There’s just one month left to donate to Antediluvian – the steampunk web series that can get you on camera. I briefly mentioned this a few days ago on the Steampunk Journal Facebook page and now there’s only a month left. Continue reading
29 November 2014
10am – 4pm
Apothecarium @ The Civic is a delicious addition to the South Yorkshire craft scene. Featuring a variety of different makers, this fair will concentrate on the alternative side of craft, encompassing all things gothic, steampunk, rock, punk and geek. Continue reading
The local small press Zombies Need Brains LLC, founded by fantasy writer Joshua Palmatier, has returned with the release of its first anthology project, CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK vs ALIENS, and the start of its second anthology project Kickstarter, TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER.
You can’t expect to live in a dream if all you’ve ever done is walk in nightmares.
Eliza Kempe Dorley is always left in the background. As a female, being top inventor for the Alliance of Silver and Steam has as many draw backs as perks. She’s in charge of the creation of the many tools the Guild uses in pursuit of the demons that run lose in the London Underground, which means without her the demons would be harder to put down. It also means she misses all of the action and has never had the chance to really use any of her inventions. Lucius Cooley Willan is a Nightmare Demon with a penchant for gambling and sleeping with women he shouldn’t and it’s landed him in hot water.
Now he spends his nights slinking in humans dreams, unleashing terrors so strong it kills them and he can capture their soul for his boss. But when he’s ordered to attack the Guild that hunts his kind he’s enthralled by the feisty inventor he comes upon. Eliza’s victim to Lucius in a way no others have been, a sensual dream that she can’t shake when wakes up. When he bumps into her at the trains she’s an addiction he can’t shake. When he out-right disobeys the demon who controls him for some out of dreams interactions with the Eliza, it will be up to him to save her from the nightmare he’s put her in.
The prequel to Nightmare in Steam was released in a collection of rather saucy stories called Les Vaporistes: A Hot Ink Anthology (Steampunk Erotique Book1)
Though he’s probably best known for his work on superhero stories such as Astonishing X-men, writer Warren Ellis has dipped his comic-scripting toe in a wide range of genres, from history to crime to science fiction. So it’s hardly surprising to find that he’s written some steampunk, and that it’s really rather good.
Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island
Captain Swing is the most completely steampunk of Ellis’s books. Illustrated by Raulo Caceres, it tells the story of Charlie Gravel, a policeman in 1830 London who finds himself on the trail of a criminal with baffling and powerful technology.
This is steampunk living up to punk’s anti-authoritarian roots. Though the protagonist is a policeman so are the antagonists, and power structures are shown as dangerous and corrupt. The electrical pirates of the title are freedom-loving technologists on the side of right.
This is a great adventure story about heroism and the fight for a better future, while playing with the abandoned technological possibilities of the past. There’s mystery, gunfights and glowing goggles, as imaginary and real elements of London’s divided Victorian society collide. And who doesn’t want an electricity-firing flying pirate ship?
Aetheric Mechanics, with art by Gianluca Pagliarani, is a shorter story that plays meta-fictional games with existing literature. Again set in London, this time in 1907, it stands at the boundary between steampunk and dieselpunk, revelling in the joy of technology. Early on a character says of a flying ship ‘The whole ship sings quietly, like a gently struck tuning fork’ – a poetic view of what could be an ugly machine.
This story again celebrates off-beat technology and challenges the society within which it sits. From the start the dark militaristic tendencies of 19th and early 20th century Europe are on display. As Britain fights a long war with Ruritania, dead and crippled servicemen pay the price.
Once again detective work drives the story, with Dr Watcham and Saxmundham Raker standing in for Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes. But there is more to this fictional London than just a Sherlock Holmes story, and there thrilling investigation delves into the very nature of their world.
Into other punks
Aside from these two stories, Ellis has written others that might appeal to steampunk fans. Ignition City is a slice of retro-futurist science fiction in which a post-war generation of space adventurers find themselves stuck in a muddy, run-down city amidst the ruins of their ships. Frankenstein’s Womb plays with the origins of one of the great characters of Victorian science fiction. And Planetary, Ellis’s tribute to all that is best in genre fiction, delves back into various parts of the modern past.
There’s a lot for anyone to enjoy in Warren Ellis’s comics, and that includes steampunk fans.
About the Author:
Andrew is a freelance writer based in Stockport, England, where the grey skies provide a good motive to stay inside at the word processor. His collection of steampunk stories, Riding the Mainspring, is available through Amazon and Smashwords and he is planning a science fiction collection for later this year. He blogs about science fiction, fantasy and writing at andrewknighton.com and can be found on Twitter as @gibbondemon.
This year was the first time I’ve attended Asylum and I didn’t quite know what to expect. After I published the rundown of the programme, it gave me a clearer indication of what to expect, but only getting there would unveil the true scale of the spectacular. Continue reading
There’s a lot to do this weekend at the Asylum. What will you do? Along with all other attendees, I’ve received a programme, but maybe you’re not going this year and want to know what’s happening or you may be planning to go next year and want to know what it’s like. Bookmark Steampunk Journal as I’ll be covering the Asylum after the event. I might even update you as it happens. Continue reading