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Steampunk Digest - February 5, 2021

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

Friday, February 5, 2021
Amalia True - The Nevers
Photo by Keith Bernstein/HBO

Anticipation is ramping up for The Nevers, the forthcoming science fiction series from HBO. The network released the first official trailer for the show and revealed that it will premiere in April with six episodes on HBO and HBO Max.

Here’s the description: “In the last years of Victoria’s reign, London is beset by the ‘Touched’: people – mostly women – who suddenly manifest abnormal abilities, some charming, some very disturbing. Among them are Amalia True (Laura Donnelly, above), a mysterious, quick-fisted widow, and Penance Adair (Ann Skelly), a brilliant young inventor. They are the champions of this new underclass, making a home for the Touched, while fighting the forces of… well, pretty much all the forces – to make room for those whom history as we know it has no place.”

The cast also includes Olivia Williams, Nick Frost, Denis O’Hare, Pip Torrens, Rochelle Neil, Eleanor Tomlinson, Amy Manson, Zackary Momoh, James Norton, Tom Riley, Elizabeth Berrington, Kiran Sawar, Anna Devlin, Viola Prettejohn, Ella Smith, and Ben Chaplin.

The series was created by Joss Whedon, who described it as perhaps his “most ambitious narrative.” However, he left the production in November, citing exhaustion and “the physical challenges of making such a huge show during a global pandemic.”

Last week, several entertainment publications reported that HBO has hired British writer/producer Philippa Goslett to replace Whedon as showrunner. Her writing credits include Mary Magdalene, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, Little Ashes, and Holy Money.

Variety reported that Goslett will oversee production of the second half of season one. Production of the first season was cut short by the pandemic.

Related links:

In Spite of Itself, The Nevers’ First Trailer Actually Looks Extremely Good (Gizmodo Australia)

HBO’s Newest Fantasy Series Is The Magicians Meets Bridgerton (Refinery 29)

First teaser for HBO’s The Nevers unveils a steampunk, female-fronted X-Men (Syfy Wire)

‘The Nevers’: Philippa Goslett Named As Showrunner Of HBO Sci-Fi Drama Following Joss Whedon’s Departure (Deadline)

Joss Whedon HBO Series ‘The Nevers’ Taps Philippa Goslett as New Showrunner (Variety)

Watch City 2019
Photo by Babette Daniels

The Watch City Steampunk Festival in Waltham, Massachusetts has once again fallen prey to the COVID-19 pandemic. “While we’d love to be able to host a live event for you all in May, we think it’s unlikely that we will get from where we are right now to having permission from the authorities to host a large outdoor event in time to put a good festival together,” the organizers announced last week.

In its place, they will host a virtual event on May 8, the day the live event was originally scheduled. “We’re planning plans and scheming schemes,” they stated. “Stay tuned for further announcements.”

The pandemic also caused last year’s event to be canceled. Past festivals have drawn upwards of 10,000 people, making it one of the largest steampunk gatherings in the U.S. See the website and Facebook page for updates.

Organizers of the Wild Wild West Con in Tucson, Arizona have also announced a virtual event. Wild Wild West Steampunk Online will be held March 5-6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on Zoom. Guests will include Thomas Willeford, Doc Stone, Paige Gardner, Charles Mason, Eric Larson, Steampunk Boba Fett, Hobbes Hickey, Tayliss Forge, Ember Brennan Sparks, Ozwald Kraus, Lord and Lady Towers, Tobias McCurry, Madam Askew, The Grand Arbiter, Necrofessor, and Tony Ballard-Smoot. The event will also feature a live concert by Victor Sierra.

Registration is free, but to join, you’ll have to fill out a registration form. A link is on the website. They’re accepting donations, and if you give $30 or more you’ll receive a commemorative item hand-crafted by McCurry.

The organizers announced last September that this year’s live convention would be postponed until 2022. Past events have been held at Old Tucson Studios, a Wild West-style theme park and movie studio. However, the venue closed indefinitely in September and its future is up in the air. The Pima County government has assumed responsibility for the facility and is seeking proposals from potential operators.


Iron Kingdoms: Requiem

Game publisher Privateer Press is on Kickstarter with Iron Kingdoms: Requiem, a new version of its popular role-playing game updated for the Dungeons & Dragons 5e rules system. The story combines steampunk and sword-and-sorcery elements. It’s set in the fictional continent of Immoren, populated by the five Iron Kingdoms of humanity along with elves, dwarves, and a hostile island nation known as Cryx.

The publisher plans three sourcebooks: the Iron Kingdoms: Requiem setting book and two companion volumes. Monsternomicon contains data on more than 80 creatures that players can encounter in the game. Legend of the Witchfire serves as an introduction to the Iron Kingdoms.

The campaign launched on Jan. 26 and met its US $100,000 fundraising goal in 73 minutes. It runs through Feb. 11. See the Kickstarter page and website for more info.

Percy & Reggie film

Rem Alternis Productions is seeking Kickstarter funds for Coddlesworth’s Clockwork Circus, a comic book adventure set in a steampunk fantasy world.

“When the Tempest—an impenetrable storm spawned by the Great Cataclysm more than three thousand years ago—suddenly dissipates, it reveals a massive continent untouched by modern technology,” the producers write. “Simultaneously, arcane energies long discounted by science now permeate the world, giving rise to practitioners of magic and bringing to life a variety magical creatures and hazards.” The protagonists are two young women who find themselves traveling in an airship with a troupe of circus performers.

The first 28-page issue is scheduled for delivery in July. It will be printed in black-and-white. Minimum pledge for a digital download is US $10.

The campaign launched on Feb. 2 and met its US $5000 goal within 15 hours. It runs through March 4. See the Kickstarter page and website for more info.

Aether Studios is on Kickstarter with Sky Islands, a set of steampunk-themed model files for 3D printers. Designed for use with tabletop games, the models re-create an aerial steampunk city known as Aethertowne, with vehicles, miniatures, and terrain.

The campaign launched on Feb. 1 and met its US $1500 fundraising goal in 10 minutes. It runs through March 16. See the Kickstarter page and website for more info.

M. McGraw, an illustrator/designer, is seeking Kickstarter funds for MarrowScar, a tabletop role-playing game in the form of a zine. McGraw describes it as a “weird west setting with elements of fantasy, steampunk magi-tech, and a light sprinkling of eldritch horror undertones.”

It’s set in a world populated by humans and creatures known as gnolls. The title refers to a massive, cursed chasm created after a centuries-old battle between the two sides. “Recently, the spread of the Empire of the Burning Eye to the north, growing levels of dissent within the gnolls to the west, and human reclamation of the territory near the MarrowScar to build a railroad to their farthest frontier towns are causing tensions to flare once more,” the creator writes.

The zine will include a map and information for building and playing any of four playable species.

The campaign launched on Feb. 1 and has already surpassed its US $400 goal. It runs through Feb. 15. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Quick Hits

Unique home with steampunk bathroom on market for $2.5M in California. Take a look (The Sacramento Bee)

$2.5M Cole Valley Craftsman renovation includes steampunk bathroom you have to see (SFGate)

Novel Science: Steampunk and the history of prosthetics (Scienceline)

Indian Rock Band Arogya Goes Steampunk in New Music Video (Rolling Stone India)

Original art auction includes Kevin O’Neill’s League of Extraordinary Gentlemen V2 (Bleeding Cool)

Sci-fi online dictionary proves classic genre terms like ‘warp speed’ are older than you think (Syfy Wire)

Queen Star Brian May Shares The Latest Collaboration Of His Own Stereoscopic Company (Metalhead Zone)

Why is Steampunk so Awesome? (The Writerian)

Spooky steampunk ghost ships and skull sculptures (Boing Boing)

Scientific Steampunk: Of all the items I own, none embodies the Steampunk Aesthetic more than a Weston Voltmeter (Airship Flamel)

One of the world’s most complex pieces of watchmaking just got more complicated (Hypebeast)

In the hands of one local artist, old junk becomes steampunk masterworks (Mille Lacs Messenger)

Young Woman Dresses Up Like a 19th-Century Edwardian Lady Every Single Day (My Modern Met)

Review: Karel Zeman’s Invention for Destruction (Malaysia Sun)

Christopher Nolan’s Best Film Isn’t The One You Might Think (Vents Magazine)

Boston Lyric Opera’s ‘The Fall Of The House Of Usher’ Tackles The Unraveling American Dream (WBUR)

Monstrum 2 Claws Its Way Onto Steam Early Access (Gamespew)

A Wake Inn Interview: Pulling Those VR Horror Strings (VRFocus)

Airborne Kingdom is a steampunk city builder and management sim with “an imaginative premise” (NAG)

Paris’ Fantastic Steampunk Station – Metro Arts et Métiers (Sticky Mango Rice)

New steampunk bar in South Dakota (KOTA-TV)

Mummy with a gold tongue found in Egypt (Live Science)

Sir Lancelot: Exploring the History Behind the Legend (Ancient Origins)

The story you heard about Genghis Khan’s death is probably all wrong (Live Science)

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