My home in the Steamlands, New Babbage Travel photo #3,
by Mr. A.E. Cleanslate
Yes, the header is correct.
After much deliberation and consultation, I've decided to end the run of the Steampunk Tribune, one of the genre's longest running continuous blogs. It wasn't an easy decision to make, but after six plus-ish years of reporting on the kaleidoscope of Steampunk, its time to end the endeavor. From my earliest entry (a particularly bad attempt at fiction writing, in retrospect), the evolution from the old "Voyages of a Steampunk Physician" (the original title of the blog), then the Heliograph, and arriving at the Steampunk Tribune of today, it has been a wonderful experience.
Lounging at the Old New Babbage Arsenal, with Jeeves providing a bit of refreshment
Why am I ending the blog? Well, a number of reasons - with the weightiest of which involve my RL existence. I recently received a "promotion" at my employ (same pay, more work, but quite enjoyable), which demands more time be spent with it, and in turn, cuts need to be made elsewhere (regarding my time). I've cut back on numerous other aspects (e.g. virtual world involvement, other blogs, etc...), but circumstances led to my decision to reduce my involvement on this little corner of the internet. I felt the Steampunk Tribune required frequent entries to keep it up to date, and frankly didn't feel I would be able to spend the amount time I had in the past, to do it justice. Though readership was still quite good as of the last post (back in July!), which is a testament to the ongoing interest in Steampunk, but I had to make a choice, and this was the end result.
Future of Steampunk
The Steamlands in SL (the virtual Steampunk community), and Steampunk in other venues still progresses, even after weathering the "Great Recession". The Independent State of Caledon has contracted a bit, and I'm afraid I don't recognize many of the new residents, but it holds its place as a steadfast beacon of Steampunk in Second Life - a testament to unto itself that a demand for Steampunk (including locales that are friendly to individuals who are not seeking salacious entertainment that peppers SL). A hat tip to the Guv, Desmond (and his alt last names), who had the vision and business acumen to shepherd the Independent State to ongoing success. Kudos, Sir!
New Babbage remains as one of the very stringently Steampunk, but fun-filled genre venues in SL - it has had its fits and spurts in the past, but remains strong, and I see no divergence from its current course under Mayor Tenk. I still keep a residence there, with my airship hovering over the remnants of the Old New Babbage Arsenal, across from the magnificent Piermont Landing.
There are other Steampunk entities that have come and gone, and new ones that are evolving, which I will keep up-to-date on the Steampunk Travelogue (fewer entries there, but is more of a historical archive for virtual Steampunk).
Aside from SL, Mayor BlackDuckLindsey persevered from the terrible treatment he received from the original Victoiana SL, and re-established Victoiana in InWorldz - the foremost non-SL Steampunk locale on the internet. His dedication to his dream of an enjoyable and friendly Steampunk world certainly merits a glass-raising of Guinness any day!
Real Life Steampunk
Though Steampunk has received more prominence lately, even being recognized on a regular basis by the mainstream Science Fiction world, I do hope for the best. Seeing more visibility for the genre (the plethora of outstanding Independent film makers endeavors producing amazing work), and Hollywood even tipping a bit towards recognition of Steampunk (e.g. the small but appreciated winks from the Sherlock Holmes movies), is heartening.
However, my concern with the injection of political machinations of certain groups and individuals will, in my opinion, limit the acceptance of the genre. Trying to impose a template of ideologies upon the genre is self-serving, and acts as an anchor towards greater futures in Steampunk. I've seen very good writers and bloggers depart from the genre in part due to this circumstance, and individuals I've attempted to induce into the beloved genre questioned what they saw as politically correct indoctrination shoe-horned into Steampunk. People have every right to their own opinions, but this particular eddy seems juxtaposed to the free-flowing essence of Steampunk.
To me, Steampunk is an opportunity to enjoy a different time, with a fictional twist - in Virtual or Real Life. The genre is very accepting of those who may not feel they fit into other genres - old, young, beautiful, not so beautiful (like me!), etc... Trying to dictate to others how they should act or think during their participation is simply unsatisfactory, (again, imo), but in the end, people vote with their feet with how they spend their free time... and sadly, I think many have.
I promised myself that were I to end the blog, I would not simply let it drift off into the Aether (though I have neglected it for too long), but at the very least post Mr. B's wonderful video, which, to me, encompasses the modern zanyness and fun punctuated by Steampunk... thus the meaning of being with fun-loving, like-minded old and new friends.
I do have too many thanks to provide, but in a brief attempt to do so...
My Sponsors, who demonstrated their confidence in the blog with RL monetary compensation - my thanks, and may your business endeavors continue with great success
Chrononaut Mercantile (Outstanding Steampunk gear and attire)
NeoVictoria (A wonderful Second Life Sim)
The ZBS Foundation (Wonderful Stories set in a Steampunk world)
My blogging associates, who during the early days, worked with me to form a nuclueus of blogs to help with the growth of Steampunk - some have gone, others are going strong, and there still remain many superlative online locales to visit (and listed in no particular order)...
Art of Steampunk
The Steampunk Librarian
The Gatehouse Gazette
The Airship Ambassador
The Traveller's Steampunk Blog
My Ear Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightening
Caught in the Cogs
Ms. Cherie Priest's website
...and of course, my SL Steampunk blogging associates:
Virtually Classic Fashions
Through the Filter of a Victorian Aesthetic
A Caledonian Journey
A License to Quill
(For an extended list, please do visit the Steampunk Links, located at: http://steampunk-links.blogspot.com/
And on that note, its time for my departure... again, my thanks for spending your valuable time over the years at this little corner of Steampunk on the internet, and I do wish all clear skies, fair winds, and following seas!
On the Iron Wasp, heading out towards new adventures in the Steamlands with my dear partner Breezy...
(Epilogue... a few months after writing the above piece - I've decided to keep two associated Steampunk blogs running, though at a much reduced pace of entry than the Steampunk Tribune...
The Steampunk Shipyard, my "side" Steampunk project, which I focused specifically on Steampunk Aero and Nautical aspects of the genre (including uniforms, which seems to be its most popular topic). Based on my RL background, its seemed like a natural fit, and appears to remain popular, and...
The Steampunk Travelogue, documenting virtual Steampunk worlds that come and go, sometimes much too quickly... and occasional updates in the SL/Virtual worlds of the Steamlands). I've kept it since October of 2008, and is a good thumbnail sketch of the history of the Steamlands.
Now, on that note, to quote Dr. Strangelove, "Until we meet again!"...)