Traveler's Steampunk Blog

res ætheris exploramus

The Diamond Conspiracy Trailer

Posted By on 24. März 2015

And here it is, the trailer for Pip Ballantine’s and Tee Morris’ upcoming novel The Diamond Conspiracy, featuring (in order of appearance):

Matt Ord
PJ Schnyder
Bill Blume

Judging from the trailer, I had a theory concerning the plot, which one of the authors has since debunked, too bad. All shall be revealed soon, though.

Book Feature: The Vitruvian Heir by L.S. Kilroy

Posted By on 24. März 2015

Another new author, L.S. Kilroy, has sent me a message through my ætherbox asking for a review of her work, and since it is unlikely I will ever be able to catch up to my back-list of books on my kindle and bookshelf, I have decided to give this book and the author a full feature:

The Vitruvian Heir

Set along the backdrop of a Neo-Victorian version of the United States in 2282, L.S. Kilroy’s debut novel, The Vitruvian Heir, follows Lorelei “Lore” Fetherston, a willful daughter of the current regime’s aristocracy. Inherently rebellious, eighteen-year-old Lore is torn between accepting her impending role as a dutiful wife or escaping to the bordering nation of Hopespoke to seek the truth behind her grandmother’s secret legacy. There everyone is free and, according to legend, an enigmatic woman runs an underground squadron of girls and wields much influence. There, Lore could pursue her writing without fear of punishment. But this isn’t her only dilemma. Following graduation, she is to wed to her childhood friend, Gideon, but her heart is with their mutual best friend, Fallon, the current emperor’s ward and heir to the throne.

Then one fateful night everything changes. Her free-spirited friend, Sawyer, is in grave danger and Lore is forced to make a critical decision. From mysterious woodland strangers to underground clubs to spectacular fêtes and a clandestine rebellion, Lore’s life is about to change forever…that is, if she can survive.

When asked how she came up with the idea for The Vitruvian Heir, Kilroy responded:

“When I was a sophomore in high school, my history teacher was telling us about the time when Catherine de’ Medici ruled the French court. She had a group of beautiful female spies called the Flying Squadron (L’escadron Volant), whom she recruited to seduce important men in court and then report back to her. My fifteen-year-old self took this fascinating lesson and formed an idea for a new story. What if a future version of the United States had somehow come under the control of an emperor who commanded that everything be returned to the Victorian and Edwardian periods – women were stripped of their rights, had to wear corsets, etc.? And what if, there was a woman who was running this underground circle of female spies trained to extract information from powerful men? Then, a couple of years ago, when women’s rights issues were heavy in the media, the germ of this idea resurfaced and became The Vitruvian Heir.”

She added, “I think the potential to tell stories that shed some light on the human condition, that reflect current social issues, that make people think and inspire a dialogue is, for me, what literature has always been about. People may think it’s all just words and that writing is a secondhand experience and reading is an even more removed experience, but I really believe in the transformative effect of books…I mean, if books had no power, ignorant people wouldn’t burn them, right?”

About the Author:

L.S. Kilroy lives near Boston with her significant other, his son, and two feisty cats. When she is not writing by day as a senior copywriter or by night as a spinner of stories, she loves being creative in the kitchen, belting out show tunes, traveling, entertaining friends, reading, and scouting out vintage finds at consignment shops. Her next project is a compilation of her short stories and she is also working on some treatments for television and film.

For more information and the latest news on The Vitruvian Heir and L.S. Kilroy, visit her website http://lskilroy.com, like her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/authorlskilroy), and follow her on Twitter (@lskilroy1). The Vitruvian Heir is currently available on Amazon, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and iTunes Books.

Non-Euclidean Æthercast #30 – Interview with Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris

Posted By on 15. März 2015

It is the 30th episode of the Non-Euclidean Æthercast, and what an episode it is!

The renowned Steampunk and Fantasy authors Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris were kind enough to allow me to interview them concerning their upcoming fourth installment of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, The Diamond Conspiracy.

 

Subscribe on iTunes

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And here are all the websites plugged during the interview:

Teemorris.com

pgholyfield.com

pjballantine.com

ministryofpeculiaoccurences.com

 

And these are the websites of our friends we talked about:

Steampunk India (Suna Dasi)

Brute Force Studios

Alex White

Sarah Hunter

Victor Sierra

 

And if you are interested in what Pip and Tee have written concerning the Ministry, look no further:

The combined works concerning The Ministry of Peculiar Occurences

Rest in Peace, Terry Pratchett (28 April 1948 – 12 March 2015)

Posted By on 12. März 2015

Once again, my heart is heavy as I have the passing of another living legend to report:
Sir Terence David John “Terry” Pratchett, OBE passed away today at the age of 66, far too early.

His work has been an integral part of the literature I enjoy ever since I first read Guards! Guards! back in 1998 in a little house in Chandos Street, Nottingham. I have not missed a single discworld novel since and I mourn not only Terry’s passing but also the witty, social commentary filled fantasy stories that will never be written.

Terry, I hope you met some friends on the other side and were greeted by a cheerful SQUEAK!
 

Terry Pratchett

Original image © Luigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Product Review – Monocle by Monocle Madness

Posted By on 2. März 2015

Already a while ago I featured Monocle Madness here, because they are a great company with a very worthy goal: Bringing back the monocle as a fashion accessory.

The monocle they sent me as a product sample has since received a proper lens and I have worn it during an event last weekend, so I am now happy to share my overall verdict.

The monocle by Monocle Madness is top-notch, that is the long and the short of it. It already starts with the very practical and decorative box it is shipped in and continues right down to the actual monocle:

Images © Monocle Madness, used with kind permission

The monocle itself is small and light-weight, it is actually about 4/5th of the size of the monocle I have worn for special events since 1992 and significantly more comfortable to wear.

Monocle Madness also ships a handy guide how to wear a monocle with each product, so you cannot go wrong there at all. As I said, the monocle is very comfortable to wear and since it is very light-weight, it stays in place, even if you have to push your way through the crowd and get jostled every now and then as I was on the weekend.
How crowded the event was you can see in the video below, I actually wore the monocle while recording the video.

So, the Monocle Madness monocle is an accessory I can wholeheartedly recommend and at a price-tag of £ 25 (including a clear lens) it is almost a bargain and definitely not overpriced.

10 out of 10 Zeppelins!

Go and check out Monocle Madness, I know you want to!

This is me with my monocle this weekend image © Scho Laria, used with kind permission as well:

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And this is the video I shot while wearing the monocle, pushing, shoving and jostling are not a problem, the monocle stayed in place:

Rest in Peace, Leonard Nimoy

Posted By on 27. Februar 2015

It is with a heavy heart I report the death of Leonard Nimoy. A living legend has passed on. We will remember him in our hearts, our minds and our souls.

StarTrek.com is deeply saddened to report the passing of Leonard Nimoy. The legend — an actor, writer, producer, director, poet, host, voiceover artist, photographer, husband, father and grandfather, as well as Star Trek‘s beloved Spock — died today at the age of 83 at his home in Los Angeles. Nimoy succumbed to the end stages of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), an illness that resulted from years of smoking and which afflicted him despite having quit smoking three decades ago.

Source: http://startrek.com/article/remembering-leonard-nimoy-1931-2015

 

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Image Source: Star Trek.com, fair use

Atompunk Friday – Gigantis is actually Godzilla

Posted By on 20. Februar 2015

What a lovely thing to find, please enjoy while it is online (no copyright infringement intended, I did not upload the video, I found it, it is public on YouTube):

Gigantis – The Fire Monster

Now, as you can see, Gigantis is none other than the mighty Godzilla and in Japan this is officially the second Godzilla movie. For some reason the American distributor of the movie decided to rename the creature Gigantis, even though Godzilla had been a huge success in the USA, too. Suffice to say, Gigantis was not a sucess at all and no other Godzilla movies have since renamed the titular character, although other abbominations have happened (especially recently)

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"Godzilla '54 design" by Source (WP:NFCC#4). Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.

Non-Euclidean Æthercast #29 – #SteampunkHands 2015

Posted By on 12. Februar 2015

The 29th episode of the Non-Euclidean Æthercast is all about the second instalment of Airship Ambassador’s wonderful initiative Steampunk Hands around the World.
This year’s topic is

Steampunk: Our Playground, Our Classroom, Our Workshop

and I have given my own 2 cents worth of thought to the matter. It turned into a bit of a happy rant and this is great, so please, enjoy!

 

Hands_2015_XPK1

Image courtesy of Mr. XPK

And please check out what the other participants have done!

The Clockwork Rose, Britain’s first Steampunk Bar needs You!

Posted By on 10. Februar 2015

Well look at this:
Bristol is getting a Steampunk-themed cocktailbar, hopefully.
In order for The Clockwork Rose to actually bloom, blossom and grow, the people behind this most commendable of projects need the support of the community and have started a fundraising site, here.

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They describe their endeavour thusly:

Jump into a fantastical past! Furnished with copper pipes, exposed brickwork and illuminated by a warm diffused light, The Clockwork Rose will look like it has jumped straight from the pages of a Jules Verne or H.G. Wells novel.

With numerous retro-futuristic touches The Clockwork Rose will be the only bar of its kind in the UK, with each fantastical element blurring the line between fiction and reality and transporting visitors to an unbelievable steampunk fantasy.

The Clockwork Rose will be based in central Bristol, a vibrant, dynamic city boasting a mix of internationally-acclaimed cultural institutions, world-class festivals and events and a diverse mix of shops and markets. It is the goal of The Clockwork Rose to create a unique identity offering a one-of-a-kind atmosphere with signature cocktails and showcasing local beers, ciders and spirits.

We are looking to raise £20,000 (a large amount but this is a big project).  Your pledges will go towards the decor and initial startup costs as well as helping us to realise our vision.  If all goes to plan we should be opening at the beginning of summer.

We look forward to serving you in the future,
Cheers.

And have also produced this little moving picture to aid their cause:

 

All ladies and gentlemen of the steampunk persuasion enjoy a fine place to spent their time, alas, classy  establishments of the fitting kind are rare, so let’s all stand together and help this one become reality!

Check out the The Clockwork Rose Fundraiser and chip in.

You can also visit them on Facebook and Twitter:

http://www.facebook.com/theclockworkrosebar
http://www.twitter.com/clockworkroseco

The German Tanks of World War 1 – How Proto-Dieselpunk!

Posted By on 7. Februar 2015

Let’s face it, the British tanks of the Western Front sure dominate the mental landscape when one thinks of an iconic fighting machine of The Great War.
But Great Britain was of course not the only nation to field tanks. Once their utility became apparent, Germany quickly caught up, and so did France.
The first operational German tanks, of the type Sturmpanzerwagen A7V, where a far cry from what Germany would produce 25 years later and I think they are almost comical, take a look:

Not nearly as Iconic as the British Mark V but very proto-Dieselpunk!