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Steampunk Digest - June 7, 2024

Weekly news roundup

Friday, June 7, 2024
Victor and the Bully
Photo by Steve Foster

Victor and the Bully has welcomed a new bandmember, which led in a roundabout way to a new music video filmed at the historic Crossness Pumping Station in London. Frankie Doom joins Victor Ghastly, Crowboy, and Halo in what’s now a quartet. He shares lead guitar duties with Crowboy.

Ghastly, the bandleader, put “new member” in quotes because Doom has performed on all the band’s previous albums, he said. The new guitarist made his first live appearance with VATB at last year’s Asylum Steampunk Festival in Lincoln, U.K.

With Doom officially on board, VATB booked a photo shoot at the pumping station. They had to reserve a four-hour block, “which is a very long time for a photoshoot,” Ghastly said. So they decided to spend half the time shooting the new video, entitled “Falling Down.”

See the band’s website for more info.

We’ve posted a story with additional details.

Read the full story: Victor and the Bully Releases Music Video as Band Adds New Member

Abney Park is planning yet another live streaming concert, and this time they plan to add a full brass section for what they’re billing as an “Electroswing Brass Explosion.”

“Abney Park has been releasing our own take on electroswing for years,” writes bandleader Robert Brown. “One of the ways we get that huge sound during recording, is we’ll layer many tracks of brass, but since we only have one horn player, it’s harder to get that sound live.”

The concert is set for Saturday, June 29 at 6 p.m. Pacific time. As with previous live-stream shows, they’re selling tickets via Kickstarter. Prices begin at $15 for a live show ticket or video download, and you can choose from various other options, including a VIP all-access pass for $100.

See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Steampunk cosplayers
Photo by Phil Rooks

The city of Weed in Northern California hosted its free annual steampunk festival May 18 and 19, featuring music, artisan vendors, costumes, and a rat rod car show. Phil Rooks, who is active in the Northern California steampunk scene, took some photos and kindly allowed us to use them.

See the photos: Steampunking in Weed


Costume Contest
Photo by Curt Knapp

Cogs & Corsets returns June 7-8 to Bloomington, Illinois, with a program that includes live music, games, talks, workshops, a fashion show, costume contest, tea dueling, teapot racing, and more. This will be the seventh year for the family-friendly event, which is held at multiple downtown locations. Many activities are free.

The main event happens on Saturday, when the organizers will set up an outdoor vendor market and activity zone at Main and Monroe streets with food trucks, games, and a performance stage. Other activities, including tea dueling, nerf dueling, and workshops, will take place at indoor locations nearby.

For more info, see the website and Facebook page. The website has the complete schedule.

We’ve posted a story with additional details about Cogs & Corsets and other events happening this weekend.

Read the full story: This Weekend: Cogs & Corsets, SteamPunk Tea Party, ASDO, and More

A Splendid Day Out will be back this weekend in Morecambe, U.K. for the first time since the pandemic. The theme is “A Great SteamFae Gathering,” in reference to the TV series Carnival Row.

It takes place June 7-9 with free daytime activities at The Platform on the Morecambe promenade. They include a steampunk market, live music, teapot racing, tea dueling, and a parade.

The festival will also feature two nights of live music at The Kings Arms. Frenchy and the Punk will perform on Friday night with Madam Zuri Arose and Blozone Delivery. Alice Strange, Lazlo Baby, Brass Brothers, and Moons of Jupiter will take the stage on Saturday night.

See the Facebook page for more info.

Related: Morecambe couple brings back steampunk festival after five years by popular demand (Beyond Radio)

The House of Afros, Capes and Curls in Omaha, Nebraska once again will present SteamPunk Tea Party, a steampunk-style Juneteenth celebration. It’s billed as a “multi-sensory, retrofuturistic event highlighting the vibrant history and success of Black Victorian-era inventors, entrepreneurs, and activists.”

It takes place on Saturday, June 8, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St, Omaha, NE 68131.

The main event on Saturday will be preceded by a Friday night market with workshops, vendors, and food trucks. That’s slated for 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Malcolm X Memorial Foundation, 3448 Evans St. in Omaha.

Learn more on the website.

Times of Future Past, billed as a “festival for any era,” takes place June 8-9 at Sleepy Hollow Sports Park in Des Moines, Iowa. The event combines history and fantasy, including steampunk. Activities include music, costume contests, gaming, an artisan marketplace, and historical re-enactors.

The festival was originally held in Des Moines, but recent editions took place in northeastern Wisconsin.

Adult tickets cost $24 for the weekend or $12 for a day pass. Day passes cost $6 for kids 6-12. A portion of the proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Iowa.

See the website for more info.

The Menagerie will present its second annual Oddities & Curiosities Show at Preston Castle, featuring artisan vendors along with workshops, tarot readings, sideshow performances, DJs, and talks by Doctor R. Snick. The venue is a reputedly haunted landmark in Ione, California, near Sacramento.

The event takes place on Saturday, June 8. General admission tickets cost $15. Castle tours cost an additional $18 in advance or $25 at the door. See the Eventbrite page for more info.

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association will host the SFWA Nebula Conference, offering a weekend of panels plus presentation of the Nebula Awards. The in-person event takes place June 6-9 at the Westin Pasadena in Pasadena, California. It will also be held online.

You need not be an SFWA member to attend. Conference tickets cost $150 (online only) or $449 (in-person). SFWA offers scholarships for members of underserved communities and those who face financial barriers, but the deadline was in March. See the website for more info.

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.


Dare Fashion at goth festival

Dare Fashion, a San Francisco-based maker of “confident curvy couture,” has launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist in rebuilding after a May 1 robbery. The company makes fashions in gothic, Victorian, Renaissance, and steampunk styles.

“They stole $300K of equipment and merchandise, including nearly everything with an on/off switch and our most popular styles,” writes Ben Wang, owner of the company. “I had a $1 million business insurance policy, but it turned out to be liability-only, so no property was covered.”

The business was robbed as they were preparing to vend (and participate in a fashion show) at the World Goth Day festival, held May 4 in Alameda, California. They also vended at SteampTopia, a recent steampunk festival in Petaluma, California.

We met them at both events. At the goth festival (see above), they gave no hint about what had just happened.

Wang is seeking $60,000. You can head over to the GoFundMe page to donate. Learn more about the company on the website.

Related: SF-based online store Dare Fashion suffers $300,000 in losses after office burglary (KTVU-TV)

eSpec Books launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a batch of forthcoming books, including two steampunk novels: A Curse of Time and Vengeance by Christine Norris and Aéros & Héroes by Ef Deal.

The campaign also includes works in other genres by Keith R.A. DeCandido, Ty Drago, Christopher J. Burke, Christopher L. Bennett, and Lisanne Norman.

Pledges begin at US$10 for a digital edition of any book of your choice. Pledges for print editions begin at $30. The publisher estimates delivery in August 2025.

The campaign launched May 27 and reached its US$2500 funding goal within a few days. It runs through June 26. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Lux Lupo Games, a developer in Leamington, U.K., launched a Kickstarter campaign for Apothebakery, a tabletop game where players take the roles of “culinary alchemists” in a fantasy world “filled with perilous dungeons and treacherous monsters.”

The goal is to “forage resources, brew elixirs, and bake cakes of salvation to heal adventurers on the brink of doom.” It’s designed for one to four players.

It’s not billed as a steampunk game, but appears to have steampunk elements and looks like it would appeal to steampunk fans.

Pledges begin at £49 (US$63) for the base game and an expansion. Shipping costs extra. The developer estimates delivery in April 2025.

The campaign launched June 4 and blasted through its £35,000 (US$44,794) funding goal within 33 minutes. It was more than 500 percent funded as of late Wednesday. It runs through June 28. See the Kickstarter page for more info.

Ongoing Kickstarter campaigns:

Lost to the Night – The forthcoming album from gothic metal duo Valentine Wolfe, and their first to be available on vinyl. It reached its US$7,500 funding goal this week. It runs through June 11.

A Steampunk Guide to Hunting Monsters – Photographer Tyson Vick describes his creation as “an illustrated coffee table photobook/novel combining steampunk fairy tales and monster stories with photos, illustrations, and more.” As of Wednesday, it had reached 55 percent of its US$2,000 goal. It runs through June 16.

Elsewhere in the Aether

At Oamaru’s Steampunk Festival, Victorian Cosplay & Alter Egos Steal The Spotlight (NZ Herald)

Steampunk NZ turns it on again (Otago Daily Times)

Metagalactic Pipe Organ at Steampunk NZ (Otago Daily Times)

8 Dieselpunk SFF for Fans of Mad Max and Furiosa (The Portalist)

Steampunk auto-shooter Airships: Lost Flotilla demo expanded (Gaming on Linux)

BioShock 4 Unreal Engine 5 open-world concept leaves fans salivating (Gaming Bible)

Steampunk Metroidvania and 2D shooter hybrid Clockwork Ambrosia for PC launches in spring 2025 (Gematsu)

The All Together Now Choir: Fun, frocks and frolics in Otley (Harrogate Advertiser)

Chicago: How This Steampunk-Themed Gala Celebrated the ‘Passage of Time’ (BizBash)

This Quebec City amusement park has steampunk-themed rides and year-round ice skating (Mtl Blog)

Updated Formula on Alien Intelligence Suggests We Really Are Alone in the Galaxy (Gizmodo)

Lord Kelvin and His Analog Computer (IEEE Spectrum)

Paleontologists Uncover Rare Skull of 500-Pound ‘Thunder Bird’ in Australia (Smithsonian Magazine)

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