Steampunk Digest - January 14, 2022

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

Friday, January 14, 2022

Steampunk faves The Eternal Frontier have rung in the new year with “It Never Is As Bad As It Could Be,” a new music video intended to brighten the spirits. The message is that no matter how bad things might seem, it could always be worse.

The duo describes it as “a positive, light-hearted, ‘live and let live’ message, which can easily be adapted to the troubling times we live in today.”

It’s an original composition the duo previously presented at last year’s online “Freaky Mutant Weirdo Variety Show.” This is the first release as a standalone video.

Adam Dickinson, aka Geverend Dee of A Halo Called Fred, released “Make It Through Alive,” the first entry in a collaborative music project he calls “Geverend’s Exquisite Cadaver.”

The goal, he says, “is to create a collaborative songwriting environment by which different musicians share incomplete musical ideas and build new songs out of them.” The project is separate from A Halo Called Fred, but the Geverend says some of his bandmates may get involved.

The project’s name refers to a collaborative art technique invented by surrealists in the early 20th century. He previously used it on “Hold the Turkey,” a music video released by Halo in April 2020.

“Make It Through Alive,” available as a single and music video, features contributions from Anthony Ilczuk and Wes Dawson. You can download the single from Bandcamp or view it on YouTube. He’s also set up a website for the project.

Tom Hyland, guitarist for The Electric Swing Circus in Birmingham, UK, has formed a new steampunk/dieselpunk ensemble he calls the Big Band of Boom. True to the name, it has a big sound with a lineup that includes two guitars plus keyboards, bass, drums, and a full horn section.

The band released “Big Bad Voodoo,” its first single and music video, on Dec. 29, and followed that on Jan. 6 with “Behind the 8 Ball.” The latter is a collaboration with Speakeasy Streets, a Brooklyn-based group that fuses hip-hop with jazz from the Prohibition era.

The Electric Swing Circus is an electro-swing band that’s released two albums and three EPs since it launched in 2011.

Big Band of Boom is set to appear at the Swingamajig festival, April 30 in Birmingham, with plans for additional live performances later. See the Facebook page for more info.

The Ministry of Steampunk (MoS) has cancelled its Steampunk Mini Festival scheduled for Feb. 18-20 in Nottingham, UK. The event was to be presented in conjunction with a steampunk-themed performance of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by The Limelight Orchestra. But the orchestra postponed the performance until 2023 due to the Covid/Omicron outbreak.

On a brighter note, MoS director John Naylor said another Steampunk Mini Festival scheduled for Feb. 25-27 in Lincoln, UK, is still on. It will feature a free-admission steampunk market at Lincoln Castle on Saturday and Sunday along with a to-be-announced evening event on Friday, Feb. 25. Learn more on the MoS website and Welcome to the Asylum Facebook page.

The Vermont Steampunk Expo is back on later this year, and the organizers are seeking vendors, exhibitors, makers, and performers who want to participate. The event is set for Nov. 12 and 13 at the Champlain Valley Exposition in Essex Junction, Vermont. Learn more on the Facebook page.

The Prototype Airship

FricknFrack Games, a developer based in Lexington, Kentucky, announced plans to release The Prototype, a steampunk-inspired 3D video game. It focuses on the adventures of Amelia Gareheart, “the once-decorated mercenary, now airship designer, as she seeks to understand the phrase echoing about her, ‘Whoever controls trillium, controls the world!’”

The developer promises an action-adventure puzzle game “with fascinating and beautiful images, dystopian cultures, hopeful resistance fighters, time travel, and ‘Boss’ battles,” all seeking to control a powerful substance.

The game is set for release in late 2022 or early 2023. The company is actively doing outreach to steampunks and invites gamers to join its Discord community. Learn more on the website.

Disclosure: The Steampunk Explorer editor Stephen Beale has provided consulting services to FricknFrack Games.


Film producer Lauren Hanks of Southampton, UK has about three weeks to go on a Kickstarter campaign for Black Annis, a short horror movie set in Victorian England. It’s “about the unfortunate people of lower-class England and how some tales aren’t just tales after all,” says writer/director Joe Searle.

The campaign launched in December with a fundraising goal of £6000 (US$8228). As of early Thursday, it was about one-third of the way toward that goal. It runs through Feb. 4. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Daniel Jones of Baltimore launched a Kickstarter campaign for Hydra’s Wake, described as a “sci-fi fantasy thriller” featuring “a four-headed Hydra in a steampunk setting.” The title refers to a hallucinogen the gigantic Hydras use to disorient their prey. The story involves an airship pilot who crashes and seeks refuge from a Hydra in an abandoned mining camp, only to find he has unwanted company.

This is his first book and he’s seeking US$6000 to cover marketing costs. He plans to release the self-published novel on May 1. The campaign launched Jan. 11 and runs through Feb. 10. Learn more on the Kickstarter page.

Quick Hits

Tesla-inspired NYC bar has a secret bar inside (Time Out)

Image of Nikola Tesla look-alike is passed off as a rare photo of Tesla (Factly)

Around the World in 80 Days S02 Looking to Create Jules Verne-iverse? (Bleeding Cool)

Enola Holmes 2 Wraps Filming With New BTS Video Featuring Millie Bobby Brown (Game Rant)

Nmoto takes BMW scooters back to the Golden Age with art deco bodykits (New Atlas)

We’re Getting Steampunk Vibes From Panasonic’s MeganeX VR Glasses (Mens Gear)

10 Most Underrated Sherlock Holmes Stories (Publishers Weekly)

How Devo was inspired by H. G. Wells to write one of their greatest songs (Far Out Magazine)

Here’s a big update on Gloomwood, that neo-Victorian stealth horror game (PC Gamer)

Atlanta-area theater puts a steampunk twist on ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ (WABE-FM)

Steampunk-inspired castle in Twin Cities listed for $7.5M (Photos) (Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal)

Sherlock Holmes fans will flip for this new interactive exhibit (Time Out Miami)

Bay Area Victorian-era restaurant, Poor House Bistro, moved across town after Google buys land it sits on (SFGate)

The Horned Helmets Falsely Attributed to Vikings Are Actually Nearly 3,000 Years Old (Smithsonian Magazine)

The deadly 1862 California flood that wiped out and reshaped the state (SFGate)

Enormous sea dragon fossil from 180 million years ago discovered in England (Live Science)

Scientists Find the World’s Deepest-Dwelling Squid (Smithsonian Magazine)

Giant “Sea Dragon” Ichthyosaur Is One Of UK’s Greatest Ever Fossil Finds (IFL Science)

Turkmenistan Plans to Extinguish Its Massive ‘Gateway to Hell’ (Interesting Engineering)

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