Traveler's Steampunk Blog

res ætheris exploramus

Steamgirl.com – Interview and second review

Posted By on 14. April 2014

Ever since I was made aware of Steamgirl.com I have had an eye on the site. A lot has happened, but I am coming back to that later, in the second part of this article.

First and foremost, I had the opportunity of conducting an interview with one of the charming ladies who are featured on Steamgirl.com, the lovely and multi-talented Lucah Jade.

 

Lucah Jade

 

Please tell us something about yourself.

Well I am a pretty classical libra, I’m consumed with art and beauty, dabble in many skills and I can also be very indecisive! I love to travel and have spent a lot of my life on the road chasing music and adventure. Currently I teach yoga, train on aerial silks, and also make jewelry and clothing. When I’m not modeling, working, or creating, I’m usually just kicking it with my dog.

 

Where can we find you on the web?

You can see my portfolio on Model Mayhem and I am pretty active on Instagram under my business name, HelixRising. I am working on a website but its not up yet.

 

How did you meet Kato and get involved in Steamgirl?

I connected with Kato through Model Mayhem and I was just completely enamored with her style, skill as a seamstress/designer, and her success with her independent website. When she asked me to model for the site I was thrilled!

 

Apart from Steamgirl, are you in any other way involved with the steampunk scene?

Not really, I would like to do more though!

 

What other modelling have you done, and where can we find it?

Most of my modeling is free lance glamour or artistic nudes, Steamgirl was the first erotica shot I ever did. Sometimes I am modeling my own clothing, when it works for the shoot. All that material is on my Model Mayhem page.

 

You also do some arts and crafts yourself. How long have you been doing that?

Ive been making jewelry since 2007. I use all sterling silver wire and build the pieces from scratch, encasing and displaying fine gems and minerals. I’m also a seamstress, I make festival costumes, or performance outfits, yoga and dance wear.

You can find Lucah’s art and outfits right here in her store.

 

Are you engaged in any other artistic endevors apart from modelling and what can be found on Etsy?

Those are definitely my main artistic outlets but I also do some tattoo design work and dabble in graffiti a bit.

Oh, graffiti, that’s splemdid, I think you are the first interviewee who mentioned that.

 

What would you like to convey with your image?

Modeling requires a certain amount of vulnerability, and the main thing I aim for is really to just embody my own feminine power and be myself. You don’t have to be conventional to be beautiful, and confidence is truly sexy.

 

Thank you, Lucah for your time, it has been an honour and a pleasure.

 

And now for the second part:

Steamgirl.com – Update Review

As mentioned above, I have been following Steamgirl since I was made aware of it just over a year ago. The modest gallery has grown to 47 sets on Steamgirl.com itself and several more on the bonus site This is Kato. More ladies have joined the ensemble, among them obviously Lucah Jade and Ayria Lovett, whom I already interviewed for the German part of this blog (go here).

The ensemble is varied and most exquisit, in particular because the ladies are not the kind of standard models you would find on those model casting shows. There are no bland, interchangable faces and incarnations of “societies standardised vision of female beauty” on Steamgirl.com, every model is unique.

The thematic variety of sets has also increased dramatcally: Now there are not only the fairly standard themes of tea time, library, boudoir, adventuress and airship pirate. Now, you also get a few distinctly darker sets in the main gallery (I won’t say more) and a vast spectrum of settings in Kato’s bonus gallery.  All in all: Most excellent!

 

Concerning the videos:

The gallery of cinematographic art has sadly not grown as much as the photogalleries have. As of me writing this, only two vides have been added, all feature Kato as the protagonist. Let’s see what the future brings here.

All videos are of course well worth your time.

 

And a special note concerning This is Kato:

The set The Black Mask, my dear Kato, this is the most glorious piece of erotica in photography I ever had the pleasure to encounter. Great praises to you and the photographer.

 

So, Steamgirl.com remains one of the hottest sites on the web and well worth a visit. For the sake of your own eyes and enjoyment, pay it a visit.

 

Oh, and if you feel the need to cool off and chill after paying Steamgirl a visit, Lucah Jade can help you there, too:

 

 

Cloud Raiders – Featured Game and Raffle

Posted By on 12. April 2014

May I point your esteemed attention to a little Android game by the name of Cloud Raiders? It is a strategy game on the steamfantasy side of things, dragons, airships, skypirates, and from the looks of it, cute graphics and a lot of action, it could be tremendous fun to play. The ratings on the Google Play page also point in the fun-direction (4,3 out of 5 stars).

I have to say “could” because I am unable to play the game on my smartphone, the thing is rather ancient…

TN-221435_GI_Cloud_Raiders_logo_hd

 

Anyway, this is the press release which tells you more about the game:

Game Insight Sends Strategy Games Skyward

With Cloud Raiders

Strategy Games Get Competitive With Building, Raising Armies, and Raids in Cloud Raiders for Mobile and Social Platforms

MOSCOW, RUSSIA and SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – Feb 4, 2014) -  Game Insight, a world leader in mobile/social games, has announced a swashbuckling new chapter in strategy games: Cloud Raiders. This exciting new game pits players and their armies of sky pirates against fabulous monsters and the most deadly adversaries of all: other players.Cloud Raiders will be released first for Android devices, and will be launching in the near future for other mobile and social platforms, including Facebook, iOS, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8. The game is being developed by innoWate, the creator of the popularMy Country games.

Cloud Raiders takes action-packed strategy games to dizzying new heights by entrusting players with a massive island stronghold floating in the sky. Players assemble armies of ruthless raiders while also fortifying their bases with defensive emplacements to fend off enemy invasions. Over time, players can also form in-game clans with their friends to blast their foes right out of the skies by launching daring player-versus-player (PvP) raids.

In Cloud Raiders, players can fortify their bases with anything from cannons to traps to magical artifacts, while leading their own troops into battle. Players must be ready for anything, including encroachments from massive monsters and legendary buccaneers that wander the skies in search of easy prey — as well as raiding parties sent by enemy players in search of loot! In order to keep their own holdings safe and conquer this brave new world, players can research and unlock new troop types, brew powerful potions to strengthen their forces, launch mighty cannon salvos to even the odds, and build ever-larger armies of axe-wielding marauders, grenade-lobbing bombardiers, and fire-breathing dragons to win the day!

Cloud Raiders will be available for Android in the nearest future. Stay tuned for more updates on this dynamic new chapter in strategy games!

Assets for media are available at:
http://www.game-insight.com/files/EN/Games/GI_Cloud_Raiders/Android/

Visit the official Cloud Raiders website:  www.cloudraiders.com
Watch the official Cloud Raiders trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sIhq3D2OYk
Visit the official Facebook community: http://facebook.com/cloudraidersgame

About Game Insight
Founded in 2010, Game Insight is a global-facing developer and publisher of varied, user-focused, and free-to-play games for all major mobile and social platforms, including iOS, Android, Facebook, and Web. We are a team of more than 800 passionate game developers who actually play games ourselves. Our internal network consists of 17 different studios that constantly create and update high-quality games, many of which have already become #1 top-grossing hits in mobile application stores and on social networks around the world, which has led Game Insight to build a global audience of more than 150 million users. Visit http://www.game-insight.com/ for more info.

 

This is the official trailer:

And now for the raffle:

For those of you who want to give the game a shot, I have a code ready which gives you 700 gems, all you have to do is comment or send me an æthermail.

The raffle ends Monday after Easter. Good luck one and all!

 

Review: The Machine | This is a Cyberpunk Jewel!

Posted By on 10. April 2014

Two computer programmers fall in love as they create the first-ever piece of self-aware artificial intelligence, designed to help humanity. But things go terribly wrong when the British Government steals their breakthrough and teaches it to become a robotic weapon.

This is the very short synopsis of the movie and it does not really do it justice. As you can tell from the title of this post, I am absolutely delighted with The Machine.

TheMachine_INAL

Set in near-future Britain, during a new cold war between presumably the West or NATO on one side and China on the other, we first follow a disillusioned computer/AI specialist James who develops experimental brain-implants for veterans with serious brain injuries. The first experiment we witness ends in tragedy.
Next, we are introduced to Ava, a maverick and gifted scientist who has developed an almost perfect AI. She gets hired by James and while working together, they develop a working AI and also fall in love. We also learn that James hates his job, since his goal was to produce an implant which could cure his daughter’s Rett syndrome but now his expertise is used by the government to turn disabled veterans into killing machines.

The cold, uncaring government is epitomised in its avatar Vincent, the head of the operation James works for. Vincent is the only real villain in the movie. He is cold, manipulative, and uncaring in the extreme. Everybody but himself is expendable. We learn of this attitude towards others in a very drastic way but to tell more would be a massive spoiler.

After this incident, James dives even deeper into his work and develops the eponymous Machine, an AI android who is almost too perfect. First she, it is hard to think of her as an it, is childlike and cannot control her machine strength, but she soon learns, loves music, emphasises with James and his love and concern for his daughter and wants to help. In short, she turns out not to be the weapon Vincent wanted, which leads to another dark twist which in turn leads to the most drastic revelation the movie has to offer and which changes everything.

Apart from the action-packed and very philosophical plot, one of the questions the film raises is obviously What makes us human?, there are several well-done homages to other movies, most obviously Ghost in the Shell, transhumanism in a number of different incarnations and love. There is romantic love, fatherly love and the love between two AIs right at the end, mother and child.

The Machine is a dark and wonderful tale, and the best cyberpunk film I have seen in years.

10/10 and the badge of honour

 

 

And here are some stills and the trailer:

Help Victor Sierra make it to the Steampunk World Fair

Posted By on 8. April 2014

Victor Sierra needs your help!

Help us bring our act to the States!

In 2012 we saw the very best of welcomes for us at The Steampunk World’s Fair. The enthusiasm with which we were greeted led us to a fantastical acceleration of creativity.

  • We didn’t plan to release a second album (Yesterday’s Tomorrow) so soon – but we did.
  • We didn’t expect to perform with Abney Park in the Netherlands – but by fortuitous circumstance we did.
  • We didn’t think we could contact anyone anywhere in the world and get an answer like: ‘Oh.. Victor Sierra? Of course I know about you guys!’ – but we did.

All of this thanks to you dear Steampunk community and Jeff Mach and his extraordinary crew. Now we have been asked to return and we have a new repertoire of the very finest melodies for your discerning ears.

Please help us achieve our dream.  From the bottom of our brass hearts…thank you.

Please check out the fundraiser here, the benefits are classy, just as usual!

 

VictorSierra-Band-023

Urban Haiku – Poetry for the Metroplex

Posted By on 7. April 2014

Yesterday, I put my haiku collection Urban Haiku – Poetry for the Metroplex up on Amazon and for all of you who really dislike Amazon for some reason, it is also available for Nook. I feel a teeny tiny bit accomplished now, I never thought I would one day actually publish a book containing poetry, but such are the wonders of the modern age and the technology that enables really easy self-publishing.

Also, I simply enjoy writing haiku and they just add up over time. So, if you like haiku or simply enjoy poetry with a rather modern perspective (the collection covers city life, cyberspace, geek stuff and elements of H.P. Lovecraft’s work, after all, even strings and the Higgs boson are featured) or you simply want to sponsor dinner at a restaurant (that#s about what I expect to come out), please consider the collection.

It also makes a great gift for people you want to freak out, I guess.

And here (again) is the Nook version (a shame there is no fancy preview available).

 

Bioshock Infinite Short Film – The Apple Thief

Posted By on 4. April 2014

This short piece came out of a school project. Good work, I say! If we only had had the technology to do such things when I was young. Alas, that was the time when monitor screens showed yellow letters on green background… And it very much captures what is going on in Bioshock Infinite.
So, please enjoy:

Steampunk Photoshoot by Lui Cárdenas Photography

Posted By on 1. April 2014

After the barrage of reviews I have offered recently, it is time to do something for a long-neglected category on this blog: Photography.

Already some time back, the honorable gentleman and artist Lui Cárdenas contacted me via æthermail, offering a recent photo shoot for publication. I should have published these photos way earlier.

The photos are on the darker side of Steampunk, crossing over into goth and possibly fetish, they are also very atmospheric, in any case, please enjoy:

All images © Lui Cárdenas Photography and used with permission.

Lui Cardenas | Photography

915.603.0148

www.luicardenas.com

Also check out his Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/LuiCardenasPhotography

 

Non-Euclidean Æthercast #24 – A bushel of Steampunk Reviews

Posted By on 30. März 2014

Since I will very likely not be able to do all the reviews I want to do any time soon, I am trying to be efficient about it and do as many in one go as are easily feasible. For this reason, today’s Non-Euclidean Æthercast’s episode take a look at two Steampunk works, an EP and a book, a geek rock album and a Cthulhu Mythos movie, please enjoy:

Subscribe on iTunes

LZ-X1 Württemberg_Werft

And here are the ratings in detail:

 

A Halo Called Fred – We love you all

7 out of 10 Zeppelins

 

Sunday Driver – Flo

10 out of 10 Zeppelins and the badge of honour

 

A Steampunk’s Guide to Tea Dueling

8 out of 10 Zeppelins

And please check out the Tea Dueling website.

 

The Whisperer in Darkness

9 out of 10 Zeppelins

 

And here you can listen in to A Halo Called Fred and Sunday Driver:

Press Release: Sunday Driver ‘Flo’ (featuring Kuljit Bhamra)

Posted By on 25. März 2014

Sunday Driver will soon release their new EP Flo, a very special recording: All lyrics are in native languages of the Indian subcontinent!
More soon, for now, there is only the press release (excerpt):

New CD title/(Label/Cat.No):

Flo (Bakul Bagan Records BBR005)

Release date: 1 April 2014

File under: Indie / World / Asian / Fusion

Website: www.sundaydriver.co.uk

Sunday Driver fuses together elements of indie, world music, Asian traditional sounds, jazz and folk to paint a heady, deliciously powerful sonic landscape that never fails to move the, heart, head and feet. Their brand new 7 track EP ‘Flo’ is released on 1 April 2014. Lead vocalist Chandy Nath and bassist / backing vocalist Richard Bullen (aka Mel) discuss the recording sessions and the songs.

Find the complete and extensive interview here: SundayDriver Press Release-Flo

I have also already had the pleasure of listening to the whole EP and it has been an experience in deed, alas, the review will have to wait a few more days.

Sunday Driver - Flo

 

Review: War of the Worlds: Goliath

Posted By on 23. März 2014

Not since Iron Sky have I anticipated the release of a movie as much as War of the Worlds: Goliath. I have been following the developments surrounding this movie since 2010; I was thus overjoyed when I was contacted by people involved with the project if I would be interested in reviewing War of the Worlds: Goliath.

War of the Worlds: Goliath - Cover

 

Set in 1914, 15 years after the first invasion and subsequent defeat of the Martians (as per original War of the Worlds), the earth has rebuilt and utilised salvaged technology from the tripods of the first invasion to bolster its own military strength and form a multinational force of elite troops, A.R.E.S. (Allied Resistance Earth Squadrons), to counter any new threat from Mars. The chief scientist of A.R.E.S. is none other than Nikola Tesla and he has discovered signs of a second invasion being underway, and in deed, the Martians attack again.

The main story line follows the exploits of the most elite crew of the A.R.E.S. ground forces in their Achilles-class tripod Goliath as they strive to repel the invading Martians. Other story lines take place around the  A.R.E.S. airship battle squadron in their fight for the sky. Naturally, I dare say, the A.R.E.S. fighter forces are led by none other than the almost mythical Baron Manfred Von Richthofen.

Even better:

War of the World: Goliath also features a badass Teddy Roosevelt who personally leads his troops in the Battle of New York wielding a heat-ray.

Overall, War of the Worlds: Goliath is one action-packed fun anime in best late 1980′s tradition: Epic battles, over-the-top characters, heroism, and love. Bonus: Time has moved on, so politics, just a pinch, has been sprinkled in for flavour.

The artwork is superb, starting from the subdued, haunting ink-sketched intro scenes to the Roosevelt’s rallying-speech right at the end. Sometimes, the traditional animation and the CGI effects do not blend seamlessly, but War of the Worlds: Goliath was never equipped with a blockbuster-budget, I did not expect it to be as slick and smooth as something done by Pixar.

War of the Worlds: Goliath is one fun, action-packed masterpiece of an independent anime. The movie goes by in a flash and is just the type of entertainment a Steampunk can enjoy with his favourite snack and recreational beverage.

And another bonus: One of the characters is voiced by Adam “Jayne Cobb” Baldwin. Here’s a few stills and some members of the cast:

 

 

9 out of 10 Zeppelins

 

War of the Worlds: Goliath is a film every Steampunk should have in their collection.