Geeking out at Wild Wild West Con

steam powered giraffe
Steam Powered Giraffe at Wild West Con

[dropcap2]A[/dropcap2] couple of months ago I came out of the shower. Now it’s time I come out of the locker room. (Gasp! What will he come out of next?”) You see, I played high school sports, but it turns out I’ve been a geek at heart all along. Now there’s no denying it. I’ve attended my very first con (nerd lingo for “conference”).

Albeit it wasn’t the legendary San Diego Comic-Con, but it was great fun nonetheless. While wearing a serape and sombrero I sipped cheap Cabernet from a clear plastic cup, surrounded by scads of brethren and sistren bedecked in various wild Western or Victorian English attire.

At first the connecting thread alluded me. My new friends included a lawyer, an IT professional, a musician, college students, retired homemakers, a dancer, a nurse, a librarian, etc. Some in their second decade of living, some in their fifth. What could possibly bond these people together? Until finally I seized upon it — inner geek.

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Diesel vs. Steampunk: Publishing Ethics

Dieselpunk VS. Steampunk by nitr0gene
Dieselpunk VS. Steampunk by nitr0gene

[dropcap2]W[/dropcap2]hen it comes to ethics, the RedneckGranola is driven by a prime directive — “stick it to the man.” Basically, greed and injustice demand civil disobedience. Thus sneaking food into a movie theater that charges two dollars for popcorn is unethical, while a theater that charges six dollars demands that I┬ásneak in food to support the cause of the globally popcorn-oppressed. Simple. (a 200% markup is business, a 1000% markup is oppression).

But when it comes to the self-publishing ethics and marketing ethics of my upcoming novel, where do I draw the line? It has been said that “a duck is a duck is a duck.” But one could also respond, “duck, duck, goose,” so you can see my problem. (Truly mine is a dizzying intellect.) When writing a dieselpunk, weird Western, pulp adventure story there are two main options available for its marketing:

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What of dieselpunk/steampunk for a redneckgranola?

Diesel Forces by Stefan Prohaczka

As a casual pop culture observer you may have noted the recent trend in movies and books of gluing gears and goggles on everything. Or a slight bump in our collective fascination with things such as “Inglorious Bastards,” a recent film combining an alternate history of WWII with spaghetti-western styling. Whether you knew it or not, punk culture is creeping its tendrils into the crap factory of the American Idol age (extending from Madonna to Gaga.)

While scientists have yet to determine (what will certainly be) the catastrophic effects of such a mutant matching (think Michael Jackson’s Thriller meets the Sex Pistols at a Hogwarts reunion), for now we can all sit back and enjoy the ride. But to enhance said enjoyment you’ll need a primer on the evolving punk cultures/genres. So here goes!

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