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Steampunk Digest - May 14, 2021

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

Friday, May 14, 2021

Steampunk fans can look forward to more online shenanigans as C.O.G.S. STREAMpunk Weekend takes to the aether May 14-16. The virtual event, presented by the organizers of C.O.G.S. Steampunk Expo, will stream live from the expo’s Twitch channel.

Highlights include:

• “Airships, Automatons, and Alchemy: Bringing Steampunk into D&D,” an interactive panel with Mickey Flint, Brett King, and Tony Ballard-Smoot;

• “Travel in Steampunk Fiction: Dirigibles, Trains, and Submarines,” with authors Elizabeth Chatsworth, Jessica Lucci, and Anne Renwick;

• The “Crazy Cricut Apocalypse Game” hosted by The Roguish Rabbit;

• A “Make a Badge Brunch” hosted by Kolleen Kilduff of Design by Night Accessories;

• A discussion of “Patterning in Leather” by Wheeler Stone of Doc Stone Studios;

• Insights about “Thrifty Costuming” from Nanci Lasco Smith of Wandering Rose Creations.

The schedule also includes a tribute to New York steampunk musician Nigel Taylor, who passed away earlier this year.

See the event’s Facebook page for more details about the program.

In case you missed last weekend’s online Watch City Steampunk Festival, much of the programming is now accessible on the festival’s YouTube channel. Guests were taken on a virtual trip to the Moon, with musical entertainment, a Georges Méliès film festival, and lots more along the way.

One highlight was the virtual Mad Science Exposition (above), with mind-bending creations from Professor Edison A. Wellington (aka “The Time Drifter”), Maxim Olshanni, Lady Chuzzlepump, Wendell the Thief, and Dr. Wilhemina von Fishbottle. The festival culminated with a landing on the Moon, where travelers were treated to a dance party with surprise musical alien guests Big Nazo Lab.

Victor Sierra has released “The Witness,” a 4K music video based on a track from the band’s latest album, Imperfect Meridians. It appears to be filmed aboard The Hydrogen Queen, the airship that’s central to much of the band’s music.

The Paris-based trio frequently performs at steampunk events, including numerous virtual events over the past year. Next up is a free online concert on Saturday, May 15, hosted by SCIFI.radio. It will be simulcast on the SCIFI.radio Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitch.tv channel, and website. See the website for more info.

Steampunk City

The Aderlyon Build Team has unveiled the “Steampunk City,” a massive floating metropolis designed for use in the Minecraft video game. The project took seven months to complete, but you can relive the construction in a 10-minute time lapse video posted on YouTube. Players can download the build for free from the Planet Minecraft website. The team, founded in April 2020, also produces custom Minecraft builds on commission.


UK steampunk designer Steve Raffner has released the HatLamp, a handmade table lamp that emits light from a metal top hat. It features a wireless design with power provided by a USB charger. He says it takes less than five hours for a full charge, which lasts 16 to 24 hours depending on the brightness level.

The lamp is available in two limited-edition models: Gentleman Black (150 units) and Extravagant Gold (50 units). Each model sells for £149 (US$199, €169, AU$259). You can order it from Etsy or the HatLamp website.

Raffner also runs Steampunk Junkies, which sells steampunk accessories online and at events in the UK.

Book News

Tor.com is out with A Master of Djinn, the first full-length novel by P. Djèlí Clark. The story takes place in the same alternate-world, early 20th century Cairo that was the setting for Clark’s acclaimed novella The Haunting of Tram Car 015. In this reality, agents of the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities contend with magical forces unleashed 40 years earlier by a Soudanese mystic named al-Jahiz. The tales are part of a series dubbed “Dead Djinn Universe.”

In the new story, a brotherhood dedicated to al-Jahiz is murdered, and the killer claims to be the mystic himself. The task of solving the mystery falls to agent Fatma el-Sha’arawi, the youngest woman in the Ministry.

The novel has won praise from authors S.A. Chakraborty, Rebecca Roanhorse, Django Wexler, and Mary Robinette Kowal. Chakraborty described it as “a clever, wickedly fun steampunk mystery with an excellent balance of humor and heart.”

The Haunting of Tram Car 015 was nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, and Locus awards, and Clark’s 2020 novella Ring Shout is a finalist for this year’s Hugo and Nebula honors.

A Master of Djinn is available in hardcover, e-book, and audiobook formats. See the publisher’s website for an excerpt and links to booksellers.

Inkerman cover

Author Mark R. Brandon has released Inkerman, a 47-page steampunk fantasy novella about a British Army captain who encounters unusual military technology in 1867 Crimea. Brandon cautions that the story features “adult themes and moderate gore,” but also promises a “jaw-dropping reveal.” It’s available as an e-book from Amazon.


Bianca Loran of Vancouver, BC is on Kickstarter with Volume 2 of Everwake, a steampunk fantasy comic with a “topsy-turvy ‘Wonderland’ feel,” the creator says. Protagonists Zevryx Skye and Avi Fayt have been brought together by fate and find themselves pursued by the Demon Queen, who threatens the world with an infectious plague. Volume 2 takes the heroes to the steampunk-inspired capital city.

The softcover book will consist of 282 full-color pages. It’s adapted from a webcomic available at Webtoon. Loran, who serves as the writer and artist, also raises funds on Patreon.

The campaign launched May 9 and met its CA$16,000 (US$13,189) goal in 32 hours. It runs through June 4. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Quick Hits

Steampunk sculpture comes to Hagley Museum (Delaware Public Media)

Art, history, technology combine in Hagley’s new steampunk sculpture (Delaware Live)

Rock ‘n’ Roll and Steampunk Fair takes over Washington (PHOTOS) (Lehigh Valley Live)

Fashions at Rock ‘n’ Roll and Steampunk Fair (Photos) (Lehigh Valley Live)

Gears, goggles and brass: Steampunk festival draws crowds in Van Buren (Press Argus-Courier)

Columnist: If you missed steampunk the first time (Times Record News - Wichita Falls)

Create Distinctive Steampunk Home Bar Designs With This Statement Drink Cabinet (High Tech Deck)

The Steampunk Kitchen – Get This Style in YOUR Kitchen! (Livinator)

Watch City Readers Steams On! (Patch)

The Epic Journey to ‘The Underground Railroad’ (The New York Times)

Eight Unusual SFF Librarians Who (Probably) Won’t Shush You (Tor.com)

Why The Irregulars Was Cancelled: What Went Wrong? (ScreenRant)

Minecraft Builders Create Impressive Floating Steampunk City (Game Rant)

Rapid City’s only steampunk bar is working on several expansions (KOTA-TV)

Steampunk melodrama on the bill for New South Wales performance group (News of The Area)

Alice visits an unusual ‘Wonderland’ in Collide’s new outdoor dance performance (St. Paul Pioneer Press)

Great turnout for Melton vintage market (Melton Times)

Houdini’s Motherly Love: Magician vs. Medium (Ripley’s)

Meet Elizabeth Bangs Bryant, A Victorian-Era Spider-Woman Being Celebrated At Harvard (WBUR)

Margery Kempe: Medieval Mystic and ‘Heretic’ Heroine (Ancient Origins)

Book Review: What can ‘The Age of Decadence’ teach us about today? A great deal. (The Washington Post)

‘Red herring’: Where does the phrase come from? (History Extra)

Rare HG Wells £2 coin could be worth £1,000 due to an error - do you have one? (Mirror)

First remains from doomed 19th-century Arctic expedition identified (Live Science)

Where San Francisco hid its speakeasies during Prohibition (SFGate)

Ground-Breaking Hologram Technology Brings Sci-Fi Battles To Life (IFL Science)

You Can Now Receive Your COVID-19 Vaccination At Dracula’s Castle (And It’s Perfectly Safe) (IFL Science)

The First-Ever Evidence of the Multiverse (Interesting Engineering)

No, Humans Didn’t Evolve From the Ancestors of Living Apes (Interesting Engineering)

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