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Archive for July, 2011

Happy Friday everyone,

Here’s is your steampunk gadget for today:

scintilloscope:

an instrument for measuring gamma rays emitted by a radioactive body.

 

Stay Steamin’
Lolita Marie-Claude 🙂
 
Marie-Claude is not here much these days because when she is not being a Steamed Lolita and writing Steampunk fiction, she is Dr. Bourque, a Physicist, Meteorologist and Oceanographer who is currently very busy working on a Master in Teaching High School Sciences at the University of Washington.

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Jay Kristoff is an author, professional tall-scary person and is frequently mistaken for Dave Grohl in smoky, dimly lit pubs. His steampunk novel STORMDANCER sold at auction, and will be published in Spring 2012 through St Martin’s Press and Tor UK as the first part of a trilogy. He blogs here, and reduces the signal to noise ratio of the internet here.

Japanese Steampunk

by Jay Kristoff

Presuming I’m surrounded by an audience who’s nerd-quotient is sitting comfortably above baseline, this is my reply to that dreaded question “So what’s your book about?” So when the lovely folks at Steamed agreed to let me loose on their readership, I proposed to write a post about the same topic, because honestly, I feel like the God of Clumsy Online Promotion murders a kitten every time I come out and overtly plug my novel.

The origins of what we know as Steampunk lie in the fictions of the Victorian Age, and the minds of writers like HG Wells and Jules Verne. Awesome, Jay. Tell us something we don’t know.

OK. So around the same time Verne was laying the foundations for SP, across the other side of the world in Japan, the Tokugawa Shogunate was closing up shop faster than your average Borders outlet. A country that had remained isolated from the west opened itself to foreign trade and influence (ie, control), resulting in a rapid industrial expansion. And while Japanese writers and artists remained heavily influenced by classicism and weren’t to climb aboard the SF/F train for decades, it’s not hard to imagine a world where the Scientific Romances of Verne and Co could’ve been coupled with a Japanese aesthetic.

Certainly there’s anime that might be considered Steampunk: Last Exile, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky, Steamboy, etc, but not many of these settings are even remotely Japanese, despite being penned by Japanese creators. And note that I’m not talking about so-called ‘Victorientalism’ (excellent essay about it here) or the Japanese annexation of Victorian fashion. I’m talking about telling poor Victoriana that we need to see other people, and seeding anachronistic technology into a historical setting that is distinctly Japanese.

Clockwork samurai. Chainsaw katana. Sky-ships sailing across a rising sun – Steampunk in Japan.

How would a traditionalist Shogunate evolve in a tech-heavy environment? How would philosophy and religion be impacted? How would the feudal caste system develop under a tech-empowered nobility? What would power the technology? What toll would it wreak on environment? And most importantly, would there be ninja, and exactly how much would they flip out?

For some indication of where I ended up, check out the art of Greg Broadmore and the fabulously talented Mr James Ng, who’s ‘Imperial Steamworks’ series sums up the aesthetic of my novel exactly.

Up to this point in its evolution, the vast bulk of Steampunk fiction is set in Victorian England or colonial America. But as artists, writers and creators, I feel it’s our duty to challenge tropes and expectations. Exploring the notion of Japanese SP coupled with traditional fantasy is enormously fun, and I hope as time goes on, more and more folks open themselves up to possibilities like it.

Fiction should never be limited by geography – it’s only limit is our imagination.

Six kittens were slain by the God of Clumsy Online Promotion during the making of this blog post.

~Jay Kristoff

http://misterkristoff.wordpress.com/

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Got swag?  I’m running a contest over at my other blog.

Now, back to today’s post.

Kickstarter.

All the cool kids seem to be doing it.  It’s a grass-roots project incubator allowing the average person to seek investors for projects.  Investors usually get some sort of limited edition goodies for contributing towards the project’s goal.

There’s some neat steampunk projects going on right now. This is just a sampling…

Steampunk: History Beyond Imagination is a museum exhibit slated to open in October at Muzeo in Anaheim, CA,

The exhibit will introduce visitors to an era in which science and industry were combined to launch mankind into the 20th Century (and beyond) – to become a world where ordinary human beings could do the impossible. Historical pioneers like Charles Babbage and prominent personalities like Nikola Tesla will also be revealed for their contributions to the development of incredible technological advances.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/aeronautproductions/steampunk-history-beyond-imagination-museum-exhibi/widget/video.html

The League of S.T.E.A.M is seeking funding for Season II of their webasode series.

We will spend the money to purchase essential equipment to meet the various production needs we will face throughout the season, as well as provide opportunities for us to film in new and exciting locations for our audience to enjoy. We will create new equipment to help us tell our thrilling stories, and because of our team’s history of making functional props, we can guarantee you’ll be able to see this equipment in person at our live show ventures.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/leagueofsteam/adventures-of-the-league-of-steam-season-two/widget/video.html

Ever wanted an intergalactic transporter?

Chico Urban Artists Collective (CUAC) is building a 28 foot steampunk-style spaceship that we’re calling the Intergalactic Transporter (Mutant Vehicle) using a retired 1981 firetruck as the platform vehicle. The upper deck will be a dance floor, lower deck will be a chill space to hang out, and the exterior will provide additional seating and bike parking. It will be an interactive participatory conceptual art experience.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1905360854/intergalactic-transporter/widget/video.html

A Victorian Knitting Primer

The Ladies of Mischief is a collective of talented ladies who want to take the knitting and steampunk world by storm, combining the two genres into one amazing work of fantastic imagery, story telling, and creative artistry.

We have started up a blog filled with exclusive patterns, stories, journal entries, photographs and more. Please stop by to read up on each of the Ladies and follow all of their adventures.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2082319929/needles-and-artifice-a-victorian-knitting-primer/widget/video.html

There’s also a Pipe Organ Backpack!

I plan to make a light-weight, fully functional, small-scale WEARABLE pipe organ! I have a passion for strange instruments and I hope to create one of my own. My ultimate goal is to not only create this instrument, but to also document and share instructions on its design so that others can build them in the future. At the end of the project, I will post the instructions online for free.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1461644610/functional-pipe-organ-backpack-the-borgan/widget/video.html

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Happy Friday everyone,

Here’s is your steampunk gadget for today:

topophone:

an instrument to determine direction and distance of a fog-horn.

 
Stay Steamin’
Lolita Marie-Claude 🙂
 
Marie-Claude is not here much these days because when she is not being a Steamed Lolita and writing Steampunk fiction, she is Dr. Bourque, a Physicist, Meteorologist and Oceanographer who is currently very busy working on a Master in Teaching High School Sciences at the University of Washington.

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 Leslie Dicken has spent years writing, even longer reading, and now she balances it all with work, a family, a feline huntress, and a chunky beagle. She writes stories with history or science or fantasy (maybe even all three at once), but they all have one thing in common love and a happy ending. She hopes you enjoy her stories and she’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to check out her website www.lesliedicken.com, contact her at leslie@lesliedicken.com, follow her on Twitter or friend her on Facebook!

Why I Write Steampunk

by Leslie Dicken

Steampunk seems to be all the rage lately, but I started thinking about back at the RWA National Conference in Washington, DC in 2009. My good friend and critique partner, Lisa Paitz Spindler, explained how the genre was a mash-up of science, technology, and history. As both a science fiction aficionado and a historical writer, this combination intrigued me. I went home from that conference and started reading what romance steampunks were out — and at that time, there weren’t many. But I found enough to convince me to give the genre a try.

Much of the current steampunk stories have a paranormal or fantasy element in them: vampires or fairies or werewolves. I didn’t want to go that route, but I wanted a high concept storyline to pull my readers in. What better to highlight the darker regions of Victorian London than Jack-the-Ripper? Although my story doesn’t follow the actual case of that infamous killer, I do have an alleyway killer on the loose. My hero knows far more than he’s willing to let on about that killer and my heroine has a very personal stake in seeing that he’s caught.

But what about the steampunk? Well, there is a dirigible in the story (including a love scene on it!) and my main characters each have their own personal “flying machines.” However, the elements that tie the strongest to the storyline relate to my hero, who is an inventor of automatons. And let’s just say that he has also tried to combine automaton parts with living human flesh. This photo I found is a perfect replica of what my hero used to replace his brother’s arm with.

I find steampunk fascinating (although seemingly difficult to explain) because of its innate combination of science and history…and its ability to open itself up to other subgenre elements. I guarantee there are no two steampunk stories exactly alike!

My first steampunk, THE IRON HEART, will be out from Samhain Publishing in February 2012.

~ Leslie Dicken

www.lesliedicken.com

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This weekend I crept out of the editing bunker so the hubby (who is a great photographer) could take my author photos.

My mauve outfit I often wear doesn’t photograph well, and I obsessed and obsessed over what to wear. I finally decided to wear a black outfit that I’ve pieced together (from some rather odd places) minus the green bustle. I detail the outfit here in case you’re interested in where everything came from.

This necklace is from my book and it was really excited to have it made. I got it custom from StormTheCastle, which has such pretty stuff. I wore this in my pictures, too.

It was fun to dress up in steampunk gear on a Saturday and go out in public. We went to a park first. The hubby snapped this picture as I was messing around. The skirt is really full, like a flamenco dancer’s. It didn’t make the cut of pictures to send my editor, but I like it an awful lot.

I also really like this one, though it’s more a pic for my website then for my book. Yes, I know, I have the goggles all wrong. I still haven’t found goggles I like in my price range.

This one is okay, but it shows off the necklace better than the others.

Next we went to another park, which required us walking close to half a mile up a dirt trail. It was a good thing I wore the practical boots and not the cute boots.

I also had to climb a tree. But this was my choice. I love this oak tree and have always wanted my author photos taken there. Also oak trees play a role in my book. Climbing trees in steampunk gear is hard and I fell off once…but it’s not a very high tree, and I was just fine.

This one is the hubby’s favorite because you can see I’m in a tree.

But this one if my favorite and the one I hope they use.

Do you have a favorite?

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Happy Friday everyone,

Here’s is your steampunk gadget for today:

variometer:

an instrument for measuring magnetic declination

Stay Steamin’
Lolita Marie-Claude 🙂
 
Marie-Claude is not here much these days because when she is not being a Steamed Lolita and writing Steampunk fiction, she is Dr. Bourque, a Physicist, Meteorologist and Oceanographer who is currently very busy working on a Master in Teaching High School Sciences at the University of Washington.

Read Full Post »

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