(This is a mirror site of my webpage karenjcarlisle.com)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Why Indies? Guest Post by Jack Tyler

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/05/21/why-indies-guest-post-by-jack-tyler/

Jack Tyler allowed me to share his thoughts on reasons to read Independent authors.  Jack is a member of Scribblers Den (steampunk writers group), an author of steampunk (Beyond the Rails series) and other punk-genres. You can find him at Blimprider at writing.com or Jack's Hideout. Take it away, Jack...

WHY INDIES?

A simple question. Why should you, an experienced reader, carry a selection of independent authors on your reading list? For a very good reason. Originality.
What was the last original movie you saw? Can't think of one? That's because no one is making them anymore. That's why we're inundated with remakes of old movies, reenvisionings of old TV shows, old, popular books "brought to life" by the "magic of Hollywood," episode CCXLVII of the big Space Saga. No one will take a chance anymore that something, God forbid, might not rake in a billion dollars a day.
Books have gone down the same path. Publishers, unwilling to take a risk, compete with one another to shovel out copies of copies of copies of The Last Big Thing. Where is the grand fantasy tale that doesn't follow Lord of the Rings to the letter? How many versions of Twilight can you read before you can recite the plot points before you come to them? You may be surprised to hear that those cutting-edge stories and novels are out there waiting to be read, and I'm going to tell you where to find them.
In the files of independent authors. While traditional publishers cling to the center of Writingtown, searching the carefully tended lawns for the next retelling of a tired old tale, independent authors, just as independent filmmakers and musicians, are out on the fringe, past the edge of the map, chronicling the tales that no one has yet heard, that have yet to be told. These are the stories you want to read, the stories that are worth finding, the jewels that you'll remember long after the last elf/dwarf/human/orc slashfest is in the landfill and long forgotten. These are the heirs to the tradition of storytelling.
Authors decide to self-publish for any number of reasons. Some because we have been rejected by traditional publishers, often for being too original to suit their no-risk publishing model. Some have gone indie because we didn't want to get involved with the "you do the work, and we'll keep the money" policy of the big publishers. Some of us are well-known traditionally published authors who have been screwed out of our due one time too many, but we all have one thing in common: We answer to our creative muse, and no one else.
We have all had an experience, maybe more than one, with an independent author who had no business writing a grocery list, let alone a book, and some of us may have said, "Enough of this! I'm sticking to the Big Five from now on." That's your choice, but you do yourself a grave disservice by that reasoning.
We all try new products every day. Whether it's a new makeup, pain reliever, pipe wrench, or ball-point pen, we have all gotten our hands on one that doesn't do what the advertisement said it would. But do we then say, "I'm never wearing makeup again!" Of course we don't. We learn to be more careful consumers. There are many ways to carefully consume books, one of them being to never stray from the big names. Again, that's your choice, but there are ways to find the quality indies as well, and if you want to read the books that are telling the new stories, you must include indies on your reading list. How do you find quality indies? Amazon.com is a huge help. Most of us publish there because they make it so easy, and they provide useful tools. Look for an indie who has high ratings, even if there aren't too many of them. A low rating isn't a deal-breaker either, unless that's all there are, but ratings can help. Then once you find a book that looks interesting, use the "Look Inside" feature. Yes, it only shows you a few pages, but if the author can't write, you won't need more than a paragraph to determine that. Then, of course, there's the tried and true method, word of mouth. If someone you know and trust is recommending an indie, by all means, take a look. You may discover worlds beyond imagining that lie at the tips of your fingers. So, come on out to the fringe; we're waiting to welcome you.
You can find Jack at: Blimprider at writing.com. His books are available on Amazon:

Friday, May 19, 2017

Photo Friday: What’s New?

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/05/19/photo-friday-whats-new/

I love my family. They know me all too well. This Mothers' Day I got some nifty pressies: a book on Victorian World of Science, octopus-fingers and a teacup wind chime, with spare spoons for those days I am flat. It's now hanging in my writing nook. (I may hide some emergency chockies inside.) We watched Eurovision, had pancakes, bacon and maple syrup for lunch (yum!) and finished the day with a new episode of Doctor Who. Perfect.
 
While on the subject of tea (okay, well sort of), I have a new teaball to add to my collection:
I've also been busy creating new crafty surprises to purchase at upcoming events. Now the weather is cooler, I can get back to crocheting some fun new steampunky stuff. I've finished another green octoscarf and something new - top hats!
These are the first two completed. It took a few practice runs to work out the best combination of stitches to give the shape. It's green too - a hatter's chapeau, trimmed with purple.
  
I've also made some octopuses. (Are you surprised? I thought not.) This one will end up on either a dark purple or black mini top hat. This is what it will look like.
These (or similar) will be available at my next talk (Aus Sci Fi: Talking Steampunk) in June and Adelaide Supanova in November. I'm hoping to finish a few more in different colours before then. Prices start at $15- $25 (depending on decorations). I can take a limited number of orders for collection at the events.
And finally - this arrived in the post yesterday. I need to start reading faster! Sigh.
Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

When It's Gone...

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/05/14/when-its-gone/

You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.

It’s a well known phrase made popular in a musical lament, triggered by the slamming of a door and the departure of a big yellow taxi. I didn’t need a taxi to remind  me of how much I take things for granted – just the demise of my smart phone.

Regular readers will know of my love/hate/frustrated relationship with technology. I’m mostly old-school. Much of my writing starts in handwritten form. I love interesting and beautiful note books and enjoy filling them with new stories. I prefer to draw with pencil and nib pen over digital work on the computer and I still prefer to watch television or DVDs over streaming (well, that’s not that low tech but makes me a dinosaur in the modern world of streaming and on-demand internet viewing). I need to touch an item, feel it in my hands and interact with it.



I’m not totally inarticulate when it comes to technology. I’m learning and, though sometimes it’s a struggle (and frustrating to my Dearheart who works in IT), I use technology to edit videos, design covers, format my own books, do research (huzzah for access to far flung libraries and museums), communicate via social media and write my blog. It’s been a slow process, but I inch forward.

I must admit I’ve grown accustomed to the convenience and speed of the digital age. I let my guard down.

And got a bit slack.

It was Thursday. Sun was shining. I was taking it easy, as I was recovering from gastro, and checking my social media accounts on my smart phone. One of the apps was acting a bit screwy so I did what I had been told previously by the phone tech – I restarted it.

Except it didn’t, restart that is.


After a few minutes of furiously pushing buttons, I looked up the manufacturers webpage and asked: How do I restart my phone when it won’t turn on? I followed the instructions, and pressed the reset button. A faint buzz gave only short relief. The screen remained dark. No flashing lights. No familiar tune to accompany the hoped start up.

I tried a two minute reset and plugged the phone in to charge, as instructed. While I waited, I downloaded the official back up program, plugged in the phone into the USB port on the computer and crossed my fingers. A sharp bing on the computer advised me that the computer could not find my device.  Certain words wafted through the house.

I rang my provider. Perhaps they had some words of wisdom for the technically un-inclined and very much frustrated? The helpful young man talked me through his book of fixes – a repeat of the processes I had just performed.

You guessed it. They didn’t work second time round either. I was advised I would have to bring the phone into the store. Their techies would need to work their magic. But – they stressed – a reset would wipe anything on the phone itself, so I should back up the information.

Um… not happening. My computer refuses to play ball.

Did I have my photos/videos (etc) on the SD card?

It didn’t automatically do that?

No.

Well, I’m screwed then. (Dang, dang, dang, dang, and dang!)

I now have a loan phone – sans the following:

  • calendar appointments
  • photos not transferred to computer (I should have used my SLR!)
  • videos (see above)
  • recordings of talks, events (again, many not transferred) and notes for stories (next time I’ll try not to be so clever and I will write them in one of my many notebooks strewed around the house and in my handbag)

I can hear the thunder of head slaps from the more tech-savvy readers: What! Didn’t you back them up?

(Insert heavy sigh and shaking of head here.)

I shall learn from my mistakes: Back up. Back up. Back up.

Yesterday I backed up my stories onto not one, not two, but three USB sticks –  just in case the computer decides to go on holiday as well. There is no way I am losing all that hard work. I’m trying to recreate notes, checking appointment dates and requesting friends and contacts send me their details. Then I shall back them all up – digitally and on paper.

This entire episode reminds me of how much I (and we) rely on technology. I do have a (paper) address book but unfortunately I’ve been rather slack in adding new contacts to its pages. I still put some appointments on the family calendar (a steampunk version hanging on the wall). I’ll be more diligent in this from now on.

Yes, this is a first world problem to be sure. It only serves to reinforce my wariness of technology, and curse the extra time spent (time I am still assured it should save me) to ensure it does not negatively impact my life. At times like this I feel empathy for those facing the dawn of the twentieth century, experiencing new (albeit low tech compared to our gadgets) technologies and struggling with the changes wrought in the name of progress.

Perhaps that is why I love writing steampunk?

Friday, May 12, 2017

Photo Friday: Free Comic Book Day

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/05/12/photo-friday-free-comic-book-day/

Last weekend it was Free Comic Book Day. This year, four local comic shops participated (I think that is a record for Adelaide). So... road trip!
First we were off to Gamma Rays Comics - the newest shop in the quartet - where I found the first comic on my list: Doctor Who (of course). Next we headed to Adelaide Comics - with a slight detour to their new digs in Gay's Arcade (one of the historical arcades in Adelaide, built in 1885).
   
A short trek to the other end of the Mall, first to Greenlight Comics where I met up with some friends - Dr Mike (Universe Gun) and Jess Cate (Heart of Millyera comic and Jennifer, fresh from doing makeup for an upcoming movie). And finally (after summoning up all my will power to bypass Haigh's Chocolates) we arrived at Pulp Fiction Comics to snafu some final comics and an impromptu chat with Pontip and more friends!
Here I am - a very happy camper.
And a closer look at my stash. 
Photos ©2017 Karen Carlisle. All rights reserved.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Steampunk: Science Fiction or Fantasy?

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/05/07/steampunk-science-fiction-or-fantasy/

Recently I've participated in some interesting conversations about the classification of steampunk, as a writing genre. Many writing/steampunk blogs consider it be part of the fantasy branch of speculative fiction. Friends seem divided. Book shops (and Amazon) often place steampunk books in the science fiction shelves. So let's have a closer look and you can decide.
First, let's discuss some definitions. What is science fiction and what is fantasy? I could easily allocate an entire blog post just on the definitions but I won't.
Isaac Asimov said it best:
"Science fiction, given its grounding in science, is possible; fantasy, which has no grounding in reality, is not."
So, science fiction deals with things that might possibly happen, or have happened. Fantasy deals with things that will never happen, have happened or ever will happen, the impossible. Easy, right?
Well, lets define steampunk (not an easy task in itself).
Steampunk is the name given to a genre of fantasy or alternative historical stories – usually set in the 19th century or an alternative future reminiscent of the 19th century – with the science fiction element  containing modern technology powered by steam. The amount of steam and gadgetry is variable. Sometimes supernatural themes may be incorporated. Think of it as retro-futurism with a Victorian science fiction twist. (from my steampunk page)
Hmm? I'm hedging my bets and used both fantasy and science fiction in my definition.
Let's try again, with a few more defintions:
    • Google defines it as "a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology."
    • The Urban Dictionary defines it as: "Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, usually set in an anachronistic Victorian or quasi-Victorian alternate history setting. It could be described by the slogan "What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner." It includes fiction with science fiction, fantasy or horror themes."
  • And the Steampunk Bible defines it as "a grafting of Victorian aesthetic and punk rock attitude onto various forms of science-fiction culture."It even gives us a formula: Steampunk = Mad Scientist Inventor [invention (steam x airship or metal man/baroque stylings) x (pseudo) Victorian setting] + progressive or reactionary politics x adventure plot.
Maybe the origins of steampunk hold a clue?
KW Jeter first coined the name, 'steampunk', in 1987 (not 1887). Some consider works by HG Wells or Jules Verne as steampunk but these were science fiction (or 'science romances' written in the 19th century). The writers extrapolated possible futures (there's that word again), based on plausible advances in science - as they knew it (or thought they did) ie. the science of their time. But we now know things like phlogiston do not exist. Modern speculative stories using such forms of energy would now be consider fantasy (impossible) and not  science fiction. Steampunk, having been born in my generation, is a completely different animal.
Confused yet? Let's investigate further: Steampunk = steam + punk.
Traditional steampunk's aesthetic is dripping with technology. You can find airships, steam-machines, automatons (robots) and gadgets galore - usually steam-driven; all things plausible within Victorian beliefs of the time. While usually set in the past, it can embrace apocalyptic futures.  Travel in space and time are common tropes. Sounds like science fiction, eh?
The Difference Engine, by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, tells of an alternative history revolving around the consequences of Charles Babbage's analytical engine (A working difference machine based on Babbage's engine has been built.)
Then there's the punk part: Social commentary, contemplating technologies effect on people (albeit steam), the role of women, the battle of the classes, racism, slavery or colonialism, can all be found in many steampunk stories. All are reminiscent of the long tradition of social commentary found in science fiction.
But...
Then some steampunk stories incorporate mythical or supernatural creatures and magic. Gail Carriger's Soulless has vampires and werewolves.  Boneshaker (Cherie Priest) has zombies. Other stories incorporate magical machines or fantastical energy sources. Airships sail through the vacuum of space. Improbable you say?  Yes (but fun). So is steampunk fantasy after all?
In a true spirit of fun and thumbing its nose at the literary establishment, steampunk blurs the line between science fiction and fantasy, providing an entertaining alternative for readers. It's a hybrid genre still in its adolescence, with too much punk to be defined only as fantasy and too many fantastical elements to be considered solely science fiction. Perhaps that's why I love it?
So, science fiction or fantasy? What do you think?

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Dissecting NaNoWriMo.

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/04/30/dissecting-nanowrimo/

Well, that's pencils down for this year's Camp NaNoWriMo. I barely managed a scratch in my original word goal of twenty thousand. That was in March - a whole month before picking up the pen. A lot has happened since then.
End of March was looking dodgy. Summer had lingered, bringing with it more dust and the first hints of resulting health issues: sinus infection, followed by laryngitis and the first bout of bronchitis for the season. I reviewed my word goal to seven thousand words.
I soldiered through Oz Comic Con with puffer in hand. There was still hope for Camp NaNo yet.
Unfortunately the bronchitis returned. New antibiotics were engaged in the fight. I lost, finding a new meaning of side-effect-pain. (There's another antibiotic I will have to avoid.) Yep, allergies suck. Big time. Another fortnight passed, with not a word falling onto the page. Another doctor's visit. This time gastro (something about reduced immune system from almost four weeks of bronchitis).
Enough of the excuses. In the four weeks of NaNoWriMo, I managed barely 2500 words. Some would call that failure. I almost did. Until I looked back over the month: two months ill, reactions to medication, a panic attack. What had I accomplished?
When I can't write, I organise and research. I scrutinised the pile of papers beside me - collated notes (from several notebooks and boxes) relating to my planned stories. I'd highlighted and labelled them, sorted them in order. I'd managed some bleary-brained research, shoring up some background plots and uncovering some interesting tit bits for later use.
On the last day of NaNo, I finally feel (almost) human, pencil ready to go. Watch me write like the wind!
(Here are some fun research tit bits:
Did you know that Arthur Conan Doyle was in a writer-cricket team with HG ("Bertie") Wells (whose dad was a first class cricketer)? The team, Allahakbarries, was founded in 1890. They were also part of a literary group who met in Arundel Street (near the Strand) for eating, drinking, and smoking. HG Wells published his story, The Chronic Argonaut (a hint of his story to come - The Time Machine), in The Science School Journal in 1886-7.)

Friday, April 28, 2017

More Videos from Steampunk 30th

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/04/28/more-videos-from-steampunk-30th/

Lynne Lumsden Green's video on Steampunk Gadgets is now live.

And here's the compilation video for those who want the edited version (with links to the full videos)

Thanks to Lynne for agreeing to her videos being hosted on my youTube channel. You can find Lynne at:

Photo (and Video) Friday: Celebrating 30 Years of (official) Steampunk

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/04/28/photo-and-video-friday-celebrating-30-years-of-official-steampunk/

Thought I'd share some photos and videos from the Celebrating 30 Years of (official) Steampunk event from last week.  We discussed the definition of steampunk, chatted about costumes, events and music..
  
 
We talked recycling and upcycling and opshopping...
I showed off another sonic screwdriver...
and we did some did some surveys:
Had some live videos...
I did a talk On Steampunk - what I love, costuming, writing and history... and what if?

and Lynne's did a talk on Australian Steampunk Writers (and cosplay and writing).

I'll be posting two more videos from the day on my youTube channel. Thanks to everyone who participated. Thanks for sharing your stories and photos.
Here's a list of the steampunk forum/webpages compiled on the day:
  1. Steampunk Dominion (refugees from Steampunk Empire)
    http://thesteampunkdominion.ning.com / https://www.facebook.com/groups/1276453745780039
  2. Steampunk Writers and Artists Guild.(SWG) http://steampunkwriters.ning.com/
  3. Steampunk Writer’s Library
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/SteampunkWritersLibrary/
  4. Steampunk South Australia https://www.facebook.com/groups/386014630031/
  5. Reddit Steampunk https://www.reddit.com/r/steampunk/
  6. Brass Goggles http://brassgoggles.co.uk/
  7. Steampunk Sunday Queensland Australia https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkSunday/
  8. Steampunk Tendencies https://www.facebook.com/SteampunkTendencies
  9. Queensland – steampunk events Steampunk Affaires https://www.facebook.com/groups/1673295336234933/
  10. The Talk of Punk Fiction: https://www.writing.com/.../2117337-The-Talk-of-Punk-Fiction
  11. Rail Baron https://therailbaron.wordpress.com/
  12. Ged Maybury: https://steamedup.wordpress.com/
  13. Steampunk Scholar: http://steampunkscholar.blogspot.com.au/
  14. Travelers steampunk blog http://daily-steampunk.com/steampunk-blog/
  15. Airship Ambassador http://www.airshipambassador.com/
  16. Beyond Victoriana https://beyondvictoriana.com/
  17. Steampunk India: http://www.steampunkindia.com/
  18. French Steampunk https://www.facebook.com/frenchsteampunk
  19. German Steampunk site: http://clockworker.de/cw/page/2/
  20. Steampunk Canada: http://www.steampunkcanada.ca/
  21. Steampunk Worlds Fair http://steampunkworldsfair.com/blogs/
If you have a favourite steampunk forum or webpage, please let us know in the comments.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

On Spoons, Steampunk and Socialising

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/04/23/on-spoons-steampunk-and-socialising/

The alarm went off twice this morning. Well, I think it was twice. Maybe it was three? I cracked open an eye and cringed back into the sheets away from the sunlight streaming through the curtains. The alarm blared once more. My hand slapped the off button. I groaned and dragged myself out of bed.
I'm really not a morning person, especially after draining several days worth of spoons with an all day event. (The spoon theory is an effective way of describing how chronic illness or disability affects life. If you're not familiar with the theory, you can find out all about it here.) Friday's 13-hour celebrations for steampunk's 30th (naming) anniversary left me depleted. It was a long (but fun) day.
Socialising takes a lot of effort for me. It's exhausting. It's not you. It's me. In public, I spend most of the time trying to fight the urge to run away and hide. Anxiety does that. I usually organise my social events carefully, with a few days after to recover those precious spoons.
Fortunately it was an online event and it was celebrating something I love: steampunk. (Otherwise I would've been a gibbering mess if I'd spent all thirteen hours face-to-face with so many people without a break.) Large crowds, particularly in shopping centres with their cacophony of noises, crush me.
This got me thinking. Why do I do this to myself? Why do I do conventions? Why do I do talks...? Why do I walk out the door at all?
There's a stereotype: the starving writer (that's a whole other blog post just there) scribbling away in a lonely garret - alone, with only the artistic muse for company - locked in the struggle to create the perfect prose.  But, despite this romantic (Victorian) vision, writers need company too. I need company too. I need to experience life, not just write about it.
So why do I keep pushing myself to attend events - social or professional?
Because, deep down, I like people. I love conversations where I suddenly realise the sun is rising and we've been chatting all night. I love talking writing, science, art, Doctor Who, steampunk. I'm fine one-on-one or in a small group. Where I feel safe.
On a bad day, I push myself to do online socialising. I can cringe in the corner while I type supposedly confident words - and no one can see my fear. But I'm still engaging with the world.
A couple of years ago I found an online steampunk forum, The Steampunk Empire. Tucked away in a corner was a writers group, The Scribblers Den - a band of steampunk writers spanning the globe. We chatted about writing, steampunk (lots of steampunk), events, shared pictures and stories. I felt comfortable there.
Unfortunately, as online entities often do, it disappeared. Some of us had seen the cracks. Some of us lived in denial. On a, soon-to-be bleak, day in March I logged onto the forum and - horror of horrors - my beloved Scribblers Den had dissolved into the aether!
But, never fear, my dear Reader, we had a plan (albeit a very vague one). Soon the Refugees of Steampunk Empire assembled on Facebook. We lamented, explored a few new enclaves and finally found a new home; the Steampunk Dominion was formed. My dear Scribblers' Den had returned from exile! (Thank you to the intrepid pilgrims - especially Lee and William - who founded our new realm.) I could once again frolic in steampunky goodness and forget about my anxieties.
You can now find fellow steampunks on The Steampunk Dominion's webpage and forum, or on Facebook group - The Steampunk Dominion (our bolt hole in case of future host demises).

Friday, April 21, 2017

And the Winner Is...

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/04/21/and-the-winner-is-2/

Congratulations to the winner of the Celebrating 30 years of Steampunk eBook Competition:

Nicole Gillete,

The flying monkeys are now delivering instructions on collecting your free eBooks.

Photo Friday: A Good Yarn

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/04/21/photo-friday-a-good-yarn/

The weather is cooling (and I can breathe again). It's time to start crocheting another set of octoscarves. (I sold my last one at Oz Comic Con.) Randomly picked - green first. Of course, it is a must to wear the appropriate t-shirt...
My phone fell out of my new bag (not putting it in that section again) and cracked. It was a tense Easter long weekend, hoping it was the new-beaut glass like screen protector (always had the plasticy ones before). Went to the local phone store. Huzzah! It was just the protector. Back to the cheapy screen cover for me (they bounce better).
There's been much talk about the Labyrinth sequel touted as being in pre-production (as long as it is NOT a remake/reboot or whatever. You can't improve on David Bowie.) Family time this week: played the Labyrinth board game. (We beat Jareth!)
Today, I'm attempting my first live video post on my FB event celebrating steampunk (if I can wangle the tech). Wish me luck. Lynne will be talking about Australian steampunk authors (at around 10.30am Central Australian Standard Time) and I'll be doing my bit at 2.00pm.


Sunday, April 16, 2017

Steampunk 30th Anniversary (and a giveaway!)

original post: http://karenjcarlisle.com/2017/04/16/steampunk-30th-anniversary-and-a-giveaway/


This April, it's official; steampunk celebrates the thirtieth anniversary of its naming day. It was in 1987 that the term steampunk was used by KW Jeter in a note to the Locus magazine, for their April edition.
"Dear Locus,
Enclosed is a copy of my 1979 novel Morlock Night; I'd appreciate your being so good as to route it Faren Miller, as it's a prime piece of evidence in the great debate as to who in "the Powers/Blaylock/Jeter fantasy triumvirate" was writing in the "gonzo-historical manner" first. Though of course, I did find her review in the March Locus to be quite flattering.
Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like 'steam-punks', perhaps."
—K.W. Jeter
 
Of course steampunk had been around much longer - emerging in written and visual form, such as:
  • Morlock Night  (KW Jeter, 1979)
  • The Anubis Gates (Tim Powers, 1983)
  • Homunculus  (James Blaylock, 1986)
  • Infernal Devices: A Mad Victorian Fantasy  (KW Jeter, 1987)
And earlier still: Michael Moorcock wrote stories with steampunk elements, enshrining the airship in the, as yet unnamed, genre. His stories were alternate histories, not necessarily set in the Victorian era.
  • Warlord of the Air (1971)
  • The Land Leviathan (1974)
  • The Steel Tsar  (1982)
Television tinkered with steampunk as early as 1965, with the Wild, Wild West television series (starting on my birthday. Oh, it was meant to be!) and later with QED, set in Edwardian London. Since then many series, including Castle, CSI:New York and NCIS:LA, have flirted with steampunk (with varying results). More recently we've had Warehouse 13, Sanctuary and Murdoch Mysteries.
Pre-1987 movies include 1958's The World of Jules VerneTime After Time (1979) and others.
Since 1987, the list of steampunk works has been growing. (I've previously listed some works, articles and groups HERE) You can also find a list of steampunk works on wikipedia.
Many groups are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary:
I'll be celebrating by reading, watching steampunk movies and tv show DVDs, meeting up with my writers' group for tea and bikkies. Come join me and Lynne, from Steampunk Sunday, Queensland Australia, on the 21st April for a Facebook event: Celebrating 30 years of (official) steampunk.
To add to the celebrations, I'm hosting a giveaway, starting today!

Steampunk 30th Anniversary Giveaway

You can win an eBook copy of each of Viola Stewart's adventures (four eBooks in total), currently available via Smashwords and Amazon:
  • Three Short Stories
  • Doctor Jack
  • Three More Short Stories
  • Eye of the Beholder.
   
How to enter: Sign up for my newsletter/email list by 11.59pm, 19th April (Australian CST). The winner will be randomly selected.
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Subscribe to mailing list for your chance to win:

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The winner will be announced in Tea & Tidings newsletter and on this blog on Friday 21st April. So watch this space!