Archive for December, 2010

Today we welcome Meljean Brook, author of the Steampunk romance The Iron Duke.

Meljean was raised in the middle of the woods in western Oregon, and hid under her covers at night with fairy tales, comic books, and romances…and that pretty much explains everything about her writing after she emerged from beneath her blankets and crawled in front of a computer.  Meljean is the bestselling author of the Guardians paranormal romance series and the Iron Seas steampunk romance series.

Steampunk Musings

by Meljean Brooks

A guest post on December 30th seems to scream for a retrospective of the year 2010, or a post offering predictions about the steampunk genre in 2011. Maybe a serious look back on the rise of steampunk, its increasing popularity in the mainstream (hello, fans of Castle!) and what we might expect next year: Will the popularity continue to rise, and more people become aware of its existence? Will steampunk burn out and fade into the relative obscurity of only a few years ago?

And that’s exactly what I’d intended to write for today. I suppose that might be called a “Ghosts of Steampunk’s Past, Ghosts of Steampunk’s Future” post…but I obviously just watched the Doctor Who special, “A Christmas Carol,” and I’m letting the spirit of the season get to me, and so instead of wondering about where steampunk has been and where it’s going, I’m far more interested in the constant, ever-changing present of it, and all of the fun and wonder that includes.

Doctor Who is to blame for that, as well – as is Craig Ferguson, and his awesome little song about the show (If you missed it, it’s here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9P4SxtphJ4) that concludes with the assertion that Doctor Who is so beloved by fans because it features the “triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism.”

And the first (or maybe fifth) time I watched that little song, I thought: “Hell, yes. That’s exactly it!” Except I wasn’t thinking of Doctor Who at that moment; I was thinking of steampunk, and how many times I’ve tried to explain exactly what the appeal is – more than airships and gadgets, more than just the adventure. But there, Craig Ferguson summed it up for me in a neat little way: it’s the team-up of intellect and romance, and their inevitable triumph.

How is that not fist-pumpingly awesome?

Of course, steampunk is sometimes accused of being entrenched in the romantic past, and I don’t think that’s entirely wrong. It feels like there should be more tension between intellect and romance in steampunk – not unlike the tension that often existed between the eighteenth and nineteenth century romantic writers and their contemporary scientists – but the notion of science and intellect itself has been romanticized (the thrill of invention! the triumph of discovery! the celebration of the brilliant individual!) so that the tension is all but gone.

I don’t think it’s mired in that romanticism, though. What I’ve read of the genre doesn’t demonize rationalism or rigorous scientific thought (whether the actual science in many steampunk novels is all that rigorous, however… that is a discussion for another day, when I am far, far away.) There’s often a heavy dose of realism running through steampunk fiction – the effects of the Industrial Revolution (in Europe or elsewhere) are hard to ignore, after all – and it’s easy enough to pick out 20th century social and political viewpoints (where hopefully Steam actually tips his hat at Punk). It’s almost like reading a retrospective spanning two hundred years … except that the narrative is set at the beginning of the time period instead of the end, and it’s all speculative.

Steampunk gives us hundreds of years to expound upon, expand, twist, and explore – all through sharp, contemporary goggles. A retrospective of a single year simply can’t compare to that.



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So, has everyone recovered from holiday madness?  I hope whatever you desired was under the Christmas tree.  The new year is approaching and there’s a lot of great things to look forward to. 

The end of 2010 calls for a review of my favorite Steampunk books of 2010.  However, this list only draws from the books I’ve personally read that came out in 2010.  Books I read in 2010 that were released earlier were not included in this list as were books not specifically “Steampunk.”    There’s some great Steampunk books released this year that I haven’t read yet.   Also, this is just my own personal opinion. 


Lolita Suzanne’s Best Steampunk Books of 2010


Best YA Steampunk of 2010

The Dark Deeps: 
The Hunchback Assignments 2

by Arthur Slade

Summary:   Modo is a fourteen-year-old shape-shifting British secret agent.  Once again Modo and the unflappable Octavia Milkweed embark on a mission for Mr. Socrates in this tale of sea monsters, gadgets, French spies, and secrets.    

Why I loved it:  This year I discovered this series and I’m really enjoying it.   Modo and Octavia are terrific characters.  These books are very fun and adventurous and I love how Slade draws from all the classics.  I hope to see more titles in 2011. 

Best Steampunk Anthology of 2010

Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded

Edited by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer

Summary:  A followup of their 2008 anthology, the VanderMeers bring together an anthology of Steampunk fiction short stories and non-fiction articles suitable for both those new to the genre and avid Steampunkers. 

Why I loved it: I love the eclectic nature of the collection and how the VanderMeers blended original stories, reprints, and non fiction. Everything is artful–even the cover.   Gail Carriger’s essay is my personal favorite. 

Best Steampunk Book of 2010


by Gail Carriger

Summary: Alexia is back and part of a scandal, having left her husband’s house and being in the family way.   She’s dismissed from the Shadow Council, Lord Akeldama leaves town before he can help her make sense of everything, and attacked by mechanical ladybugs.   In order to sold the mystery, Alexia embarks to Italy to consult the Templars.

Why I loved it:  I know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but the cover model is simply extraordinary.  ~grin~  I adore these books and am a major Gail Carriger fan-girl.  Like the other books in the series, these books are fast-paced, cleaver, and make me laugh.  What’s not to love about homicidal lady bugs, Ivy running a hat shop,  and Alexia saving the world one cup of tea at a time? 

So, these are my personal picks for 2010.  What are  yours?

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Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from everyone at Steamed!

May Santa bring you everything you wish for.


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Today we welcome author Sheryl Nantus.

Sheryl Nantus was born in Montreal, Canada, and grew up in Toronto, Canada. A rabid reader almost from birth, she attended Sheridan College in Oakville, graduating in 1984 with a diploma in Media Arts Writing.
She met Martin Nantus through the online fanfiction community in 1993 and moved to the United States in 2000 in order to marry. A firm believer in the healing properties of peppermint and chai, she continues to write short stories, poetry and novels while searching for the perfect cuppa.

“Wild Cards and Iron Horses” is her third published title and is currently available in ebook form from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. A print edition from Samhain Publishing will be released in the summer of 2011.

Riding the Rails in New Babbage

by Sheryl Nantus

One of the hardest things to do as a writer is immerse yourself in the culture you’re writing about. Sometimes it’s difficult to work on stories about living in a Victorian age where machinery rule the skylines while you’re hammering on your computer keyboard or trying to quit the newest games app cold turkey. Getting your mind into the game can be almost impossible with all of the current-day distractions offering tempting alternatives or just killing the creative drive.

When I started out writing “Wild Cards and Iron Horses”, my American steampunk novel set in the Old West, I already had a great place to sit and work – my virtual home in New Babbage in Second Life. There my avatar, Sheryl Skytower, could meander around the virtual town and trip over various steampunk devices and settings while chatting in-character with other steampunk fans using New Babbage for their own virtual get-aways.

But wait… let me show you a bit about what New Babbage is. Come take a quick Christmas tour!

Second Life is a virtual world free to anyone who wants to sign up – you can spend real money buying Lindens to purchase what you wish to wear or use but many residents get along just fine picking up the free clothing and items offered by friends and retailers. Visit New Babbage.

Once inside Second Life you can find a variety of sims to visit, from vampire-themed areas to jazz clubs to Zen gardens. Almost three years ago I discovered the small and grimy steampunk town of New Babbage and decided to make it my home. That’s me there, the little clockwork dragon.

Once there I settled down and enjoyed all the usual small town activities. Evil scientists trying to take over the town, Martian invasions, zombie invasions, Christmas parties and, of course, airship races. I also discovered a wonderful little café where I could sit and write while my real-life identity did the same. It was during this time that I did the majority of work on “Wild Cards” because it was so easy to fall back into the steampunk world on the page while experiencing it on the computer screen.

Roleplaying is common in many steampunk areas of Second Life, but not mandatory. If you want to create another persona for yourself with a mechanical arm or even entire body, it’s perfectly acceptable. As for myself, I chose to be a human trapped in the body of a clockwork dragon due to my grandfather doing some rather unorthodox experiments. Think Walter Bishop from “Fringe” and you’ll get an idea of what I’m referring to.

Spending some time in a steampunk virtual world is a great way to get the creative juices flowing and to enjoy some time away from the real world. Visit a Victorian-era carnival and see the mechanical beasts on the carousel! Attend a dance overseen by a loud noisy smoking robot putting down some radical tracks over the airwaves! Take an airship tour of the many libraries in Caledon and see the original (or so I’ve been told!) Time Machine donated by Mr. Wells!

I have to credit my time in New Babbage for the success of “Wild Cards and Iron Horses” and for inspiring me for the future. Between the people and the setting it’s easy to imagine a steampunk world when you spend some time living in it!

If you’re looking for a way to interact with fellow steampunk aficionados and am unable to get out to the conventions or meetings you might want to consider visiting Second Life and all of the Steamlands in the virtual world. You never know who or what you might find in your steampunk Second Life!

~ Sheryl Nantus


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I have nothing profound to say on this very wet and dreary Monday.  So I’m just going to share some cogs and gears (odds and ends) with you all.

Steampunk Shakespeare Anthology Call for Submissions

Submission guidelines for “The Omnibus of Doctor Bill Shakes and the Magnificent Ionic Pentatetrameter: A Steampunk’s Shakespeare Anthology.”

From Hamlet as half-man half-machine to Henry V at the helm of an army of men in steam-powered mechanical suits, the sky is the proverbial limit for adapting William Shakespeare’s classic plays and sonnets to the Steampunk aesthetic.

This is not intended to be a series of mash-ups, like Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, but rather re-inventions of the classic Shakespearean stories and sonnets. You are free to adapt Shakespeare’s language and themes to a Neo-Victorian setting as you will, but unlike the typical mash-up, you don’t have to include every line of original text from your chosen play or sonnet.

We prefer stories where Steampunk elements and themes are thoughtfully applied to Shakespeare’s works. Do not simply throw automatons into Hamlet or Steampunk technology into Richard III; consider how such technological changes may reinterpret the original stories. Saying it another way: What new insight will your Steampunk version of Shakespeare bring to the Bard’s original works?

General Guidelines:

  • Send all submissions to submissions@doctorfantastiques.com as attachment in either Microsoft Word (DOC or DOCX), Real Text Format (RTF) or OpenOffice (ODT) format, with a short introductory letter.
  • All submissions should have STEAMPUNK SHAKESPEARE: Story Title/Sonnet Numbers in the subject line. Any submissions without this information will not be considered for the anthology.
  • We’d prefer inclusion of Steampunk elements in the title of each story, i.e. “Othello, The Half-Machine Moor of Venice” or something similar.
  • We also welcome interpretations with queer characters, characters of color, non-heteronormative relationships, characters with disabilities, non-Eurocentric settings and other traditionally marginalized narratives in mainstream fiction.
  • All submissions must be received no later than 12 a.m. U.S. Eastern Time on 30 May 2011. There will be no exceptions.

NOTE: This anthology will be released through the Steampunk Imprint of Flying Pen Press (http://FlyingPenPress.com) as both a print book and an ebook.

Frequently Asked Questions

Attention Steampunk Writers

Steampunkl writers, have you joined The Steampunk Writers and Artists Guild yet? 

Also, I have a yahoo group for those who are writing/wanting to write steampunk. If you’re seriously writing or wanting to write Steampunk and want to learn more, share links, and connect with other writers in a email-group-type fashion come on over. Make sure to tell me you’re a reader of Steamed!

Santa, are you reading this? 

Dear Santa,

I would really, really, really, like these boots for Christmas.  Please?

You can get them at Clockwork Couture. 

Love, Me. 

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Happy Thursday (or should I say “Friday Eve.”)  Alright, so you know how I love things that end in “punk” — Steampunk, Elfpunk, Dystopian Post-Apocalyptic Paranormal…

Well, today we welcome author Jess C. Scoot who writes Cyberpunk Elves.  She’s going to tell us a bit about Cyberpunk.

Jess C. Scott identifies herself as an author/artist/non-conformist. Her literary work has appeared in a diverse range of publications, such as Word Riot, ITCH Magazine, and The Battered Suitcase. She is currently working on a YA “seven deadly sins” series, as well as The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy.

Pondering “Cyberpunk”

by Jess C. Scott

BOOK SUMMARY: A thieving duo’s world turns upside down when an Elven rogue uncovers the heinous dealings of a megacorporation.

My upcoming publication is an urban fantasy project titled, The Other Side of Life [Book #1 in the (Cyberpunk) Elven Trilogy].

I admit that I was running around in the beginning, blabbing (to close friends only) about how I was going to embark on a project featuring “cyberpunk elves.”

I was familiar with one of the core definitions of cyberpunk—its focus on “high tech and low life.” I was aware of the visual imagery and stylized, super-urban settings too.

Along the way (about halfway through editing the third draft—I am currently on my fourth round of revision, and might go right up to 6 or 7 before I’m satisfied), I started to wonder more about the soul of cyberpunk. I watched the cyberpunk anime series Serial Experiments Lain some years ago when I was 16 (I’m now 24). While it wasn’t my favorite anime of all time (that’d be the historical/adventure-themed Rurouni Kenshin), I distinctly remembered the feel of Lain.

Cyberpunk elves make great concept art for games and films (multi-sensory mediums). But I had to ponder on it a little bit more, since I was working on a book (and the book cover, but that was just a side issue). I didn’t want to run along with cool-sounding labels, at the expense of the actual treatment of the plot and characters. And I didn’t want the characters/plot elements to be too clichéd (both the urban fantasy and cyberpunk aspects).

So apart from some of the more obvious cyberpunk traits, such as the elves’ tech proficiency, and status as self-identified social outcasts within their Elven world—I aimed to capture “cyberpunk” via the actual interaction between the characters (amongst humans, elves, as well as elves and humans).

It’s that whole interplay between the influence of technology on the human/social aspect, and the individual’s struggle for an awareness of how he/she has been impacted by technology, which I have been focusing on (a tie-in with the love story in the plot).

The following excerpt (Nin is the Elven rogue/leader) captures some of this:

“That’s sad. How plastic and artificial life has become. It gets harder and harder to find something…real.” Nin interlocked his fingers, and stretched out his arms. “Real love, real friends, real body parts…”

While I enjoy the many elements of cyberpunk, it is the deeper, reflective aspects of the genre which engage and intrigue me the most—where one doesn’t know what’s real and what’s not; where one cannot tell good from evil; where one experiences an overwhelming feeling of profound shock at the realization of something significant/important. Hence the title of this post: “Pondering ‘Cyberpunk’.”

Also, I enjoy the challenge of distilling that into a simple storytelling style that’s spiritual without being preachy.

Which reminds me of a quote by Nathaniel Hawthorne: “Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

–Jess C. Scott


P.S. Jess is offering a free PDF copy of the novel to early reviewers (open to readers worldwide)! More details @ http://elventrilogy.wordpress.com/

Website: www.jesscscott.com
Book Site: http://www.elventrilogy.wordpress.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jesscscott

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jesscscott

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More Steampunk Christmas

Clockwork Mouse From Clockwork Couture

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except a clockwork mouse.

OK, I couldn’t help myself.

And check out these  stockings (already pre-filled with delightful steampunk goodness) that you can hang by your chimney with care.

My suggestion is you skip the milk and cookies and leave St. Nick what he really wants–a steaming cup of something hot, like some real English Christmas tea.  Ok, perhaps leave him shortbread cookies too.

And for steampunk sake, why make an ordinary gingerbread house when you can create a victorian gingerbread manor house instead?

May you find the perfect things for your holiday festivities and enjoy the season with family and friends!

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It’s that time of year again…

A Steampunk Night Before Christmas
© 2009 Suzanne Lazear

‘Twas the night before Christmas and the whole ship was quiet,
Too quiet for the likes of this seasoned air pirate.

The airship was festooned with frippery and green,
With nary a brass polished surface to be seen.

Their stocking were hung by the crow’s nest with pride,
Along with homemade cookies and rum for Santa to imbibe.

I didn’t have the heart to tell the crew.
That Santa wouldn’t approve of what we do.

Sure, we stole from the rich, and gave to the needy.
But he’d probably think taking a cut was too greedy.

It didn’t matter that they had hearts of gold,
Only that it was stolen goods we bought and sold.

Suddenly portside there arose such a clatter,
That I grabbed my spyglass to see what was the matter.

The deck became filled with curious crew,
As I climbed the rigging for a better view.

The sky that had moments before been silent,
Had erupted with a commotion both grievous and violent.

The black ship portside was one that even we dread,
And it looked as if it were attacking a small red sled,

Driven by a fat guy and flying brown deer,
I polished the spyglass to ensure my vision was clear.

“Dread Pirate Fred’s attacking Santa, let’s help him, quick,”
Shouted my trusty first mate old Salty Nick.

What could I do but help out the sled,
“Come on, crew, let’s teach a lesson to Fred.”

I climbed down the rigging.
“There are cannons to load,
Christmas to save,
And pirates to goad.
Let’s kick up our speed,
And give up a fight.
Even we know
Robbing Santa just isn’t right.”

With a cheer, I manned the helm, going full speed ahead,
Nick loading our cannons to aim at the Dread Pirate Fred.

“Don’t worry Santa, help will arrive,
Salty Nick, man the cannons, prepare to take a dive.”

We flew through the air quickly, with all our might,
Fred’s crew had the sleigh on board, a terrible sight

Santa looked frightened, a gun to his head,
“Give me those presents,” growled the Dread Pirate Fred.

Even the reindeer had been rendered immobile,
By a few of Fred’s men in a black dirigible.

Santa shook his head, “If you take them, they will be missed.
Certainly, you all shall make my permanent naughty list.”

“I don’t care,” the pirate growled,
“We just want those gifts,” his crew avowed.

“Unhand those presents,” I called, dashing through the air
The cannons fired, aimed only to scare.

The reindeer bucked, trying to get free,
Fred sneered, “Captain Sno, you don’t scare me.”

Quickly, we secured Fred’s ship and dastardly crew,
But Fred still had Santa—there was only one thing to do.

Fred and I grappled across the deck, precariously,
Nick making sure Santa and the reindeer went free,

“You can’t rob Santa, it’s just not right,”
I yelled as I punched Fred when he put up a fight.

“Now, now, cease that,” Santa said,
Causing me to stop punching Dread Fred.

“Now Dread Pirate Fred, trying to steal presents in wrong,
but Captain Sno, punching him won’t stop him for long.

Christmas is about sharing and caring, not fighting and stealing,
and doing what’s right, not wheeling and dealing.”

Fred and I looked at each other, hanging our heads in shame.
The jolly old man had a good handle on our game.

Both crews made sure the gifts all went back
Into Santa’s giant red velvet sack.

Cook fed the reindeer carrots, and Santa cherry pie
I looked at the Dread Pirate Fred and gave a sigh.

“Why did you do that? That’s low even for you,
to attack Santa and take his presents on Christmas Eve, too.”

“Those presents would fetch prices that are sky high.”
But the look on Fred’s face told me that was a lie.

“There are better ways of getting a present from Santa’s sack,
then trapping the reindeer and staging an attack.”

“You’re one to talk,” Fred replied.
Nodding slowing, I looked at my crew, and again I sighed.

“I’m afraid, Santa, neither Fred nor I have been good this year,
but please, don’t forget our crew, they could use some cheer.

They don’t meant to be bad; they’re just following orders
They’re good men at heart, not drunkards and cavorters.”

Santa said, “Thank you captain, for rescuing me,
I think I my sleigh might hold an extra present or three.

You too,” he added to Dread Pirate Fred.
I shook my head. Was that what he actually said?

“Fred and his crew tried to steal your gifts to sell,
now you’re giving them presents as if all were well?”

Santa winked. “Now, Sno, remember what Christmas is all about.”
Getting in his sleigh, he gave his reindeer a shout.

“Just try to stay off the naughty list, the both of you, from now on.
Now, I have to be off, to get these delivered before dawn.”

Both crews looked up, as Santa took off.
“Merry Christmas, Santa,” my voice went soft.

With a wink of his eye, and a flick of his hand,
Presents flew out of his sleigh; onto the deck they did land.

“Thank you, Santa,” the crews did shout.
“There’s not one for me,” Dread Fred did pout.

“All I’ve ever wanted is a present from Santa, just one.”
I scoffed. “But not enough to stop having all your plundering fun.”

“Stop it you two,” Santa added with a call.
“But I didn’t forget you either, no, not at all.”

Two more presents floated down from the sky.
Turning mine over in my hands I looked up. “But why?”

Santa just smiled. “Just remember what I said.
And for once, Sno, can you stop plaguing Fred?”

With a hearty laugh, the sled flew through the sky,
Both crews waving, tears in their eyes.

“A present for me?” Fred’s eyes gleamed.
I knew deep down, he wasn’t as dreadful as he seemed.

Taking a box from my pocket, I said, “And there’s another.”
Giving it to him, I smiled. “Merry Christmas, brother.

I’m sorry I plague you, but it’s so much fun.
Let’s make next year a much better one.”

Nodding, Fred said, “For once, Sno, you’re right.
I think this should be the last time we fight.”

Santa sped by, doing one last turn.
“I hope there’s a lesson tonight you all learned.

Merry Christmas to you, and remember my lads,
no one says air pirates have to be bad.”

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Steampunk lego

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Today we have a very special guest thursday post.  Lolita Deb is interviewing musician Jyri Glynn creator of the musical experience, Anguisette – The Creation Chamber.

Interview with Jyri Glynn, musician and creator of the musical experience, Anguisette – The Creation Chamber

By Lolita Deb

Deborah: Welcome to Steamed! We’re so glad you could come to visit. Tell us about yourself. Have you always wanted to be musician?

Jyri Glynn:  Thank you, Deborah for this opportunity. 

I first started taking classic violin lessons when I was about seven years old.  I can’t tell you exactly why I picked that particular instrument but I continued to play it throughout most of my school years in various school and church orchestras.

Once I got about halfway through high school, I started losing interest in playing sheet music and resented my insistent parents because I really wanted to play electric guitar.  I started getting into rock music and really wanted to play it — but because of my strict religious upbringing, it simply wasn’t allowed. 

Around seventeen I quit playing and ended up dropping out of orchestra.  This was mostly as a revolt against my folks, but I also felt like it was “uncool” (when it came to my peers) to play a violin.  I wanted to be a rockstar, not a nerd with a violin case on his back. 

About ten years later a musician friend of mine and I were talking and I mentioned that I had once played violin and still owned an acoustic violin with an electric pickup.  He encouraged me to bring it over to his house and play around.  So I ended up doing just that. 

I was absolutely intrigued with all the interesting sounds one could create running the violin through different effects.  I had tried this nearly a decade earlier but the technology back then just wasn’t the same.

After playing around with the newer, modern equipment, within no time, I found myself newly inspired.   I immediately started relearning the instrument while constantly experimenting with various combinations of sound modules and pedals.  Within a few months my buddy and I ended up starting a band together in which I played the electric violin.

D: Tell us a little about your band? How long have you been together? How did you come together as a group?

JG: I play electric violin in a rock band called The Sins and Anguisette is a solo project that I’ve been working on for roughly eight years off and on.  It is an EBM/Electronic project that I have composed most of the music for, with the help of some of my closest friends.  I’ve also had various female vocalists write and record vocals to the music based on a title or theme.

D: How did you decide on this particular sound? What is about your music that makes it Steampunk?

JG: Because my primary instrument is violin, I tend to initially write string parts when first composing a song.  The additional instruments are typically added afterwards. 

I’ve always loved the sound of a beautiful, yet sorrowful string instrument — particularly cello and violin — and I write the majority of my music in a minor key.  I guess that’s what gives Anguisette the signature sound that it now has.

I’ve always viewed Steampunk as the combination of modern technology with the antiquities of another age.  A violin is very much an antique instrument, as its origins date back hundreds of years, yet an electric violin enhances this classic foundation with elements of modern technology. 

I don’t know if that necessarily makes my music “steampunk,” but I’ve certainly heard people categorize Anguisette’s music as such.  Not unlike the Goth moment of the nineties when everyone started dressing like vampires, I see much of the steampunk music genre based more on fashion than on a specific style of music. 

Personally, I’ve always loved steampunk fashion, so when I filmed my first music video for “29 Years,” I incorporated these types of styles into the dream/nightmare scenes of the video using costumes and props. 

D: Is there a story behind your band’s name? Does Anguisette translate to something?

JG: I first heard the term from a friend who suggested it after reading a book by Jacqueline Carey called Kushiel’s Dart

In short, an Anguisette is a person who takes pleasure in pain.  For me, though, it doesn’t necessarily mean in some S&M or physical sense.  It is more about learning from painful situations and then taking pleasure in the knowledge one gains in the end.  So basically, it’s the whole “beauty in sorrow” thing.

D: Can you tell us more about your most recent album, The Creation Chamber? Does it have a back story? The songs seem to take the listener on an emotional journey.

JG: Most everyone has experienced the loss of a love one or the death of a relationship.  The concept behind this album is to express the different emotions that one feels while going through that sequence of events.   

From the death of one, another is born.

D: This album has an amazing variety of singers on it, how did this collaboration come about?

JG: As I’ve mentioned already, my goal was to create an album that would capture each individual emotion one experiences after a major loss.  All the vocalists and guest musicians involved played an integral part in the conveyance of these emotions and themes.

Whenever I would hear a vocalist whose work I enjoyed, I would contact them, usually through email, and explain the concept of what I was trying to accomplish. 

Once a vocalist “clicked,” I would email her the music with a working title and an emotional theme, and then I just let her take the track in whatever direction she wanted.  The singer would then breathe life into the piece of music. 

I have actually never had the pleasure of meeting many of the singers on the CD in person, so the project was definitely a bit of an online experiment. 

D: Where can we buy your music?

The Creation Chamber is available at SINister Records; as well as, CdBaby, Amazon, iTunes and at most major online music stores. 

My website is: http://www.anguisette.com

Friend us on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anguisette

Fans can hear my music, watch my video and obtain more info on the band at: http://www.reverbnation.com/anguisette

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Ah, ‘tis the holiday season. And if you’re like me, you’re still likely pondering a few gifts for the harder to please people in your circle of friends and family. Well, if they love steampunk, may I humbly offer the following ideas to sweeten your holiday season?

Perfect for a Mad Scientist's kitchen

Let’s look beyond the mundane of another top hat, a pair of gloves or even a new sparkly set of goggles. For your mad scientist in the kitchen, how about a brand new test tube spice rack? Not only can you see the spices, making the kitchen all that more colorful, but you can actually tell when you are almost out of something as opposed to opening the jar and finding there’s only a residue left half way through your favorite recipe.

Eggnog tea from Market Spice

And of course, who doesn’t know a devoted tea drinker? How about ordering them something completely holiday infused—say eggnog tea? Oh, yes, it is real. And very, very tasty without so many calories! (Well, unless of course you add eggnog to it, which I’ve been known to do.)

There are also such flavors as Cranberry Cream, Pumpkin Pie Spice, Holiday Spice, Chocolate Mint and of course the favorite from the Seattle from the turn of the centry (last century, dears) straight from Pike Place Market, Market Spice which has both the appeal of an Earl Grey with its orange flavor and the strong hint of spices including cinnamon which makes it naturally sweet. 

See, teapots can be fun.

And as long as we’re talking tea, you might as well consider purchasing a beautiful new tea cup and saucer or teapot. There’s so many to choose from, but select well. Find out of the person is a serious tea drinker (in which case you ought to get a six-cup tea pot and a cozy at the very least) or a lighter tea drinker (in which case you could get by with a smaller two-cup size teapot). 

Cutest cupcake, follow the link to find out how to make it.

Holiday festivities would not be complete without some cake! And check out how delightful these little cupcakes with top hats, gears and goggles are! I also happen to have a lovely recipe for eggnog bread. (And let me tell you that it’s a lot more appealing than the authentic plum pudding I tried to make one year. It said to boil it in a sock. I did. A blue sock, which turned my pudding an odd, not very appetizing color! But once doused with brandy and set ablaze, no one seemed to care too much.)

Citrus scents, and oh so cute. Stocking stuffers?

Or perhaps they’d like a shiny new raygun? Or what about body and bath goodies with steampunk flair? These Key to My Heart soaps are both scrumptious to smell and have a fun key to remember them by long after you’ve enjoyed the last bit of lather.

And of course books!!! I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you to go out and find a new steampunk story to share with friends and family. Whether it’s a bound edition of Girl Genius or one of the new stories for a young adult like Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld, sharing a story is a gift worth giving.

Here’s raising my tea cup to you in hopes that your holiday shopping steams ahead!

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I posted this last year, but since it ’tis the season, I’ll post it again.


On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

12 Air Pirates

11 Painted Ladies

10 Clock Hands

9 Ray Guns

8 Pairs Brass Goggles

7 Aviator Caps

6 Cogs and Gears

5 Mad Scientists

4 Flying Cars

3 Top Hats

2 Dirigibles

And an Airship in a Pear Tree!


Anyone wrapping any steampunk presents to put under the tree this year or have something special they hope Santa brings them? I have my eye on these boots.

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