dmp: Taking a stroll in my finery (Default)
2011-10-03 10:34

Steampunk Week Takes Flight on Tor.com

Alongside grad school,  conventions, and running this blog, I've had the pleasure of curating this year's steampunk blogging event over at Tor.com. This week, from October 3rd through the 7th, I invite you all to mosey over to Tor and check out the lovely contributions, book reviews & giveaways going on.


Click to start reading on Tor.com

I'll be cross-linking several articles that are relevant to Beyond Victoriana over on the main site, but you can check out the full week's worth of goodies on the Steampunk Week Index Page.

Please show some love to our contributors & say hello in the comments :D
dmp: Taking a stroll in my finery (Default)
2011-06-01 00:06

Burning High-Action Brilliance: Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

Note: While enjoying Wiscon this weekend (con report forthcoming), check out my latest review over at Tor.com. Delayed updates to Con Extravaganza & Asian Identities, Crossing Borders will be posted later this week.


During the Tribeca Film Festival, I managed to catch a showing of Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame. Watching the preview, this film promised big set pieces, lots of fiery explosions, and awesome martial arts action. A film that has Chinese alternate history and features a detective worthy of Sherlock, a black market underground beneath the Forbidden City, and a plot involving the mechanics of building a 800-foot tall Buddha—it all sounds pretty steampunk-esque. When a post about it went up on Tor.com Steampunk, people scratched their heads about whether it would qualify, or if, yet again, a fad word had been plopped in by marketing.

I think it’s steampunk in the way James Ng’s art is, the way Shweta Narayan’s “Eyes of the Craven Emerald” is, the way that Yakoub Islam plans to write a Muslim steampunk story set in the twelfth century, and the way that Aether Age plays with the concept of highly industrialized ancient civilizations. So for any nay-sayers who are not calling this steampunk, then I suppose these don’t qualify either. But examining how technology can—and has—developed independently from Western influence is an idea that shouldn’t mark something as not being steampunk.

But enough squabbling about labels, because in the end, this is one kick-ass entertaining film in its own right.

Read the rest over at Tor.com.
dmp: Taking a stroll in my finery (Default)
2010-07-18 10:20

Beyond Victoriana #34 Fascinating Women: Dr. Yamei Kin — Guest Blog by Sandrine Thomas

Note: This week's contribution is a cross-post from Sandrine Thomas of Edwardian Promenade. Enjoy!



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Dr. Yamei Kin (1864-1934) was a contradiction. The product of American-upbringing and Chinese heritage, she held the traditional values of the turn-of-the-century, but was both modern and fiercely feminist. Her parents were progressive, especially her mother, who, despite submitting to the traditional practice of foot-binding, was educated at seminary and chose her own husband. Tragedy struck when a fever epidemic swept her birthplace of Ning-po (Ningbo), leaving Yamei Kin orphaned at the age of three. She was adopted by Dr. D. B. McCartee and his wife, American missionaries who moved to Japan shortly thereafter. The McCartee’s were progressive in their own right, taking care to raise their new daughter with an awareness of her heritage.



Read on Beyond Victoriana