We will be adding all the information about our online convention's Guest Authors as 

soon as we are able to confirm details. Please check in frequently we will be adding more information as we receive it. 

Our Second Lecture for The Blackbird Literary Initiative


Will Be Held On April 24th, 2021

We Will Be Discussing Jules Vernes'

20,000 Leagues Under The Sea

Welcome to

The Blackbird Literary Initiative 

In Loving Memory of a dear friend and fellow Steampunk,

Angela Sawatzky

Good day, and welcome to The Blackbird Literary Initiative. It is a goal of Subgenres to develop a Book Club and literary initiative here on our site. We wish to foster a love of reading and literature. Reading novels that inspire us to explore rich universes of the imagination fuels our minds with new ideas and invention. Enjoying a good book is still one of the greatest ways to share our inner stories with others. Unlike movies, we create the sets, the costumes, the players, etc. in our mind's eye when reading a novel. Everything is just so in our imaginations, often much better than a movie can ever recreate. 

Many times great authors are able to convey the depths of the Human Condition

and mine the deeper meanings that spring from the life lessons gained through

the struggles of their protagonists within their novels. Much knowledge, and

the pursuit of understanding ourselves in relation to the greater good of Mankind,

have been passed down through these timeless writings. Literature is one of the greatest

gifts we can share with each other, let us enjoy it together. 


The Blackbird Literary Initiative was first developed with just Steampunk in mind,

but our purview of literature has grown into a much broader scope to incorporate the full gamut of genres. We do not want to limit our members to just one genre. Especially when there are so many to enjoy. 

We invite our members to join in on the various lectures, activities, and groups that will be scheduled here in the coming months. It is our hope to discuss novels, both new and old, introduce new authors, and also give reviews on the books we feature. Authors will be given the opportunity to introduce their works with a voice recording or video reading from their novel. We also hope to include some interviews and question periods that our members can take part in. 






Special Guest Author

Gail Carriger

We will be scheduling a panel in which we will be hosting the lovely Gail Carriger.  Our literature moderator for the panel will be Tiffany Humble. Please be patient while we wait for confirmed details on time of day and the topic of Gail's panel. We are so excited to be able to have her join us this year. 


All details TBA

Please check back frequently for updates. 




















































Beth Daniels/Neid Darnell



These are only a few of Nied Darnell's Works

Nied Darnell has graciously agreed to monitor a discussion panel on our Subgenres Forum during the afternoon of June 12th, 2021.


Please feel free to follow the link on June 12th to find Nied Darnell and the discussion on our forum. She will answer writing questions and discuss the process of Steampunk writing.  





 Nied Darnell Bio:


NIED DARNELL lives in a different world. Well, THREE different worlds.

One is the Weird West Steampunk universe of her Covert Cogs tales,

taking on cases that the Pinkertons want nothing to do with.

Another is a Dieselpunk 1920s (or close to it) where the cleverest agent for the Supernatural Intelligence Network (SIN) does her best work while visiting speakeasies and tossing Twenties slang like Babe Ruth was gonna take a swing at it.


The third world is a Victorian Gaslamp Fantasy setting where two inquiry agents

(one a female who considers herself the head of the firm

and the other an easy going gent who started life as her Palomino colt)

take on cases that need solving in an 1880s London.


Mangling history is what Darnell likes doing best. Them academics who gave her a degree in history,

under a different name o’ course, probably are runnin’ screamin’ from their offices in horror.

Darnell sends all her agents, whether they be the Gilded Age/Victorian teams or the ones carryin’ roscoes, forth from www.4TaleTellers.com 

though messages can be left for covert pick up at Facebook.com/NiedDarnell

or @Nied Darnell on Twitter.






Beth Daniels Bio:

BETH DANIELS lends the expertise she gained as a professional novelist with 30+ years

and 32 published books (and growing) to her list of achievements.


Add in a BA in History and a MA in English Composition and Rhetoric with an Emphasis in Creative Writing,

over a dozen years as a composition instructor at the college level,

numerous online fiction writing workshops at SavvyAuthors.com

and for various RWA online chapters, and the stats add up.


She knows her onions and can maneuver her way through nearly any genre or subgenre birthed.

She is  one of the founders of the writing group The Bards of Bardstown (KY),

and a very active member at The Vault, a fantasy specific writers’ group in Louisville (KY).

Her numerous workshops have spawned a collection of Fiction Writers Aids e-books

and other non-fiction titles about the art of writing fiction.


Find her at www.4TaleTellers.com or Facebook.com/Beth Daniels or @BethDaniels1 on Twitter.

She also writes Steampunk and other altered historical tales as Nied Darnell.


Here's the link to GEARED UP on Amazon.ca GEARED UP! WRITING STEAMPUNK eBook: Daniels, Beth: Amazon.ca: Kindle Store






John R. White


John has donated a reading of the first chapter of Steel Days, this will be posted on June 12th, 2021.

A Cyber Punk Novel.

Thank you so much John for your Reading. 



John R. White's Bio:

Mr. White is an accomplished artist whose works have been purchased by

Joanne Woodward & Paul Newman, Arlene & Brent Musburger,

and has a painting on display at the US Coast Guard Academy.  

John has worked as courtroom artist in Lubbock,

Texas and a muralist in several states.

 John has lived in Italy, Canada, and now resides in Ohio with his lovely wife Mary,

and feline overlord Tesla.

John R. White is an honourably discharged USAF veteran

and is invested as an

Officer in the Sovereign Military order of Sealand.


Literary Career:

​Johns published works vary from Steampunk, to Hard Sci-fi, and non-fiction social critiques.

His next  work to be published work will be a supernatural suspense novel.

Writing  Reviews:

Tales of the Airship Neverland has earned high reviews and nominations in steampunk writing awards.



"A strong base for a series of novels here. The world-building is excellent, the plot is strong, and all the steampunky stuff is fun." --Keith R.A. DeCandido 

"Steampunk to the max!"-- Sci-fi Radio.

"Lace up your corset and grab your pixie dust, this is not your mother’s Peter Pan.

Tales of the Airship Neverland breathes steam into the classic story written by J.M. Barrie.

Like Barrie, John Randall White creates three universes whose inhabitants

are in conflict in a classic tale of good versus evil and desire for power. ."

-- Steampunk Chronicle.


Tales of The Airship Neverland: A Steampunk Fairy Tale is a marvelous beginning to the Neverland trilogy."-- Esteampunk Magazine.


"Airship Neverland is a fun, nuanced, steampunk vision of the classic story of

Captain Hook and the Lost Boys.

It's the clockwork and airship journey of how people came to be the characters

we know from our youth."-- Kevin D Steil ~ Airship Ambassador “

 Awards and Nominations:  

2012 Steamcon IV Airship Award nominee in the written category.


Here are a few of John's Novels:









Gary Ruse

Gary has kindly agreed to donate a seminar about how he developed his Steampunk Persona into a novel and screenplay. Please join Gary on June 12th, 2021 and enjoy his journey from Persona to Page. 

You will be able to view it on the Seminar Page. 





Gary Ruse has been a professional writer of science fiction, mysteries and "techno-thrillers"

since the 70's, and served as an Army reporter in Vietnam.

I have five previous novels published,

"Houndstooth" and "A Game of Titans" in hardcovers by Prentice-Hall

with foreign editions in Great Britain and Japan,

and "The Gods of Cerus Major" in hardcover by Doubleday,

and original paperbacks "Morlac: The Quest of the Green Magician" and "Death Hunt on a Dying Planet"

by Signet/New American Library.


Also a number of stories published in magazines and anthologies, and more than 1200 newspaper articles in Community Newspapers.


Victoria Szulc

Victoria has been an avid supporter of our Tea for a few yearrs and we are so fortunate to have her join us here from year to year. Please check back for more information on Victoria and her contribution to our shenanigans.   











Blackbird Literary Initiative 


First Lecture:

The Last Man by Mary Shelley

Guest Lecturer:

Tiffany Humble


This is our first Lecture in our new series in which we discuss literary works and their themes. In this lecture Tiffany Humble touches on the major themes of The Last Man. She also introduces us to Mary Shelley and her contemporaries, along with the political and cultural settings in which the book was written. This Lecture took place live over Zoom on November 28th, 2020. There was also a question and answer session that was included at the end. We will be providing the recording here so that our members who were not able to attend can enjoy it. 












The Subgenres Book Club:

There is a group in the membership area that is devoted to discussion and the planning of The Subgenres Book Club content for this initiative. Please feel free to join this group and put your two cents in on which books you think the book club should read next. If there is an author you enjoy and wish to introduce to the community, or you have recommendations on where some of our books can be sourced, we would love for you to share with us.

We hope to explore both classic and contemporary literature in our book club. Plus, enjoy 

stimulating and interesting discussions of the novels we choose to study. Perhaps our 

activities will lead you to discover new authors and universes, or inspire you to create your 


It is our greatest desire to share one of life's greatest pleasures with all of you, the vicarious 

experience of living great adventures together and being able to talk about them with kindred



Punks With Pens:

It is true that the pen is mightier than the sword, and we will prove it here in this new group. Sharing our love of writing can create a wonderful community in which we can all benefit from each others skill and experience. Also, we can generate a way of getting people to know our work.


Punks with Pens is a group devoted to writers. If you are a writer who wishes to share their work with other Steampunks and discuss writing activities, you are welcome to join this group. Any feedback, criticism, or comments should remain strictly constructive, positive, and an asset to the writer to further develop their talent. Any misconduct will result in the immediate expulsion of that member from the Writers' Group. 

* Legal Disclaimer/Rules of Conduct Below







The Story That Never Ends:


This is the story that never ends. I am borrowing this idea from the former Steampunk Empire. We would have groups of role players that would create a collaborative role playing experience by writing a paragraph each to a story thread. Each member of the group would have an established Steampunk persona and join a story (much like a D&D campaign) adding a paragraph at a time, taking turns with the other members to write/participate in a ever unfolding adventure. We ask that the different groups establish rules of etiquette that are displayed clearly and follow proper behaviour of civil/mannerly conduct. 








Legal Disclaimer

And Rules of Conduct: 

No sexual harassment, bullying, and try to conduct your group activities in an adult environment that entails maturity and civility. 

Pens With Punks

This group is not for harassment, abuse, or demeaning behaviour.

Please only post content you personally have created, give yourself credit, and be aware that The Society for the Ethical Treatment of Kraken does not own, or will take possession of other creatives work.


Your content is purely your own and you must take responsibility for the risks of posting unpublished materials on public forums.


We, SETK, will not be responsible if others should use your content without permission. Be aware that in every group there are dishonest people, sadly this is a reality, we cannot monitor your content and protect it. This is a public forum meant for everyone, so use it with responsibility. 

The Story That Never Ends

This group is for collaborative adventures. Each group of participants is expected to police their our members behaviour. We will not take responsibility for any activities that occur within the separate groups that are involved in these types of stories.


If there is a member who is acting inappropriately it is up to the group to expel them or discipline them in an appropriate manner. If this member uses this site to harass another member it is up to the person receiving the negative behaviour to make SETK aware of these activities.


Please screen shot all abuse. We will revoke their membership to this site should we find them causing issues with others. It is not our responsibility to report to the police or take legal action, that should be done by the person experiencing the issues. We will, however, expel them from this site. 


Online Convention 

Guest Authors


New York Times bestselling author and ex-archaeologist Gail (G.L.)

Carriger writes to cope with being raised in obscurity by an expatriate Brit

and an incurable curmudgeon.

She escaped small town life and inadvertently acquired several degrees in higher learning,

a fondness for cephalopods, and a chronic tea habit.

She then traveled the historic cities of Europe,

subsisting entirely on biscuits secreted in her handbag.

Miss Gail’s novels have been published in dozens of languages

and have made the New York Times, USA Today,

and Locus Bestseller lists multiple times.

With over a million books in print,

her NYT listings include Mass Market,

Hardcover, eBook,

Combined Print & eBook,

Young Adult,

Children’s Series,

and #1 in Manga.

She has received the Prix Julia Verlanger, the Elbakin Award,

the Steampunk Chronicle’s Reader’s Choice Award,

and a Starburner Award.

Her books have received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly,

Booklist, Kirkus,

and Romantic Times.

Her debut novel, Soulless, won the ALA’s Alex Award

and was nominated for a Compton Crook and Locus Award,

and the Prix des Imaginales.


It made Audible.com’s Best List,

and was a Publishers Weekly Best Book,

IndieBound Notable,

Locus Recommended Read,

and a Finalist for the 2009 PEARL Award.


Gail is still trying to recover from the shock.

Gail’s wildly popular steampunk Parasolverse contains multiple series. 

The Parasol Protectorate features a proper Victorian spinster who has no soul.

It has been turned into a graphic novel and optioned for TV.


Her YA Finishing School series follows a young lady secretly recruited

to an all-girls seminary for spies.


Her Delightfully Deadly novellas follow these young ladies grown up.

In the Custard Protocol a crack (or possibly cracked) dirigible crew get into trouble

around the Empire on behalf of queen, country, and tea. 


The Supernatural Society novellas follow popular LBGTQ side characters

from her Parasolverse as they strike out on their own.

And the Claw & Courtship novellas feature werewolves caught up in

Georgette Heyer style shenanigans.

As G.L. Carriger, she writes the San Andreas Shifter books depicting a whimsical

San Francisco full of sexy gay shape shifters.


She also has a sci-fi universe, the Tinkered Stars, which includes 

books and a full cast audio production.

She has also written nonfictionThe Heroine’s Journey:

For Writers, Readers, and Fans of Pop Culture.

You can find Gail through her agent,

Kristin Nelson of Nelson Literary Agency or via her website gailcarriger.com.

She has a ridiculously silly newsletter, 

The Monthly Chirrup 

and a fabulous podcast about travel, 

20 Minute Delay.


Fun extra: Gail’s bio as if written by Mangnall in the 1830s.

“Carriger, a comic writer from the Colonies, born in squalor, 197?; died, ?.

Famous for her outrageous characters and questionable inclination to dandify.

The celebrated Chubbiest of Foqoures was her cat, and, upon said cat’s decease,

Carriger engaged the affections of Lilliput la Pumpkinpucci. Carriger’s works are numerous.

She had a peculiar mind, in a top heavy body.”

~ Mangnall’s Questions (the update), 1830 ~ 2015



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