Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Steampunk Librarian's new location and a website about Muslim Steampunk


View of The Piermont Landing, in Wheatstone Waterways, New Babbage

Doing a bit of clean up with a few blogs and "blog-links" pages, and found I had the old address for the Steampunk Librarian, who had to move her blog due to the closure of Vox.  Popped in to her blog, and located a link to a very interesting website by a Mr. Yakoub Islam, who touches on the intersection of Steampunk and Islam (including a bit on SL Steampunk, as well)!  The Tasneem Project website is a fascinating location that I'm currently working my way through, and would heartily recommend visiting, to garner a different perspective on Steampunk.  I'll be turning back to it momentarily, but to visit it, please follow the link to: http://www.bayyinat.org.uk/

(Additionally, my thanks to the Steampunk Librarian for finding this gem!  Her new location is at: http://steampunklib.typepad.com/blog/ ).

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

End of the "Most Steampunk 'Plains' city poll", and a new Steampunk city poll..


is...St. Louis!*
*(With an explanation, of course)

Hello and good day!  Its about time to wrap up another poll, though this one had a bit of a twist to it.  The poll started in August, about the most Steampunk city in what might remained of what might be called the Plains states (Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico), and the winner was… “Other”.   As I outlined in the introduction to the associated poll on the “Most Steampunk city in the Southeast” http://www.steampunktribune.com/2010/09/most-souths-most-steampunk-city-poll.html



I do believe that many voters were under the impression that cities listed under the Plains states poll may have included parts of the Southeast.  As such, the option of “Other” may have chosen, vice one of the other listed cities.  As such, I’d say since I have had not comments on what “Other” is, nor were there any comments regarding the choice, I shall have to default to the next option and declare St. Louis as the most Steampunk City of the Plains states!  The results were as follows…

Other with 29.2% of the vote (33 votes)
St. Louis with 23.89% of the vote (27 votes)
Kansas City (MO/KS) with 15.04% of the vote (15 votes)
Austin with 10.62% of the vote (12 votes)
Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa each with 4.42% of the vote (5 votes)
San Antonio with 3.45% of the vote (4 votes)

My thanks to all who participated, and if there are any suggestions on the city of “Other”, please feel free to contact me regarding it, at thesteampunktribune [at] yahoo [dot] com!


Unattributed image of old London, per Mythania.com
(a view of a era city with *no* Steampunk attributes)

Now onto the next vote, which suprisingly enough, has little to do with regional geography.  As I was on the back veranda of the Heliograph building in New Babbage, doing a bit of in-world correspondence, I began to wonder about the amount of “Steampunk” builds in the region (Wheatstone Waterways).  Where I reside at (the Southwest corner), I can easily count three airships, a giant telescope, and on a good day (or expanded draw selection on my browser), I can see the giant Tesla coil fluctuating in the background.

It had me wondering, how much is too much or not enough, concerning the appearance of a Steampunk Victorian city?  Most classic works I have read have essentially no outward appearance of Steampunk, with perhaps one or two extremely unique aspects (say, the barrel of a giant gun to launch a select group of adventurers to the moon {A Trip to the Moon}).  Other representations run along the lines of more pronounced imagery of Steampunk in a Victorian city, such as


(a Steampunk city with... "more differences")

Nothing different – it should look like a classic Victorian city
Small differences – perhaps an airship or unusual building here and there, but it should still have a classic Victorian city skyline.
Many difference – Airships, Giant Tesla coils, giant telescopes, and many other odd additions to a Victorian cityscape.  Another option might be something even futuristic for the genre, say along the lines of cinematograph Metropolis city!
Completely different – A sky-city, an underwater metropolis, perhaps even an encapsulated city on another world.

The poll will be listed on the left side of the blog, as always, and the old poll will be on the bottom right of your screen.  Thanks in advance for voting!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Steampunk Pub


Happened upon this clever video, which includes a peg-leg sailor, a Steampunk record player, and some antics at a bar... Unfortunately, it seems it is part of a larger project by Miss May Jay, and I'll certainly be on the look out for more the complete work!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Steampunk Tales, Issue Eight, is on the stands!


Steampunk Tales, Issue Eight, the "Penny Dreadful for your Iphone", is out!  Containing eight new stories for your Iphone, mobile reading device, or smart phone, it has the latest in Steampunk fictional writing, including the latest work form the indomitable Mr. G.D. Falksen, continuing installations of Steampunk stories Mr. Larry C. Kay ("The Trials of Professor Sinister: Extracts from the Travelling Diary of Matalaine Morningside") and Mr. John F. Montague ("Unbelieving Jaxx"), and five more outstanding stories!  To read more about the latest issue, or download it straight away, please visit the the Steampunk Tales website, at: http://www.steampunktales.com/

(My thanks, yet again, to Miss Evelyn, for her lead on this story!)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Upcoming Steampunk Events for the weekend of 25th & 26th of September...


This weekend sees two very interesting Steampunk events taking place, one in RL and one in SL.  The first, brought to my attention by the lovely and astute Miss Evelyn, is the Maker Faire at the New York Hall of Science, (in Queens, New York), spanning the entire weekend.  Starting at 10am at the site of the 1964's World's Fair, the Maker's Faire will host a wide variety of displays, workshops, and spectacles, including electroplating, wire bending, cigar box guitars, hand-carved stamps, photographic lecture, and much, much more.  For a full schedule of its many events, lectures and displays, please visit the Maker Faire, at: http://makerfaire.com/newyork/2010/, and their schedule of events, as well!


The Virtual Worlds will have its biggest monthly event this weekend as well.  The Third Annual Engineer's Black Soot Ball will be taking place this Saturday, at 6pm SLT.  The celebration will in honor of two years of events at the Piermont Landing, and to mark this event, Miss Breezy Carver has commissioned a very unique present for this event only!


The "Piermont Key" is a unique chest pin, akin to the original New Babbage Cog (first given out back in the early days of New Babbage), but is updated to reflect the 3rd Anniversary of the Soot Ball.  Additionally, there is still time for builders to take part of the "Builder's Challenge", the creation of a "... working cog fountain".  For more details on this and more about the 3rd Annual Engineer's Soot Ball, please visit the New Babbage website, at: http://cityofnewbabbage.com/drupaltest/node/760

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Joy of Creating Steampunk Villians, by Mr. Arthur Slade, author of "The Hunchback Assignments"


I have the distinct pleasure of taking part of the blog tour for Mr. Arthur Slade, the author of an outstanding YA Steampunk series of novels titled "The Hunchback Assignments".  For this visit in of the tour, Mr. Slade outlines the intricacies of developing the counter to the protagonist of any good novel (and especially Steampunk novels) - that of creating a Steampunk villain...

The Joy of Creating Steampunk Villains

Villains make or break a book. When it came time to create the villains for The Hunchback Assignments series, I wanted to draw from a few of my favorite Victorian novels. The first villain is the mad Dr. Hyde. Obviously, I chose the name because the novel is influenced by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I wanted readers who recognized the reference to wonder: is he more Jekyll or is he more Hyde? I hoped my doctor would be an ode to all the mad scientists in all the books and movies I’d consumed in my lifetime. Actually, I felt like I was channeling them--the cackling, the need to work long hours into the night to perfect serums, and the bad hair. Yet, my Dr. Hyde is not completely evil. He is obsessed with melding flesh with clockwork, that’s all. Is that such a terrible goal?

The second villain (or villainess) is Miss Hakkandottir. This unstoppable redhead lost her hand in a sword fight and has had it replaced my a metal hand. She literally rules these books with an iron fist. Every time I have to write a chapter with her in it, I quake. Because she is relentless and has no pity, I fear what she is going to do to my poor Hunchbacked hero and his companions. My inspiration for Hakkandottir comes from the women who were brave enough to become pirates. And I also drew from the the Old Norse sagas, specifically Hallgerdur who refuses to let her husband Gunnar use her hair for his bowstring, thus ensuring his death. That’s the type of person Miss Hakkandottir is.

In the latest book, The Dark Deeps, I went back to The Invisible Man by HG Wells. It’s such a lovely story--a man turns himself invisible and goes mad with the power. For my purposes, I wanted a younger invisible man. I named him Griff, in honor of the original invisible man but I gave him a different story: his parents died in a shipwreck and he was raised by Dr. Hyde (who performed experiments on him from an early age). He is infatuated with Miss Hakkandottir and follows her orders mindlessly, always hoping to impress her. Just imagine a petulant teenage boy full of hormones and blessed with the power of invisibility. That’s my Griff.

For me there has been a real fan-boy joy in bringing these characters to life. My chance to, in a way, say thanks to those wonderful Victorian-era authors who put science fiction and fantasy on the map. And to think, I get paid for this!

Additionally, there are two shorts providing a bit more background on the thematic build of the story - including its more villainous aspects!




In addition to his stop at the Tribune today, he had made numerous other visit on his tour, covering a variety of topics at the following locations...

Friday, September 17th   - Artslade.com
Saturday , September 18th   - Cynsations
Sunday, September 19th   - Free the Princess

Tuesday, September 21st  - Stemapunk Tribune (ah, that's just above)

Future visits by Mr. Slade...
Wednesday, September 22nd   - Suvudu.com
Thursday, September 23rd   - The Steampunk Scholar
Friday, September 24th   - Through the Looking Glass

The series has been very well received and reviewed, and the latest installation is sure to continue this trend!  To learn more about The Hunchback Assignments (or order a copy), please look to:

Goodreads.com : The Hunchback Assignments
Goodreads.com : The Dark Deeps (The Hunchback Assignments 2)
Amazon.com : The Hunchback Assignments
Amazon.com : The Dark Deeps (The Hunchback Assignments 2)
Indiebound.com: The Hunchback Assignments

Grab a copy of both and do enjoy!

(My thanks to Mr. Slade for his endeavor and Miss Jessica for the coordination efforts!)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Steampunk Gaming - Much Haste to Igford!



A busy day in RL, but not too busy to discover an impressive project by a Mr. Rich Morgan, as part of his project for his BA in Creative Computer Design at Swansea Metropolitan University.  The game itself is a racing game set in a Steampunk environment - as one can see from the above production.



In addition, Mr. Morgan has a blog (or a "developmental journal, as he titles it), where he details the travails and minutia involved with "Much Haste to Igford".  Very interesting, but it can be a bit technical - still, certainly merits a read!  To visit his blog, please turn to: http://www.steampunkracer.blogspot.com/

Friday, September 17, 2010

Weekend Events - Machinima production with Mr. Loki Eliot at the Aether Salon in New Babbage



One of the Steamland's iconic machima directors, Mr. Loki Eliot, will be the guest speaker at the return of the Aether Salon.  Mr. Eliot's productions are amazing works of art which raised the profile of New Babbage in its early days.  The combination of cinematographic skills, location scouting in the City-State, and sharp ear for music make the Aether Salon's Phantasmagoria! must-see event!  For more details, please visit Aether Salon's website, at: http://aethersalon.blogspot.com/

(I've included a few of his videos below - to see more, please visit his YouTube page, at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Lokiboy)


New Babbage, a Steampunk City, by Mr. Loki Eliot



New Babbage's Fleet Week, 2009, by Mr. Loki Eliot

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Steampunk Lifestyles: Siphon Coffee Brewers (aka Vacuum Coffee Makers)


Image of a Siphon brewer on a a $20,000 (USD) brewing system

I have been going through some changes in work hours, which has led to the "Devil's Brew" becoming my vice of choice for the past couple of weeks.  There is much to be said for modern conveniences regarding coffee brewing (the simplicity of pushing a button and having coffee ready within a few minutes is priceless), it brought me back to the concept of Siphon brewers.  Even though I had touched upon the topic back in February, as a coffee lover, I would argue the topic easily merits a second visit!


Edgar Perdelwitz's Coffee Infusion machine, 1887

The first Siphon brewers were developed in the 1700's, but their popularity started to grow by the mid 1800's, and were a popular means of brewing until the early 1900s (placing it square in the Steampunk era - what Steampunk scientist would want to sleep, when a cup of coffee will keep him/her awake?), when the first peculating machines were patented, expressly for coffee brewing.  By the beginning of the Art Deco period (approximatly the 1920s), stylish coffee pots emerged with dual chambers made of metal or ceramic became popular, and by the 1950s, the first pump-percolator coffee brewers, (aka, "Mr. Coffee") became the dominant means of brewing coffee.  (For more historical detail about Siphon brewers and other coffee topics, please visit Vacuum Coffee Pots website!)


A stunning siphon brewer (The RBS-003) - beautiful, but about $500 (USD)!

The potential issue is a classic "form versus funciton" - the desire to have a beautiful, Steampunk inspired coffee maker to brew an outstanding cup of coffee versus getting the delectable caffeine to start the day.  On the high end (as pictured above), one can obtain a "Royal Coffee Maker" for a small bit of change, or at the other end of the spectrum, one can find a Siphon coffee maker for about, $30 USD, though it frankly has none of the charm as one of the gems above.


Vacuum Coffee demo video
(courtesy of Wake Up Vibes coffee blog)

The contentiousness regarding how to brew the "perfect" pot of Siphon coffee among coffee enthusiasts is a polarizing as whether Starbucks products have a burnt aftertaste (I would argue a resounding yes on that, personally).  Case in point - just read the comments on the above YouTube production.  Still, being able to do so is a pleasurable travail, having to brew pot after pot of coffee, just to get the right brew!


A Sunbeam Vacuum Coffee pot 
(however, it appears to have a bit of AC assistance!)

Even if one acquires a basic Siphon brewer, the ingenuity of any Steampunk enthusiast will shine through after a few small modifications!  However, to learn more about the topic of Siphon coffee brewers, please visit the following locations...

Vacuum Coffee Pots (A comprehensive site on said topic)
Stumpjack Coffee Company (where I first learned about Siphon brewers)
Coffee Geek (Tips about using a Siphon Coffee brewer)
Home Barista (More information on using a Siphon Coffee brewer)
LFT Forum article on Siphon Coffee brewing (with a good number of photos)
The Coffee Kid's article on Vacuum Coffee brewing

If you'll excuse me, I think I'll go have a cup of coffee...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Berlin 1920 announces plans for their own sim!


When I logged on yesterday, I received a bit of good news, regarding the oldest Pulp era sims in SL.  Berlin 1920, led by the lovely Miss Jo Yardly, will be moving from the skybox where they have been building their community in a 1920 recreation of Berlin, to a full sim!  Needless to say, this will allow them more options that full sims have (mostly maintenance issues, such being able to restart it, control over builds and random skyboxes, attachment issues, ect...)


A photo of Ms. Yardley at the Beer Hall
(Enjoying the aftermath of a bit of "gem├╝tlichkeit"!)

One of the focus' of Berlin 1920 has been the development of a dedicated themed community, and building upon the common interest on an idea.  Many a sim has fallen to the wayside for this lack of focus (to counter Mr. Ray Kinsela's quite, just because you build it in SL, it doesn't meant they will come - to your sim).  Miss Yardley has demonstrated a slow and purposeful effort in building, attention to historical detail, and listening to those who shared her vision, has helped Berlin 1920 reach its tipping point with a new sim.


An unidentified young lady on the streets of Berlin 1920

Kudos to Ms Yardly and Berlin 1920 on their new sim.  Do make it a point of visiting their current location and I shall provide a SLurl to their new location, as soon as it becomes available.  However, one can learn more about Berlin 1920s...

SLurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/dudintsev/130/60/500/
Their Main Website: http://1920sberlin.com/
The Berlin 1920's Forum: http://www.1920sberlin.com/phpBB3/index.php
Berlin 1920 Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_1920's_Berlin_Project


Additionally, I've located a small machima about Berlin 1920, a trip to its cabaret.  Do enjoy!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The 3rd Annual STEAM Hunt is in progress!


A many SL individuals may already know, the STEAM event is in full swing!  The STEAM (Steampunk Travellers Event, Adventure, and Megahunt) is an opportunity for those who are interested in Steampunk to learn more about the many excellent Steampunk merchants in SL, and even acquire a few very nice free items in the process.



All that is required is to visit Mieville Doyle's Steampunk Information Center, obtain a STEAM hunt tag, and start hunting down the hints - of the 135 participating shops.  Prior to starting, however, do take a moment to click on the sign and read the background, basic rules, and other items of interested on the official STEAM note card.  Without further ado, feel free to visit Miss Carver's blog, Waves of a Seabreeze, for more about the hunt, or dive right in, by following this SLurl to Mieville, at: http://slurl.com/secondlife/mieville%20Doyle/79/72/26/

Friday, September 10, 2010

Steampunk Entertainment: Mr. G.D. Falksen and the Gypsy Nomads at Dorian's Parlor this Saturday


Fresh off a tip from Miss Evelyn, the Gypsy Nomads will be performing at Dorian's Parlor (in Philadelphia), hosted by renowned Mr. G.D. Falksen.  The event will include a fashion show, dancing, a burlesque performance, and  excellent musical selections!  If you happen to be in the Philadelphia city limits this Saturday, do consider paying a visit this Steampunk event!  For more information, please visit: http://www.doriansparlor.com/

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Slatter's Electro-Mechanical Personal Steam Powered Power Plant and Geist Goggles


Having a bit of a challenge hunting down a few photos of the Steampunk events at Dragon*Con, but for the meantime, I happened up on Mr. Slatter's outstanding advert for his new accoutrement.  Mr. Slatter is a Renaissance Steampunk Gentleman, with talents ranging from video to the musical!  After enjoying his production of his latest invention, do pay a visit to his website to garner more insights from the good sir, at: http://www.comraderobot.com/tomslatter/

Slatters Electro Mechanical Personal Steam Powered Power Plant and Geist Goggles from The Dark Power on Vimeo.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Girl Genius wins the Hugo for Best Graphic Novel!


Congratulations to Mr. Phil Foglio and Ms. Kaja Foglio on their winning the Hugo award for Best Graphic Novel for 2010!  Their work, "Girl Genius, Volume 9: Agatha Hetrodyne and the Heirs of the Storm", surpassed other meritable competitors to take home the prize - yet another outstanding production from the Foglios... kudos!  To catch up on the latest goings-on with Girl Genius, please, as always, pay their website a visit, at: http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/

... and to read up a bit on the Hugo Awards, along with reviews of Girl Genius, Volume 9, please visit: 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The most South's most Steampunk city poll.... and searching for "Other", Texas...


I was reviewing the poll entries for the latest poll and noticed a bit of anomaly.  It seems that the highest rated selection from the states in question for the last month, (Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and New Mexico) was "Other".  A bit confused at this development, so after a bit of thought I believe that the issue developed with the interjection of "South" in the title of the poll - a likely misstep on my part.


(I must admit I was quite tickled by this bit of art and its adjoining story - 
I'd be looking for this fellow in the Steam South!)

As such, I've decided to go ahead and post the next poll - one for which I've been waiting to post for quite a while.  This poll will be about the the most Steampunk city of the Southeastern United States.  I've taken the largest population centers (per Wikipedia), and put them on the sidebar, so voting is open until early November!  I'll personally be very interested in its outcome - a plethora of justifiable choices to vote for!



Additionally, if one chose "Other" in the "Plains" poll, and was intent on finding a city in the Southeast, you can change your vote - or list whichever city I may have left off.  So, do enjoy casting your votes - if there are any issues, please do let me know!

Finally, I did stumble upon a few locations which seem appropriate for this entry.  First, there is a blog titled "Southern Steampunk - Gone with the Gears".  Its had a good start, and with a bit of luck, the entries for it will pick back up.  To visit it, please do travel over to: http://southernsteam.blogspot.com/ .

One cannot end any piece on the Steampunk South with out mentioning the Steampunk Empire's "Southern Steampunk Group".  To read the latest going-ons, do pay it a visit, at: http://steampunk.ning.com/group/thesouthernsteampunkgroup

Friday, September 3, 2010

Dragon*Con Steampunk Exhibition taking place this weekend!



This weekend will see the beginning of Dragon*Con, previously reviewed on the 20th of August - but to refresh oneself on the details of the Steampunk Exhibition or the overarching events at Dragon*Con, do pay a  visit to the following locations:
For the Steampunk Exhibition: http://www.chronotrack.org/
For more information on Dragon*Con: http://www.dragoncon.org/


Additionally, don't forget the Steampunk Meetup on Saturday, for the Steampunk Group photo!  For more detailed information regarding Steampunk events at Dragon*con, please visit Miss Evelyn's website, at http://jaborwhalky.livejournal.com/573929.html

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Gatehouse Gazette, Issue 14, is on the virtual book-stands...


After a brief hiatus, the Gatehouse Gazette has returned with Issue #14, dedicated to War!  This endeavor includes an extensive of Steampunk-era Propaganda, product and technologies derived from conflict, an interview with Mr. Christian Matzke (the gentleman behind the squeal to the "War of the World"), and much more!  To indulge in the latest issue, please turn to: http://www.ottens.co.uk/gatehouse/Gazette%20-%2014.pdf