Emily Warren Roebling: a Steampunk Feminist Persepective

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Originally posted on Cogpunk Steamscribe:

It isn’t often that science and engineering is the background of a love story. Then again, Emily Roebling was a remarkable woman. Emily Warren Roebling was the wife of Washington Roebling, who was  Chief Engineer during the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge. Her poor husband developed decompression sickness while working on the bridge. Emily took it upon herself to learn bridge construction, and then took over much of the chief engineer’s duties, including day-to-day supervision and project management, and liaising with the men doing the construction, while she fought for her husband to retain his position as chief engineer (the Brooklyn Bridge has been his father’s project to begin with). At the same time, she was her husband’s nurse – he was to suffer from the effects of decompression sickness for the rest of his life, remaining partially paralysed. It was only due to her intelligence and determination that the project was finished. After the bridge…

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The writer is at work!

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I’m currently working on a few short stories for some anthologies, so the fiction output on this blog will be limited.

At the moment I’m reading ‘The Lords of Humankind’ by V.G. Kiernan which is – as it should be for any decent popular history – turning into a simultaneously fascinating and disquieting read. It focuses on the attitudes of the coloniser and the colonised, though mostly from a perspective critical of the former (I find it telling that the majority of the West African experience is devoted to slavery and there is none of the detailed discussion of the contemporary and pre-colonial society that the writer affords to India, for example. This is often the case, and is actually quite a boon because it means I have to read more!).

Like I said, it’s a good enough read, though it will be interesting to find other critical perspectives, especially those that focus more on the social complexities of the colonised nations. The book was published in the late 60’s and the writing (and biases) occasionally shows it’s age!

I’m still transferring a couple of blogs into this one. I have created a new blog section for posts and links concerning my independent research into pre-colonial Nigerian technologies and their intersection with all things interesting (gender, sexuality, religion, disability etc. The usual!) and in the meantime will hopefully remember to get some more of my essays and critical pieces up as well.

Water Vessel

Uzo Gbagoro Agbago, Writing

She did not look like the sort of woman who would become possessed. Her face was plain, pretty in some aspects, ordinary in others. She was neither fat nor thin, tall nor short. She was, as with so many other accused that Anayo had interviewed over the course of his career, unremarkable. Yet – and perhaps this was something to do with the way such stories were always told – when someone was meant to be demon possessed there were expectations that ought to be met. An iridescent beauty or a young maiden struck down by such affliction lent an air of tragedy to the story; a great sinner the assurance of justice.

Here was the assurance of nothing.

Uzo Gbagoro Agbago

Blog, Writing

Uzo Gbagoro Agbago is a web anthology of speculative fiction, containing short stories and flash fiction about alternative pasts, presents and futures set in what’s generally called Igboland (or Biafra if you’re particularly revolutionary), the area predominantly inhabited by the Igbo nation in South East Nigeria.

Most of the stories are inspired by historical cultures (Water Vessel is set in an alternate Biafra where battles for independence from foreign attempts at colonialism have led to the dominance of Nri, a cultic and religious centre in Igboland), but also contain a fusion of cultural elements and future technologies.

As a web anthology, new stories will be continually added and they are free to read, but my goal is to eventually publish a fully illustrated collection.

Contents

Water Vessel

Meme Spring

All content is copyrighted to myself, F. Okoye. Any reproduction without express permission is prohibited. Thanks!

Meme Spring

Uzo Gbagoro Agbago, Writing

Thin Forest was empty. Sometimes, upon entering, she would just catch a whisp of someone exiting the chamber. Maybe their coat whipping behind them as they left, maybe their shadow flickering a final farewell as they turned around the unseen corner. But that wasn’t the case today and Chika was glad that for once, Thin Forest was truly empty.

brazilian revolt

Alternate History: the Sokoto Caliphate

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I’ve been a bit behind my writing schedule. I had completed a first draft of a short story as part of my writeworld series, but unfortunately it got eaten by WordPress (my fault of course – I should have written it in a document first). I decided to have a go re-writing it but then got a little sidetracked with some research.

Why yes, I do have a tendency to overthink things, why do you ask?

A friend of mine pointed me to an alternate history board where one member has written some sections of a novel set during the Sokoto Republic.

An Introduction to the WriteWorld Challenges

WriteWorld Challenges

When I’m stuck or feeling morose, I like to take up writing challenges from writeworld, a wonderful website that frequently posts random images and quotes for inspiration. My personal challenge is always to finish one before I start another, which may well contribute to the decline in quality towards the end, but does help with the self-discipline!

Below you will find my various challenge responses. They are mostly short stories and flash fiction, though you might find a comic or an essay somewhere. Feedback of any kind is always most appreciated.