Traveler's Steampunk Blog

res ætheris exploramus

Minutes at the Edge #9 – Airships and Cloud Cities for Venus

Posted By on 17. Dezember 2014

There is a NASA study out, which proposes using airships and cloud cities, habitats in the upper atmosphere of Venus, to explore the planet.

The whole idea is far less freaky than it sounds, believe me! Here’s my podcast introducing the whole thing:

 

 

Minutes at the Edge Logo (Tesla's Tower)
 

And you can find out more about everything (and please check out the graphics) at spectrum.ieee.org.

Wil Wheaton plays a Steampunk Game

Posted By on 11. Dezember 2014

Watch Wil Wheaton, Alicia Day, Alan Tudyk (a.k.a. Hoban Washburne), and Jon Heder suffer through a game of Forbidden Desert, a fun, cooperative, and hellishly difficult Steampunk-themed game by Matt Leacock.

I am not going to spoil anything, just watch Wil get really worked up a couple of times:

Also, I guess Forbidden Desert would be a great gift for the discerning Steampunk explorer.

Book Feature: Hopebreaker by Dean F. Wilson

Posted By on 10. Dezember 2014

In the world of Altadas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.

Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.

When Hope is an enemy, Jacob finds it harder than he thought to remain indifferent. When the Resistance opts to field its experimental landship, the Hopebreaker, the world may find that one victory does not win a war.

Hopebreaker - Cover

Excerpt from the Novel:

The walls crashed down and the soldiers stormed in, replacing bricks with leather boots and stones with clenched fists. The dissonance died down, but the dust hung for endless moments, dimming the light and stinging the eyes. Yet Jacob did not need to see; he knew why they were here, what they had come for.

A figure, tall and broad, stepped into view, his hair and uniform as black as the long shadow he cast across the room. His fists were not clasped, but the anger was still there, pouring out of the cracks and crevices of his crooked face. Everyone could recognise him, even in darkness—especially in darkness. Everyone knew his name. Domas. Yet not everyone knew what he was.

“You are accused of smuggling amulets,” Domas said. He paced to and fro restlessly, until the very floor began to recognise him. The light from the oil lamp flickered on his face, creating and killing lots of little shadows. Those shadows made him look inhuman, but under any other light he looked like everybody else. Jacob remembered when he was first told about them by his father. They are like you and I. They walk among us.

“What evidence do you have?” Jacob asked, hoping they would not search the bookcase, hoping they would not scour his soul.

Domas drew close, seizing Jacob by the collar. “I don’t need evidence.”

Jacob parried Domas’ glower with his own. He felt like responding, like snapping or biting, even though he knew it would not help. It would make him feel better for the briefest of moments, and then, as the soldiers responded with their fists, it would make him feel much worse. The words of his father haunted him like a demon. In time they will replace us.

“Take him to the Hold,” Domas barked to one of his commanders. He turned to leave, but halted as something caught his eye. “Open your hand,” he ordered.

“It’s a bit late to shake it.”

“Open your hand,” Domas repeated. He did not need to give a warning. His tone gave enough.

Jacob offered his left hand, which was empty.

“A clown as well as a smuggler,” Domas said. “Your other hand.”

Jacob reluctantly loosened his grip on the tiny bag of coils he was holding, his all too meagre payment for smuggling an amulet into the city. Domas snatched it from his grasp.

“You won’t be needing this,” he said. “In the Hold, the rent is free.”

The soldiers seized Jacob and pulled him outside, where a mechanised wagon waited, one of the many vehicles the Regime used to transport its forces—and its prisoners.

In moments Jacob was hauled up and hurled into the back of the warwagon, where he banged his head against the iron walls. He heard the cogs and pistons start up, and he heard the roar of the furnace and the rhythm of the wheels.

The smell of coal and smoke filled his nostrils and seeped into his lungs, until finally he faded off into a halfway place between the waking world and dreams, where he imagined what things might have been like if the demons had not come here, if the Regime had not gained power.

About Dean F. Wilson:

Dean F. Wilson was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1987. He started writing at age 11, when he began his first (unpublished) novel, entitled The Power Source. He won a TAP Educational Award from Trinity College Dublin for an early draft of The Call of Agon (then called Protos Mythos) in 2001.

His epic fantasy trilogy, The Children of Telm, was released between 2013 and 2014.

Dean also works as a journalist, primarily in the field of technology. He has written for TechEye, Thinq, V3, VR-Zone, ITProPortal, TechRadar Pro, and The Inquirer.

Book Links:

Hopebreaker on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QO2FQ52

Hopebreaker on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23698892-hopebreaker

Author Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dean-F.-Wilson/e/B007O05FEU/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6082024.Dean_F_Wilson

Website: http://www.deanfwilson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deanfwilson

Twitter: https://twitter.com/deanfwilson

How to Draw Steampunk Characters

Posted By on 8. Dezember 2014

I really have no time for proper updates recently, sorry about that. So, I am going to share something artistic with added value now:
How to draw Steampunk characters, a really nicely done tutorial:

Bullet Gal by Andrez Bergen – Your support here, please!

Posted By on 30. November 2014

My friend and author extraordinaire Andrez has a new graphic novel ready to go, Bullet Girl, which needs your help to get on the road.

Bullet Gal

The first thing you need to know about Bullet Gal is that it’s a loving homage to hardboiled noir — the detective fiction and pulp produced in the first half of the 20th century by writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett.

As a writer with four published novels of his own as well as a graphic novel already under the belt, Andrez Bergen wears this influence with pride.

But he also loves his sci-fi and dystopia, anything from The Matrix to Blade Runner, Inception to Ghost in the Shell — and the Bullet Gal comic book embraces these inspirations too.

Let me tell you, I have the graphic novel adaption of Tobacco-stained Mountain Goat here, and if Bullet Girl is only remotely as good, it s well worth your investment.

Check out some sample art:

And this is the trailer with some more info:

If you are into hard-boiled noir, or simply love the style , enjoy a good graphic novel or just because you are awesome and want to help other awesome people please support Bullet Gal here.
 

Abney Park: Nomad – New Album Out Now!

Posted By on 28. November 2014

Abney Park, likely the best-known Steampunk band around, is releasing a new album, Nomad. As of me writing this article, it is still just over seven hours until the album will be available for sale.
According to Abney Park’s statement yesterday:

On sale tomorrow, noon, pst.

Abney Parks new album, Nomad.

Comes in two flavors:

Regular: $15
Numbered and autographed, $30.

Cover of Abney Park's album  "Nomad"

Once this time has come, it will be available at the Abney Park Marketplace

In the meantime (it is 04:44 AM in Seattle when tis article goes online) you can enjoy this beautiful video, released by Abney Park four days ago:

 
 Image Credit: © Abney Park, fair use

Help a Boar become Austro-Hungarian Emperor!

Posted By on 22. November 2014

If this headline did not get your attention, you are probably dead…
Anyway, may I present to you this bizarre jewel of an independent game, by Croatian game company Studio Spektar:

The good people at Studio Spektar have this to say about the game world:

Viktor’s cartoon world is not entirely different from our world. Each country is either a semi-historical representation of a real country, or a flat-out parody that may or may not have people laughing with anger.

You’ll meet a great number of characters in the game who will often be bizarre, and sometimes based on real people such as the genius inventor antelope Tesla or the dog Emperor Franz Joseph.

Yes, you read that correctly, Tesla is a genius inventor antelope. This is just so wonderfully bizarre, and look at the map (© Studio Spektar, used with permission):

Viktor the Boar's Europe

So, everybody, let’s help get this very unique and creative take on steampunk on the road and have a laugh at our past at the same time.

Support it here!

Oh, and before I forget:
You can download a playable demo on the kickstarter page, too.

The Christmas Truce – Sainsbury’s OFFICIAL Christmas 2014 Ad

Posted By on 15. November 2014

I have to give credit to Tee Morris for pointing my attention to this jewel of a TV advert. I hope you all know on what actual historic event the advert is based. If not, please feel ashamed and go here.

Beautiful, simply beautiful! I wish we would see more on TV with such a profound message. This is really a breath of fresh air among all the shallow drivel of regular TV advertising. Chapeau, Sainsbury’s!

Iron Sky The Coming Race – Teaser #1 (Official)

Posted By on 7. November 2014

It has run the course of the usual channels already, but it would be highly dishonourable not to share this wonderful trailer here as well:

And to be honest, if Iron Sky – The Coming Race is actually a well-disguised documentary, it would explain an awful lot!

Also, the faster we raise funds for this movie, the earlier the whole truth will be revealed, support it here:

http://igg.me/at/thecomingrace

 

Steampunk High Style – Jewelry

Posted By on 28. Oktober 2014

I think it has been years since I last posted something about jewelry, so I was pleasantly surprised to have my attention pointed to Charles Koll (www.charleskoll.com) who offers a range of custom high-end jewelry, some with a distinct Steampunk twist to it.

Two of his creations stand out, first, the Cipher:

 

The Cipher:

The Cipher Iris an exploration of mechanisms that can tolerate the human hand.  Open up a mechanical watch and start playing with the guts and you’ll quickly see the inspiration —  This “Iris” mechanism is a modified version of a classic Steampunk theme (clockwork) commissioned by a longtime Charles Koll client.  The Cipher combines a classic Iris design, with an internal rotary mechanism, rare earth magnets and a decoder ring.  While not a living creature, the little details are all steampunk.

And then, less Steampunk but with a cult factor of its own, there is the Hunterseeker (and if you wonder, what a hunterseeker, I googled that for you here).

 

The Hunterseeker:

Inspired by Dune, the Hunterseeker mixes the descriptions of characters in the book with the style of the big-screen adaptation.  The ‘machine’ is designed to look like it actually functions.  Inspiration came from a client who wanted a ‘jizai’ (Japanese art form showing mechanical representations of living creatures) feel.

I am particularly fond of the hunterseeker and would love to tell you, what the piece costs, alas, it is not yet in the official range of the website, but I will keep you posted!