Press Release – Steampunk FAQ Book

Press Release – Steampunk FAQ Book

Celebrating the 10 Year Anniversary of the Beloved AND Bestselling FAQ Series!

Since its successful debut volume, THE FAB FOUR FAQ, the FAQ series has exploded, with over 300,000 books sold and nearly 100 titles in print. The FAQ series has covered dozens of mammoth music artists, from Led Zeppelin to Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd to the Smiths, stretching deep into theater, film, and television, with James Bond, Twin Peaks, Star Wars, and Dr. Who. The series has even jumped into hot pop culture interests, from video games to wrestling, beer, and beyond.

The FAQseries represents a one-stop source of info, history, and minutia on an array of performing arts subjects. Readers not only get the DNA of the artist’s career, or a TV series’ legacy, but droves of obscure facts, entertaining anecdotes, delectable lists, rare photographs and period ephemera, and more. These reader-friendly volumes are presented in a lively, engaging style that invites perusing at any point within the book. Each chapter serves as a freestanding article on any aspect of the story, allowing readers to put down and pick up the book with ease.

In 2018, the FAQ series celebrates its 10th anniversary with four exciting, new titles and a fresh, forward-thinking redesign, including :

  • Steampunk FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the World of Goggles, Airships, and Time Travel by Mike Perschon (11/6/18)

Author: Mike Perschon

Publisher: Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, trade paperback
Release Date: 11/06/2018

ISBN: 9781617136641

$19.99
400 pages

“What is steampunk?” Going beyond the standard default definitions of “Victorian science fiction,” “yesterday’s tomorrow today,” or some other equally vague or limited description, Steampunk FAQ provides a historical exploration of its literary and cinematic origins.

The journey begins with a look at steampunk’s genesis in the novels and short stories of three Californians who hung out a lot with Philip K. Dick, before moving on to the inspirations and antecedents of steampunk. Contrary to what many articles and books say, steampunk’s direct inspiration is arguably far more cinematic than literary, a likely reaction to the many film adaptations, pastiches, and knockoffs of the scientific romances of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. While Verne, Wells, and a host of other Victorian and Edwardian writers have influenced steampunk fiction, cinematic elements from films such as Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) and George Pal’s Time Machine (1960) show up more often as immediate influences on the style we call steampunk.

In offering a celebration of steampunk’s style and cultural aesthetic, Steampunk FAQ also explores its connection to cyberpunk, the world of fashion, comics, and culture around the world.

The FAQ series has covered every corner of pop culture, including:

  • Bands and singers
  • Films, movie stars, and directors
  • TV shows
  • Theater
  • Sports
  • Food and beverage

When you pick up an FAQ book, you are guaranteed to learn something new and unexpected. Music Connection says these books have “filled in more blank spaces than I could ever cover here…a tremendous addition to my collection.” And Goldmine concurs, “even a die-hard fan will learn something.”

For further information about FAQ series, review copies, or to schedule an interview with an FAQ author or the series editors, please contact Jennifer Richards at Over the River Public Relations: 201-242-9637, Jennifer@JRichardspr.com.

Published in: on September 30, 2018 at 3:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Does Pro Wrestling Belong In Steampunk?

An Editorial

By Ashley Lauren Rogers

Before we begin I want to let you know I’ve got an Indie Gogo live for a new stage combat show called SCOWL: Fight For Your Rights. Check out more info at the end of this piece!

As steam shoots from the stage a woman with fiery orange hair, corset, and striped attire enters from Gorilla Position. She is “The Irish Lass-Kicker,” Becky Lynch. Fans scream, many wearing goggles with “Becky Lynch,” painted on the side of them that they purchased from the official WWE shop. Becky Lynch is a professional wrestler, a WWE Superstar, and a former Smackdown Women’s Champion. Lynch has been a part of the WWE roster and instrumental to the “Women’s Revolution,” in 2015 and has been Steampunk since her feud with Sasha Banks a few months prior to that in NXT. She’s a major player currently on the Smackdown roster and she’s Steampunk but that brings up a question which surprisingly has rarely been considered… Is Professional wrestling Steampunk?

We can talk about the visual aesthetic of Lynch, and the antics of Aiden English and his former tag team partner Simon Gotch (now working the independent circuit under the name Simon Grimm) as The Vaudevillains but beyond aesthetics and character, at the core of Pro Wrestling, is it Steampunk? Much like freak shows, and wild west showcases of the past the art of pro wrestling evolved from turn of the century circus and carnival culture. Pro Wrestling as we know it today emerged from a series of grappling bouts by circus strong men who’s matches would be similar to amateur wrestling matches. These strongmen would challenge one another as well as paying customers.

The problem with this style was two-fold: first the organizers couldn’t guarantee the length of the match and amateur wrestling matches tended to be two-to-three hour long affairs but second the organizers couldn’t guarantee their chosen champ wouldn’t get hurt challenging random carnival attendees. Both problems hurt said organizer’s potential paycheck. If his champ were injured he wouldn’t be able to compete thus lost wages and as entertaining as these feets of strength and athleticism were the audience would eventually become bored.

Over time this was improved upon thanks to a number of performers including and mostly thanks to the likes of “The Strangler,” Ed Lewis, Billy Sandow, and Toots Mondt amongst others. By pre-determining the ending of the matches organizers could ensure a better level of safety for their competitors and by instilling time limits the audience would have a sense of the longest time a match could run, and by expanding the repertoire of what styles and maneuvers were allowed within a match (including Grecco Roman, Boxing, and various other martial arts styles) it added a much more visually interesting style for carnival goers to watch, and also being able to work out the finishes of the matches ahead of time optimizing storytelling drama.

While many of the changes, the flash, the long form storytelling are fairly recent (post 1920s) many aspects of the Carnival/Circus culture has never left the business, or at the very least it lasted until the internet age. There’s an attitude that has always existed of maintaining the idea of reality (a term known as Kayfabe). Wrestlers/Superstars for long stretches of time would have to maintain their character outside of the arenas and gymnasiums they’d perform in so as not to drop the veil that this is a legitimate competition.

In WWE superstar Chris Jericho’s Autobiography A Lion’s Tale he discusses the use of “Carnie speak,” amongst wrestlers in order to be able to talk about the business but not tip their hand that said business is predetermined, and in his time working in Germany observing that a common way how the Faces (the good guy in this case) would find themselves tricked by his dastardly Heel (the bad guy) opponent and fined money by the referee. The face would go out to the crowd to raise money in order to pay his fine and continue the match. Backstage the three would split the profits.

Professional wrestling is a style of story-telling is rooted in 19th century history which has been improved upon, changed and evolved with modern understandings but still harkens back to the old-school style and history that shaped it. Always moving forward while maintaining a sense of what it was. That sounds pretty Steampunk to me.

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More about SCOWL: Fight For Your Rights

Support our Indie Gogo and Check out our Twitter @SCOWLFight and Instagram for more updates!

We premiered SCOWL as a concept first at Motor City Steam Con a year ago and have been approved for a full show at The Transgender Theatre Festival at the Brick in Brooklyn.

SCOWL: Fight For Your Rights is an action packed theatrical presentation combining stage combat choreography, acrobatics, and mixed media to create queer and trans inclusive theatrical performance with a sports appeal. Much in the same way streaming shows like GLOW, live theatre like The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity, and even long form storytelling elements from shows like WWE and Lucha Underground.

How far would you go to fight for your rights? To stand up to insurmountable odds? To refuse disrespect? When The Riarchy Corporation bought out the majority shares in SCOWL they instituted rule after rule, seeming to punish those most in need of support. Pushed to the edge it’s up to former SCOWL champion April Rain and a motley crew of trans and nonbinary warriors to defeat the Riarchy Corporation in a best of three competition. If they win Riarchy Corporation owner Pat Riarchy will give up his shares in SCOWL and dissolve the Riarchy corporation. But if she loses, April, and all members of the SCOWL roster will have to present and compete as their sex assigned at birth or leave SCOWL.

Published in: on May 6, 2018 at 9:26 am  Comments (2)  

Interview 110, Lord Bobbins and the Romanian Ruckus author, Sean Patrick Little, Conclusion

Welcome back for the conclusion in our talk with Sean Patrick Little, author of Lord Bobbins and the Romanian Ruckus.

Read Part One here.

Read Part Two here.

Read Part Three here.

 

 

Airship Ambassador: Looking beyond steampunk and writing, what other interests fill your time?

Sean Patrick Little: I have a 13-year-old daughter, so antagonizing her and making her do homework is a big chunk of my day. I play guitar and bass badly (self-taught), so I try to do that occasionally. Other than that, I work. I write. I sleep. That’s my life. I’m not terribly exciting. I don’t get to travel much. I don’t leave my house much.

 

AA: Antagonizing a teenager, sounds dangerous and entertaining, and hopefully there’s some good story fodder in there, too. What other fandoms are you part of?

SPL:  Anything nerdy, really. Big Star Trek guy. Big Star Wars guy. Big D&D guy. I read a lot of fantasy novels. I’m also a progressive rock fan. Total Marillion guy. Love Rush. Love Pink Floyd. I listen to them a lot.

AA: Good list! What is on your to-be read pile right now?

SPL: Currently, I’m sitting on a ton of stuff. I’m trying to get into the Stormlight Archive series from Brandon Sanderson, but it just isn’t clicking for me. I am reading a lot of CJ Box novels. I’m a big Craig Johnson (Walt Longmire series) fan, so the Joe Pickett novels are along a similar vein. I am waiting for the next books from Sebastien de Castell and Alex Bledsoe, too. Bledsoe’s Tufa novels are some of my favorite books of the last ten years. They are instant classics, in my opinion.

My friend, Maddy Hunter, has a new book coming out in her Passport to Peril series, too. She’s a wickedly funny mystery novelist from Madison, Wis. Well worth your time to check her out.

I’ve also been trying to read a lot of steampunk novels, lately. I read Cherie Priest’s books a while back, and I’ve waded through some Gail Carriger. I’m halfway through Robyn Bennis’s The Guns Above right now, too.

 

AA: Someone’s to-be-read list just got longer. Who is an inspiration to you?

SPL: I suppose it’s cheesy to say my dad, but he is. He’s a guy who has been dealt a lot of bad hands in life, but he keeps forging ahead. Outside of my dad, I look at a lot of people who do things outside the mainstream systems—Elon Musk, Robert Rodriguez, Kevin Smith, Guillermo del Toro, Sam Raimi—people who did things their own way because they wanted/needed to. I admire that. I like it when authors who self-published books find success—Andy Weir, for example. Michael J. Sullivan. Marcel Proust. I like people who buck the system and achieve success. Those are my heroes.

 

AA: Plenty of leaders and people with strong visions. What is the best advice you’ve been given?

SPL: One of my college writing professors, Dr. Emilio Degrazia, said, “Tell the truth.” That was basically the culmination of a semester-long creative writing class. He meant that you need to tell the truth about the characters, and the conflict, and the fallout of the conflict, no matter how bad any of it is. Don’t cater your writing to fit other people’s concepts. Tell the truth and stand by it.

Also—writing has NOTHING to do with inspiration. Writing gets done because you put your butt in a seat and your fingers on a keyboard and you grind. That’s it. If you’re not putting in the hours it takes to write, you won’t write. Simple as that. If you want to write, then find the time and plant yourself at that keyboard.

 

AA: Good advice for everyone about the things they want to accomplish. When you do interviews, what is something that you wish you were asked about but haven’t been?

SPL: I don’t do many interviews. I’m very much under the radar. Like…way under the radar. I’m on the ground, undetectable by radar. I suppose the one question I’ve never been asked is “Why do you do it?”  –and the answer is, because I can’t stop. I quit writing all the time (out of frustration, out of sadness, out of feeling like I’ll never “make it”—wherever “it” is), but I always go back. It’s an addiction. A disease. I have stories in me that I want to tell, that I need to tell, so I tell them.

As much as I would like to have a zillion readers, and a dedicated fan base, and get invited to speak at conventions and such—it has nothing to do with why I do what I do. I write, because I must. If you’re writing for any other reason than that, you are doing it wrong.

AA: We are driven to create, to release the energy inside to bring form to the formless. Any final thoughts to share with our readers

SPL: Thanks for reading. Honestly. I cannot stress enough how grateful I am if you take time out of your life to read anything I write, even if you didn’t like it—thank you for reading it. I appreciate it more than you know. So often, writing novels feels like being on a remote island. I’m alone in my head hoping someone sees these stories.

Also, if you read something, if you read anything by any author and you liked it and/or want more of it, PLEASE write a good review for it and post it as many places as you can. You’d be surprised at how many doors open when something gets 50 reviews, or 100 reviews. For authors, a single review can be the difference between a book being put into promotional material and being ignored. Please review books you enjoy. And if you don’t enjoy them, that’s fair. I don’t like every book I read.

However, if you don’t like someone’s work, don’t be a jerk about it. No one likes that sort of person. Stay positive. Spread some positivity in this world. Make someone’s day; don’t ruin someone’s day. Spend your time spreading the word of things you like rather than condemning those you don’t. It’s better for your mental health.

EXTRA POINT: My next book, Long Empty Roads, the sequel to my best-selling post-apocalypse survival After Everyone Died, will be out on Feb. 2, 2018. It should be available in hardcopy and Kindle edition. It will be available for Kindle Unlimited, too—so if you have that, you won’t even have to pay for it.

 

 

Alright readers, get out there and leave reviews for all those books you’ve enjoyed over the years. Authors need our support!

Thanks, Sean, for joining us!   I am definitely looking forward to reading Lord Bobbins and the Dome of Light!

Keep up to date with Sean’s latest news on his Twitter feed or Facebook.

You can support Sean and our community by getting your copy of Lord Bobbins and the Romanian Ruckus here.

Published in: on April 19, 2018 at 6:17 pm  Leave a Comment