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Steampunk Digest - June 15, 2018

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

Friday, June 15, 2018

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.

“Are you an artistic builder of kinetic works?” asks the Morris Museum in Morristown, New Jersey. The museum is accepting applications for “Simply Steampunk,” a juried exhibition slated for March 15 to July 14, 2019. Here’s a description: “Simply Steampunk pursues the goal of featuring the creative energy and vitality of kineticism while re-envisioning 19th century aesthetics combined with advances in machine technology. We intend to draw parallels of innovative engineering, design, and imagination of present-day artisans, while drawing comparisons to the technical ingenuity and functionality of a bygone era.” The entry deadline is Thursday, September 20, 2018.

“Simply Steampunk” is the second in a four-part, four-year series, “A Cache of Kinetic Art.” The series features contemporary artworks related to the museum’s Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of Mechanical Musical Instruments and Automata. Learn more on the museum’s Future Exhibitions page, or you can download a PDF of the prospectus.

Flights of Fancy, the annual steampunk event in New York’s Hudson Valley, is accepting entries for its Maker’s Challenge. Projects will be recognized in two categories: Flying Bicycle and Rocket Jet Pack. Dave Lee of Hatton Cross Steampunk will judge the entries. Only 10 will be accepted in each category. The entry fee is $28, which entitles you to one free admission to the event. The deadline is August 1, or when a category fills up. The event itself takes place Sept. 29, 2018 at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in Red Hook, New York. See the website for details and an entry form.

The Steampunk Explorer is now on Patreon, a crowdfunding platform that allows creators to connect with patrons and collect subscription revenue. Patrons can pledge as little as $1 per month to gain access to premium blog posts. You can cancel at any time.

We never intended The Steampunk Explorer to be a profit-making venture, but we’re hoping to recoup some of the startup and operating costs. Additional funds will enable us to hire freelancers and run more event coverage. You can learn more from this story, or go directly to our Patreon page.

An unsung inventor. Most blog entries on the Patreon page will be accessible only to patrons, but we posted a public entry about John Goffe Rand, one of the unheralded inventors from the Victorian era. You’ve probably never heard of him, but we guarantee that you have one of his inventions in your home. Read it here.

A Splendid Day Out

It was “A Splendid Day Out” (or three, to be precise) as steampunks gathered June 1-3 in Morecambe, a Victorian seaside town in Lancashire, England. This year’s theme was “Around the World in 80 Days.” You can find some splendid photos of costumed attendees on A Splendid Day Out’s website and Facebook page. The photo here by Chris Seaman is used by the organization’s permission. A Splendid Day Out hosts two of these festivals each year. The next one is scheduled for October 13-14.

The seventh Brass Screw Confederacy steampunk festival took place last weekend in Port Townsend, Washington, and the Peninsula Daily News has a few photos from the first two days. You can also find photos and videos on the festival’s Facebook page, including the arrival of Ex Scientia Victoria, described by one of the organizers as “a 50-foot monster-hunting sea ship with a 70-foot wing span.” It was in line with this year’s theme: “Perilous Expeditions.”

“Steampunk gothic” is one journalist’s description of a new star-shaped, seven-story tower recently added to Westminster Abbey, one of London’s most notable landmarks. Designed by Ptolemy Dean Architects, it’s “the most significant addition to the building since 1745,” writes Natasha Levy of Dezeen. Her story includes photos and lots of details about the architecture. The “steampunk gothic” remark came in a tweet by broadcaster Tom Dyckhoff.

Oliver Wainwright of The Guardian has his own take. “Nestled into an armpit of Westminster Abbey, hidden behind a flying buttress that leaps up to the chapterhouse, stands what appears to be a gothic space rocket. Sinuous bronze tracery loops its way up the faceted shaft, framing crystalline windows between bands of lead arrowheads, like go-faster stripes shooting towards the heavens.”

The new structure provides access to The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which opened June 11.

Titan Comics in London is planning a comic book series based on George Mann’s “Newbury & Hobbes” steampunk mysteries. The novels feature the crime-fighting exploits of special agents Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Victoria Hobbes in Victorian England. Set for release in September, the first installment of the comic series will be written by Mann and illustrated by Dan Boultwood. Get the details at CBR.com.

Treacherous Skies

Tripwire Interactive has released Killing Floor 2 — The Summer Sideshow: Treacherous Skies Update, which adds new content to the first-person shooter. Players battle zombie-like creatures called Zeds who were unleashed after a biotech project went bad. The update adds an airship map, and you can see obvious steampunk influences in the YouTube trailer. The game and update are available for PlayStation4, PlayStation4 Pro, Xbox One, Xbox One X, and PCs. It's rated "M" for "Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Language, Partial Nudity."

The Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City will host “Arts and Culture Day” on Saturday, June 16, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It’s an expanded version of the museum’s previous Steampunk and Trains event. Steampunk remains a major element, as High Desert Steam will be there to take photographs of costumed attendees in front of a train. See this story from CarsonNow.org for additional details.

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