Steampunk Digest - January 8, 2021
Our weekly roundup of news and other happenings in the steampunk world
Friday, January 8, 2021
Editor’s note: This week’s Steampunk Digest is abbreviated for two reasons. First, it’s been a slow news week in the steampunk world. But in addition, your humble editor continues to deal with medical issues. As I informed you last week, I broke my wrist on Dec. 23 after dodging a car that almost hit me. I was scheduled for wrist surgery this week and had to undergo a pre-op exam. It appears that I am the picture of health, with one small exception: I tested positive for COVID-19.
Fortunately, it seems to be a mild case with no serious symptoms. But the delay in surgery could have consequences for recovering from my wrist injury.
Which brings me to this: Please wear a mask, and wear it properly, covering your nose and mouth. Follow social distancing guidelines, including restrictions on gatherings.
I felt no symptoms, yet I had the virus and was contagious. The same could happen to you. A public health nurse informed me that the virus is so prevalent now that it’s easy to get infected even if you take precautions to protect yourself. Please don’t make it worse by flouting public health guidelines.
In the meantime, the next newsletter will go out on January 21.
HBO Max has previewed snippets of The Nevers in a sizzle reel promoting its programming for 2021. The much-anticipated series will tell the story of “The Touched,” a group of Victorian women “who find themselves with unusual abilities, relentless enemies, and a mission that could change the world.” It was created by Joss Whedon, though he recently left the series.
The sizzle reel provides just a few glimpses of the program, but it was enough for our friends at The Nevers fan site to offer insights about some of the characters. For example, they surmise that an umbrella may be a weapon of choice for protagonist Amalia True (Laura Donnelly), and that one of her powers may be precognition (foreseeing the future). We also get a glimpse of some gadgetry.
Of course, we’ll get a better sense of the characters when the series premieres this summer.
Southern California artist David Bodell is raising Kickstarter funds for Zen Man, a steampunk lamp that doubles as an electrical outlet and charger for mobile devices. Each model is handmade in his shop.
“I’ve been creating steampunk lamps for the last few years as a way to combine my love of metals, electrical engineering, craftsmanship, and design of uniquely purposeful lamps,” he writes.
He estimates a March 2021 delivery if you make an Early Bird pledge of US $135 or more. Or you can pledge $149 for May delivery. He’s also offering the lamps in pairs and six-packs. Shipping is limited to the U.S.
This is his third Kickstarter campaign for steampunk-style lamps, following successful efforts in January and November 2020. But he describes this design as his favorite.
Tin Man Games has released a Nintendo Switch version of Choices That Matter: And Their Souls Were Eaten, a steampunk text adventure game. It is set in 1830s Europe where metal confers magical powers on people who wear it. Part of the company’s Gamebook Adventures series, the game consists of narrative sections that conclude with a set of choices for the player. Each choice sets the story on a new path. Some situations are resolved by rolling virtual dice.
The game was previously available for iOS and Android mobile devices.
The publisher also offers a game based on Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, the popular book and TV series set in 1920s Australia.
Here’s a rundown of new steampunk books released over the past month:
Secrets Revealed by B.A. Duga (The Quest For Peace Book One). Links: Amazon
Verne in Flames by Michael Parodi and Jeanne Wilkins (The Khitai Conspiracy Book 2). Links: Amazon
Curiosities #8 Winter 2020: Uncategorized Collections by various authors. Links: Amazon
Steampunk Coloring Book by Zin.Kh Coloring Books. Links: Amazon
HBO Max Teases The Nevers in New Sizzle Reel (HBO The Nevers fan site)
Watch the Sizzle Reel (YouTube)
The Extraordinary Voyages of the Yiddish Jules Verne (Jewish Museum of Maryland)
The Phrase ‘Science-Fiction’ Is First Found In Print In 1851 (South Florida Reporter)
Steampunk-themed Mardi Gras event postponed (ArkaLaTex Homepage)
Boston Dynamics Held An Insane Robot Dance Party (IFL Science)
A Steampunk Engine to Solve Your Satellite Woes! (Universe Today)
Company Eyes “Steampunk” Propulsion for CubeSats (Optics & Photonics News)
What archaeology will look like in 2021 (Live Science)
10 science records broken in 2020 (Live Science)
10 strange animals that washed ashore in 2020 (Live Science)