival under the ‘financial NWO’.

    Keep stokin’ – a good head of steam is needed to ride out this storm and we must do all we can not to lose it.

    Rev. Mobius

  8. I agree with the good Reverend about the post-democracy kind of future creeping ’round the bend. I beleive that our lives as anarchists in the United States are going to become a LOT harder in the next decade or two. I read a few months ago that the Canadian IWW is fighting to have ALL immagrants with worker or student visas given immediate permanant status. If some of you don’t plan on living in the fastest growing police state, you may want to check out our neighbors to the north. Even if the IWW’s demands for immagrant status isn’t won its only a 2 or 3 year wait, which isn’t that bad.

  9. I also agree with Reverand Grimnir. Post-democracy is going to hit sooner, and I think it will hit harder than post-petrol. Especially for those who like to live ‘alternative’ lifestyles, who enjoy their freedoms.

    I’m afraid I’m not much of a content provider (as I have not yet written anything aimed at the Steampunk Magazine), but would like to help out in any way possible. I am pointing the Scoundrels in a new direction, and have been spreading the world about Steampunk/the magazine, etcetera, but I do not feel like that would be doing enough…

  10. I see silly humans swatting at the gloom. I have lived long enough to see this before and nothing socks me. Nay, there is no safe place; it’s full speed ahead into the blender. Buckle up it’s going to be a bumpy ride and we may even get out alive. If you make it though the night you will find the horizon is bright. Stop hiding from trolls, there is nowhere to run, for this is a time for imagination and Steampunks will invent their world a new if they are to survive. BTW The nut & bolts are the basis of the fiction, there is no Steampunk without steam.

  11. Now this may not be related to your particular topic-
    but I am interested in creating prosthetic covers and fashion in the steampunk style for those who are wheelchair bound or who are otherwise disabled. It seems a perfect blend of both the style and the function of steampunk.
    Would you know of interested parties? Anyone into reenactment, cosplay, game-re-living or fans of other forms of off-the-beaten-track style that would want to incorporate this into their lives?

  12. “Issue #5 nears completion and I expect it will be our strongest issue yet”

    That was about two months ago.

    Will this be published soon ?

  13. I just ran across SPM for the first time, and am barely beginning to read issue 1. I like it so far and am looking forward to more

  14. I’m saddened to hear the fiction is being scaled back. That was a large part of the draw for me. And it wasn’t just the stories themselves, but it was how mixed up they were with everything else. You’d read a tale of mis-adventures in a steam distopia; then peruse diagrams for a clockwork music box; read an interview with a girl making leather-worked dresses with hammer loops, and then catch another story.
    The mix was important; to see any part of it dwindle is sad.

    It’s cool to read about steampunk inventions, or ideals, or stories.
    But, to read a fantastic well written story about airships and then to instantly follow that up with a how-to on building your own; to have the fiction and the function of Steam Punk together in one publication? That is what made the zine so cool to me.

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