Steampunk Character Building Workshop at WordPlay Creative Writing Center!

2015091995180832Think steampunk is just for adults? Think again! Kids can get into steampunk, too! Ofeibea Loveless of Airship Ashanti and the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance will lead a steampunk character building workshop as part of WordPlay‘s Science Fiction Saturdays on Nov. 21! Students — 6 and up — will learn about steam technology and then work in groups to create narratives for their steampunk characters! Saturday, Nov. 21, noon to 2 p.m., WordPlay Creative Writing Center, 4041 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223 (Northside). No cost. For more information, contact WordPlay at 513-541-0930 or info@wordplaycincy.org.

Interview with Writer Milton Davis

milton-davisGeorgia-based indie writer Milton Davis is raising money for Changa and the Jade Obelisk, a sword and soul animated adventure based on his novel Changa’s Safari. In the first episode, Changa, a young prince vowing to seek revenge for the death of his father and free his family and people from captivity, faces off against the sorceress Bahati and her evil horde of Hyena Men. We caught up with Davis as he prepared to participate in several panel discussions at this year’s DragonCon and asked him to tell us more about how he creates.  Read More

Steampunk Character Building Workshop at MECCACon!

steam-sistas-5Want to get into steampunk but not sure where to start? Ofeibea Loveless of Airship Ashanti and the Midwest Black Speculative Fiction Alliance will discuss the film short Steamfunk and Rococoa: A Black Victorian Fantasy (steampunk as it pertains to people of color) and lead a steampunk character building workshop at MECCAcon 2015! Airship Ashanti comes at steampunk from a West African perspective, which is rare in the steampunk community, and Ofeibea’s presentation will touch on steampunk from a non-Victorian perspective. Admission: $6, Sept. 19, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Detroit Public Library – Main Branch, 5201 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48202. 

Being Black and Female in Steampunk

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When I started getting into steampunk a couple of years ago, my first question was “There’s no slavery in this, right?” I was met with a very emphatic “NO!” It’s not like I didn’t have a right to ask. Any hobby that takes bits and pieces from a century that was horrific for at least 95% of the world’s population gets a very strong and lingering side eye. I began to feel more comfortable with steampunk when I stopped thinking about it from the standpoint of what was and started visualizing what never was but could’ve been. That, however, took some work.

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Midwest BSFA Presents: The Cocoa Cabaret

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Calling all Afrofuturists, steampunks and dieselpunks…get yo @ss to the past that never was at the Cocoa Cabaret! DJ Apryl Reign, 2010 Red Bull Thre3Style regional winner, will spin a set of electroswing/house music and there will be a costume contest for the best-dressed attendees. Tarot card reader, jewelry vendors and more. Don’t forget to dress in steampunk/dieselpunk/Roaring ’20s attire! Admission: $5. 8-11 p.m., The Greenwich. 2442 Gilbert Ave., Walnut Hills (Cincinnati, Ohio 45206)

For the uninitiated, steampunk is “a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery and is often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American ‘Wild West’ in which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power” (think movies like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Steamboy, Howl’s Moving Castle and Hugo). In recent years, more people of color who are interested in steampunk – African-Americans, Hispanics, Indians, Asians and the indigenous people of what is now known as the Americas, etc. – have been forging their own way in the genre in an attempt to include other parts of the world in this universe. From literature to fashion to music, minorities are putting their own spin on what has traditionally been a populated by mostly white authors and creators.

The Cocoa Cabaret is an attempt to draw more POCs into steampunk and should be a healthy mix of veterans steampunks and newbies. Don’t know what to wear? If you’re in the Cincinnati area, Ofeibea Loveless is doing “Steampunk Your Closet” consultations. Email her at captainloveless@gmail.com to schedule one today!