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Steampunk Digest - June 5, 2020

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

Friday, June 5, 2020
Professor Elemental

Chap hop artist Professor Elemental has released Mea Cuppa, a ghost-written autobiography described as “entirely true and completely fictional.” Readers will get answers to questions such as “How did he meet his orangutan butler, Geoffrey? How does a Professor end up as a full time Hip Hop emcee? Just how many jobs has he been fired from? And just what is he a Professor of anyway?” It was written by Scott Finlay with notes by the Professor and illustrations by Cliff Cumber. See his website for more info.

Madam Misfit, a frequent performer at UK steampunk events, is planning a June 23 release for her debut album, The Elixir of Swing. She describes the eight-track album as “mischievous with a splash of absurdity,” with a sound that combines electro-swing, hip hop, and rap. One track features Professor Elemental, and based on a preview she sent our way, it’s a safe bet that fans of the chap hop maestro will enjoy this. In January, she released “Inspector Gadget,” a music video from the album (see above).

She’ll be previewing another track, “Step Aside Boys,” during a Facebook Live event on Monday, June 8 at 8 p.m. UTC+01 (3 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time).

The album, to be released on the Electro Swing Thing label, is currently available for pre-order. See her website and Facebook page for more info.

Electro Swing Thing is also planning “Streampunk,” a free online music festival featuring performers from Europe and the U.S. Scheduled acts include Mr. Harvey Miller (Vienna), Tallulah Goodtimes (London), Wolfgang Lohr (Berlin), Kumiho (San Francisco), Justin Fidèle (Berlin), Emma Clair (Manchester, UK), and Duke Skellington (Los Angeles). It will stream via Twitch on Saturday, June 13, 5 p.m.-11 p.m. GMT (10 a.m.-4 p.m. Pacific time).

The Big Telly Theatre Company in Portstewart, Northern Ireland, will present The Machine Stops, an online live theater performance based on a 1909 short story by E.M. Forster. The story is set in a steampunk-themed world “where the human race lived in total isolation underground, shunning contact with each other,” except through an omnipotent machine. It will be streamed via Zoom on Saturday, June 6 and Sunday, June 7 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Irish Standard Time (10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. U.S. Eastern time). Tickets cost £15 (enter code Stop7 for a 50 percent discount). See the website for more info.

The story is in the public domain and can be read on Wikisource.

More event changes: The Third Annual Steampunk Fair in Dexter, Maine has been rescheduled. Originally set for July 10-12, it will now take place Oct. 16-18. See the Facebook page for more info.

The Silk City Steampunk Festival, scheduled for July 25 in Manchester, New Hampshire, was cancelled.

Beep Games has released a trailer for Bartlow’s Dread Machine, an arcade shooter game set at the dawn of the 20th century. In the story, President Theodore Roosevelt has been abducted and players are challenged to pursue his kidnappers across the U.S. Along the way, you will “master an arsenal of futuristic Edwardian weapons as you fight otherworldly creatures to free the Commander in Chief,” the publisher says. Players can take the guise of historical figures including Marie Curie, Nikola Tesla, and a zombie General Custer.

It’s set for Early Access release on the Steam platform in July. The publisher plans a final release for Windows PCs and Xbox One in the fall. See the website for more info.

Book News

Steampunk author Shelley Adina has released The Engineer Wore Venetian Red, Book Four in her Mysterious Devices series. “Hot on the trail of their missing father, Daisy and Freddie Linden step off the airship Iris in San Francisco de Asis,” we’re told. “At the moment they discover their best clue to Papa’s whereabouts, an earthquake levels the city—and a disaster is the best time for a political coup.”

It’s available in e-book and paperback formats from Amazon. See the author’s website for more info.

Kendra Moreno is out with Gears of Mischief, Book 1 in her new series, The Valhalla Mechanism. Protagonist Ottilie Kingsford is a member of London’s elite who moonlights as a spy. “When her assignment takes her to a disruption in the main square, she never expects to witness a magical war between gods and monsters,” we’re told. “She most certainly doesn’t intend for the gods to catch her slipping away to give her report.” It’s available in Kindle format from Amazon.

The book follows on the heels of Moreno’s Clockwork Octopus, Book 2 in The Clockwork Almanac series, which was released in March. See her website for more info.

Author Matthew W. Quinn has released Son of Grendel, a novella that serves as a prequel to Battle for the Wastelands. Set in a postapocalyptic steampunk fantasy world, it tells the story of Falki Grendelsson, whose tyrannical father assigns him to battle an insurgency. On his blog, Quinn writes that the story allowed him to explore issues of race and ethnicity in the fantasy world. Proceeds from the book will support Feeding America, a charity that funds food banks. See the blog post for more info and Amazon links.

Kinsane Entertainment Inc. has acquired adaptation rights to Young Captain Nemo, a middle-grade fiction trilogy by Jason Henderson. The stories involve Gabriel Nemo, a 12-year-old descendant of the Jules Verne character who embarks on a series of adventures in his Nemotech submarine. The author has released two books so far: Young Captain Nemo (2019) and Quest for the Nautilus (2020). Kinsane announced that it will develop an animated series plus mobile games and consumer products based on the stories.



The Shady Gentlemen, a French game developer, has launched a Kickstarter campaign for Steamdolls: Order of Chaos, described as “a steampunk inspired metroidvania game with a grimy touch of brutality.” Players take the role of The Whisper, a hot-tempered vigilante who opposes the establishment. He’s voiced by David Hayter, an actor known for his portrayal of Solid Snake in the Metal Gear game series. “Metroidvania” refers to games inspired by Metroid and Castlevania.

They’re planning to release the game for all major platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox.

The campaign launched June 2 and has already passed its €30,000 (US $33,623) goal. It concludes on July 2. See the Kickstarter page and the developer’s website for more info.

Top Stories

These were the most-viewed stories in May in The Steampunk Explorer:

1. Steampunking Surgical Masks

2. Steampunk Digest - May 8, 2020

3. Steampunk Inspiration: Sanborn Maps

4. Steampunk Digest - May 22, 2020

5. Steampunk Digest - May 1, 2020

6. Steampunk Digest - May 15, 2020

Quick Hits

This Coal-Fired Steam Motorbike Built by Technician Is a Steampunk Dream (Interesting Engineering)

Steampunk Brushless Motor Demo Pushes All The Maker Buttons (Hackaday)

Temporal disruption to Steampunk NZ festival (Oamaru Mail)

Travel to an Alternate Universe in Industria, a Dystopian Adventure (Keen Gamer)

You can watch almost every Studio Ghibli movie on HBO Max. But where to start? (Los Angeles Times)

The latest details on the Studio Ghibli theme park (Polygon)

Crazy Facts About Tesla’s Tower on Long Island (LongIsland.com)

AFI Movie Club: 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (American Film Institute)

10 predictions that were correct when imagining our present (Checkersaga)

The First Manned Space Mission on America’s Newsstands (Bleeding Cool)

Transparent human cells turn a classic sci-fi story into reality (Inverse)

World’s Deepest “Dumbo Octopus” Seen 7 Kilometers Beneath The Waves (IFL Science)

Scientists capture the world’s deepest octopus on video. And it’s adorable. (LiveScience)

Here’s how plants became meat eaters (LiveScience)

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