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Steampunk Digest - Jan. 25, 2019

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

Friday, January 25, 2019

Steampunk Digest brings you news and other info from around the web. Sign up to get it by email before it's posted on the website. The email version also includes summaries of recent stories posted on The Steampunk Explorer.

The Steam Machine

Pop culture website Flavorwire recently profiled the work of Lithuanian sculptor and painter Artūras Tamašauskas, who creates steampunk-inspired artwork from discarded materials. The Flavorwire story features 10 of his pieces, and he kindly agreed to share a few more photos with us.

Shown above is “A Steam Machine” (2016), an assemblage made from a brass trumpet, sewing machine wheel, model brass cannon and other parts. He writes that the curved tubes and valves of the trumpet are a perfect fit for the concept. Other pieces are shown in the photo gallery below. You can see more of his work on his website and Facebook page. Some pieces are available for sale.

Author Gail Carriger has released a large-print edition of How to Marry a Werewolf, a “Claw & Courtship” novella originally published last May. From the description: “The monsters left Faith ruined in the eyes of society, so now they’re her only option. Faith crosses the Atlantic, looking for a marriage of convenience and revenge. But things are done differently in London. Werewolves are civilized. At least they pretend to be.” It’s a standalone tale set in her Parasolverse.

“This is my only book in existence as LARGE PRINT,” she wrote in a blog post announcing the new edition. She also explained why the large-print edition is so expensive: larger type equals more pages equals higher production costs.

Author J.M. Frey announced on her blog that her YA steampunk series The Skylark’s Saga has been signed to an “animation shopping agreement.” Producer and writer Elize Morgan, dba Alpaca VS Llama, “has secured the rights to make a package of materials based on The Skylark’s Saga – treatment documents, series outline, character designs and illustrations, and a pilot script – for an animated series to take to production houses and networks,” Frey writes. The goal is to have it optioned, which could eventually lead to production. Emphasis on could — as Gail Carriger wrote in this blog post, even an optioned story faces long odds in getting to the screen.

Boutique publisher Reuts released The Skylark’s Song, the first book in the series, in September 2018. It tells the story of 17-year-old airship pilot Robin Arianhod and her encounter with a ruthless pilot named Coyote. Book two, The Skylark’s Sacrifice, is set for release this September. See the author’s website for more info.

You still have a few days to submit stories for a forthcoming steampunk anthology from Our Write Side. As we reported in October, the publisher is seeking fiction ranging from 3500 to 10,000 words. Selected authors will receive a copy of the e-book and a portion of royalties. The entry deadline is Jan. 28. See the website for contact info and additional details.

Frenchy and the Punk

Frenchy and the Punk is out with a new single, “Wah,” from their forthcoming album Hooray Beret. Available now on Spotify, iTunes, CD Baby, and Bandcamp, it’s the second of three singles from the album, which is set for release on March 5. The first was “Lanky Bell Bottoms” (see the YouTube video).

The musicians also announced some U.S. tour dates for this year. They include performances at 13 Gears: An Eclectic Steampunk Event, Feb. 9-10 in Minneapolis; International Steampunk Symposium, March 29-31 in Cincinnati; Festival of Legends, April 13-14 in Apex, North Carolina; and Key City Steampunk Festival, Aug. 16 in Frederick, Maryland. Other stops include Magical Marketplace in Nashua, New Hampshire (March 23); New Deal Café in Greenbelt, Maryland (April 10); Leastival in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania (May 4); World of Fae in South Elgin, Illinois (August 3); and Hexenfest in Geyserville, California (Sept. 14).

In addition, guitarist Scott Helland will perform his solo act at the following locations: Stomping Ground in Putnam, Connecticut (March 7); Pete’s Candy Store in Brooklyn (March 9); Magical Marketplace in Nashua (March 24); 13th Floor Lounge in Florence, Massachusetts (April 19); MidWay Café in Boston (April 28); World of Fae in South Elgin (Aug. 4); and Key City Steampunk Festival (August 17).

See the band’s website for more info.

KOLN-TV in Lincoln, Nebraska recently featured the work of local steampunk artist and “Cake Grandma” Sharon Sykes. She’s been a cake decorator since her high school days, “but in 2014, she began to stretch her artistic talents into a whole new medium...steampunk art,” reports Lance Schwartz in one of his “Lance’s Journal” segments, which highlight interesting personalities in the state.

“I like the Victorian, I love the lace and the pearls and that, but I like the gears and the metals, bronze and the gold and the silver and the copper and like putting those all together to see what works together,” she told the reporter. She makes her pieces from used or recycled items such as corkscrews, can openers, and light fixtures.

Her work is also on display at the Noyes Art Gallery in Lincoln, where she’s a co-op artist.

The Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society in Southern California is seeking vendors for Railfest 2019, described as “a celebration of the steam engine, railroading, antique tractors, vehicles & engines, vintage wares & oddities, unique performances, early transportation and culture mixed with a bit of Steampunk fun.”

It takes place April 27-28 at the Fillmore & Western Railway in Fillmore, a historic town in Ventura County about 23 miles west of Six Flags Magic Mountain. Attendee admission is free. Event director Josh Carsman tells us that last year’s festival drew about 5000 people.

Vendor booths measuring 12 x 12 feet cost $100, plus $34 for a City of Fillmore special event business license. A second space costs an additional $50. The costs cover both days. You can sign up through the first week of April. See the website for contact info.

The Edwardian World’s Faire and Edwardian Ball take place this weekend in San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom. The arts and entertainment extravaganza will feature music, ballroom dancing, puppeteers, circus acts, art installations and more. It’s inspired by the work of writer and illustrator Edward Gorey, whose books are known for dark, nonsensical humor and Victorian or Edwardian stylings. See our recent coverage.

New Kickstarters

Boston Metaphysical Society

Madeleine Holly-Rosing is seeking Kickstarter funding for Boston Metaphysical Society: The Spirit of Rebellion, a new standalone book in her steampunk graphic novel series. This new tale takes place in late 1800s Philadelphia, where Caitlin O’Sullivan, one of the lead characters from the original Boston Metaphysical Society, “discovers a ghost, the beginning of a rebellion, and perhaps her destiny.” She also finds that she has telekinetic powers.

It’s a 34-page story with a bonus 10-page tale, Hunter-Killer, about an airship battle. The reward tiers include earlier books in the series.

Holly-Rosing is the writer/creator with Gwynn Tavares contributing the artwork and Troy Peteri handling the lettering. Holly-Rosing is also a crowdfunding maven — she’s the author of Kickstarter for the Independent Creator and offers private consultations. This is her seventh Kickstarter campaign.

The project launched on Jan. 23 and seeks $3855 USD in funding by Feb. 22. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

GearGames is on Kickstarter with Vulcania, a steampunk tabletop role-playing game. It takes place in a fantasy world where people inhabit volcanic archipelagos known as Isonations: “the expanses of Abrabazem. . . the arid deserts of Balastoc. . . the rugged peaks of Ketniv. . . the frozen lands of Nuugard” and the nation of Itteghasp, “where, protected by groups of mercenaries, the Monopolies, corporations that hold the secrets of technology, placed their headquarters.”

The game was conceived by Mattia Arnaudo and Simone Raspi of Lugano, Switzerland. It’s been under development for five years.

The project launched on Jan. 15 and seeks to raise $28,465 USD by Feb. 13. See the Kickstarter page and website for more info.

New Games

Artifex Mundi has released Skyland: Heart of the Mountain, a steampunk-themed video game about a post-apocalyptic civilization built atop sleeping giants. “People are disappearing without trace and it seems it might be connected to your father’s tragic death,” the description says. “It’s up to you and your trusty crew of airship Nightingale to uncover the truth behind it. Team up with your sister Adrianne and together you will solve a mystery behind your father’s passing and see a glimpse of ancient civilization that shaped this world.”

The single-player game is available for Macs, PCs, and Linux systems running the SteamOS. See the Steam page and publisher’s website for more info.


VR developer Black Mouse has released Profundum, described as “a virtual reality adventure game set in a steampunk world, in which you are challenged to solve puzzles and discover secrets lurking in a mysterious underground complex.” It’s designed for use with the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality VR systems, as well as other VR headsets compatible with SteamVR. It runs on Windows PCs. The developer is planning to release it on other VR platforms in the future.

Black Mouse has released two YouTube trailers (here and here). See the Steam page and Profundum website for more info.

Steam Prison

MangaGamer is planning a Valentine’s Day release for Steam Prison, a steampunk “otome” video game. The heroine, 18-year-old Cyrus Tistella, is a police officer from a utopian city called The Heights who goes on a mission to The Depths, “a violent, destitute world of hardworking, damaged individuals.” Developed by HuneX, the single-player game runs on Windows PCs.

Otome is a category of story-based video games in Japan geared toward women and often featuring romantic relationships. The content in this game is appropriate for people 17 and older.

Steam Prison is now available for pre-order from MangaGamer and Steam. See this blog post for more info.

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