Mission Update: September 2010

Last year, I only posted three times in the month of September. Somehow, I figured I could do better than that, despite a busier workload. I'm not sure what the hell I was thinking, tackling proto-steampunk via Verne and Wells (I still love that for a steampunk name: "Dr. Vernon Wells, at your service...") in September and October. I'm far too busy with the start-up of the year to be writing for the blog this month. Next year, I'll write more in the summer when I'm not teaching and save it for September, or I'll simply be taking the month off, or handing the blog over to guest writers.

In addition to being busy with my six-course workload (I only teach - I have no administrative or research duties), I was fortunate enough to get on a few review lists for steampunk books. The upside of this was advance reading copies, sent straight to my office! The downside was...more busy! It's a good busy, but I've had to change October's theme to "New Steampunk," and will finish up my proto-steampunk theme when the smoke clears: I received ARCs of the Steampunk Reloaded anthology, Scott Westerfeld's Behemoth, Arthur Slade's Hunchback Assignments, Tim Aker's The Horns of Ruin, Mike Resnick's The Buntline Special, Mark Hodder's Spring-Heeled Jack, Clay and Susan Griffith's Greyfriar, Cherie Priest's Dreadnought, and Steampunk Prime: A Vintage Steampunk Reader. I'll also be included as a stop on another blog tour for a series called The Grey Griffins by Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis. I'm a busy little scholar with all those books, which is a delight. But I want to be good to the folks who sent them my way and get out my reviews/reflections expeditiously. My apologies for not getting all the way through 20KL this month, and to those looking forward to a Wellsian month. I was too, but there's always next year!

Thanks to those who dropped by for what mostly amounted to a 1/4 of a crash-course in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I was glad to share the lecture slides and information with everyone. Having Arthur Slade's blog-tour coincide with 20KL was perfect, both because The Dark Deeps is pure Verne-pastiche, but also because it gave me a break from posting the big academic ruminations for a few days.

Speaking of Arthur Slade, both Hunchback Assignments and The Dark Deeps are available as audiobooks, so we can add those to the ever-growing list of new steampunk audiobooks, along with Ekaterina Sedia's The Alchemy of Stone, Cherie Priest's Dreadnought (highly recommended, both as book and because Kate Reading, one of my favorite narrators, is reading it), and Cassandra Clare's Clockwork Angel: The Infernal Devices Book I from Audible.com. Fans of steampunk may also enjoy knowing that Neal Stephenson's epic Baroque Cycle is now available unabridged from Audible as well.

I'll be speaking at Pure Speculation, a humble yet cozy SF/F convention held here in Edmonton. Here's my schedule:

Saturday, October 23

2:30pm - 4:00pm. Panelist: Which Book Stays on the Island? A Survivor-style discussion of fiction and voting books off the island.

5:00pm - 6:30pm. Presenter: Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron." A look at the short story as well as a contrast/comparison with the short film version, 2081.
7:30pm - 8:30pm. Panelist: Fiction to DIE for, a discussion of paranormal fiction.

Sunday, October 24.

1:00pm - 2:00pm. Presenter: Steampunk 101
3:00pm - 4:00pm. Presenter: Joe Lansdale's Jonah Hex: The Weirdest Weird West.

Come on out and say hello if you can make it!

And finally, here are the winners of the Arthur Slade giveaway: Taylor and Paul - please send me an email at mikeperschon AT shaw.ca providing me with a mailing address, and I'll get those books off to you!


  1. Hey Mike, so the earliest we'll see the rest of the 2kl crash course will be next year?

  2. Sadly, yes, unless my schedule miraculously clears! My apologies, my friend!


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