Thursday, September 29, 2011

Hark A Vagrant, on NPR...


On the way to work, I was pleasantly suprised to learn that Miss Kate Beaton, the wonderful talent behind "Hark A Vagrant" was not only publishing a book of her works, but was kind enough to provide an interview to the audio Steampunk nemesis known as NPR.  Although the writers chose in my opinion, a poor selection to describe Miss Beaton's work (the above Tesla work is much better), the interview is quite enlightening, and  certainly worth a listen!  To do so, please visit NPR's interview website, at: http://www.npr.org/2011/09/29/140804195/hark-from-dna-to-jfk-a-comic-take-on-history

Additionally, do visit Salon for another interview...
http://www.salon.com/books/laura_miller/2011/09/22/kate_beaton/index.html


and consider a few dinars toward her upcoming work (as pictured above)... ready at Amazon...

... and finally, visit her website!  It is at...http://harkavagrant.com/index.php

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Steampunk Literature: Mrs Darcy versus the Aliens


A bit ago, the series of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies took foot, and retelling (improving, in my opinion - especially after having to endure it with the swooning other half) of Ms. Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, and other enhancements of her works.  Today, I received word from the exceptional Lord Likely (as from "The Astonishing Adventures of Lord Likely"), about a new ... enhancement to Ms. Austen's works.  Mrs. Darcy versus the Aliens is a new take on the classic work.  It is a bit different, so its is best if one has a sense of humor (and what Steampunk devotee doesn't)?  To learn a bit more, do take a jaunt to their website, located at: http://www.mrsdarcyvsthealiens.com/

(A tip of the Steamy bowler to the good Lord Likely, for the lead!  Do remember to pay a visit (and indulge in the adventures of...) The Astonishing Adventures of Lord Likely!)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Cog is Dead - "Death of the Cog"


A tad pressed with RL impositions, however, please do enjoy an excellent selection from The Cog is Dead's self-titled first album.  Though they are hard at work on their next endeavor, but after you indulge in their track (one of my favorites), do learn more about one of Steampunk most popular bands, at...

Monday, September 26, 2011

How to make a Steampunk Tag...


Today's entry is a bit more on the "DIY" aspect of Steampunk... I happened upon a very useful time-lapse video documenting how to make a "Steampunk Tag".  A lot of ink, stamps, and glue are involved, but the finished product is quite nice indeed - do enjoy!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The trailer for Adventures in Science has been released!


Came across this intriguing production titled "Adventures in Science" (AIS), which was premiered at the Grand New England Steampunk Exposition earlier this month.  Additionally, their blog, http://adventuresinsciencefilm.blogspot.com/, details the travails involved in making the AIS endeavor, and its quite intriguing to shuffle through their archives, and watch what is involved with developing the work.  So, do enjoy the trailer, and do consider a visit to their website, to learn more about Adventures in Science!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The 4th Annual Engineer's Ball, this Saturday!


The Piermont has finally returned, and just in time for the 4th Annual Engineer's Ball!  However, the Piermont has a new and distinct look, establishing it as one of the many outstanding builds of New Babbage.  Inspired by one of Steampunk venerable graphic artists, *Alanise, it is a SL version of an incredible, and until now, inaccessible location (as it was limited to the artist's own graphic brush).  You can see the original inspiration below...



Additionally, the traditional photography contest will be taking place, focusing on the beautiful images of New Babbage.  To take part in the Grand Opening of the Piermont, indulge in its fantastic new grounds, and even participate in the photography contest, please pay a visit to the New Babbage website, at: http://cityofnewbabbage.com/drupaltest/node/3471



... and its SL counterpart!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Steampunk Peterpan and Steampunk, Writing and Publishing


A bit pressed for time, due to some in-world circumstances, but I did wish to point out two things... The Vancouver Film School produces a film each year, as part of their overall effort to hone their artistic skills.  This year, their project was quite unique - a retelling of Peter Pan ... a Steampunk Peter Pan!  However, an alumnus of the Vancouver Film School has already reviewed their work... on his Steampunk blog!


Steampunk, Writing and Publishing is the endeavor of Mr. M. Fenger, who aside from being a computer animator, is currently penning a novel (Aetherstorm).  He has been diligently writing, blogging, and more, so do consider a longer visit to his blog, located at: http://brassbolts.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Steampunk on CNN's "Geek Out!"


As one ventures outside the world of Steampunk, into larger media sources, one wonders if articles produced, which "explain" Steampunk, are providing a benefit to those who may not be familiar with the genre (in the sense of focusing on unique and creative aspects of the genre), or use Steampunk as a simple filler piece for harried journalists.  A majority of press pieces of late have been positive, though at times some are head-scratching odd, when trying to figure out an article's storyline (beyond "those crazy people who dress like Victorians").

Fortunately, CNN's "Geek Out!" provides a nice review of Steampunk, focusing on Dragon*Con, and touches on convivial aspect that the majority of Steampunks enjoy.  Additionally, the comments are well balanced, with a compendium of satisfying retorts to the inevitable trolls by people who do appreciate the genre.  Worth a look, imo, so please follow the link here... http://geekout.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/05/steampunk-trend-barrels-ahead-at-dragoncon/

Monday, September 19, 2011

Alternate History Steampunk Maps...



Steampunk, interestingly enough, is easily one of the most popular alternate history genres on the market.  By definition a change in technology, leading to changes in political, economic, and a plethora of other things, is not only a great potential for excellent writing (just ask the Steampunk Scholar for a few suggestions), but alternate history maps with a Steampunk view are also unique gems to behold.



I happened upon the artistic cartographer, ~Alt-Reality, a bit ago, who designed some amazing alternate history maps.  A few Steampunk-focused maps exist, but to truly enjoy them do take the link to the lager versions - they are painfully beautiful!  Additionally, there are plenty of other alternate history maps at ~Alt-Reality's Deviant Art location, (including yet a few more Steampunk maps to indulge in), located at... http://alt-reality.deviantart.com/

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Sky Commodore's Autumn Equinoxial Masquerade Ball, coming this October 1st, 2011


Received news of an event upcoming in only a few weeks... The Sky Commodore's Autumn Equinoxial Masquerade Ball will be taking place this Saturday, October 1st, 2011!  If one happens to be in the environs of Dallas/Ft. Worth, do consider a visit, with more details available at: http://skybourne.com/

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Horrible Histories - Vile Victorians!


Horrible Histories: Victorian Names
(Yay, Minty Badger!)

As I as shuffling about the Steampunk Links, I came across an outstanding entry from the dependably entertaining and informative Steampunk blog Trial by Steam.  The title of Miss A.E. Flint's entry, Horrible Histories: Vile Victorians, piqued my curiosity, so I headed over, and couldn't stop laughing at the the entry over Victorian Slang.  By accident, I opened up YouTube, and discovered there were yet more "True and Strange" works for Horrible Histories!



Horrible Histories: Victorian Beer

Miss A.E. Flint has found a treasure trove of entries which both amuse and educate!  Perhaps one might think that RL Steampunk is odd, but it doesn't hold a candle to the real Victorian age!  These are only a small sample of the Victorian entries, and the even more extensive entries of other time periods and cultures (e.g. other English time periods {Tudors - Historical Wife Swap}, the Georgian Army, and more})!


Horrible Histories: Victorian Maid!


(A hat tip to the lovely Miss A.E. Flint @ Trial by Steam!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Amazing Whimcycle!


A front view of the Amazing Whimcycle!

Outstanding indeed!  Anthony and Sera from San Clemente, CA were kind enough to send photos of their superlative mode of transportation they indulged in during the Burning Man festivities!  Quite a beauty, and the detail lavashed upon the Amazing Whimcycle is very apparent!  Thank you for the images, and I'm certainly looking forward to more details regarding the Amazing Whimcycle as they become available!


Love the details in the back!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An update on Sextan Shephard's SL status....


Just off the old Northelia Station depot

A bit of good news for the day!  Contrary to earlier details, Mr. Sextan Shephard has not left Second Life "for good" - in fact, he does intend on returning at some point in the future.  A he stated in his comment for the blog...

"Just one thing, don't you think that this sound a bit like an obituary blog.. I am not dead!!!! (yes..this is Sextan speakin) it's not that I have left SL.. it's simply that, for now, I don't have any free time to get online... and I have preferred to totally stop to sell stuff and having a land just because I have no time to answer customers requests, IMs, land fees .. and to do everything that must be done daily when you owe a brand and a running business in SL.


So I still build, but for a private company/foundation and on a private grid (12sims) and I have a lot of stuff to build (no steampunk stuff this time!. But most important thing, I have been hired for my first serious job as a music composer... and as already I have a regular daily job.. I spend my nights working on those other projects.. and I still have to save time for my family. So I'am not dead and gone.. I'am just a bit busy ^^. Anyway, I think I will be back on SL but I just can't tell when."

Additionally, his associate Ziki Questi provided a bit more information about his sim and Marketplace locale on the associated New World Notes article regarding his status...

"Hello. I stay in touch with Sextan via email. He's doing some commercial work on another grid--not of the same kind, just work for hire.  I'm not sure how much of a "scoop" The Steampunk Tribune has there, since Liberty Cove has been empty for about a month. Sextan inadvertently deleted his SL Marketplace box when he emptied the sim, and so his Marketplace store is empty, but he does plan to relist items."

It was good to learn he intends to re-list his amazing builds in time.  Fortunately, he has reiterated his intention to return to SL in time, and I'm certainly confident his return will be much anticipated when it happens!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Space 1889: Planetenprojekt: Mars!


Bit on the run this evening with RL chores, but I did wish to post this quite novel view of Space: 1889's Mars!  From what I can tell, its based loosely on Google Earth, or as the (internet) translation narrative states...

"Space1889 is a Steampunk-Rollenspiel which in a fictional, Victorian era of the earth plays. With the help of steam-powered Spaceships while landing earthly explorers the ether and populated the Mars, Venus, and mercury. Our fan project would, under the auspices of DereGlobus, the populated planet as interactive atlases in Google Earth."

Quite a good work, even if one can look past the the questionable German-to-English translation (that would be my fault).  For more Space: 1889 goodness, please consider a visit to Saturday edition of the Steampunk Tribune, with much more regarding its magnificent background, at:   http://www.steampunktribune.com/2011/09/space-1889-journey-to-heart-of-luna-has.html

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bungie's Crimson Steam Pirates... for free!


Bungie, the company who had developed some of the greatest video games of the past decade, have taken yet another fantastic step!  Their newest game, Crimson Steam Pirates, was released late last week, and aside from looking fantastic, its starts at a great price - free!  If you have an iPad (*sigh*), you'll be able to download the first eight episodes, then a small fee after that to keep playing.  Ideally, it will be released for other platforms, but for the time being, take a break and pay Bungie.org a visit to see the game, at: http://www.bungie.net/projects/aerospace/crimson/content.aspx?link=crimson_about

... and learn a bit about the Steampunk reality behind Steam Pirates, at:
http://harebrained-schemes.com/crimson/world/

Trailer for the Mechanical Grave...


I happened upon this particular trailer while searching about for articles, and stumbled upon a horror movie website (a sheer accident)!  However, this production markets itself as a Steampunk Horror movie, as per its introduction...

"The year is 1895. Steam-powered ships fly through the air. Clockwork robots have replaced servants. And a grisly murder has taken place in the dark night of New York City. Called to the scene of the ritualistic murder, newly appointed police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt discovers Detective Wayne and his police officers power usurped by two special investigators appointed by the White House: Occultist Edgar Allan Poe, a clockwork automaton housing the soul of the literary legend, and Mrs. Emma Entwistle, a dangerous assassin with a unique connection to the otherworld. When they elicit information from the demon Neshrew, a much darker and more dangerous plot of world domination is uncovered."

I was sold when I read it had the legendary Teddy Roosevelt!  Interesting preview, as there are certainly a lot of firearms bandied about, so if your curiosity is piqued, do pay a visit to their Facebook page to keep up with the ongoing endeavor, at: http://www.facebook.com/TheMechanicalGrave

Monday, September 12, 2011

The "We Love Fine" Steampunk T-shirt design contest starts today!



An excellent opportunity for aspiring Steampunk designers!  The design shop "We Love Fine" will be initiating a new contest for new Steampunk attire!  The grand prize winner will receive up to $2000 in cash, and two oustanding prizes will be awarded by the guest judges, Mr. G.D. Falksen, and Ms. Evelyn Creed (and two runner ups).  For the expanded details on this competetive event, please do visit the "We Love Fine" Steampunk Design Contest page, at: https://www.welovefine.com/contest.php?id_contest=3

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Space 1889: Journey to the Heart of Luna has been released!


Journey to the Heart of Luna is out!

For those who have been peripherally aware of Steampunk, before it was as popular as it is now, especially those involved with the classic RPGs from the 1980's and 1990's, Space: 1889 was the seminal Steampunk source.  With a grand selection of items to read and enjoy, once it hit a rough patch, and new sources and stories slowed to a trickle, it was difficult to follow any new developments in the Space: 1889 universe.

Until now.

Mr. Andy Frankham-Allen's newest work, Journey to the Heart of Luna was released this week, and being fortunate enough to sample a pre-release viewing of it, I will say it is outstanding.  Without giving too much away, it expands upon the Space: 1889 universe, with classic characters, an involving plot, and much more!  If one wishes to start on the expansion to Steampunk first comprehensive universes, one can start at...

Apple iBookstores (for the UK, Canada, Australia, and Germany)
... and the Untreed.com's season pass for Space: 1889 offer has been extended until the end of September!

To learn more about Mr. Frankham-Allen's endeavor, please consider visiting...
An interview by the legendary Mr. Frank Chadwick (the original author of Space: 1889) with Mr. Frankham-Allen, at his blog (Space:1889) ...
The Space: 1889 Facebook page...
Mr. Frankham-Allen's Facebook page ...
... and his own blog here!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Piermont has landed!


A full view of the new Piermont, in Wheatstone Waterways!

One of the most popular events in the Steamlands was Miss Carver-Fabre's monthly events at the Piermont Landing.  Going on three years, with impressive attendance to the Steamland-themed events (number that would be the envy of any Second Life event), it quietly disappeared this summer - for a retro-fit!  It isn't quite ready for the general public, but if one cares to take a sneak peak at New Babbage's newest gem, head to the Southwestern corner of Wheatstone Waterways, and take a moment to see the new Piermont!


The new DJ stand, just below the massive new clock


The main column, with the entertainment floor just behind it


A view of one of its interior floors, undergoing a bit of sprucing up!


A close up of one the the Copper Rose fountains adorning the entrance to the Piermont


Do consider a visit to see the new Piermont!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Need a good Steampunk book to go? Visit Steampunk Kindle!


I've been unfortunate in the sense that I have not had much opportunity to indulge in Steampunk literature (as opposed to the maw of legal regulations I have the "opportunity" to read for my RL employ).  However, earlier this year I did acquire a Kindle for the other half, and she's been reading it non-stop - quite smitten with it, I'd say.  Alas, aside from Steampunk classics, I haven't uploaded much good (read: Steampunk) literature to her little machine.  However... that issue is now resolved!

Steampunk Kindle is your one-stop online location for the nexus of Steampunk and Kindle!   Every thing from Steampunk book reviews for Kindle-friendly works, Steampunk-esque cover, and even "snazzier" Steampunk screen savers are available for your Kindle!  So if you are fortunate enough to have one, or have access to one (ahem), do pay a visit and start upgrading your lithe literature device with a bit of Steampunk!

To start, simply head over to.... http://steampunkkindle.com/

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Steampunk on PBS' Off Book


This particular video was uploaded on the web last Wednesday, but for those who haven't seen it yet, it provides a nice retrospective of the genre, though it really only scratches the surface.  Still, do enjoy!

Monday, September 5, 2011

El Pulpo Mechanico visits Burning Man!



El Pulpo Mechanico (the Mechanical Octopus) paid a visit to the Burning Man festival!  It never ceases to amaze to see such intricate (and unusual) Argentine gem, which pay a nod to Steampunk - especially ones with giant flames, tenticales, and well... you'll just have to watch it yourself!  For more, please visit IO9, at: http://io9.com/5837314/youll-wish-you-could-ride-in-this-steampunk-octopus-tank

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Steampunk Builders: Sextan Shepherd has left the (virtual) building...




For those who are involved with Second Life, they are aware events and locales tend to happen at a blazing quick pace.  Sims rez, change, or disappear, as do individuals.  I've heard (through passing discussions, mind you), that often times a person involved in SL will at one point become "burned out", or have pressing RL issues, and withdraw from the virtual Steampunk world, sometimes dramatically, sometimes quietly.  As I was busy planning future entries on the Steampunk Travelogue, to my surprise, I came across some disturbing clues which indicate one of Second Life's premeir Steampunk builders, Sextan Shepherd, has quietly left Second Life, for destinations unknown!




For those who may not know, Mr. Sextan Shepherd was one of Second Life's most innovative Steampunk builders.  His ground breaking "Nemo I" build (the first video above) became a stunning example of the potential of genre building in the virtual Steampunk worlds.  Prior to Nemo I, he had been known for his breathtaking textures, which were not only iconic in its Art Nouveau influence, but his unique works (his first store was a floating set of island, which harbored his first few ships, which also became a standard in the virtual Steamlands (New Babbage)  



(unfortunately, this is simply a link to the YouTube video, but still worth the trip!)

He followed Nemo I, with Nemo II, Nemo III, and finally Liberty Cove - all exceptionally impressive builds.  Over the time he was in SL, he developed a loyal following, and one could easily see (and recognize) his works.  In fact, his last work, the aforementioned Liberty Cove, had his unique thumbprint on it, as well as his playful genre sense of humor (note the giant Steampunk robot to the right of the photo - it would greet you upon arrival at the sim)!




So, as I mentioned earlier, I was researching work for the Steampunk Travelogue (a kind of repository of Steampunk sims which is sadly not quite up-to-date), when I started to come across clues that Sextan had left Second Life, including....

1) Liberty Cove (below) is, for lack of a kinder word, gone...
2) His online shop in the SL Marketplace is gone, and most telling...
3) His profile states that he is (now) a content creator on another grid.

Based on the above... I have to assume he has moved on from Second Life to greener (steamier?) pastures.



Liberty Cove in September

Can't say exactly why he moved on, though speculation can run rampant (e.g. SL demands, SL business cutting into his building time, or even worse, the demands of RL).  Still, its sad to see someone of his established building skill, impressive genre vision, and excellent customer service depart SL.  Afraid I don't know where he has gone off to (I gather he wanted it to remain a secret, else he would have announced that fact), but nonetheless, the SL Steamlands are richer for his time and skills, so I do wish him fair winds and following seas, and the best of luck on his future endeavors!

To see more photos of Mr.Sextan Shepherd's amazing work, please turn to:
(above (stunning) photos by Lyloo Mitter)


My own copy of Mr. Shepherd's classic ship leaving New Babbage

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Steampunk Minecraft



For those who follow this small corner of Steampunk, I do try to keep up with amazing virtual world build in Steampunk, as well as news and events in the RL ("Real World") of Steampunk.  One aspect that I've neglected to my own retrospective dismay, is Minecraft.  As one can see from the videos, there is quite an impressive Steampunk world running in this realm.



For those who may not be overly familiar with Minecraft (including myself), its wiki basically explains it as a "sandbox" game, which focus on building (as opposed to Second Life, which has a very large social aspect).  Differing from SL in the sense that one "pays" for the Minecraft, and texture packs to personalize a world, on just build to one's heart content.  (SL note - for those who aren't familiar with Second Life, in SL one "pays" for prims on land, either by renting a "plot" from a sim (akin to an island) landlord, and then one has so many prims available to build.  In short, you are limited to the number of prims you have permission to build your designs).  In Minecraft, (as I understand it), one's "land" goes on and on, but the quality of your build drops over distance.




Alas, I have yet to indulge in Minecraft (returning to grad school is quite a travail), though it looks amazingly intriguing.  I've borrowed works from a fellow named UberGaffer, who is, as far as I can see, the Isambard K. Brunel of Minecraft Steampunk.  It runs about 15 Euros (or about 20 dollars, more or less), but I think that I'll have to give it a try - for a small sandbox game, its amazing popular, well priced, and looks like a plethora of fun! 

For more information about Minecraft, please turn to:
The official Minecraft site: http://www.minecraft.net/
The Wiki about Minecraft: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minecraft
...and play "classic" Minecraft for free, at: http://www.minecraft.net/play.jsp

Friday, September 2, 2011

Gatehouse Gazette, Issue #20, is on the Virtual Newsstands!


The outstanding Gatehouse Gazette, Issue #20, is out and ready to be indulged!  This issue focuses more on Dieselpunk, including Film Noir, Art Deco, an overview of the Radio era, Captain America, The Rocketeer, everyone's favorite bad guys, and much, much more!  To start reading, please turn to:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pharmaceuticals and ... soda jerks!


A soda fountain in south Texas, at the turn of the last century

An aspect of Steampunk, so to speak, which many may be familiar with, but not quite aware of, is the unique history soda fountains and soda jerks, in the United States.  As I drove to work this morning, I was intrigued to learn a new resurfacing of soda fountains, and oddly enough, their original purpose.  To provide an abbreviated narrative, pharmacists from the mid to late 1800's were often responsible for developing concoctions to address ailments which afflicted many of the day.  While their effectiveness might be in question, one that that wasn't was the terrible taste of their "medications".  As such, to make the medication a bit more palatable, they would add something that would overpower the challenging taste... which eventually led to an iconic American institution!

However, to indulge in the full article, links, and more, please do head over to the article, at:   http://www.npr.org/2011/09/01/140093866/in-soda-revival-fizzy-taste-bubbles-up-from-the-past