Podcast logo for Originality which has a 7 pointed star in pink and yellow with a dark pink and black background and the words Originality exploring the roots of creative genius

New Podcast: ORIGINality

Today is launch day for the new podcast project[1] I’m involved in: ORIGINality, where we explore the roots of creative genius. I’m doing this podcast with Aleen Simms, who you may recognize from the JEMcast (oh man, I really miss it) or her amazing podcast Less Than Or Equal. Aleen came up with the idea for ORIGINality and asked me to join her, and I said yes.

Each episode we’ll explore some aspect of creativity, and not just writerly creatives or even those most folks would put in the category of Artist. Most episodes will feature an interview with a creative genius that sparks our conversation, like episode 1: Steampunk Mermaids with Nisi Shawl. In this I asked Nisi about the reason she wrote Everfair — ahem, excuse me, that is Nebula and Locus award nominated Everfair — and Aleen and I talk about how annoyance with what you see in art can inspire you to create better versions of said art. Go listen!

ORIGINality will have a new episode every other week. If you subscribe it’ll show up in your podcast player automagically. And if you become a member of Relay/the show, you’ll get access to members only Episode 0 and other members only episodes in the future. Plus, you support the hosts (me! Aleen!) directly.

I’m very excited about where this podcast is gonna take us and I hope you love it, too :)

Footnotes

  1. Hey Tempest, I hear you saying, what about your OTHER podcast? The Write Gear? Well, dear listener, I am very much hoping to get back to that, but I am in need of someone to help me edit the show. That’s the big sticking point. Know anyone who wants to edit a podcast for free?[]
Me with the steampunk scarab necklace I got for the con

My AnomalyCon Schedule

I’m one of the guests at AnomalyCon this year! If you’re in the greater Denver area, get on down to the con. If you’re already attending the con: hooray! Come find me.

The Source of Our Power | Fri 6pm in Mesa Verde A

Writing a story is one thing, but writing serial novels and then maintaining an audience and a relationship with that audience takes a lot of energy. Successful authors talk about the source of their (seemingly) endless reserves.

Panelists: Ken Liu, K. Tempest Bradford, Wesley Chu

Social Linguistics | Fri 7pm in Mesa Verde A

Words are created, coopted, morph in meaning, become empowering or divisive. A discussion on the evolution of the meaning of words through their social use, as well as the development of colloquiallism.

Panelists: S. Dunn, K. Tempest Bradford, Ekaterina Sedia

Defense Against the Dark Arts | Fri 9pm in Windstar

Being an activist, or sometimes just being a marginalized person who exists on the internet, or even writing a character the fans don’t expect, can result in a lot of harassment and online backlash that might even creep into your personal life. A discussion of how to protect yourself and your family as much as possible.

Panelists: A Milton Davis, K. Tempest Bradford, Tanya DePass, N. Lightfoot

Technology in Fiction | Sat 10am in Mesa Verde A

We’ve all seen those movies with implausible computers, old tech in a new age, etc. Join us as we discuss how to write believable technology, even if you’re not a techie yourself.

Panelists: K. Tempest Bradford, S. Dunn, K. Major, N. Lightfoot

The Best Science Fiction In The World | Sat 12pm in Mesa Verde A

Science Fiction is bigger than its founders ever imagined, and there’s so much out there. We talk about our favorites: the guilty pleasures, the big inspirations, and the things you should be reading or watching.

Panelists: K. Tempest Bradford, Ken Liu, Seanan McGuire, C. Kemp

Is it Possible to Like Problematic Things? | Sat 1pm in Wind River B

Tale as old as time. Something comes out in one of our favorite fandoms, but the author appropriated a culture or left out any diversity or filled the story with fridging tropes. Is it possible to enjoy but engage? A discussion that should be approached only after attendees have read K. Tempest Bradford’s 101 series.

Panelists: K. Tempest Bradford, S. Glassman

What’s So Funny? | Sat 2pm in Mesa Verde C

Humor is a coping mechanism, but it’s also a vital mechanic of fiction. Our authors talk about humor, and it’s sure to be a lark.

Panelists: K. Tempest Bradford, Milton Davis, S. Dunn

We Need Diverse Books | Sat 3pm in Mesa Verde C

You’ve been reading white authors all your life. Maybe you don’t even think about it. But you need to get your hands on these great and diverse stories.

Panelists: K. Tempest Bradford, Zetta Elliott, A. Howard

AnomalyCon Celebrity Tea Duel | Sat 5pm on the 12th Floor

The grandest excitement on stage! Our biggest guests battle each other for the best cuppa!

Hell Hath No Fury | Sat 7pm in Wind River A

Ways to impede, motivate, change and inspire female characters (that aren’t rape tropes).

Panelists: Seanan McGuire, K. Tempest Bradford, T.L. Morganfield

Queer Identities After the Apocalypse | Sat 8pm in Wind River B

Trans healthcare and queer reproductive choices in post-apocalyptic worlds, even if the topic is a little close to home.

Panelists: D. Edwards, S. Glassman, K. Tempest Bradford

The Messiah/Hero Complex | Sun 11am in Mesa Verde A

Many stories, video games, and legends revolve around the idea of a young “chosen one” who is going to progress through the hero’s journey regardless of what they do to get there. How much of that story is wrapped up in Christianity embedded in our Western storytelling? What storytelling goes beyond this timeless trope?

Panelists: Stant Litore, Tanya DePass, K. Tempest Bradford, A. Brooks

 

Steampunk without POC is so 1899

Saw the other day that Hullaballoo, a new steampunk animation project by former Disney animators, reached it’s funding goal on IndieGoGo. Good for the project. It looks like a worthy one. The animators involved want to prove that hand-drawn, 2D animation is still where it’s at. I’m down. The story takes place in a cool steampunk world and has two female leads. More down. The animators themselves are not all white dudes. Very down.

But then we come to the characters. All of them are white.

hullabaloo poster
Seriously??

When I pointed this out to Mary Robinette Kowal, one of the voice actors, she pinged the producer to bring up this point. The answer she got was that the team didn’t have time to make changes to the trailer and concept art before the IndieGoGo campaign, but that there would be a “diverse cast.” Mary also suggested that raising this question in the comments on the IndieGoGo page would not be a bad idea.

I agree. But that shouldn’t be the limit to where we raise that question. It needs to go on the Facebook page, mentioned in YouTube comments, brought up via the contact form on the website, and raised wherever you see someone posting about this project.

Because while I do really want to see this succeed, it would be ridiculous to make a steampunk film with only white characters. There’s no justifiable reason for this cast not to be racially diverse. Even if we’re sticking with Victoriana, it would not break the world to make one of the protagonists Indian, Black, or Asian, just to name three obvious choices among many. And let’s not stop there–diversity among secondary and background characters is just as important as it is for the leads. Hullabaloo could be a great opportunity to show what a racially and culturally diverse steampunk world could be like.

So my challenge to you is this: make that happen. Tweet, post on Facebook, leave a comment on the IndieGoGo page, write blog posts about this. Advocate for positive change. The time to do so is now when the project is still in a nascent form.

Show Off Your Steampunk Fashion

Show Off Your Steampunk Fashion

*eyes all the people on her f-list who she knows totally rocks the steampunk clothing and jewelry and whatnot*  All of you click over to Fantasy and show off your fancy, fabulous selves in the stempunk fashion show.  None of you are shy (why else would you be wearing that corset?) and you know you love getting compliments on your clothes. You could be the belle of the virtual ball!

And you folks who don’t have any fashion to show off, go find a friend who does and point them at the site.  I demand a long thread of steampunk finery.  I’m a closet lover of costume porn, what can I say?

Go See Some Theatre

If you live in or near NY, then you should definitely check out the steampunk production of Twelfth Night going on right now.  I wrote it up for Fantasy Magazine earlier this week.  There are pictures, go see!  Though they don’t do the design complete justice.

They’re using a quote from my write up on the production’s web page, and I can’t tell you how much that makes me squee.  I’ve had that happen to me a couple of times when writing formal reviews.  Once for SheFinds, once for TheFix, and now for Fantasy.  It gives me a little bit of lift to know that my words are worthy of pull quotes.

Seeing the play also renewed my enthusiasm for the YA novel I wrote and am revising based on the story.  I’m about to attempt a major overhaul as I make the book part 1 of a trilogy.  Scarier words have never been spoken!