fbpx Steampunk Digest - April 10, 2020: Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world | The Steampunk Explorer

Steampunk Digest - April 10, 2020

Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world

Friday, April 10, 2020

Gail Carriger plans a May 3 release for Defy or Defend, Book 2 in her Delightfully Deadly series. Set in the author’s Parasolverse, it tells the story of War Office fixer Dimity Plumleigh-Teignmott and ex-military officer Sir Crispin Bontwee, who contend with a hive of vampires in Nottingham who have gone “badly goth.” It follows Poison or Protect, a novella released in 2016, but was written as a standalone story. The series is a spinoff of her Finishing School books. The e-book and paperback are currently available for pre-order from Amazon.

We have lots more book news below.

Prof Elemental works

Chap hop artist Professor Elemental has teamed with Tom Caruana to produce Housebound Hedonist, a seven-track EP for folks like him who are stuck at home. It is “more lockdown than steampunk,” he says. In addition to entertaining his fans, it’s a way to make up for shows that have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The EP is available for purchase on Bandcamp.

He’s also planning an April 13 release for Let’s Get Messy, a collaboration with Mister Frisbee featuring 11 new tracks. Look for it on the Professor Elemental website, Mister Frisbee’s Bandcamp page, and “all of the usual other places on the information superhighway,” he says.

Back in January, we told you that the Professor was looking for a new nemesis to appear in a future album and comic book, and now he has one. The Time and Space Constable (shown above right) was conceived by Nicholas Floyd, one of many fans who submitted entries for a competition held during February. “I’m a multiverse constable and it’s time to face your crimes against humanity, time and space,” the nemesis warns.

Other finalists included Nigel P. Anonymous (“the world’s most boring man”), Mandrill Friday (“horrifying prototype ape butler”), and Nana Eunice, a grandma dinosaur. Some of the runners-up will also appear on the album. See them all on the Professor’s website.

The organizers of CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention, announced the finalists for the 2020 Hugo Awards in a YouTube video posted on April 7. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, this will be the first Worldcon produced as a virtual event. It was to be held July 29-Aug. 2 in Wellington, New Zealand.

P. Djèlí Clark’s The Haunting of Tram Car 015 is among the finalists in the Best Novella category. The story is set in an alternate-world 1912 Cairo populated by supernatural entities, secret societies, and sentient automatons. Tor.com Publishing released the title in February 2019 as an e-book and trade paperback.

Diana Pho, a Tor/Forge editor and creator of the Beyond Victoriana steampunk blog, is a finalist in the Best Editor, Long Form category.

To participate in voting for the awards, you must be a supporting or attending member of the convention. You’ll need an attending membership to fully participate in this year’s virtual event. The organizers said they hope to announce new online membership rates by April 15.

Tesla film
Photo by Cara Howe. Courtesy of Sundance Institute.

IFC Films has acquired U.S. distribution rights to Tesla, a film starring Ethan Hawke as the brilliant inventor and Kyle MacLachlan as archrival Thomas Edison. Written and directed by Michael Almereyda, it premiered in January at the Sundance Film Festival. IFC is currently planning an August 7 theatrical and video-on-demand release.

The film received largely positive reviews, but critics noted that it’s not your conventional biopic. For example, it features an ice cream fight between Tesla and Edison, and in one scene Tesla sings “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” a 1985 song by Tears for Fears. Almereyda told Sundance attendees that one of his influences was Drunk History on Comedy Central.

Steampunk Tree House
Photo: Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Our readers may recall that the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton, Delaware is the home of the Steampunk Tree House, an eight-ton art installation constructed by Five Ton Crane and originally shown at Burning Man. Now Dogfish Head has another claim to fame, as it has joined the legions of distillers that are using their equipment to manufacture hand sanitizer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company is selling bottles of sanitizer at market prices to the state of Delaware and donating the profits to a fund that supports state residents affected by the outbreak. The sanitizer will be used by hospitals, first responders, and others. It’s a blend of Dogfish Head’s Compelling Gin and Aloe Vera gel, and meets guidelines for alcohol content set by the CDC and World Health Organization, the company says.

Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione discussed the initiative in a video and commentary for The New York Times.

The Distilled Spirits Council, an industry association, lists more than 650 distilleries in the U.S. that are now making hand sanitizer, which has become a precious commodity due to the outbreak.

See our COVID-19 Steampunk News Hub for the latest news related to the outbreak, including event changes, streaming events, and more. We’ve also compiled resources to help you cope.

New Books

Beth Daniels has released the third edition of Geared Up! Writing Steampunk, her guide for steampunk authors. The biggest change is the addition of new markets for the genre, which now total 43. “However, there is also a discussion on whether to use magic, paranormals, supernaturals, legendary beings (all normal for Gaslamp Fantasy) or not,” she writes in the introduction. Also new are sections about period language, how to create a machine, and “The Empire’s Lands.” The book assumes that readers understand the basics of fiction writing. Instead, it “focuses on the elements that go into building a Steampunk world and scenario for a novel, novella, or short fictional story,” she writes.

It’s available as an e-book and on-demand print edition.

Tainted Tincture Press has released two steampunk anthologies: Gears, Ghouls, and Gauges and Cogs, Crowns, and Carriages. Both are edited by Phoebe Darqueling and Crysta K. Coburn, and each features stories from 12 authors. Contributors include A.F. Stewart, Sarah Van Goethem, Tracie McBride, and Nils Nisse Visser in addition to Darqueling and Coburn. Darqueling ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for the anthologies last September. Learn more on her website.

Falstaff Books has released Shadows Through Time, a collection of four novellas by James Palmer featuring a fictionalized version of famed 19th century explorer Captain Richard Francis Burton. In these tales, Burton encounters characters that include Mycroft Holmes, Professor Moriarty, Ian Fleming, and Aleister Crowley. It’s available in e-book and paperback formats. See the publisher’s website for more info.

Author Jessica Brawner will host a virtual pre-release party and book reading for The First Sin, a forthcoming novel about a misfit airship crew in 18th century Europe. It happens Wednesday, April 15, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time, via Facebook Live. The book, set for release on April 17, is available for pre-order on Amazon. See the Facebook event page for more info.

More new fiction:

Clockwork Octopus (The Clockwork Almanac Book 2) by Kendra Moreno (Amazon)

Deus Ex Mechanic (The Cricket Chronicles Book 1) by Ryann Fletcher (Amazon)

Domino by Brad Curtois (Amazon)

Freedom Forged (Lead, Lace & Iron Book 1) by Alan Austin (Amazon)

Mechanical Dragons: Reunion (The Mechanical Dragon Series Book 5) by Bobbi Schemerhorn (Amazon)

The Sensaurum and the Lexis (The Orphan Detectives Book 1) by Richard Dee (Amazon)

Shadow Phoenix (Volume I, Episodes 1-4) by M.J. Moores (Amazon)

The Skyhound Master (Andul Guardians Book 2) by Shauna E. Black (Amazon)

The Wonders of Estelia: Aurum’s Shining Dawn by Angel Lee Sorensen (Amazon)

Quick Hits

Iron Man’s Steampunk Armor May Be Marvel’s Coolest (ScreenRant)

Steampunk business card holder from Japan (Japan Today)

Iron Harvest 1920+ preview (ShackNews)

This custom-made BMW R9T by Zillers Garage is a Mad Max dream (DesignBoom)

Moscow-Based Garage Unveils Steampunk Inspired Custom-Made BMW R9T (Interesting Engineering)

New BMW R9T with Steampunk and Post-Apocalyptic Style (Inceptive Mind)

The custom-made BMW R9T looks like a post-apocalyptic steampunk beauty! (Yanko Design)

Event News

The following events were recently cancelled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. They’ve joined a long list of other events affected by the pandemic.

Stroud Steampunk Weekend, scheduled for May 22-23 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, was postponed. “We will be back when the madness is over,” the organizers say. Scheduled performers included Professor Elemental, Victor Sierra, and Frenchy and The Punk.

The Beer-Lesque & Carniv-Ale Show, set for May 9 in St. Thomas, Ontario, was rescheduled to August 29.

The Old Timers Day Steampunk Festival, scheduled for May 16-17 in Van Buren, Arkansas, was cancelled.

Kraken Watch, scheduled for May 1-3 at the Quileute Oceanside Resort in La Push, Washington, was postponed. The organizers have not announced a new date. See the Facebook event page for more info.

Wigan Steampunk, scheduled for Sept. 19 in Wigan, UK (near Manchester) was cancelled.

The Columbus, Ohio Oddities & Curiosities Expo, originally scheduled for May 9, was postponed to Dec. 12. The expo is held in numerous cities around the USA, and several others have also been rescheduled. See the website for details.

Motor City Comic Con, set for May 15-17 in Novi, Michigan, was postponed to a date to be announced. Get details on the website.

The New Hampshire Renaissance Faire, scheduled for May 9-17 in Fremont, New Hampshire, was cancelled for this year.

The Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, scheduled for April 25-May 31 in Muskogee, Oklahoma, was cancelled for 2020.

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