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Steampunk Digest - Jan. 4, 2019

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

Friday, January 4, 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.

Steampunk Visions

Belleal Games has released “Steampunk Hearse,” a puzzle box based on an illustration by Elwira Pawlikowska. It’s designed for use with the company’s Masters of Puzzle video game, which simulates the experience of solving real-world jigsaw puzzles. Players can opt for 250 to 2000 puzzle tiles. The hearse is part of the “Steampunk Visions” collection and the first to be released as a puzzle box. A second puzzle box from the collection, “The Goblin Watermill,” is set for release on Jan. 10. Two others based on her illustrations are still under development. You can see all four in the gallery below. Learn more about her work on her blog and DeviantArt page. Prints of her work are available on Curioos.

The base Masters of Puzzle game, released in May, is still in beta. See the Steam page and the developer’s website for more info.

Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds

Audible Studios has released an audio drama version of Jeff Wayne’s The War of The Worlds. It’s based on Wayne’s bestselling progressive rock concept album from 1978, which in turn was based on the H.G. Wells novel. On the original album, actor Richard Burton spoke the part of narrator/protagonist The Journalist, with Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues providing lead vocals. In this new production, actor Michael Sheen portrays The Journalist. Other cast members include Taron Egerton, Adrian Edmondson, Theo James, and Anna-Marie Wayne.

It’s available for $21.81USD, or as part of Audible’s membership program. See the website for more info.

Shown above is a 2009 stage production of Jeff Wayne’s musical version. Photo by Abi Skipp from London, England [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

Meanwhile, BBC viewers are awaiting the premiere of a three-part TV adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel. Unlike the 2005 Steven Spielberg film, which was set in the present-day U.S., this one takes place in Edwardian-era England. Rafe Spall (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and Eleanor Tomlinson (Poldark) will play the lead roles. The broadcaster has not yet announced the air dates.

Apple is offering six free audiobooks of classic tales narrated by celebrities. The titles include The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, read by Kelsey Grammar (link); Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, read by Aaron Mahnke (link); Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, read by Kate Beckinsale (link); and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, read by Tituss Burgess (link). You can get them through the iTunes store.

Author Shelley Adina has released a digital “box set” containing the last four volumes of her Magnificent Devices steampunk series: Devices Brightly Shining, Fields of Air, Fields of Iron, and Fields of Gold. From the description: “Gloria Meriwether-Astor’s friendship with Lady Claire Trevelyan has changed her life. With nothing more than grit, compassion, and the help of her friends, she takes on the Royal Kingdom of Spain and the Californias as that nation prepares to invade the Texican Territory. What else is the daughter of an arms dealer to do, when her father was the one responsible for this disaster? The lives of thousands may depend on her ability to stop the war … even if it means losing everything and everyone she has come to love …”

It’s available in e-book format from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online booksellers for $9.99. Packages with Books 1-4 and 5-6 are also available. See her website for more info.

High Desert Steam will present “Steampunk: The Art of Victorian Futurism,” a juried art exhibition scheduled for Jan. 21-Feb. 26 at the Western Nevada College Art Galleries in Carson City, Nevada. The exhibition is open to steampunk-themed art, crafts, gadgets and costumes. The submission deadline is Monday, Jan. 7. Artists can choose whether to make their items available for sale. There is no cost to exhibit, but the organization will charge a 25 percent commission for pieces that are sold.

An opening reception will be held Thursday, Jan. 31, 4:30-6 p.m. See the High Desert Steam website and the Facebook event page for more info.

Frenchy and the Punk

Frenchy and the Punk will celebrate the forthcoming release of Hooray Beret, the duo’s latest album, with events in Woodstock, New York and New York City. First up is a record release party, Saturday, Jan. 5, 8 p.m. at the Colony Woodstock, 22 Rock City Road, in the town known for the famous rock festival. They’ll be joined by Dust Bowl Faeries and “some surprise guests.” Tickets cost $8 in advance or $12 at the door.

A week later, on Saturday, Jan. 12, they’ll be appearing at Coney Island Baby, 169 Avenue A, between 10th and 11th Streets in Manhattan’s East Village. Charming Disaster Band and Dust Bowl Faeries are also on the bill. It’s an early show set for 7-10:30 p.m.

Advance copies of the CD will be available at both shows.

Frenchy and the Punk have also released “Lanky Bell Bottoms,” a single from the album, and an accompanying music video. The album itself will be available this spring. See their website for more info.

Steam Powered Giraffe

Steam Powered Giraffe will debut “The Echo Engine,” a new live show, on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the California Center for the Arts Center Theater in Escondido, California. The band promises “new songs, old favorites, and a tantalizing plot” involving a mysterious device. Tickets cost $30 to $80.

Founded in 2008, Steam Powered Giraffe “combines robot pantomime, puppetry, ballet, comedy, projections, and music,” according to its own description. The band is also slated to appear at the Anime Midwest 2019 convention, July 5-7 near Chicago.

See the event page and band website for more info.

Oddball Newt will kick off “12 Months of Steampunk” with a Victorian Skate Fantasy on Saturday, Jan. 5, 6-8:30 p.m. at the Bolton Ice Palace, 145 Hopriver Rd, Bolton, Connecticut. Participants are invited to show up in steampunk or Victorian garb “and do your best to maintain balance and poise as you take to the ice.” Cost is $7 plus $3 for skate rental.

It’s the first of 12 scheduled events, one for each month, in various Connecticut locations. They also include the fourth Stupid Cupid Steampunk Ball, Feb. 23 in Manchester; the Silk City Steampunk St. Paddy’s Day Parade, March 3 in Norwich; a tea house crawl in April; and the third Steam Rollin’ street fair in Manchester in Sept.

“For many years, Connecticut steampunks had one annual event to attend,” explains organizer David Carlson. “The rest of the time we had to go out of state to get our steam on.” He hopes that some of the new events will become annual affairs. He also plans additional gatherings through the Silk City Steampunk Meetup group. See the Oddball Newt Facebook page for more info.

Top Stories of the Month

Here are the most-viewed stories of December 2018 on The Steampunk Explorer:

1. A Steampunk Take on Mortal Engines

2. Steampunk Cheer at Mad Hatter Parade

3. Steampunk Digest - Dec. 21, 2018

4. Steampunk Digest - Dec. 7, 2018

5. Steampunk Tunes for the Holidays

6. Steampunks Invade the Dickens Fair


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