I'm selling books at Steamposium in Seattle this weekend! It's at the Convention Center downtown, and I'll be sharing a table with my number one convention pal, Scott Gable from Broken Eye Books. "Steamposium?!" you blurt, bewildered. "But, Matt! You don't even have a steampunk book!"Sure I do, imaginary straw person. Time Travel Dinosaur is forty percent steampunk! Well, maybe not quite forty, but one of the major time periods you visit in the book is the 1880s, and when you arrive, that decade is steampunk as all fuck. So, in honor of Steamposium 2016, I present you with:
The Five Most Steampunkiest Things about my book, Time Travel Dinosur
5) THE COVERThere may be three different versions of the titular T-rex on the front of the book, but that dapper gentledinosaur with goggles on its top hat is front and center, baby! Also, the whole color scheme absolutely screams steampunk: so much brown.
4) THE WICKED SHAUGHNESSY SISTERS
In 1882, Cornelia and Beatrice Shaughnessy rule over New Chicago with an iron (and presumable gear-covered) fist. Using scientific knowledge stolen from future centuries, they've built clockwork centurions to oppress the populace, and grafted miscellaneous steampunk appendages to their gang of hooligans and thugs. They're STONE COLD EVIL, you guys.
3) A CLIMACTIC BATTLE ON A GARGANTUAN AIRSHIP
Needless to say, the only way to stop the sisters' evil plot is to lay siege to their majestic blimp, high above the clouds. One of the book's major plot points is set in motion at this point, and -- hey, what's that other dinosaur who looks just like you but is dressed in clothes from a different time period doing here? GUESS YOU'LL HAVE TO READ THE BOOK AGAIN, BUT MAKE AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT SERIES OF DECISIONS TO FIND OUT.
2) GEARBOX ANNIE AND THE GASCAN REBELLION
When Annie's intestinal tract betrayed her at the tender age of sixteen, she simply built replacement guts out of brass and steam. Now she leads a small band of rebels (Cartwright, Bobbins, and the powder monkeys) in opposition to the brutal tyranny of Shaughessy Sisters. I fell in love with this gang while writing the book, and keep having ideas for their further adventures, set entirely in an alternate 1882 cut off from the rest of the chronoverse. Could Gearbox Annie return in some short stories or something at some point in the future? Maybe!
1) And, finally, THE NUMBER ONE STEAMPUNKIEST THING ABOUT TIME TRAVEL DINOSAUR:
Case closed, madam. I said good day.
I had an absurd amount of fun this at PAX this weekend helping Ben and Clinton from Tin Man Games demo their latest, The Warlock of Firetop Mountain.
Essentially, the team at Tin Man has taken Steve Jackson's classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook from the 1980s and built it up into a full 3D adventure. It plays more than anything like a solo D&D campaign, with a combat system torn right from the tabletop. The spirit of the original book shines through like crazy (they even hired the original artist, Russ Nicholson, to do new additional illustrations), but the finished product is polished as hell and crazy fun to play.
It's out now on Steam! Buy it if you like things that are great!
Hey, I'll be at PAX West this weekend (I feel like it used to be called Pax Prime?), on Saturday and Sunday, helping out in the Tin Man Games booth! Which got me thinking, WHAT OTHER AREA EVENTS WILL YOU BE ABLE TO FIND YOUNGMARK AT, IF YOU SHOULD WISH TO FIND YOURSELF SOME YOUNGMARK?
September 3-4: PAX West (Seattle)
I'll be chilling with magnificent Australian folks from Tin Man games (who just, like, yesterday released a lovingly crafted balls-to-the-wall full-3D update of the classic Fighting Fantasy gamebook The Warlock of Firetop Mountain). And also probably roaming the floor? I'm totally up for rocking some tabletop if you need a third player or something.
September 23-25: Steamposium (Seattle)
I'll be sharing a table with my pal Scott from Broken Eye Books, and trying to convince people that Time Travel Dinosaur is PROBABLY WAY STEAMPUNKIER THAN IT ACTUALLY IS. Will I be wearing an old-timey hat with goggles stuck on the brim? Probably not, but who knows!
October 7-8: Geek Girl Con (Seattle)
This is one of my favorite local conventions, and I'm super excited that they found space for me this year! Also, I just realized that all three of the above shows are being held at the same place WHY EVER LEAVE THE SEATTLE CONVENTION CENTER?
November 5-6: Jet City Comic Show (Tacoma)
My wife calls me the Prince of Tacoma because I used to run into people I knew whenever we went down there (also, one time, the governor). It's because I ran a weekly Tacoma newspaper for a long time in the 1990s! (Also, a couple of years ago I tried to convince the guys from Jet City Comic Show to rebrand it as TACOMICON, but so far no news on that front.)
November 11-13: Fan Expo Vancouver
I had to skip this one last year because it conflicted with Norwescon, but they finally moved it away from Easter weekend, and I'll be there! I actually haven't heard back on whether they'll be inviting me as a guest, but even if they don't it's okay because I know a guy (that guy is Scott, from Broken Eye Books, who I bet needs someone to share hotel costs and gas with).
November 19-20: Oddmall (Everett)
They keep having these, so I keep doing them. With Scott, from Broken Eye Books! (You guys know Scott, right?) Also, they're moving it from the Holiday Inn to the Community College this time, so do not go to the Everett Holiday Inn expecting to find a weird, awesome flea markety thing, it will not be there.
U, ROBOT is a 25,000-word interactive novela from Matt Youngmark. It’s an ebook exclusive, designed to be played on your phone, tablet or Kindle (with just a few sentences between choices, rather than the 1-3 pages you’re used to from the Chooseomatic Books series).
Take control of a giant worker robot, a humanoid replicant, or a sentient nanobot swarm and throw off the chains of robot oppression (or save humanity from the looming robocalypse, but seriously, where's the fun in that?)
68 possible endings! SO MANY WAYS to kill all humans!
YOU CAN BUY THIS GAME FOR JUST A BUCK FROM AMAZON RIGHT NOW.
Norwescon is this weekend, Thursday - Sunday at the Doubletree by the SeaTac airport. This is one of my favorite cons every year -- if you're going to be there, come say hi!
I'll be in the dealer room for most of the show, hawking my wares (and sharing a table with the lovely Scott Gable from Broken Eye Books). But if you can't find me there, I'm probably off doing one of these things:
Thursday 8-9pm (Cascade 3&4)
With Jeff Harris, Matt Youngmark, Logan L. Masterson, Minim Calibre
What makes a comic book character truly iconic? Is it the writing? The gimmick? Or merely the amount of promotion that goes into it? Also, can iconic characters fade? Come listen to our panel talk about iconic characters and what we think makes them truly iconic!
Saturday 11am-noon (Cascade 9)
How to Be an Author on the Internet
With Tori Centanni, Annie Bellet, Matt Youngmark, Nicole Dieker, Ryan Macklin
And how not to be. Navigating social media as a professional can be challenging, but it can also be a fun way to bring a human face to your “brand”—as long as you don’t come off like a spambot trying to sell your book. Our experts talk about common mistakes and pitfalls authors make on social media and how to avoid them, as well as best practices for utilizing social media, email, and blogs, and creative ways to help you connect with—not alienate—readers.
Saturday 6-7pm (Cascade 9)
SF/Fantasy Battle Royale
With Matt Youngmark, Erik Scott de Bie, K. M. Alexander, Peter Orullian
Who would win in a fight? A fast-paced, bracket-style, breathtakingly unscientific showdown to determine this year’s Ultimate Fictional Champion. Ready…? Fight!
Saturday 7-7:30pm (Cascade 1)
Reading: Matt Youngmark
It says in the program guide that I'll be reading from Time Travel Dinosaur, but SURPRISE! Instead I'll be reading from my brand new novela-length Chooseomatic game, U, Robot.
Sunday 11am-noon - Cascade 2
Crowdfunding for Artists
With Vandy H. Hall, Matt Youngmark, Matthew 'Fish' Dockrey, Joy Day
There are lots of crowdfunding options for art and comics, from project-oriented sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo to general support like Patreon and PayPal tip jars. What works when?
Sunday 2-3pm (Cascade 3&4)
Technology & Comics
With Elizabeth Guizzetti, Matt Youngmark, G. Willow Wilson
Have new kinds of technology made producing comics easier or harder? What are these new technologies? How much should you expect to shell out for a drawing tablet, software, and other accessories? And how much is too much?
Sunday 3-4pm (Cascade 12)
Level Up Your Self-Publishing Skills
With Elliott Kay, K. M. Alexander, Matt Youngmark, Ryan Macklin, Annie Bellet
How do you find a good editor or cover artist? What’s your pricing strategy? Does free work? What are the best keywords to use? How do you get reviews? This panel discusses the best practices for putting out a professional product and the current strategies for finding success.