May 15, 2010

Mission Update: Full Steam Ahead

Sorry for dropping the blog for the past two weeks: I was up to my eyeballs in teaching a Spring Session, deciding on the reading list for my Science Fiction course in the fall, moderating the Great Steampunk Debate, and writing "Steampunk: Technofantasy in a Neo-Victorian Retrofuture" for that anthology of essays on Fairy Tale and Fantasy. It's interesting just how much synergy occurred from moderating the Debate and writing this chapter - things we were debating on the forum kept driving my writing. There was a lot to react to, and as I tell my students, when you react to a topic, you'll write on it easier.

At any rate, the chapter is off to the editors, and while it will return in the next few weeks for revision, I won't be teaching Spring Session when it arrives.

From May 21 until the end of June, I'm without regular gainful employment. That's obviously a bad thing, but I'm finding the silver lining in the time I'll have to catch up on posting about books I read last fall and this past winter, as well as being able to work on my candidacy work for my PhD. I spent the year focusing on publications, but now I need to get my papers in before fall, so I can focus on teaching during the school year without the paper deadlines hanging over my head.

If all goes according to plan, I'll be at "All But Dissertation" status by the end of the summer. To that end, I'm not taking on any publications until I get the papers done. I have an article I want to write for Chris Garcia's Journey Planet on the relationship between Larklight and C.S. Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet.

Because the blog continues to prove invaluable to my research, I'm going to push hard to get caught up before July, so I can deliver the promised "Canuck Steampunk month." To that end, I'm going to tell you my plan, and hope you bug/encourage me to get it done. Here's the hopelessly optimistic schedule for the next month or so here at Steampunk Scholar:

May 21: Report on The Nova Albion Steampunk Exhibition
May 25: Howl's Moving Castle
May 26: Zeppelins West
May 27: Dinotopia: The World Beneath
May 28: The Alchemy of Stone
May 30: Larklight
June 02: Mortal Engines
June 04: The Dream of Perpetual Motion
June 07: Dungeons and Dickens Part 2
June 09: Dungeons and Dickens Part 3
June 11: The List of 7
June 14: Greg Broadmore's Rayguns
June 16: Jonah Hex and Weird West steampunk
June 18: The Court of the Air
June 21: Retribution Falls
June 23: Napoleon Concerto
June 25: Full Steam Ahead
June 28: El Sombra
June 30: Mission Update

Hence the new website photo, "Full Steam Ahead," with me next to that useful little engine, Thomas. Here's hoping we can go "faster than fast" to reach the goal of getting "back on track!" Okay, enough train puns and Thomas quotes. See you next Friday.

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