This has been a long time coming and I am actually a little bit confused about why it did not happen earlier, but here it is: I have the great pleasure of welcoming my favourite contemporary author, Lavie Tidhar, for an interview and chat about a lot of things in my podcast.
Both novels are mentioned in the podcast, as well as their respective genesis. Other topics of the interview are: A most mysterious project (only hinted at), the difficulties of publishing novels with controversial plots, and how the reception of Lavie’s works differ from country to country.
Just have a listen yourselves!
Photographs by Kevin Nixon. (c) Future Publishing 2013,
A few weeks back I already posted the trailer of the graphic novel series Rayven Choi, featuring the eponymous super heroine who is out to hunt the people who killed her parents. Sounds a bit like Batman, but it is not. Obviously, the hero is a lady and Rayven Choi is also not a billionaire but poor and not least of all, she is black.
So we have a graphic novel featuring a poor black super heroine which is something I have not seen in comics at all. Luckily, after featuring Rayven Choi I was contacted by the author of Rayven Choi and director of the trailer I featured, Shequeta Smith, and she offered to be a guest on my podcast.
I of course took the opportunity, and as you can hear in the podcast above, we had a really fun chat and I am hoping we get to meet during the planned European tour.
Also, hee is the review of the grahic novel which I begin by featuring some of the pages of the first book in the series:
As you can see, the artwork is top-notch, it is also the only thing that is not quite to my taste. I am a fan of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman series and prefer the style used in this series and its spin-offs. Still, the artwork is dynamic, realistic and really helps carry the feel of the story along. The story itself is an action-packed mix of spy-thriller, murder mystery, and also enough basic real-life troubles, something you do not find often in superhero comics, which makes Rayven Choi really relatable to as a heroine. Bonus: Since Rayven Choi is from the US but grows up in South Korea, there is a strong multi-cultural flavour to it, which adds to the overall quality of the reading experience.
All in all, after finishing the first book, I am also getting al the other five in the series.
Nine out of ten bullets with vengeance written on them.
Noor Tagouri is one of the most high-profile young people in the USA today. She is a journalist, an activist, a speaker and many other things and she was recently involved in a controversy (of sorts) because she is the first hijab-wearing woman to give an interview in Playboy. Something I only found out after I looked her up.
My first contact with Noor Tagouri was her TEDx talk (because I am subscribed to the Youtube channel):
And since I have interviewed two other Muslim ladies here on the blog who break the stereotypes of what most westeners think of as Muslim women, I thought I get in touch with her and inquiere if she would be interested in an interview here on Metapunk.
Well, when I did my research, I got the sinking feeling that this was most likely not going to work out because Ms Tagouri has an insanely busy schedule and has most likely higher-profile interviews to give and more important things to do…
I was wrong. Noor Tagouri readily agreed to give me an interview and it is with great pleasure and a certain amount of bewilderment I present it to you now:
Please introduce yourselves, tell us something about yourselves (this can be as lengthy as you like. I operate out of Europe and I assume not all of my readers know who you are)
You have interviewed a modern witch in one of your videos for Newsy? What is your opinion on witchcraft/Wicca? Have you (like so many) dabbled in the occult yourself (I.e used a Ouija board or something)?
Yes! It was SUCH a fun story. I’ve always been so fascinated by witches, I’d read so much about them, do middle school projects on Salem. A few years ago, one of my supporters reached out and said she was Wicca and wears the hijab because it empowers her and I was so amazed, so I thought it would be awesome to do a story pretty much debunking the myths of witches.
You have been visiting a number Muslim restaurant owners across the USA in the course of your reporting for newsy. I am a big fan of Turkish cuisine myself and regularly overindulge in it. If you could mix the perfect dinner with dishes from all over the world, what would it be composed of?
Yeah! Well, that wasn’t really Muslim restaurants, my latest was Italian, and currently working on the Thanksgiving season finale. It’s for our series Americanize Me, talking about how food has immigrated to the US. The perfect dinner dishes….hmm…Cheesey bread or „pida“ from Turkey, Gnocchi from Italy, Tagine from Morocco, and eggplant from Afghanistan.
What was the cutest thing a non-muslim child ever asked/exclaimed concerning your hijab? (an internet- friend of mine regularly gets called a Ninja by children, because she also prefers black)
Hmm, I spoke at a Christian prep school the other week, and one of the classes I spoke at were 5th graders, and we talked about self love, confidence, and what they want to be when they grow up, and I think the coolest thing was they didn’t ask about the hijab at all, not because they were afraid to, but because I could tell they were seeing past it and connecting with me and being so vulnerable.
Muslims in the USA are…
expressive, independent, empowered, badass.
Has the situation changed significantly in the last 10 years, do you get more hate, weird looks etc?
I only started wearing hijab 6 years ago. i don’t really get hate except online, weird looks don’t phase me, harassment only happens once in a while.
Where there any odd things you experienced when you grew up, clueless comments and such?
I was insecure about my hair and eye color bc my school was predominately white, blonde, colored eyes.
If you had not gone for news anchor, what other dream would you haver pursued?
Lawyer or fashion designer
And when you become a news anchor, which network would you prefer?
tbh, i don’t want to be a network anchor, I’d rather host my own doc tv series. like longer versions of my newsy stories.
What other sectors would you love to see more hijabi wearing women and/or Muslim men being represented in?
film, sports, journalism
How much time do you spend on the road?
I’m usually traveling 1-3 times a week.
You stated in your TEDx talk you believe in the Law of Attraction, are there any other similar things you believe in (such as fate, Karma)?
„tawakul“ which is the arabic phrase for full trust in God and that He has your best interest when you seek guidance in him and have faith.
Oh! I have not heard that one before. Got to look into it now.
And talking of the TEDx Talk; How did that one come about? Did you apply, were you invited?
I was invited!
As a famous person on the web, I suspect you get a noticable amount of hatemail. Has that increased with the Trump candidacy?
Only on social media, but i don’t read any of it.
Have you ever had the chance to meet Malala Yousafzai?
I’ve seen her speak a few times, and someone from her team wanted us to have lunch but i was overseas at the time! :/ I’d love to meet her.
What projects do you have on your roadmap for 2017 (if you actually want to tell about them)?
Can’t share yet, but they’re going to be AMAZING!!!! x
Thank you so much and to wrap things up, this is the interview with the witch:
Dale Rowles is one of my oldest friends in the Steampunk scene. We first got in touch, oh, I guess it must have been in 2010 or earlier, it was concerning his band BB Black Dog, and I have done a review and several promos for them and related events over the years.
Last February, Dale and me actually met by pure chance in Bochum and had a chat and that’s when it dawned on me that I never got around to actually doing an interview with him, and now it again took the better part of a yoear to get back to him about it. Nevertheless, we finally managed and it is with great pleassure, I present this interview with Dale Rowles:
How long have you been making music?
I got my first Guitar on my 5th Birthday, the Day Jimi Hendrix Died,
I had Classical Lessons till about age 8 which I hated, and gave it up as soon as I had the Courage to tell my Parents, around the age of 12 I discovered Rock, and started again, so I suppose, from around age 12.
How many instruments do you play professionally?
Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, and Voice, My fist love is The Bass, and still Listen to Geddy Lee, Geezer Butler, Jack Bruce, and Jah Wobble who pretty much tought me bass via their records in My Bedroom.
When did BB Black Dog get started?
It started by accident, A German friend, one of the original members of German def Metal Band „Incubator“ (Bass), was given some studio time by another Michael (Guitar) and asked me to make some songs with him using 2 bass’s and drums, Just for a laugh, we wrote and recorded 6 songs in 3 Days, which ended up on Myownmusic.de, people liked them, so we recorded more and booked a Tour, it just evolved.
In how many bands have you played before BB Black Dog?
Oh too Many to count, I did a lot of session work for years mostly on Bass and as a backing singer to pay the bills. and as a teenager, it seemed we made 2 Bands A year, I also sang with a Choir in my 30’s mostly with Orchestra’s, but sometimes with brass Bands doing Seasonal concerts, Still get hairs rising on My Neck, when i hear Handels Messiah, from the time I toured it with a full orchestra.
You also can be found as a musician in other bands like Dark Design. How many other bands do you collaborate with?
I’m currently working with
The Dark Design,
Daniel Malheur with the songbook of Charles T Goodhill,
Hawkwind spinoff, Captian Lockheed and the Starfighters,
A new BB BlackDog Project involving the Copperfield Ensemble,
Professor Elemental for a joint Single release,
I Also work with Red Ruff as BB BlackDog’s Backing singers Live, and Lord Montague Jacques Fromage III
Currently touring a lot as an Acoustic Solo performer. while I find another Stable BB BlackDog Lineup.
Personally, I think BB Black Dog sounds a lot like Hawkwind. Is that deliberate, coincidental, or something else?
Influences are bound to be in there, and Hawkwind is definitely one, I know a lot of the surviving members of the original band (Gilman: Oh wow, I’m impressed!) and grew up listening to them, But there’s also Cream, BlackSabbath, English Psychedelic, and Space rock in General, Kraughtrock, (Listened to a lot of the original Jane and Birth Control when i was younger) and later Desert Rock and Funk.
When did you discover Steampunk?
It discovered us really, from 2007, we were playing Mostly Rock and Metal Clubs, as No One knew where to put us, I wore a dinner Jacket on Stage, Stefan an American Indian tracker kind of affair, and Axel Pink Cowboy outfit with Boa’s
Around 2009 We were asked if we were a steampunk Band, and the more we found out about it the more we answered Yes
What means Steampunk to you?
A Science Fiction Vision of a Victorian Future, a rebellion against the throwaway society where everything is cheap and poorly built, a resurgence of Moral values, Friendship, freedom, creative License, individuality, a DIY Ethic and a good excuse to dress up and have a Party.
From what I can tell, you get around a lot in Europe, how many concerts do you play a year?
Think the most I’ve done is over 120 in a Year, but currently, between 80 and 100, plus some for Fun 🙂 In the early Days I came to Germany more, as 2 members were German and living there, I think 38 ryanair flights was my record, But a little less nowadays, Just got back from My 3rd Trip this year, a small tour with Daniel Malheur, 2 Berlin, Hamburg, Keil, Lubeck finishing in Arnhem at the Emporium Vernesque steampunk event.
Are you on the road whenever you can? Do you prefer life on tour?
I love visiting new Cities, meeting new people and I feel most relaxed on Stage, but at the same time, I value my Home in The Derbyshire Hills, where its peacefull, Green and Quiet, the two go together for me, and after too long of One I crave the other.
When I’m at home we run an acoustic night every monday in the Local Pub, which has its own brewery, and I travel around a lot to other similar nights just for fun, so All good really, I only get down when I can’t play 🙂
What are the next steps for BB Black Dog, is there maybe another album on the horizon?
We don’t currently have a stable lineup, so only doing a limited amount of Big Shows Live, We Should be at Leipzig WGT and a few Bigger Festivals.
Our 3rd Album is ready for release but on the Back Burner, and Albums 4 plus 5 are recorded and Mixed. The next release may be something quite different though, as a Story Based live and studio one off project, watch this space.
I certainly will! What other projects do you have going on at the moment?
We’re Building the Steampunk Records Roster up, Currently up to 14 Acts, with the view to cross promoting and booking each other, Although I run it with my Partner Karin, its more of a Co-Op for the benefit of All the Acts and steampunk in General www.steampunkrecords.com and the Phoenix Alternative Festival, promoting Tolerance, freedom and raising money for Charity’s
Jay Hadland, Karin and myself, have also taken over running quite a few Steampunk events in The UK, as well as helping out with a few more. I used to run about 8 a year plus a lot of steampunk Gigs, so have over 40 in total as organizer under my Belt, There are so Many more cropping up now, that we don’t run so many ourselves, but help others more. and events are getting so much better now, A whole experience, doesn’t seem that long ago, everyone was Happy if we could get 20 people in Costume to a gig
I’ve Always got too many things to do for the time I have, but its a good life and we have a lot of friends, and Fun.
Heavy Metal is a global phenomenon, truly global. Alas, the majority of bands most metalheads know about are from Europe and North America, with Sepultura from Brazil and the odd Japanese act thrown in for flavour. It does not end there, not by far. I guess a few of you will be surprized that there are Metal bands in the Muslim world, and excellent ones, really exellent ones. Metal is prevalent enough that Algeria recently hosted a Heavy Metal Festival, and after reading the article in the Guardian, I got in touch with one of the bands which played at the festival, TRAXXX. They are a native Algerian Death Metal band with a lot of talent on their side and they agreed to give me an interview. I hope this interview gives them some exposure, so please share it liberally on the web.
Please introduce yourselves, tell us something about yourselves
Hi we’re TRAXXX a death melodic metal band based in Algeria, the band founded the bass/vocal and the drum players (Omar and Mustafa).
Lead guitar (Yanis)
Second guitar & Darbouka percussions (Sherif)
Yes of courses everyone in the current lineup was in band before they joined Traxxx
How big is the heavy metal scene in Algeria?
Metal appeared in the 90’s in the black decade of Algeria bands are receiving more exposure now, as a result of their proximity to Europe. Rock and metal peaked in the 90s, it seems. This came at a time when Algerians were searching for a distraction from the burdens that came with their lives during that tumultuous decade.
“In the early days, we were only few metal heads and it was really difficult to get music but now with Internet everything is much easier.
You recently played at Fest 213, how big of an event was that?
We can say it was the real professional Metal Fest they did in Algeria. Not because we participated, because the organizer was very professional, even with few means they had.
They had brought two excellent bands (ARKAN, ACYL) from France and they did a great show. We didn’t have a metal fest since the last concert of Myrath in 2012.
The conservatives in Algeria do not like Heavy Metal very much (just like in Europe) have you personally encountered any hostility?
I don’t think so, TRAXXX has not encountered any hatred or something like that, we just don’t have, but it is still hard, since we do not have many organizers for events or labels who promote our kind of music.
It is so hard because we do not have the base for Metal here in Algeria we have to buy our instrument from abroad, mastering and mixing our materials from the outside. That is why the movement is going forward only slowly.
What inspires your music, what are the lyrics about?
Our lyrics are about a lot of topics: Psychology, politics, emotions, but mainly about the history of our country, Algeria.
What musicians inspire you?
Our music is inspired by many bands and everyone of us has their own inspiration, too: Metallica, Dio, Iron maiden, Opeth, and many Algerian and middle eastern traditional music. We are trying to mix metal with our traditional instruments.
When did you discover Heavy Metal?
Mostly when we was a teenagers between 12-14 years of age.
Have you already released an EP or album?
Yes did, and we’re working for An album which called Legacy of Chaos.
Following up on the book feature of E.C. Jarvis‘ debut Steampunk novel The Machine (see below) I also had the opportunity to interview E.C., which was quite a pleasure. I also found it highly interesting we both have a completely boring, mundane and uncreative job in our respective background.
But now, without further ado, here is the interview:
Please give us a quick introduction about yourself
I am a grumpy old man trapped in an English woman’s body. I dislike most things, driving, other people driving, queues in shops, other people in queues in shops… you know what? I could be here all day doing a list, let’s just say the list of things that don’t make me angry on a frequent basis is very short and mostly includes my husband and four year old daughter, and our hilariously stupid cat.
As George Bush Jr once said, “I have opinions, strong opinions – but – I don’t always agree with them.” I’m not a fan of the man but this quote is so profoundly wonderful in a way I’m sure he has no concept of.
From what I gathered, The Machine is your first foray into steampunk, is that correct? (if not, what was it?)
Yes it is. I saw a prompt for a short story on a writing website that required the story to be steampunk. I had no idea what it was or what I was getting myself into, but after some research I found myself hooked.
What other genres have you covered with your works?
Let’s say most of my writing is fantasy. So within that you have sci-fi, steampunk (obviously), epic fantasy, and erotica, all of which I have written/am writing.
What got you interested in steampunk?
A fantasy world with airships, machines, and an impeccable dress code? What’s not to love? I know that a lot of steampunk stories are written as an alternative history, but I feel the genre has so much more scope. It’s a very divisive genre in some places, there seems to be some contention as to what is, and what isn’t steampunk, but I ignored the fussy people and just wrote the story as it felt right. I don’t see the point in worrying yourself so much over matching someone else’s definition of the aesthetic. If you try and enclose a genre into a tight box then you block out a world of possibility and who wants to do that?
Is there something you find particularly appealing in the genre?
I like that it has a great fan-base. The cosplayers, the readers and writers, it’s all there, a plethora of inspiration and complete commitment to the style. Whomever calls steampunk lovers by any derisive name, I shall happily punch in the cog pocket, there is nothing wrong with having passion for a subject and steampunk people are nothing if not passionate.
You are in accountancy as your day job, are you planning on getting rid of that dayjob for good one day? I know, this is a nosy question, but we are sort of in the same boat. I used to be a bank clerk…
Totally. It pays the bills, but it’s only fulfilling in that I have an odd affinity for excel spreadsheets (I’m the goddess of excel), aside from that I have no love for the job. If I could spend all day every day writing, living inside my own head and tapping out those weird imaginings onto the page AND have that pay the bills, I’d be one very happy lady. It’s that or turn to drink and live in a box etching wobbly musings on the walls of my box house in crayon.
How prolific are you as a writer?
Getting to be. It’s tough when you work full time, have a family and life just gets in the way. I have written two full novels (and two half novels) this year, so I think that’s pretty good going. Like anything, the more you do it the easier it gets, it’s becoming a habit.
Where do you get your inspirations from?
I have a small imaginary friend called Dranos who whispers in my ear at 8.23 am every day… Or, you know, the usual, movies, books, life. I daydream a lot and I also practice lucid dreaming so stuff just pops into my head, floating around, usually when I’m nowhere near a computer or writing apparatus. – my muse probably thinks it’s hysterical to taunt me so.
Are there any other settings/genres you wish to explore in the future and are there any other novels, short stories or just fragments of ideas you are working on at the moment?
I have an erotica novel lined up after book three of this series is done, then I’m onto sci-fi. Also there’s a YA fantasy rattling around in the back of my brain somewhere.
What are your plans concerning future projects
Write. Publish. Sell. Success. Repeat.
Thank you, E.C, it has been a pleasure. I hope you will rather sooner than later be able to get out of accountancy altogether and be a full-time writer.
Following up on the review of The SEA is Ours (see below), I got in touch with the curators of the anthology, Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng, and asked them if they would be willing to give me an interview. They were happy to and I am delighted to present the interview here, now.
Joyce is a writer mostly and more intrigued by the aesthetic of steampunk.
Jaymee is primarily a writer and a critic. She writes a postcolonial steampunk blog that picks apart representations of race and racism in steampunk work, and offer up questions to consider when ‘doing’ non-Euro steampunk. She also used to run a monthly interview series of steampunks of color, and travelled the convention circuit over North America to present on multicultural steampunk. She writes steampunk short stories, and a few of them are set in an alternate-history Malayan Straits that was never colonized by the British. In 2012, she co-edited The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter: A Steampunk’s Shakespeare Anthology for Doctor Fantastique Books.
How prominent is steampunk in Southeast Asia?
It’s a growing trend. In Singapore, you can see people in steampunk costumes during conventions. In Malaysia, there are pockets of fans here and there interested in the concept of steampunk and how to do it. There is a Singaporean steampunk anthology, and sporadically we get steampunk stories from the Philippines, like Paolo Chikiamco’s “On Wooden Wings” and Kate Osias’ “The Unmaking of the Cuadro Amoroso” (which we have reprinted).
How long did it take to get The SEA Is Ours going (from the initial idea to the final anthology)?
We were tossing ideas about starting an anthology or a publication for SEA people by SEA people. We were definitely kicking the idea around as early as 2012, and put the idea on the backburner. Rosarium got in touch in 2014, and we ran a call for submissions from February to June 2014. We edited and edited until early 2015, when we commissioned artists to draw illustrations.
How did you find the authors?
We had a list of people we sent the call for submissions to and personally invited them to submit. These are folks from all over the world—science fiction writers always find each other somehow. They then forwarded it to people they knew. We also had a general call for submissions page, on the publisher’s website, on Tumblr, and on our blogs. But the bulk of the work in finding the authors really depends on having made friends in the various Southeast Asian SFF communities we could think of reaching, and communicating clearly our vision for a diverse anthology that is Southeast Asian-centric. Rose Lemberg has an important post on how to encourage diversity in submission slush piles: http://roselemberg.net/?p=830
Sorry, that this is such a loaded question, it is not intended to be: Do you think, European/North American Steampunk literature engages in “glossy colonialism”, i.e. they focus on the glory parts of that era for the usual countries (the colonial powers including the US) while glossing over all the horrors that happened?
No worries. We have to confront the racism embedded within steampunk itself and that it stems from – you guess it – colonialism. Indeed, colonialism might be flashy, shiny and full of gear bits, but it is true that Eurocentric Steampunk focuses on the glory parts. Most of the literature takes the pov/perspective of the colonizer. Of course, if you are the victor, you write the history. The voices of the colonized have been swept aside and even erased altogether.
Certainly there are books out there which do so uncritically, and many books which attempt to problematize the colonialism but still don’t push it all the way. There are also books out there which focus on the horrific parts of colonialism for sheer shock value too, in order to seem profound (also because the suffering of the colonized is considered entertainment, still). You will find books which gloss over the horrors of colonialism because their characters simply aren’t in a place to witness them. You will find books which resist the urge to glorify colonialism, but still indulge in a decadent impression of the era.
What has the feedback been like so far?
There seems to be a warm reception (and a great need for) to the anthology itself. Perhaps people want different perspectives now and with the cry for diversity, filling a large gap. Thus, so far, pretty good.
We have some very happy reviews on GoodReads (and even the 1-star review is very telling about the success of the book). People are really excited about the anthology. We even got a Starred Review on Publishers Weekly, which is apparently a very big deal! People from all over the world have tweeted or wrote us in support.
Did you encounter any racism from the Steampunk scene so far in response to the anthology?
None so far, regarding racism from the steampunk scene. Steampunks in general are very supportive, and those who aren’t know how to mind their own business!
Are there any follow-up anthologies planned or already in the works?
We’ll see! We didn’t get stories from/about half the Southeast Asian countries, so we are definitely interested in having another volume with wider range.
Thank you very much for your time, it has been an hour and a pleasure and I hope there will be another anthology set in South East Asia.
So the other day, yet another æthermail came in asking if I would like to feature a dystopian cyberpunk short film called The Art of Human Salvage. I had not heard of it before but it sounded interesting, so I had a look.
Oh my Cthulhu was I in for a surprise. The short subject is not only one fantastic piece of a cyberpunk, it also features none other than Edward James Olmos, a.k.a. Admiral Adama!
Well, now I was interested, and I also got an interview with the creative mind behind it all, Mr. Dempsey Tillman. Please enjoy the interview and the short film:
Please give us a quick introduction about yourself and the project „The Art of Human Salvage“
I’m Dempsey Tillman the director of the scifi short film „The Art of Human Salvage“ starring Edward James Olmos, Jamie Walters and Matthew Boylan. The short film is based on the feature screenplay „The Art Of Human Salvage“ written by Ted Dewberry. The feature screenplay was a finalist in the 2011 SHRIEKFEST film festival. Ted and I collaborated to develop a short PROOF OF CONCEPT film that we could use to help raise the budget necessary to shoot the feature film. „The Art Of Human Salvage“ like my previous short film titled „Collector“ can be found on Youtube and Vimeo.
Where can we find you on the web? And where can we find the film and related websites ?
You can find us on the web at www.facebook.com/TheArtOfHumanSalvage. There are fun facts, links to the film, behind the scenes pictures and plenty of fun trivia about the film on our site.
Have you done any other projects that we can find on the web?
My previous short film which was a supernatural thriller starring the late Brad Renfro (Apt Pupil, Bully, The Client) won a bunch of film festivals and can be seen on Vimeo at this link: https://vimeo.com/134301104.
What were your inspirations (movie, literature etc) for „The Art of Human Salvage“?
Films like Ridley Scott’s „Bladerunner“, Alfonso Cuaron’s „Children of Men“ and Luc Besson’s „The 5th Element“ inspired the visuals behind our film. A lot of filmmakers talk about how they only had so little money to make their film but I think having such a shoestring budget forces you to be super creative. It forces you to find a way to get the look you want for your film. A look that sometimes connects better with your audience. A look that comes from being grounded and organic.
How long did it take to realize the project from the first idea to the final short film?
After reading the feature screenplay I had all these ideas zooming around in my head. But I knew that to make a good short film I had to focus these wonderful images into something that could work for a short film. Something that could grasp and hold an audience for 10 minutes and also be something that people would say „wow, I want to see more“. Coming up with something like that took a little time but working with Ted, the writer, we were able to hammer it out on paper within a few weeks.
How did you manage to get Edward James Olmos involved? (I am impressed and in awe!)
Yes, we had Academy Award nominated actor Edward James Olmos in our film. He was amazing. How I got him to be in the film was amazing in itself. Let’s just say, I’m a Rubix cube master to some and he was one of my pupils. I can solve a cube in about 1:30 seconds. I taught Edward and Cameron Diaz at the same time. I made a deal with them both that I’d teach them, if they remembered my name so when I contacted them in the future they would read one of my scripts. The rest is history from there.
Is the movie all funded by you or did you have some sponsors?
We had six producer / investors on the short film. They believed in the project at the even at the short film level. It was fully financed by them. They made is possible and that’s why this was a success.
Are there any plans for a follow up short movie or a full-fledged feature film? If so, are you considering crowd funding to finance the project (I would love to help spreading the word)?
We are working hard to get the feature film funded. It’s a great script. We’ve got an Academy Award nominated actor interested in the project. It’s scifi! We are looking for an investor who wants to make a movie. Crowdfunding is definitely an option, too. So if you know anyone, send them our way.
Have you got any other (more or less related) future project you would like to tell us about?
Yes, I have several other projects that I’m developing besides the „The Art Of Human Salvage“ feature film. A supernatural thriller called „The Blade“. It’s basically Constantine meets Jacob’s Ladder. It’s really exciting project. And Ted Dewberry, the writer of „The Art of Human Salvage“, and few of the other producers of the short and I are developing a ALIEN CONSPIRACY project.
Thank you so much for your time, it has been a pleasure!
Last year, a photo of a lady in an indian/bollywood Steampunk cosplay costume made a significant splash in the scene:
I had plans to find the lady in the picture for a long time and ask her for an interview, but this endeavour dropped to the back of my mind for a while. It was last week, when another she shared another image of hers in one of the Steampunk groups on Facebook, and this reminded me of my initial plan.
I have since contacted Ariel and she quickly responded and agreed to my interview request, so it is my pleasure I can present the interview here now:
Please give us a quick introduction about yourself.
My name is Ariel, also know as MakeupSiren. I am a makeup artist by day, chef by night, and cosplayer 24/7. I live to be Creative.
From the things I have picked up about you around your Indian Steampunk images you are a cosplayer, when did you start cosplaying?
I started cosplaying in 2011. I went to my first convention in 2010 and was amazed by all the costume. I told my self the next time I go to a con I will be in full costume as well.
Do you have a favorite charcter/series/film you cosplay? If so, what is the appeal of that one?
Steampunk has always been my first love. My cosplays mostly consist of My original steampunk costume. it’s only recently I starting to venture into other character, like my dragonball z cosplay.
Do you have any other nerdy hobbies?
Cosplaying is my only nerdy hobby. when I’m not cosplaying I am either at work on makeup or working as a chef at my job.When and how did you discover steampunk?
I discover steampunk in 2010 at Fl supercon. I attend an outland armour panel and was just hooked ever since. They opened my eye to the steampunk world and how amazed. The next year I did my first steampunk cosplay.
What was the inspiration behind the Indian steampunk cosplay?
I always had a love for Indian culture. my favorite being their fashion. It was when I stumble on someones Captain Nemo cosplay did the idea pop in my head to combine my love of two worlds into one. it was something I never seen done before and I really wanted to challenge myself creatively. I got a lot of my design ideas from different Bollywood films. This is mostly the reasons why I call my cosplay „Bollywood Steampunk“.
Have you done any other steampunk-inspired cosplays?
I have done many!! I have 8 Steampunk cosplay in total that I created. 3 of them are different Bollywood steampunk styles. I have even created background story to help me create the looks. I can send you pictures for your blog if you like, just let me know
Oh, that would be excellent, I get back to you on that one.
What part of your indian steampunk cosplay do you enjoy creating the most?
Creating the jewelery is my favorite part of my cosplay. when i was going over design ideas, I have always seen all the lady wearing these beautiful jewelery set with there sarees.I want to create the same kind of style with my jewelery but with a steampunk twist. This was when the gears charm idea pop into my head. I truly feel that the gear jewelry brings the indian and steampunk combination to light. I have created a jewelry set for each Bollywood cosplay I created, and plan to create more for my future Bollywood cosplay
Were you surprised about the attention your Indian Steampunk outfit got online? Has something similar happened to you before with a different costume?
Yes and no. I knew that the outfit would get attention. It was something that you don’t see too often in the steampunk community. I just didn’t know it was going to get this amount of attention. I thought it would just get a few comment and some like. it’s a great feeling to see the positive reaction to my costume that I love to much. I have other cosplay that has some popularity but nothing like my Bollywood steampunk.
Have you been in touch with Steampunk India or has Steampunk India gotten in touch with you because of your indian Steampunk cosplay?
Steampunk India and I have befriended each other through Facebook. She posted one of my first Bollywood steampunk copslay on her page and used me as an example in her panels. She was the one who reach out to me (to ask me if she can use my photos for her panels). Her work was a reference for me when creating my first Bollywood steampunk. I’m hoping in the future we can meet face to face.
I have created a character to go with all my Bollywood steampunk cosplays that I have created. Doing this helped me a lot when created the different cosplays and will help me for future one too. Her name is:
Lady Sunahala Registana
She is an Indian girl born and raised in Rajasthan, sunny desert of India. Her father named her after the beautiful land she was born in (Sunahala: Golden, Registana: Desert). She is a part of tribe called Rabari, a tribe that has lived for 1000 of year in the deserts of India.
She Lives in a village with her tribe that is a mix of Indian tradition and steam power living. Her father is a well respected creator of the town. He created industrial machines call sand riders, that help the tribe ride the large desert sand dunes and hill. The sand riders is important to the tribe since it help send and receives goods to and from market. They are much faster than desert horses, so it is preferred to all in the tribe. Sunahala is smart girl, free spirited, and love riding through the sand in her land.
She is a skilful swordsman and is handy with a gun. She works side by side with her father, working on new inventions and new way of improving the sand riders (her favorite toy). The tribe never wastes anything in their village. so some things that might be consider waste to others, are vital things for them. Sunahala likes to use the extra spare gear that her and her father uses to create the sand riders and turn them into beautiful and unique jewelry pieces. The woman in the Rabari tribe decorate themselves in many pieces of jewelry on a daily basis (a mix of tradition and competition). She creates her jewelry as her way to keeping tradition and stand out in the tribe.
Thank you Ariel, for your time and for the interview, it was an honor and a pleasure.
It is the 30th episode of the Non-Euclidean Æthercast, and what an episode it is!
The renowned Steampunk and Fantasy authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris were kind enough to allow me to interview them concerning their upcoming fourth installment of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, The Diamond Conspiracy.