The Lord Bulwer-Lytton Anti-Defamation League — Why Anybody Who Doesn’t Think Bulwer-Lytton Was a Great Writer Can [EXPLETIVE DELETED]
Featured Guest K. W. Jeter (and friends!) will defend the honor of the much-maligned Lord Bulwer-Lytton. (Well, except for the poetry.) At the end, K. W. will tackle a hot issue for most new writers in his short presentation: Do you want to write and can’t find the time?
K. W. JETER Reading:
Join Featured Guest K. W. Jeter as he reads from Head of Steam, the unpublished spin-off from the series of novels that began with Infernal Devices and continued with Fiendish Schemes. Afterward, hang out with K. W. at Ellington’s Lounge in the Embassy Suites hotel.
Drinks and Signatures with K.W. Jeter
Kick back, have a drink, enjoy some good conversation, and get something signed with featured guest K. W. Jeter.
Steampunk was invented by K.W. Jeter.
Several people on the Internet
Here’s the deal: I didn’t invent steampunk. I did, however, bumble into coining the word ‘steampunk.’ There’s a lot of creativity, written and otherwise, and just general fun that’s going on in regard to Victorian-themed fantasy & science fiction, and if a word I created has become attached as the portmanteau handle to all that, then I’m flattered. But it would still be going on, with or without that label.
K.W. Jeter says that he didn’t invent Steampunk, and we’re not going to argue with him, partly because those who argue with K.W. Jeter tend to find themselves whisked away in the middle of the night by little brass men.
And besides, we wouldn’t want you to judge Mr. Jeter on the basis of his Steampunk work alone. For example, he’s the one who wrote the Star Wars books for that most serpentine of George Lucas’ characters, Boba Fett.
And there’s only one man who was authorized to write the sequels to one of science fiction’s most powerful, difficult, and defining films, Blade Runner – again, that’s K.W. Jeter. And his own creations, such as Kim Oh and Dr. Adder, show not only his brilliant mind, but also a depth of authorial insight which ranks with any of the literary great of the past century, regardless of genre.
That being said…
One of the great challenges of Steampunk creativity – be it literary, film, visual art, costuming, or even its music—lies in the classic Steampunk motifs. Brass, clockworks, goggles, mad scientists, time travel, airships – these are the primary building blocks of pretty much anything in the entire Steampunk world.
In fact, that’s the famed weakness of some attempts to copy the genre—that people will sometimes simply throw those ingredients together, without giving them real purpose or focus; goggles for the sake of goggles, mad scientists as inevitable (and cardboard) villains. They’re fascinating elements, but why are those the most iconic? Why not pipes? Why not Sherlock Holmes’ famous cap, or hansom cabs? You can find those things in our world, but they’re not the real defining symbols. What ties the aforementioned symbols together?
Reading Jeter’s seminal “Mad Victorian Fantasy” (as the original cover called it), “Infernal Devices” (now in a new edition by Angry Robot books, and with a sequel coming out in a few months!) – it’s strange to realize that Steampunk as we know it hadn’t been “invented” yet. Within the pages of that book, published in 1987, you’ll find a story which relies on, breathes life into, builds piece-by-piece on each and every one of those elements. They’re melded into one intricate, gorgeous whole which uses every bit of Victorian setting for maximal impact on a modern audience. I’m pretty certain this is the first time these elements were brought together, anywhere, ever, in the form with which we’ve now become familiar.
Steampunk has no single origin part. One of its glories is the way Steampunk is continually being created and redefined, and has its sources in literally thousands of visions.
But if one were to seek some spot, some single moment which, if it didn’t create the clockwork colossus which is Steampunk’s creative heart, at least wound its gears for the first time – one might not go far wrong in looking at the works of Mr. K.W. Jeter.
In any and all events, we’re delighted, excited, and completely honored to have him with us again!
Mr. Jeter is flying in from Ecuador with his lovely and talented wife, author and editor Geri Jeter.
We’re looking forward to welcoming them to the East Coast and to the Mad SemiVictorian Fantasy which is The World’s Fair!