Gary Bourgeois has passed. Gary was a fellow New Orleanian sf and fantasy writer. His work was a foundation on which I built two steampunk fiction anthologies. I had planned to ask him to write the introduction to the third. When I felt the need to step back from the role of facilitator for the New Orleans Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Group, it was Gary who took up the slack and provided focus and organization to that group.
Gary Bourgeois was particularly proficient with the long story. It was my hope that, over time, we would refine the form and format of the long story together with other New Orleans sf and fantasy writers so that one day there would a type of long story in the sixteen thousand word range that would be known as the Bourgeois.
My upcoming projects may be more focused on the novel than short or long stories for the near future but work towards a regional variant of the long story continues to be part of my dreams as a writer.
Goodbye, Gary. I hope you reached whatever afterlife you sought and that your gods continue to watch over your soul. Blessed be.
Gary’s obituary from the newspaper:
Gary Joseph Bourgeois, age 64, went to heaven on Thursday, October 19, 2017. He died 6 months after diagnosed with bladder cancer. He was the husband of 41 years to Deborah Campos Bourgeois. He was the son of the late Harold and Lois Bourgeois, oldest brother to Michael Bourgeois (Marilyn), Philip Bourgeois (Carlen), the late Robert Bourgeois, Ann Bourgeois Schmidt (Scott), cousin to Will Dermady (Julie), and uncle to Moira, Erin and Tommy. Treasured brother-in-law to Rhonda Campos.
He retired from Entergy Nuclear and Jefferson Parish Westwego Library. He graduated from UNO, and he led the fiction writers West Bank group at the Westwego Library, and the science fiction writers group at the East Bank regional Library. Writing and mentoring others were his passion. Every member of his group was prized. He wanted to encourage everyone to succeed. He was published in short story form and placed in a writing contest. Rescuing, loving and caring for over 100 cats in his lifetime demonstrated his endless compassion.
He leaves behind a large feline family, two in particular; Jolson and Pogo, in heaven now, will be the first to welcome him. Gary’s every day was spent centered in kindness. He was never judgmental to others, always caring for other people’s feelings. A more loving husband does not exist. Our years together will never be enough.
Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Celebration of Life on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at the Garden of Memories Funeral Home, 4900 Airline Drive, Metairie, LA from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. In Lieu of flowers, donations to Jefferson Parish Friends of the Library and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) may be made in his name. Online condolences may be offered at www.gardenofmemoriesmetairie.com. The family would like to express their sincere thanks to the Ochsner Oncology, Cardiology, and Chemotherapy Infusion Clinic physicians, all nursing and support staff and especially cardiology nurse Raj for the outstanding care and comfort provided.
Published in TheNewOrleansAdvocate.com from Oct. 23 to Oct. 25, 2017
A new voice in the field of steampunk and gaslamp fantasy fiction, New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Black has a Bachelor’s in Military and Political Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. His most recent story, “The Night Mississippi Declared War on the Moon,” was published in Dark Oak Press’ Capes and Clockwork II, edited by Alan Lewis. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Oak Press’ Dreams of Steam III and Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Brandon lives with his guardian and protector, Battle-cat Princess Kaleidoscope, in his home town of New Orleans, Louisiana. Find out more about Brandon’s work at http://www.brandonblackonline.com.
All original text copyright Brandon Black 2017.
As most if not all of you know by now, New Orleans regrettably lost its bid to throw WorldCon 2018. As such, there is no pressing need to rush out the next set of Black Tome Books and since several authors have contacted me privately request extensions, I’ve decided to formally push back the deadlines for both Paris By Gaslight and The Other World to Sunday, October 2nd.
We will be doing another By Gaslight book after Paris By Gaslight with submissions starting perhaps in December and running through March perhaps. We’ll also be doing a non-steampunk anthology next year as well; currently the plan is heroic fantasy.
New Orleans-based fantasy and science fiction author Brandon Black is the editor of the By Gaslight steampunk anthology series. He has a Bachelor’s in Military and Political Journalism and a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. His short fiction has appeared in Dark Oak Press’ Dreams of Steam III and Seventh Star Press’ A Chimerical World: Tales of the Seelie Court. Brandon has just published a short anthology of steampunk and gaslamp fiction short stories entitled Mechanical Tales and is working on completing his first novel. His most recent story “The Night Mississippi Declared War on the Moon,” has been published in Capes and Clockwork 2.
All text copyright Brandon Black 2016.
Perhaps you’ve seen them at a local science fiction convention such as Comic Con: people dressed in Victorian-era garb but with strange implements of wondrous science that would have never worked in the real world. These are steampunks.
The single most common question I get asked as a steampunk author is: just what is steampunk, anyway?
Steampunk put simply is Victorian-style science fiction, fiction in the style of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. It is a Victorian world plus, one with strange mad science and wondrous steam-driven technologies from heavier-than-air flying ships to steam-driven mechanical computers to giant, track-driven land battleships to brass-covered automatons. It’s science fiction blended with alternate history — a Victorian era of “What If?”
While steampunk may have found its origins in the science fiction writings of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and others, writers such as William Gibson and Bruce Sterling, authors of The Difference Engine, have brought forward this style into the twenty-first century. And while much of steampunk focuses on science fiction, fantasy elements are not out of the picture either. Much of modern young adult steampunk fiction involves both vampires and magic. Boneshaker, by Cherie Priest, even includes zombies! It’s very much an ‘anything goes’ fictional genre.
The freedom and openness of the steampunk genre is built on the immense enthusiasm its fans have for dressing up and do-it-yourself costuming. While people can and do buy props and costume pieces off the internet, steampunk is much more about making your own gear and showing it off for friends and family. I believe the immense popularity of steampunk is one of the offshoots of the Harry Potter phenomenon. Harry Potter made it cool for people, young and old, to be readers and cool even to dress up publicly as their favorite characters. People in the steampunk community group together, often in costume, in local clubs called airships. Many airships have build nights in which the steampunks gather to work on their prop projects while socializing.
The openness of the genre is seen clearly visible in the wide variety of the ages of the participants. You are just as likely to see a retired couple costuming as steampunks at a local convention as you are to see high schoolers involved in it. And while rigorous debate often occurs between steampunks as to what is or is not steampunk, the community is unified in its desire that everyone should have a good time and that every effort at costuming and prop building be appreciated from the most expert and professional to the first effort of a newly steampunking child.
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Fantasy, science fiction and steampunk author Brandon Black is the editor of New Orleans By Gaslight, a first of its kind anthology of steampunk and gaslamp fantasy poetry and fiction set in Victorian-era New Orleans. Brandon is also the web content manager for the Week in Geek, New Orleans’ favourite fantasy and science fiction themed radio talk show, every Saturday at 1 pm CST on WGSO 990 AM. Click here to check out Brandon’s ever-expanding list of published works.
Thanks so much to everyone who attended our book signing and everyone who wished to attend but couldn’t make it! Thanks to Chris Smith and the East Bank Jefferson Parish Library Writers’ Circle. Thanks to our editors and readers! And thanks to you, the community that came out to support our effort and meet our authors and poets. Thank you all so very much!
Our upcoming projects are: Cairo By Gaslight, a steampunk anthology set in Cairo, Egypt and The Other World, an anthology of poems and stories about the fey. You can find out about both at: http://www.brandonblackonline.com.
Additionally — our authors will be giving two panels at CONtraflow this weekend: one on Friday at 1 pm and the other on Saturday at 3 pm. Copies of the anthology will be on sale and our authors will be glad to sign them for you!
Book Signing/Release Party for New Orleans By Gaslight
Tuesday, October 15th, 7 pm. East Bank Jefferson Parish Library
4747 West Napoleon Avenue, Metairie, Louisiana
You are cordially invited to the book signing and release party for New Orleans By Gaslight, the first locally produced and locally written anthology of steampunk and gaslamp fantasy poetry and fiction set in the city of New Orleans.