Steampunk Hands Around the World

Feb 16th, 2015 | By | Category: Articles, Top Hat Books
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by Tom Brown

Steampunk Hands Around the World is in its second year, uniting Steampunks across the globe. February will be spent sharing ideas and creativity, reaching out to each other to make new friendships and raise awareness of all manner of things.

The hub of all this is airshipambassador. You can also keep up on twitter, with #steampunkhands and #steampunkhands2015 and there’s more information here.

Top Hat author Nimue Brown is part of this glorious insanity. For this year’s event, she and her husband, artist Tom Brown have created a Steamed Pudding. Yes, those are legs, and yes, that is custard. Thoughts on the importance of the pudding can be found on Tom Brown’s blog, The Moth Festival. Tom was also responsible for the cover art for Intelligent Designing for Amateurs, a decidedly Steampunk novel with a lot of silliness, and some sinister mice.

Part of the point of Steampunk Hands Around the World, is to share and promote diversity. Steampunk is not simply re-enactment of white, Victorian colonial privilege. It’s a much more subversive community, celebrating a great many ways of being that your traditional, stiff collared, patriarchal Victorian would have found intolerable. Which is of course, a great deal of fun, as Steampunk India demonstrates.

Nimue is particularly interested in getting the voices of the poor back into the stories. The ragged trousered, scruffy workers of the world, the invisible working women of all races on whose backs wealth has always been willing to stand. The pudding is part of this story, because if you were poor, suet, flour and something to sweeten it was all the pudding luxury a person could hope for. All boiled up in an old shirt sleeve, maybe.

“Will not the string prove indigestible?” ask Beatrix Potter’s pudding making rats.

“It is of no consequence.”

 

That book cover is art. You may be shocked to learn it wasn't the first thing the artist (Tom Brown) ever drew.

That book cover is art. You may be shocked to learn it wasn’t the first thing the artist (Tom Brown) ever drew.

(Nimue realises, retrospectively that writing about herself in third person probably isn’t a good sign. Too much being a third person narrator in a novel, lately, not enough time thinking in her own voice, perhaps…)

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