Steampunk Digest - March 22, 2019
Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world
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Abney Park has released its latest album, New Nostalgics, featuring songs from the 1900’s through 1940’s “in a modern style.” They include “Strip Polka,” “Come Take a Trip in My Airship,” “Minnie the Moocher,” “A Pocket Full of Dreams,” “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” and “Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen.” “Strip Polka” and “Bei Mir Bist Du Shoen” are available as music videos. See the website for ordering info.
Also new is a music video of “Beaten, Battered, and Abused,” a song from the 2017 album Crash. This one was designed to resemble a retro video game.
More from Abney Park: The band is set to appear in concert on Saturday, June 29 at Aethertopia 2019, the immersive steampunk event at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa. Band leader Robert Brown was a celebrity judge at the first Aethertopia in 2018, but now he’ll be joined by his fellow musicians. The concert price will be included in Ultimate and Supreme Passholder two-day admission tickets, which will soon be available with early-bird pricing. The event runs June 29-30. Learn more on the Aethertopia website.
Related story: Steampunk Immersion in Florida.
Mixtvision plans an April 2 release for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions of Far Lone Sails, a vehicle adventure game in a post-apocalyptic setting. The player travels through a dried-up seabed in a vessel that’s a hybrid of a sailboat and a train. Along the way, you navigate roadblocks left by a dead civilization. The earlier PC and Mac version has garnered positive reviews and numerous awards.
Preorders are now available for the Xbox One version. Preorders for the PS4 version are available in Europe. A Nintendo Switch version is TBA. See the website for more info.
Merge Games has released a trailer and screen shots for Sparklite, described as “a roguelite brawler-adventure set in a whimsical world where players invent guns and gadgets to solve puzzles and defeat enemies.” The game was developed by Red Blue Games, LLC of Durham, North Carolina. It’s set for release this fall in versions for the PC, PlayStation4, Nintendo Switch and Xbox One.
“Sparklite could be one of the biggest indie releases of 2019,” writes Cody Gravelle of Screen Rant. He describes it as “a nostalgic callback to games like The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. To its credit, Sparklite isn’t afraid of leaning into its inspirations, fully embracing the aesthetic and gameplay elements that served as its foundation before separating itself with steampunk and roguelite innovations.”
Language Card Games plans a March 31 release for Othertongue 3: Rise Of The Steampunks, the latest in a series of card games that assist in language learning. Players compete by using vocabulary words from the languages they are studying. They can play against each other even if they are learning different languages. Developer Matthew Boyle explains how it works in a video on the website. The new card game has a steampunk theme.
The game will sell for $24.95 USD, but if you order before March 31, you can get it for $19.95 USD. See the website for more info.
Two mixologists near Nottingham, UK have transformed an old furniture store into a bar and café with a Victorian industrial theme. Copper Cogs opened its doors on March 15 in Long Eaton, with a menu featuring snacks, sandwiches, cocktails, beer, wine, fruit juices, and coffee.
Co-owners Stephen Hill and Tim Ford spent four months renovating the place. “The copper theme extends to the ceiling tiles, pipework, beer pumps, taps in the toilets and names of some of the cocktails,” writes Lynette Pinchess in the Nottingham Post. The cocktails also include the Steampunk Zombie, a rum concoction. This summer, Hill and Ford plan to add burgers, fish and steak to the menu.
Queen of Swords Press plans an April 15 release for Wireless and More Steam-Powered Adventures, a collection of three linked steampunk novellas by Alex Acks. The stories follow the continuing adventures of Captain Marta Ramos, “the most dangerous pirate in the Duchy of Denver,” and Meriwether Octavian Simms, her second-in-command. Set in an alternate-history American West, it’s a sequel to Murder on the Titania and Other Steam-Powered Adventures, which is a finalist for the 2019 Colorado Book Awards.
The new title has earned early praise from authors Robyn Bennis and Geonn Cannon. It’s now available for pre-order. See the publisher’s website for more info.
Author Michael Tierney is out with Mr. Darwin’s Dragon, the third novel in his Airship Flamel series. In this one, Charles Darwin seeks the assistance of Professor Nicodemus Boffin in solving a puzzle: “How is it that cultures all over the world have ancient myths of dragons? Could dragons have once lived alongside ancient man? Could dragons still exist?” This sets the professor on an airship adventure to China.
Tierney will officially launch the book at this weekend’s Clockwork Alchemy convention in Burlingame, California. One of his stories is also included in Next Stop on the #13, an anthology featuring 11 tales by authors appearing at the convention. See his website for more info.
Aradia Publishing has released Gunsmoke & Dragonfire, an anthology featuring 25 Western-themed fantasy and science-fiction tales. In her introduction, editor Diana Morrison outlines the various subgenres of “strange westerns”: Weird Western, Space Western, Apocalyptic Western, and Cattlepunk (western-themed steampunk). “This anthology has a selection of all of the above, and a few things that defy these labels besides,” she writes. The stories include Liam Hogan’s “Pinkerton,” about a young outlaw “hunted by an implacable mechanical foe.”
It’s currently available in a Kindle version, with print and additional e-book formats to follow on March 31. See the publisher’s website for more info.
Steampunk author and lecturer Phoebe Darqueling plans a March 28 release for No Rest for the Wicked, a novel about a conwoman in 1870s America who can talk to ghosts. It follows on the heels of her first novel, Riftmaker. You can get a 15 percent pre-order discount by using the code PREORDER2019 at checkout on the Black Rose Writing website.
As we reported last week, she’s also planning a book launch party and Steampunk Mingle on Saturday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., in Ann Arbor, Michigan. And she’s set to appear at the International Steampunk Symposium, March 29-31 in Cincinnati. Her activities there will include a talk on “Egyptomania.”
The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, New York, will host Steampunk Sunday: Lunar Tendencies, described as “an all-day festival to celebrate the moon, Steampunk style.” The program includes tea dueling, a costume contest, a “Steampunk Scandals” museum tour, artifacts from The Museum of Interesting Things, and a musical performance by The Eternal Frontier. Dolly & Birdie of Hudson Valley Steampunk will be the MCs. It takes place Sunday, March 24. See the Facebook page for more info.
The Shrewsbury Steampunk Spectacular takes place on Saturday, March 23 at various locations in Shrewsbury, in western England. Activities include teapot racing, parasol dueling, a ghost tour and more. Special guests include Ichabod Steam, Sheriff Ants Trenpeneur, and Charles Darwin (or someone bearing a strong resemblance). St Mary’s Church will host a steampunk market. Saturday evening’s Steampunk Shindig at the Lion Hotel will feature performances by Lady Violet Hugh, Madam Zurri Arrosa, Victor and the Bully, and Professor Elemental. See the website for more info.
See our calendar for a comprehensive rundown of future events in North America and the UK.
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