Hot Steampunk R&D Posts

News: 8 Tips and Tricks Every Steampunk Writer Should Know

While I am a writer with a degree in Creative Writing, I haven't published any Steampunk fiction. However, as a panelist and track director, I've been on panels with many well-known Steampunk writers and have gleaned insight from the things they've said. I've compiled some of those things into this post, which will hopefully be helpful to all of the writers out there!

How To: Hey, America—You're Drinking Your Tea Wrong!

Tea has been around for thousands of years, and as a result, tons of customs and ceremonies have sprung up around its consumption. Some cultures take their tea plain, while others put things in it. Sometimes there are special tea-holding vessels, other times not. Maybe there will even be special foods meant to be eaten with tea. However, in America, our appreciation of tea has waned. For many, iced tea is their biggest source of tea consumption, and it's imbibed with no ceremony whatsoever in...

How To: Create a Steampunk Persona

Before I really get into this article, it's important to note that you do not need a Steampunk persona (or "steamsona") in order to be a Steampunk, or wear Steampunk clothes. Some people like to pretend to be a different person when dressed up in Steampunk clothing, but that is entirely optional, and only to be done if it appeals to you. That said, even if you aren't actually acting as your character, it may still be helpful to have one in mind when putting together an outfit. Personally, I'v...

Steampunk Spray Painting: How to Make Almost Anything Look Like Metal

What I'm going to do in this tutorial is, as the title implies, teach you how to make nearly anything look like metal. This can especially come in handy in Steampunk, as most of us don't have the ability to machine brass. We do, however, have access to wood, PVC, and spray paint. Not to mention that, as a costumer, I can speak from personal experience when I say that things made of brass are really, really, really heavy!

News: The 26 Best Online Stores for Steampunk Christmas Shopping

The holiday season is creeping up fast, and if you're shopping for a Steampunk, it could be almost impossible to find anything for them unless you know exactly where to look. Luckily for you, some of us have done all of the work you'll need. Whether you're Steampunk shopping for Christmas, Hanukkah, Chrismukkah (yes, that's real), Kwanzaa, or Festivus, you're sure to find something for that special lady or gentleman in your life by taking a stroll down this list!

How To: The Complete Guide on How to Build a Crystal Radio—Plus How They Work

There's a lot that goes into making a nice crystal radio set, so this is going to have to be broken down into two parts. The first part is the actual making of a functional radio, and the second part is making the whole arrangement look nice. In this part, I'm actually going to tell you more than just how to make a crystal radio, but I'm also going to explain how and why they work. Crystal radios are pretty Steampunk in and of themselves, since they were first developed in the late 19th centu...

News: Why Nikola Tesla's Wireless Power Was Fated to Fail Due to Exploding Airships

Nikola Tesla is one of the most tragic figures in the history of science, a history that is practically filled to the brim with tragic figures. Francis Bacon, a 16th century philosopher and scientist, caught pneumonia and died because he was trying to stuff snow into a dead chicken. Marie Curie died as a result of her long-term exposure to radioactivity, and her papers from the 1890s are too radioactive to touch without protective gear to this day.

News: Which Actor Is the Best Sherlock Holmes?

Sherlock Holmes is one of the most famous characters in modern history, and has appeared in film more often than any other character. No less than 78 different actors have taken their turn at portraying the enigmatic deduction machine in various mediums, and each has brought their own foibles to the role. Some of the names may even surprise you: Tom Baker, John Cleese, Peter Cushing, Charlton Heston, Christopher Lee, Roger Moore, and even Leonard Nimoy.

How To: Survive and Thrive in the Victorian Era

I don't know how many of you had this experience in your youth, but when I was a kid, I used to actively think about what would happen if I suddenly woke up in a fantasy land, or were to pass through a portal into another space and time. I knew it wouldn't really happen, but when you're a kid, these can be important issues to you. So I slept with my glasses on every night, just in case. Photo from George Pal's The Time Machine.

News: Steampunk Fashion - Timetravelers and Warriors

There are many opportunities to make Steampunk clothing. Clothing can be elegant and relate to the aristocrats of the 19th century. But Steampunk also can be rough and dirty, inspired by the adventurer from stories like 2000 miles under the sea or even movies like "Mad Max" or Wild "Wild West".. There are no rules how Steampunk has to look...

End of the Century: The Fin De Siecle's Role in Steampunk

With the new year right around the corner, it's time to talk about the end of the 19th century, a time which plays an enormous role in Steampunk. If you've done any reading of British books written from about 1890 to 1899, you may have come across the phrase 'fin de siecle' and wondered what it meant. You also may have come across this term in reading about the late Victorian era. No worries, I'll tell you all about it! Image by Giovanni Dicandia

The Black Dandy: People of Color in Steampunk

I just returned from a trip overseas and I came across this great article over at The Chronicles of Harriet about the role of black men in the evolution of Dandyism. Dandyism rose to prominence at the end of the 19th century, so there's a clear connection to Steampunk. I hope that many black men embrace the fashion and find their way into steampunk!

How To: The Nuts and Bolts of Steampunk: Using the Right Screws for the Job

Let me start out by saying that Steampunk isn't about being historically accurate, and that everything I'm about to tell you is entirely optional. That said, let's take a look at the history of screws! What many people don't realize is that before we had metal screws, wooden screws were in wide use for things like wine and oil presses. Generally, the invention of the screw is attributed to Archimedes in the 3rd century BC. That was a long, long time ago. Metal screws and even screwdrivers hav...

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