Traveler's Steampunk Blog

res ætheris exploramus

Munchkin Steampunk is coming!

Posted By on 15. August 2014

Quick news update: The beloved Munchkin line of Games by Steve Jackson Games is getting another member: Munchkin Steampunk. For me, this is an absolute must-have, I have been playing the game for years and am especially proud of my Munchkin Cthulhu set. Iäh!

Anyways, this is the cover:

Munchkin Steampunk

I guess one or the other of you will recognise Phil Phoglio, if you are not sure from where, go to his website and ebe enlightened.

 

Munchkin Czar Andrew Hackard has this to say about the game, which says it all, really:

“We really like clockwork spider automatons, I mean, who doesn’t? And they make killing monsters and taking their stuff even better!”

 

The game is scheduled for release in mid-2015, for more news, go here: http://www.worldofmunchkin.com/steampunk/

 

Photo Credit: Steve Jackson Games, fair use

Review: Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians

Posted By on 8. August 2014

Now here comes a book I found a particular interesting challenge to review:

Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians by Paul Roland.

 

steampunk-new-victorians

I have co-authored a very similar book for the German market, Steampunk – kurz & geek, so I have a direct comparison and I enjoyed Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians immensely.
Paul Roland covers the whole spectrum of steampunk from its humble beginnings in literature of the 1980′s, to modern steampunk literature to music and film and so on. A number of interviews add flavour and offer the perspectives of various notables of the scene.
Also, Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians is more than just a general overview of the history of the scene and what it has to offer today, even for veterans, there is some information in there they will not be aware of.
Paul Roland’s book is for newcomers, interested outsiders, veterans and missionaries of the scene alike. A very handy, short and concise work on Steampunk, full of facts and interesting tidbits. Special bonus: The colour photo section in the middle.

Alas, Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians has, by all its attention to detail, one major flaw: It is woefully anglo-centric, apart from three entries, every single author, tinkerer, event, band, performer, film and game mentioned, is either from North America or the UK. If one was to use Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians as the sole guide to the scene, one might think, the scene does not exist anywhere else but the northern anglophone countries. The other European countries and their events and personalities are ignored, the same for Japan and South America.
In the age of the Internet, a 10 minute search reveals the whole scope of the scene, so this is a major slip-up in my view.

Still Steampunk – Back to the Future with the New Victorians gets 8 out of 10 Zeppelins.

Featured Artist: The Copperfield Ensemble

Posted By on 28. Juli 2014

Today’s featured artist, the Copperfield Ensemble, comes with an event announcement and tour dates. So many good things in one go.
This is how the Ensemble describe themselves:

The Copperfield Ensemble Project is an imagining of Victorian music played today: a cross between Chamber Music and Music Hall, this is Classical music to sing along to.
Born out of an experimental attempt to put the ideas Drustan Durman had bouncing round his head in the summer of 2012 into something he could hear instead of being driven mad by, the experiment continues. With Mel Orriss’ incredible musical ability and The Rev JD’s tweaks and engineering, Drustan’s slightly odd song ideas continue to reach reality in a catchy, breathtaking and completely unpredictable way!

Copperfield_Ensemble

The Copperfield Ensemble will be performing in front of 1500 revellers in the final of The Okehampton Battle of the Bands as part of The Big Party in the Park on 2nd August 2014 – http://www.okehamptonbattleofthebands.org.uk/ before undertaking the first leg of the 2014/15 South West UK tour.

From The Okehampton Times / Battle of the Bands Review:

‘The last heat of the 2014 Okehampton Battle of the Bands crashed its way through the Charter Hall on Wednesday night making it difficult once again for the judges but a great one for the crowd. First Band of the night, and winners of the heat were The Copperfield Ensemble Project. This Okehampton based outfit described themselves as Neo-Victorian Steam Punk and came dressed as the part. A string quartet, amazing vocals and percussion and a hauntingly mesmerizing performance where dark cabaret meets theatre.’

 

And now for an actual look on what the Copperfield ensemble are like, here is a video of a live performance of ‘Steampunk March No1′:

You can also find them on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/TheCopperfieldEnsembleProject

And here are the tour dates and some additional info:

Tour

FINAL BB

Vaudeville Poster Final

So, if you have the chance to check them out, I suggest you do so! (I really should make an effort and move back to the UK…)

 

Non-Euclidean Æthercast #26 – Steampunk has not peaked in Europe

Posted By on 20. Juli 2014

Today I actually have something substantial to talk about on the podcast: The state of affairs concerning Steampunk in Europe. A lot is happening and has been happening this year, so I can state with some confidence:

Steampunk has not yet peaked in Europe.

 

And now, please enjoy!

Subscribe on iTunes

 
Sepia-Europe

TRIP TO THE MOON – A Short Steampunk Film

Posted By on 16. Juli 2014

Here is another project worth your consideration:

Trip to the Moon, a short film in the spirit of the timeless classic Le Voyage dans la Lune. The gentleman and cinematographer Brian M. Finn has this to say about his project:

 

Trip to the Moon is an action based sci-fi short film that mixes the charm of the original 1902 film and expands it with a more engaging spin on the story with  modern and futuristic technology. Set in an alternate steampunk (Earth) and cyberpunk (Moon) reality, Abraham Lincoln is a televised President who is announcing his trip to the moon to the American people as an historic event for mankind. But is Honest Abe really being honest about his purposes for going there? Will the protestors, including John Wilkes Booth, succeed in their attempts to intervene?

In our story, John Wilkes Booth blames Lincoln for trying to ruin his life by freeing his slaves and interrupting his way of life. Additionally, Booth now sees the further threat of bringing alien life to Earth. Trip to the Moon stays true to the race based fear of the “time period” while adding additional plotlines to the confrontations of John Wilkes Boothe and Abraham Lincoln.

20140710140326-MOONtrio1b

While Lincoln and his associates are on the Moon, things go horribly wrong when the palace of Ruler Zahn, the King of the Moon, is destroyed. He then seeks revenge upon Earth and flies there to kill anyone he can releasing what’s left of his guardians upon the city. Lincoln and his friends must now lead the U.S. armed forces to stop the threat.

Quite a tale and true to the spirit of adventure, alternate history and (weird) science that is at the heart of Steampunk.

Also, Brian has some more details on the film and the project as a whole:

So, please sidle over and support Trip to the Moon here!

Review: Mr. Strange – The Wonderful World of Weird

Posted By on 11. Juli 2014

Right, let’s get this thing done, shall we?
Mr. Strange’s minion Gary already contacted me in April and suggested for me to review Mr. Strange’s latest album, The Wonderful World of Weird, which is exactly what I will do now, though it is by far an easy task.

X - Mr. Strange Album Cover

The Wonderful World of Weird is my most difficult music review so far. The tracks cover a wide range of different styles and sounds, often within the same track.
Psychedelic tunes go hand in hand with chilled electronic sounds only to be followed by pure industrial music. This makes for a very unique listening experience, especially, when the distorted lyrics enter your ear.
I found the rapid change of styles also rather confusing, but it compliments the theme and title of the album really well. The Wonderful World of Weird is truly a weird listening experience, particularly on your first encounter with the album. It keeps you on your toes and surprises you with every track. You really do not and cannot really know what to expect next.
I also found some of the music rather disquieting for some reason. Maybe I was half afraid some psycho was about to crawl out off my speakers.
Truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
To sum up:
No track like the other, every new track a surprise and a kaleidoscope of styles used.
If you are into chilly tunes, Steampunk sounds, industrial and psychedelic music,or simply crave something new and unique, The Wonderful World of Weird is definitely an album you should check out.

7/10 for the music

10/10 for creativity and uniqueness.

And now, please have a listen:

You can find Mr. Strange at his official website and of course on Facebook.

The Man who lives in the 1940s

Posted By on 4. Juli 2014

May I point your attention to this chap, Ben Sansum, he lives the 1940′s livestyle:

Reet Neet – Clockwork and Steampunk Custom Toys

Posted By on 3. Juli 2014

Today’s featured artist is from The Netherlands: Reet Neet.

A few days ago, this message came into my ætherbox:

Today I wanted to introduce to you my latest designer toy custom.

His name is Professor Archimedes and is based on a 3.5″ Omen Blink by Coarse Toys.

More info & pics are found here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.467828123319904.1073741849.312457052190346

This piece is available and people interested can contact me through e-mail (reetneetr3(a)gmail.com) or my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ReetNeetR3.

Instagram: @Reetneet Twitter: @Reet_Neet

This is the Professor:
Professor Archimedes - Clockwork Owl

I also sidled over to the Facebook page and checked out the other creations Reet Neet has to offer, which led to the discovery of this sweet and beautiful little statuette:

Mintyfress

 

Reet Neet has a varied and surprising range of different statuettes featured on Facebook, not only Steampunk and Clockpunk, but other things as well, as you can see. So I strongly suggest you pay them a visit!

Share this with your Steampunk Sweatheart and Friends

Posted By on 1. Juli 2014

My friend, the honourable gentleman and artist Georgie Retzer strikes again! He has created this adorable little image which you should all share with your sweetheart in the Steampunk scene!

Without you, steampunk is silly

Come to think of it: You can share this with everybody you care for and who is a friend in and/or of the scene. After all, the message of the image is also true in the context of “You” in the plural.

So: Share away!

Caravan – Jeff Hunt Band – Such sweet video story telling!

Posted By on 26. Juni 2014

A few days ago, I was contacted by the gentleman and artist Jeff Hunt. He pointed me towards the latest video his band, the Jeff Hunt Band, released, since it is Steampunk-themed. I happily share it with you now, please enjoy:

As you may have guessed if you follow this blog and the music reviews in particular, the flavour of Alternative Rock they play is not the kind of music I enjoy, but this obviously not diminish the quality of music the Jeff Hunt Band plays.
I also found the story told in the video and the lyrics of the song very beautiful and touching.

To find out more about the Jeff Hunt Band, visit their website and Facebook page.