It wasn’t until just before the premiere of Episode 1 at Dodecacon that I suddenly changed the tagline for the entire series. Previously, the tagline was “They battle machinations of mad science and supernatural horrors. And they’re for hire.”
When I realized that Steamworks & Shadows could become much more than “The Adventures of Airship Vindus”, the tagline just didn’t fit. It fit Airship Vindus, and is still very specific to their story and characters. However, I needed something that was profound and more importantly something that called out to the heart of all steampunks.
I danced around the idea that steampunks shape their own future. I knew that is what I wanted to say, and that in my gut it was the right representation for what we’re doing. So, after turning it over in my mind again and again, it finally came to me. “Destiny can be Invented” was the phrase I typed into photoshop and uploaded onto our facebook page. It was a very hasty decision on my part to change it up at the last minute. I was following my steampunk heart, and it led me to give this new tagline. It wasn’t until now, when I’ve had time to reflect on the phrase and see what we’ve done so far, that I’ve thought about what it means.
When the cast of S&S attended Teslacon, I thought it would be similar to most other conventions, and that I would go through the motions. Little did I know that Lord Bobbins was going to say something in his speech on Saturday that would make all our work come together in a significant way.
“We aren’t beholden to the creators of our fandom, because we made it ourselves.” ~Lord Bobbins
Though there were many points he made that I felt captured what steampunk is, the above was the key. It wasn’t about someone else codifying steampunk in a film or book for us to reproduce, it was about expressing our individuality. For the first time, the fans are creating a fandom. Lord Bobbins was able to articulate an idea that I knew I had, but didn’t know I had it.
“Destiny can be Invented” is about every unique steampunk bringing their imagination into the universe created by all of us. S&S will always be an open book, a place for all steampunks to come and create stories with others. It doesn’t matter what you bring to the table, you are already welcome.
No one will tell you that you aren’t steampunk enough to be in S&S. If you imagined something in the time period, you’re already steampunk. No one will ever tell you that you aren’t playing by the rules. Too many rules make things boring and restrictive. No one will ever tell you that you have to choose between two factions. Make your own faction; no one ever said you have to be an airship pirate.
In Steamworks & Shadows, you create your future…you invent your destiny.