Signal-boost: Steampunk World Anthology for Multicultural Steampunk -
The Kickstarter just launched, and we need your support to make this happen! Featuring a diverse range of professional, award-winning artists, writers, and scholars of speculative fiction,
This Steampunk World project looks great.
As may be obvious by the lack of updating I am on hiatus and will remain on hiatus until January. I’m working on deadline and am OFF-LINE except to check email.
Feel free to email me or leave a comment on this site (here or on another post) if you have something to say! I am genuinely happy to hear from readers, seriously. At the moment I need to stay away from the timesink of on-line however in order to get two major projects completed.
Blogging should resume in January 2014 with answers to the wonderful questions I was asked back in the Cold Steel Giveaway of May 2013. I haven’t forgotten them!
Meanwhile, in other news, COLD STEEL is a finalist for the RT Award for Best Fantasy Novel of 2013 (together with novels by Paul Cornell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Stella Gemmell, and E.C. Blake). The contenders answer two questions here on their favorite fantasy novel of 2013 and how they think the field is changing.
As always, thank you for reading.
How many male novelists does it take to change a lightbulb: SFF edition -
Inspired by Mallory Orburg’s wonderful Male Novelist Jokes.
Q: How many male SFF writers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: The buxom young barmaid winked at him as she leaned over the bartop, her full breasts brushing the wood in a none-too-subtle metaphor for touching his penis,…
Yes, I’ve read all those books.
This is pretty fabulous.
nomorewaterthefirenexttime asked: How do you account for the fact that PoC didn't exist in medieval times because whiteness wasn't a thing and the concept as we know it was also not a thing? I really enjoy this blog and its purpose. I like that when people ignorantly cry "but these can't be in the movie because they weren't historically there!" this blog serves as a counterargument. However, it actually does a disservice to view the past through this lens of "whiteness" and "PoC." The premise is that "whiteness" was always
a thing, and that’s a racist myth. I’m just wondering if you’ve considered this, and how you account for it? Have you ever considered calling it something besides Medieval “PoC”?
I guess what I’m not getting here are two things. The first, why you think that racial categories and racism today don’t affect how we view, explore, experience, and teach the past, especially visual evidence of the past. The second, why you think that I haven’t previously addressed the fluidity of racial categories as they’ve changed through time, as well as how they change via geography.
In fact, I wrote a rather long piece and an additional short piece on this within the last 8 days. Which begs a third question: Why are you sending me multiple asks demanding I “account for” things I’ve addressed repeatedly and recently, as well as many, many other times during the months this blog has been in existence?
I’ve received more demands that I justify or explain my blog’s title for multiple reasons, but I think the underlying cause of these demands is really the same. To most Americans, the terms “medieval” and “people of color” just do not go together. One is loaded with associations of knights and kings and queens and ubiquitously white media (in the American consciousness at least), and the other is a modern term created by the people it describes to imply solidarity against systematic, institutional racism. It just bothers people, which is why I use it.
This is why I differentiate what I’m doing here as historiography, a study of how history is made, how it is taught, and why we know what we think we know. History as a discipline often dons the robe of objectivity, as if the people who produce it do not exist, as if they are shadowy entities separate from society, as if which materials are presented and how they are interpreted have no effect on our perceptions.
The dissonance between “medieval” and “people of color” is the introduction, and then the evidence presented here shines a glaring light on the dissonance itself in order for us to see it more clearly and ask, why is it there? Who put it there? What purpose does it serve?
Why is every post on a blog called “historicalfashion” since 2009, only European Fashion?
Why do we have to go to non-westernhistoricalfashion for “everyone else”?
Blogging didn’t create this dynamic, and it’s disingenuous to suggest it did. “Default” and “Other” are categories created by culture. A colorblind view of history that ignores the present and separates us from it does a disservice to everyone and fossilizes our ideas of what is true. Pretending we can view history from the perspective of those who lived it, free of the trappings of our own culture, is an illusion.
Why medievalpoc is one of the few sites these days I make sure to read regularly (I’m on deadline and don’t have a lot of time). Always valuable. Always to the point. Historiography is what we make every day when we talk about who we are and where we came from.
ORBIS: The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World -
Spanning one-ninth of the earth’s circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents.
Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity.
For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
Taking account of seasonal variation and accommodating a wide range of modes and means of transport, ORBIS reveals the true shape of the Roman world and provides a unique resource for our understanding of premodern history.
Not gonna lie, this is kind of amazing.
Basically, you can plan a trip from Rome to Alexandria, and get an estimate of journey time, expense of trip, the supplies you’ll need….let’s just say it’s better than Oregon Trail:
Obviously this is the first thing I’m reblogging. No explanation required.
The first thing reblogged by Ann Aguirre, YA & SFF author extraordinaire. So I thought I would celebrate her arrival on tumblr by also reblogging it.
NO OTHER REASON
Lady Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies (photographed-Camille Silvy,1862) born into a royal West African dynasty, and orphaned in 1848, when five years old, when her parents were killed in a slave-hunting war. In 1850, Sarah was taken to England and presented to Queen Victoria, a “gift” from the King of Dahomey. She became the “Queen’s Goddaughter” and a celebrity known for her extraordinary intelligence. She spent her life between the British royal household and in Africa until her death in 1880.
Sarah Rees Brennan and Malinda Lo.
Yup, yup, yup.
This. Two great posts.
At long last the PDF version of “The Secret Journal of Beatrice Hassi Barahal” is available, for $3.50. The print version is temporarily out of stock (more will be coming in).
You can order/download at Crab Tank right at this link here.
Feel free to signal boost. Thanks.
So, thoughts on Cold Fire, characters, and the interplay of fire magic and cold magic within the Spiritwalker Trilogy. Spoilers abound after the cut; tread with caution. (Trigger warning for discussion of rape by inability to give consent [even if the character in question consented, she was drunk])
More excellent discussion of magic in the Spiritwalker universe. With smart reviews like this I don’t really have to write that long and complicated post on the physics of magic … although eventually I will.