The Future Of SteamPunk Magazine, Part II

I am sad to announce that I am stepping down as primary editor of SteamPunk Magazine. Suffice it to say that, for a number of reasons, I am not able to continue running the magazine. Fortunately, someone has stepped up to take the mantle. It’s no small thing to be the volunteer editor of a popular magazine, and I salute her courage. Hopefully, she’ll introduce herself on here soon. Expect some changes, some new love going into the project, and most importantly, expect new issues. I’ll still be around as layout editor… layout is what I loved the most.

Steampunk has come a long way from where it was when we started the magazine two years ago. It’s a new landscape, one both exciting and alien to me. I still have hope for the genre. The waves of commercialism will bash up against our hull, but we steampunks are a stalwart bunch and we’ll hold fast. Hell, we’ll grow stronger: every day another person gets involved with steampunk and recognizes something valid, realizes it provides symbols that help them understand themself. Because steampunk is more than a meme. Steampunk is a reimagining of the world. May it live forever.

As for myself, besides laying out SteamPunk Magazine, I’ve been collaborating with a few others on a new journal, Post-Civilized, which plans to be a resource for those looking to enact a post-civilized approach to life. I’ve got a few other projects in the works, including a book of interviews and plenty of my own fiction. I’m sure I won’t be a stranger. To keep up with my other projects, I’ve a blog over at Birds Before The Storm and I’m always still involved in Strangers In A Tangled Wilderness

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Killjoy

Bryan Talbot on Bastable, Brass Goggles and badgers.

Bryan Talbot illo
<-{image by Leah Moore}->

Bryan Talbot is a man of many talents; renowned in the field of comics for his outstanding abilities as an artist, Bryan has collaborated with the likes of Neil Gaiman, Pat Mills, Alan Moore and Bill Willingham during his illustrious career. Never a man to be pigeonholed however, 2007 saw the publication of The Naked Artist: Comic Book Legends – a book of humorous anecdotes collected by Talbot during his many evenings spent chatting to other comic creators in convention bars. More recently Bryan penned the graphic novel Cherubs – a supernatural comedy with British indie artist Mark Stafford handling the visuals. Yet, it is arguably in the role of writer/artist that Talbot has achieved his greatest successes; 1995’s The Tale of One Bad Rat earned Bryan much well deserved praise for its beautiful artwork, masterful story telling and sensitive portrayal of a teenager escaping an abusive home life. Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment is another fantastically well respected work of Talbot’s. The book was several years in the making and is an extraordinarily dense and visually luxurious blend of history, psychogeography and the life and works of Lewis Carroll, amongst other things. However, as wonderful as all Bryan’s above mentioned works are, there is little doubt that by far his most attention-grabbing stories, so far as this publication’s particular field of interest is concerned, feature a certain Mr. Arkwright. Talbot’s The Adventures of Luther Arkwright and its 1999 sequel Heart of Empire (AKA The Legacy of Luther Arkwright) span multiple parallel worlds within a Moorcock-ian multiverse, which logically have more than a whiff of steampunkery about them.

Now in 2008, Bryan is midway through working on a brand new steampunk graphic novel entitled Grandville which stars Detective Inspector LeBrock – a “large working class badger” in Talbot’s own words. Grandville is set in a retro sci-fi world populated by anthropomorphic animals and looks likely to become yet another Bryan Talbot masterpiece. Bryan was kind enough to take time out from his busy schedule to answer a few questions about the upcoming graphic novel, his work in general and what steampunk means to him. (more…)

Translated Introduction To The Italian Version of the Apocalypse Guide

Edit: I credited this wrong, have now fixed it.
Our Italian friend Reginazabo has furnished us with an English translation of their introduction to the translated steampunk’s guide to the apocalypse. I just read it over and it’s wonderful: it really nails most of what steampunk is about for us, and explores some new theoretical territory I hadn’t previously considered. Teaser paragraph below, the rest after the break:

We live in a world at the edge of the ecological catastrophe, in a world where the race for hoarding profits and resources is recreating all over the planet slums typical of 19th-century London, and the individual’s rights, obtained through fierce collective struggles in the last two-hundred years, are starting to wear away again one after another. That is why many people are beginning to consider the idea of de-growth, of slowing down production rhythms—or even of going back to early industrial conditions—as the only real solution to the death of the world as we know it and to the definitive establishment of a society ruled by control and fear, by a fundamental reduction of labourers to slavery and by a suicidal and ecocidal hyperproduction.


Brazilian SteamPunk!

We’ve gotten word that co-conspirators in Brazil, have begun to distribute SteamPunk Magazine to a Brazilian audience! At the moment, there are no translations available, but we certainly appreciate the Portuguese-speaking world having a good portal through which to discover the world of steampunk!

The Guide To The Apocalypse In Italian!

So this is a bit late, as it came out last month, but A SteamPunk’s Guide To The Apocalypse is now available in italian!. We just got our copies in the mail, it’s pretty exciting. Translations were done by Reginazabo, and it was released by Agenzia X.

Magpie's New Blog

To encourage Magpie (an editor) to stop posting his person this and that to SteamPunk Magazine, we set him up a nice blog to play in, Birds Before The Storm ( You can now go there for all your news about Airships, Anarchism, and Accordions. And of course, news about Magpie.

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.

More Seattle Steampunkery!

The flyer pretty much says it all. Except that this is my [Magpie] first show as a solo accordionist. I’ve been playing on the streets (and at parties and bars) for years, and have from time to time toured with Ego Likeness as a drummer, but this will be the first time the stage will be graced by my meadowlark voice. And anyone anywhere should check out Jill Tracy and The Ghosts Project [warning: link goes to myspace]. Also featured will be Nathaniel Johnstone of Abney Park performing both solo and in conjunction with the other bands. Good times will be had by all, I promise.

Next up, a post that’s actually about the damn magazine. Sorry about that.

Steampunk art show, Seattle, Sept. 12th 2008

steampunx showz
Contributor Molly Porkshanks and editor Libby Bulloff have gathered together a fine assortment of steampunks for a gallery opening in Seattle at the Suite 100 Gallery. This will be a wonderful social event, and of course a chance to see some glorious steampunk art. Anyone in the northwest ought to stop by, I tell you! If you miss the opening, our work will be on display until October 3rd.

What freedom to assemble?

Right now in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, marked and unmarked police cars are raiding private homes and buildings (and cars and garages) on a witchhunt for anarchists. [more from Bruce Sterling’s blog] Next week, the Republican National Convention is taking place in St. Paul, and the police are intent on preventing protestors their say. Of note is that they’re mostly confiscating media—zines, books, CDs, computers, mp3 players—, and gathering peoples identities. Of course, they are looking for “bombs” and of course, they won’t find any. This isn’t the 19th century; today, anarchists organize under the banner “food not bombs” as often as not.
Why does this matter to you? Because, if you live in the USA, it matters when the government makes preemptive strikes against dissidents. It matters when they are gathering names and taking literature. Anarchists have long been the canary in the birdcage. That canary is choking and coughing and spitting, and it behooves all of us to make this public, to not let people suffer behind closed doors. Oh, and as for what is “anarchist literature”? Well, everything in your house by infamous anarchists Alan Moore and Michael Moorcock, for starters. Plus that copy of SteamPunk Magazine #1 you’ve got sitting around your house/harddrive.
When anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti waited on death row for a crime they didn’t commit, HG Wells and many other non-anarchist literary folk stood by them publicly. Because back in the day (you know, back in the day that we steampunks interest ourselves so greatly in), the literary world wasn’t afraid of getting mired in politics. We shouldn’t be either. It’s our world and those are our freedoms they’re trampling.