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Steampunk Digest - July 5, 2024

Weekly news roundup

Friday, July 5, 2024
Robert Brown

Abney Park, for the first time in its history, is using Kickstarter to fund the release of a new studio album. Entitled Ghosts, Demons and Ancient Lore, the album will be accompanied by a book consisting of tales inspired by the songs.

In a lengthy message on Facebook and Kickstarter, bandleader Robert Brown explained that the crowdfunding effort was prompted by the new realities of the independent music business. Many fans now get their music on streaming platforms such as Spotify, where the band makes only a tiny fraction of a penny per song, he observed.

Pledges begin at US$20 for an album download and $30 for an autographed CD. Pledges for the book begin at $20 for the paperback and $30 for an audiobook version.

Brown estimates a July delivery for the paperback and CD and September delivery for the MP3 download.

The campaign launched on June 30 and is already well past its US$5,000 funding goal. It runs through July 29. Learn more on the Kickstarter page.

Read the full story: Abney Park Turns to Kickstarter to Crowdfund New Studio Album

See below for more crowdfunding news

Frenchy and the Punk on stage

Frenchy and the Punk are out with their eighth album, Midnight Garden, just two months after concluding a successful Kickstarter campaign for the release.

Consisting of nine tracks, the album explores themes of “otherworldly escape and escapades, past lives, visions, arachnids, starting over, and more,” in the duo’s words. They’ve described the sound as “post punk” and “dark alternative.”

It’s available now as a digital download from Bandcamp, with CD and vinyl versions to follow.

Read the full story: Frenchy and the Punk Plant a ‘Midnight Garden’ in New Album on Bandcamp

Mortal Engines
Photo: Universal Pictures and MRC

Steampunk fans had high hopes for Mortal Engines, the 2018 film adaptation of Philip Reeve’s post-apocalyptic steampunk novel. Sadly, it proved to be a critical flop and a box office disaster, though at least one critic thinks this might be time for a re-appraisal. It’s been streaming on Netflix since April 1, but this month it jumps to Hulu in the U.S.

The film is one of the highlights in our July Steampunk Streaming Guide. Other notable arrivals include Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events on Paramount+ and Prime Video, and all three Back to the Future movies on Netflix.

Read the full story: Streaming Guide – July 2024

The Eternal Frontier

Our friends at The Eternal Frontier are planning a July 6 release for a new music video in which they play a cover version of “Up Up and Away,” the Jimmy Webb song that was a massive hit for The Fifth Dimension in 1967. They performed the song at the New Jersey Festival of Ballooning in July 2021.

Unfortunately, the festival won’t be taking place this year. Citing steep increases in operational costs, the organizers announced that it’s on hiatus but they hope to re-launch it in 2025.

In the meantime, you can visit Professor Adam Smasher’s YouTube page for the new video and ask to be notified when it goes live on Saturday.

Smashwords, the popular e-book marketplace, is holding its July Summer/Winter Sale, offering books for up to 75 percent off, and some for free.

Steampunk titles are well represented, including works by David Lee Summers, Madeleine Holly-Rosing, Milton Davis, Eric Asher, Patricia Loofbourrow, C.S. Poe, Angelique S. Anderson, and Ruxandra Tarca.

The books will be on sale until the end of July. See the Smashwords website for the complete list.

July 10 is Nikola Tesla Day, commemorating the birthday of the visionary inventor and engineer who has become a patron saint of steampunk. Because the observance falls on a Wednesday this year, at least two celebrations are happening on Saturday, July 13: The Nikola Tesla Day International Festival in Niagara Falls, Ontario, and the 2024 Tesla Expo at the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe in Shoreham, New York.

We’ve posted details about both events, along with suggestions if you’d like to celebrate the day on your own.

Read the full story: Nikola Tesla Day 2024: How to Celebrate

See our website for comprehensive event listings, including steampunk events and regional fandom events in Canada, the U.K., Australia/New Zealand, and the New England, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Midwest, South Central, Mountain, and Pacific regions of the U.S.


Gearwheel Grimoires is back on Kickstarter with the final chapter in its long-running Ars Mechanica RPG. In The Molten Prophecy players embark on an adventure to a volcanic island where they must thwart a scheme by a powerful sorceress.

The sourcebook includes AI-generated illustrations. Pledges begin at €9 (US$10) for a PDF of the sourcebook and €14 (US$16) for a print-at-cost option. The creator estimates August delivery for the former and September delivery for the latter.

The campaign launched July 3 and reached its €100 (US$107) funding goal later that day. It runs through Aug. 1. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Ongoing Kickstarter campaigns:

Steampunk Marble Run 70003 – A motorized, Lego-compatible building block set with dinosaurs and industrial steam elements. The campaign is far past its HK$79,000 (US$10,118) funding goal. It runs through July 21.

The Veil: Bloodlines – A dark-fantasy deck-building game with steampunk elements. The campaign reached its US$5,000 funding goal soon after launch. It runs through Aug. 23.

Steampunk 3D Printable Modular Dice Tower – A 3D-printable model tabletop games. The campaign reached its £50 (US$63) funding goal soon after launch. It runs through July 25.

Elsewhere in the Aether

Steampunk at Strathearn photos: Old is new again (Simi Valley Acorn)

Book smart: Artist creates whimiscal pieces from recycled books (Daily Journal)

Is the much-hated Will Smith action movie Wild Wild West actually pretty good? (Digital Trends)

‘Young Sherlock’ Adds ‘3 Body Problem’s Zine Tseng to Cast (Deadline)

Weird cinema can’t stop resurrecting Frankenstein’s monster (Soundsphere)

Age Of Sigmar: How To Play Kharadron Overlords (Bell of Lost Souls)

Southport, U.K.: 21 young heroes celebrated at Steampunk themed gala dinner (Stand Up for Southport)

The Oldest Map Of The Known World Is Filled With Monsters And Mystery (IFL Science)

From China to the Mediterranean and More, Here’s How Different Cultures Envision Dragons (Smithsonian Magazine)

The First Tango in Paris Made a Stir Worth Remembering (Smithsonian Magazine)

Theodore Roosevelt’s Long-Lost Pocket Watch Surfaces at a Florida Auction House (Smithsonian Magazine)

Never-before-seen vampire squid species discovered in twilight zone of South China Sea (Live Science)

280 million-year-old swamp monster with ‘big, flat toilet seat-shaped head’ discovered in Namibia (Live Science)

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