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Steampunk Digest - March 17, 2023

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

Friday, March 17, 2023
Pinocchio edition

Beehive Books, known for its lavish “illuminated editions” of classic literary works, has teamed with author Lemony Snicket and Hellboy creator Mike Mignola to offer a new edition of Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. The publisher is now crowdfunding the project on Kickstarter.

The book will feature more than 50 original illustrations by Mignola and colorist Dave Stewart, along with annotations by Snicket in the form of removable typewritten sheets.

The latter will relate Snicket’s experience reading the story for the first time, “in all of its bubbling stew of anarchic madness, surreal symbolism, and social commentary,” the publisher states. Snicket, the pseudonym of Daniel Handler, is best known for A Series of Unfortunate Events, the popular children’s book series.

Collodi’s story will be presented in an English-language translation by Carol della Chiesa.

The publisher plans to offer three versions of the book, although two were snapped up by early backers shortly after the Kickstarter launch. Still available, for pledges of US$100 or more, is the standard 9x12-inch cloth-bound edition packaged in a die-cut slipcase. Gone are two enhanced limited editions signed by Mignola and Snicket.

Pinocchio editions

Kickstarter rewards also include digital versions of all 10 books in the Illuminated Editions series plus hardcovers of the previous releases. Among them: Peter Pan, The Island of Doctor Moreau, David Lindsay’s A Voyage to Arcturus, and The Kwaidan Collection, featuring supernatural Japanese stories by Lafcadio Hearn.

The publisher is estimating a September delivery for the digital edition followed by the three printed editions in December.

The crowdfunding campaign launched on March 15 and met its US$50,000 fundraising goal within minutes. It runs through April 20. Learn more on the Kickstarter page and the publisher’s website.

Update: After this column was posted, Beehive Books announced two new editions and two stretch goals. Also: The Society of Illustrators museum will present an exhibition of Mignola’s illustrations from the book. See this story for details.

Related: Mike Mignola Talks His New ‘Pinnochio’ Project (Dread Central)

Author Anne Renwick released A Whisper of Bone: A Steampunk Romance, Book 6 in her Elemental Steampunk series. It tells the story of paleontologist Charlotte Reid and cryptobiologist Ryan Nolan, who team up to investigate a conspiracy involving secretive neighbors, strange groundhogs, and a murder linked to missing Mexican artifacts.

The book is available in digital formats from multiple booksellers, including the author herself. You can order a paperback edition from Amazon. See the author’s website for more info and links.

Black Skylands screen shot

Tiny Build Games is planning a summer release for Black Skylands, a steampunk-themed top-down shooter game that also incorporates elements of open world and sandbox games. Players take the role of an airship captain who battles adversaries on land and in the air. An early-access version on Steam has drawn positive reviews from users.

The publisher is planning releases for PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch consoles in addition to PC versions that will be available from Steam, the Epic Games Store, and GOG. Learn more on the website.

Related: Steampunk adventure game Black Skylands coming to Switch (Nintendo Everything)

Steampunk action adventure game Black Skylands launches this summer (Gematsu)

Black Skylands - Official Console Announcement Trailer (IGN)

Last week, we informed you about Abney Park’s Kickstarter campaign for a livestream concert to celebrate the release of bandleader Robert Brown’s new novel. In case you missed it, or just needed a reminder, the concert is happening this Saturday, March 18, at 6 p.m. Pacific time.

The novel, entitled Forsaken Valley, tells the story of a frontier wasteland town where the inhabitants are slowly being eradicated. It’s the fifth entry in Brown’s “Airship Pirate Chronicles” universe, but he says it works as a standalone story.

As with past livestream concerts, fans have the option to purchase VIP tickets that include access to a “seedy and disreputable” after party with a second concert.

One departure this time is that the band is offering tickets through Kickstarter instead of Indiegogo as they’ve done in the past. Pledges to view or download the concert begin at $15, or you can pledge $35 for a package that includes a live concert ticket and audio and video downloads. Pledges for VIP tickets begin at $100. Pledges to get the book begin at $20.

Tickets will be available through 3 p.m. PT on Saturday. See the Kickstarter page for more info.


All-Con, the multi-genre fan convention, returns this weekend to Dallas with a program that includes a steampunk track by Mad Raven Productions and a Steampunk Ball featuring a performance by Marquis of Vaudeville.

The steampunk track will include panels, games, make-and-take workshops, tea dueling, an art exhibition, a movie screening, a cosplay contest, and live-action roleplay.

Special guests at All-Con include Duncan Watson and Melanie Kohn, who voiced Charlie Brown and Lucy van Pelt, respectively, in a series of Peanuts animated specials in the 1970s.

It takes place March 16-19 at the Hilton Dallas Lincoln Centre. See the website for more info, including the full program.

Members of the Sacramento Steampunk Society will take part in the city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 18. The event is set for noon to 5 p.m. in Old Sacramento, but the parade itself begins at 1 p.m.

See the Facebook page for more info, including the gathering spot.

Tickets are still available for Sunday’s Magical Tea & Mystery show in Portland, Oregon, featuring the “parlor magic” of Professor DR Schreiber, The Historical Conjurer. The event, held at the historic Victorian Belle Mansion, will also include full high tea with scones, finger sandwiches, salad, and dessert.

Seating times are at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Tickets cost $70 for adults and $30 for children ages 5-12. Performances are also scheduled for Sunday, April 23. See the mansion website for more info and links to buy tickets.

Tickets are now on sale for the 3rd Annual World Goth Day Festival, set for May 6 at the historic Empress Theatre in Vallejo, California. The event, presented by The Menagerie, will consist of a daytime market with live music, DJs and a fashion show, followed by an evening concert.

The market will feature 50 curated artisan vendors offering oddities, fine art, jewelry, home décor, and other items. Unwoman will perform at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The concert will be headlined by Ausgang, a UK goth rock band that’s been performing off and on since 1983. Ms. Boan and Black Angel are the opening acts. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.

Tickets cost $10 for the daytime market, $50 (early-bird price) for concert admission, and $75 for a VIP ticket that provides admission to all events including early entry to the concert.

See The Menagerie website for more information and a link to purchase tickets.

Quick Hits

Victorian vampire slaying kit containing a wooden stake to fetch thousands at auction (Wales Online)

‘Perfect’ 1st edition of Copernicus’ controversial book on astronomy could fetch $2.5 million (Live Science)

Persol Updates Classic Motorsports Sunglasses That First Launched In 1917 (Maxim)

She Has A 120-Year Old Recipe For Victorian Lip Gloss That Her Great-Great-Grandmother Created (Chip Chick)

The Daughter Displaces the Island: On Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s “The Daughter of Doctor Moreau” (L.A. Review of Books)

Why Are So Many Guys Obsessed With ‘Master and Commander’? (GQ)

Peak TV Is Over. Welcome to Trough TV. (Mentions The Nevers) (Slate)

Underrated Fantasy Movies of the ’70s, Ranked (MovieWeb)

SteamWorld Build – PC Preview (Thumb Culture)

Steampunk survival game Volcanoids has been invaded by drones (Gaming on Linux)

Steel Rising (PS5) Game Review – Challenging Soulslike with a Steampunk setting (The Review Geek)

After 13 Years, Professor Layton Is Getting A Steampunk Sequel And It Looks Great (Kotaku)

Professor Layton And The New World Of Steam Reveals Luke’s Return (The Gamer)

Walkabout Mini Golf iPhone Pocket Edition Coming Soon (UploadVR)

NZ: Steampunk community meets up at Hamilton’s Frankton Thunder festival (Stuff)

Escape to another world at MegaCon Live in Birmingham (Birmingham Mail)

Florida: The History Of Diving Museum Celebrates ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’ (Deeper Blue)

11 Museums Dedicated to Extraordinary Women (Atlas Obscura)

4 fantastic female British scientists who changed the world (Sky History)

The legendary Steam Man of 1868 was a human-like robot that could pull a cart (Boing Boing)

Nikola Tesla Revealed an Astounding Theory About the Pyramids (Video) (Ancient Origins)

What Did Nikola Tesla Do? The Truth Behind the Legend (Discover)

Giant Dinosaur Had The Longest Neck Of Any Animal Ever Discovered (IFL Science)

Disney Demonstrates A “Real Lightsaber” In Front Of Live Audience (IFL Science)

The Science Behind the Multiverse in ‘Everything Everywhere All At Once’ (Smithsonian Magazine)

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