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Steampunk Digest - January 29, 2021

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

Friday, January 29, 2021
Percy & Reggie film

Battleground Productions has high hopes for Percy & Reggie and the Great Parisian Airship Exposition, the short steampunk film that premiered at the Virtual Brass Screw festival last September. The film won a Best VFX (special effects) award at the Dreammachine International Film Festival in Los Angeles, and now writer/director John Longenbaugh is pitching a spinoff series to TV executives. Entitled Peregrinations with Percy & Reggie, it will be a “short-format serial comedy about our two upper-class nitwits and their adventures through a whole series of classic Victorian science fiction,” he explains.

In the film, Percy and Reggie find themselves caught in a battle between Captain Nemo and Robur the Conqueror. It features animated effects inspired by legendary Czech director Karel Zeman, with a touch of Monty Python’s Terry Gilliam.

Longenbaugh tells us that the film is being considered for other festivals, but due to COVID-19, “there aren’t any public showings as of now.” However, you can get a taste of the fun by watching the trailer. Learn more on the Battleground Productions website.

Kristin Cashore is out with Winterkeep, the fourth book in her bestselling Graceling Realm YA series, and at least one reviewer noticed steampunk elements in this installment. The book “sees the return of Queen Bitterblue of Monsea and introduces a whole new continent to this high-fantasy world,” writes Claire Hennessy in The Irish Times. “Winterkeep, with its more advanced technology, allows the series to slide into steampunk territory, with airships, weapons and environmental threats offering a different sort of challenge to established characters.”

But is it good? “With elegant writing and an immersive setting, this is a superb example of how to return to a series after a hiatus and breathe new life into it,” Hennessy writes. Publisher Penguin Random House says the series has sold 1.7 million copies.

Winterkeep is available in e-book, hardcover, paperback, and audiobook formats. The publisher’s website includes a lengthy excerpt.

Word Smith

Stephen Kok of Sydney, Australia is raising Kickstarter funds for the third and final volume of Word Smith, described as a “steampunk fantasy adventure where words come to life.” The graphic novels are set in a world where “a skilled artisan can craft words to evoke feelings and emotions from its recipients,” the author writes.

The 60-page finale, Fear & Honour, has protagonist Victoria and her friends contending with a mysterious stranger. It’s slated for delivery in October.

Rewards include a variant cover by Michael Shelfer, best known for his work on Marvel’s Domino series.

The campaign launched Jan. 24 and met its AU $5999 (US $4612) goal within 24 hours. It runs through Feb. 23. See the Kickstarter page and website for more info.

Scott Helland of Frenchy and the Punk has released “I Spy The Prisoner,” a single and music video from his forthcoming album The Spy Detective Collective. It’s the first of three planned singles from the album, which he describes as a homage to spy and detective shows of the 60s and 70s. Back in October, he raised $8,190 in a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund the album. He’s producing it under the auspices of his solo project, Guitarmy of One. It’s available on YouTube (above), Bandcamp, and Spotify.

The Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers is offering a new, self-paced online course on “Historical Research for Writers.” Taught by author Kate Heartfield, the course includes guidance on how to find research sources and how to organize information. The fee is $9.

It’s one of many such courses from the online academy led by Nebula Award-winning author Cat Rambo. Most are taught by Rambo herself, including “Hex Engines and Spell-Slingers: Writing Steampunk and Weird Western.” That one costs $19.

The Soulard Art Gallery in St. Louis will host “St. Louis Steampunk VI,” an exhibit scheduled for Feb. 12 through March 19. It will feature steampunk-themed sculpture, assemblage, painting, photography, jewelry, and more by artists in the St. Louis area. The gallery is accepting submissions through Jan. 31. Artists must reside within a 200-mile radius of the gallery. See the gallery website for more info.

Quick Hits

Burning Man teases announcement about 2021 event (SFGate)

Whatever happened to steampunk? (VillageSoup)

12 Spectacular Examples of Victorian Architecture from Around the World (Veranda)

Switzerland’s timeless art mechanics embraces 3D future (AFP)

10 Amazing Style Subcultures From Around the World (Fodor’s)

The Eternal, Desperate Optimism of Retro-Futurism in Fashion (Fashionista)

Murder and Machinery - Cogs in Motion (Black Beacon Books)

Aliens in Fiction: Literary and Movie Representations (The Great Courses Daily)

How Yevgeny Zamyatin shaped dystopian fiction (New Statesman)

Titan Comics’ Minky Woodcock Returns in The Girl Who Electrified Tesla (Comic Watch)

’Girl Who Electrified Tesla’ Reintroduces Comics Hero Minky Woodcock (The Hollywood Reporter)

Ten Essential Time Travel Movies (Flickering Myth)

Disney Parks to Update Jungle Cruise Ride to ‘Reflect and Value’ Diversity (Variety)

’Volcanoids’ Early Access Update Adds New Weapons, Challenges And More - Trailer (Worthplaying)

Is Volcanoids Coming To PS4/PS5? (PlayStation Universe)

Avalanche Studios Reportedly Cancelled An Open-World Steampunk Game Set In The 1950s (PlayStation Universe)

Report: Just Cause Studio Was Once Working on a Steampunk Open-World Game Set in 1950s (PlayStationLifeStyle.net)

Resident Evil Village coming in May, watch the bonkers new trailer and gameplay (PC Gamer)

The 19th Century Fossil Hunters Who Went to War Over Dinosaur Bones (The Daily Beast)

The Great Rat Massacre Of 1902 (And How It Backfired Spectacularly) Has Eerie Parallels With COVID-19 (IFL Science)

Lost 19th-century Tlingit fort discovered in Alaska (Live Science)

6,500 medieval coins and rare gold rings unearthed in Polish cornfield (Live Science)

The First People In America Brought Their Dogs Along (IFL Science)

Here’s Why Science Says Giant Humans Have Never And Will Never Exist (IFL Science)

Spinosaurus May Not Have Been A Fearsome Aquatic Predator, But More Like A Giant Stork (IFL Science)

Nearly 300 New Lifeforms Discovered Living In Deep-Sea Volcano’s Scalding Jets (IFL Science)

H.G. Wells inspires new electric plane that takes off like a helicopter (Yanko Design)

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