Jake von Slatt sez, "I am fortunate to work with someone who has been involved with ReaderCon, the annual literary science fiction convention in Massachusetts, and when he mentioned that there would be a Steampunk panel I begged for audio!
The podcast adds up to fifty minutes of intense, fun engagement with the movement."
Readercon is an annual, literary science fiction convention in Burlington, Massachusetts. This year, it included a panel on steampunk, recorded for podcast here.
The four panelists were:
Mary Robinette Kowal – a professional puppeteer who moonlights as a writer
Holly Black — a bestselling author of contemporary fantasy novels for teens and children,
Liz Gorinsky – an editor at Tor Books
Sarah Micklem – a graphic designer and writer.
The description of their panel read:
Steampunk and Beyond: What Would a "Gibson Chair" Look Like? Steampunk, originally just an SF subgenre, is now also a burgeoning underground design movement. There's precedent for this: modernism was not only a literary movement, but had artistic, musical, architectural, and design wings as well.
Is the steampunk design movement an essentially fluky outgrowth of our fascination with all things retro? Or could other F&SF subgenres sprout their own design branches as well? Could the creation of actual, useful, physical objects lead to better-imagined literary art? How close is the relationship between the visually striking artifacts of steampunk and the literature that spawned them, anyway?)
However, in the usual way at Readercon, their fascinating discussion ranged far beyond the specific questions asked, touching on steampunk's predecessors and many aspects of its own past, present, and future. The audience asked many informed questions.