A Steampunk's Guide to Sex was the subject of a recent successful Kickstarter campaign, and I now hold the finished book in my hands. As such, I can say (mostly) unreservedly that you should buy this book. Allow me to tell you why, before I get into the nitty-gritty about the book itself. Sex is something of an odd topic in America because it's perfectly legal, and yet taboo. Unlike things that are illegal and not taboo, like drug use, murder, theft, etc. What this means is that children can ...
There are tons of uses for a flashlight. You can turn it into a laser, hack it into a night vision flashlight, or make it super bright. Or if you're a Steampunk Jedi, you turn it into a steampunk lightsaber. Jen from EPBOT started with a vintage flashlight and attached a piece of plumbing extension pipe. Screen splicing was glued on with E-600 for the grip and brass mesh with buttons and rhinestones makes up the 'control panel.' She added a silver gear to cover up the logo on the end. The LED...
First off, let me say this—using real steam power is dangerous, and heavy, and just generally not worth it when you have modern alternatives. Except, you know, if you're a Steampunk. Or this guy:
In the early 20th century, some people decided that it would be a great idea to play polo with cars. Sounds like a great idea, right? It was, and it wasn't.
Wow, nearly 2013! This is the time I look back over my body of work in 2012 and assess where I am creatively. With large gaps in the year due to moving into a new studio and two extended hospital stays certainly took a toll on my productivity mid year. I'm really proud of the pieces I submitted to "The Antipodean Steampunk Show", an exhibition that will be touring for three years in regional Australia.
This post has been brought to you by the letter S. With the Christmas season fast approaching, it's time to ask one of the most important questions of our lifetime:
This bicycle was found through website CustomMade, which is sort of like an Etsy for people who will custom make things to your specifications rather than selling things they've already made. If only I had the money...
These are some really cool sketches of what Spider-man might look like if it was drawn in steampunk style. More pictures are available over at io9.
You may or may not have heard of alt-rock band Panic! at the Disco, but a year and a half ago they released a single called "The Ballad of Mona Lisa", which had an accompanying music video that was Steampunk-themed. In fact, here's the video:
You may or may not care about this, but sometimes it physically upsets me when I see gears stuck together haphazardly, with no concern for whether their teeth interlock. I mean, what do you do with non-interlocking gears?
Many of us in the Steampunk community have pets that we love and cherish, myself included, and we want those pets to share our joy of Steampunk. In reality, they couldn't care less, but for some reason we still love to dress them up. Their reactions usually range from bemused acceptance to temper tantrums, but the awwwws we get from onlookers usually makes it worthwhile.
Nearly everyone of note in the Steampunk community has tried at one time or another to define what Steampunk is, myself included. Every time someone tries, it's met simultaneously with both backlash and support for either being too open or too closed.
Steampunk is a tremendously interesting phenomenon because of its reliance on science fiction, and fiction in general. Steampunk can arguably be broken down into two categories: the fiction, and the aesthetic. Sometimes these categories cross over, but they're often more distinct than most people suspect; that said, the aesthetic is firmly based in works of fiction.
As you know, it's impossible to be a Steampunk without a pair of goggles. In fact, there are entire communities dedicated to judging other Steampunks based solely on their goggles. A Steampunk without goggles is like Samson without his hair, or a duck without a beak—totally powerless. As I'm sure you also know, the right pair of goggles can instantly render any outfit Steampunk, no matter what it looks like.
Steampunk music is an oft-debated genre, full of bands playing all sorts of different sounds. While this can make it difficult to generalize about the genre as a whole, it means that the average person is bound to like at least some Steampunk bands. That's why it's a great idea to support some independent Steampunk bands this holiday season by buying their music for yourself, or sharing it with someone else.
I guess it's a sex-themed night, but a few well-known people in the steampunk world are trying to put together a "Steampunk's Guide to Sex", including plain Victorian sexual practices as well as the sort of modern information one would want on a modern movement like steampunk.
Text adventure games, such as the well-known Zork series, were some of the first computer games ever made, second only to the likes of Spacewar! and the better-known Pong. So let's travel back in time for a moment, to a time that never was.
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...
I've seen some pretty ugly steampunked guitars in my day, but this isn't one of them. This one's about as beautiful as they get. French company Wild Customs made this Gibson LesPaul into a steampunk masterpiece.
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.
Those of you who have attended a Steampunk convention in the last year or two may have heard of something called "Tea Duelling" and been intrigued.
We frequently associate plastics with the modern era, starting at around the 1950s with the prevalence of bakelite. However, for all of you "you can't use plastic in Steampunk" purists out there, I have bad news for you:
This ship is over 4 ft. long with many moving parts all run from a live steam engine. There are two videos, one more detailed about the story and one blog showing how it was built. Hope you enjoy.
Hardly anyone writes by hand anymore, but I would consider starting again if I had this pen.
For those who don't know, LEGO recently came out with a new line called Monster Fighters. This set is about fighting monsters, sure, but it's about fighting classic monsters in a Steampunk universe. Just look at this promotional picture from the LEGO site: That LEGO dude (properly called a minifig) is wearing a vest, pocket watch, bowler hat, and a mean smirk. Not to mention that he has a robotic leg. You won't find the word "steampunk" anywhere in this marketing campaign, but I call Steampun...
While this is pretty out of the way for people who don't live in Poland, this restaurant, Wodna Wieza, is really gorgeous!
I can imagine you sitting there thinking to yourself, "I've played a lot of games! I bet he won't have any that I don't know about!" Well, that's entirely possible. I'm only drawing from my own personal experience here, so you may, in fact, know of all these games.
If you want to make clothes for your cat, you're on your own. As I recently said in this article, cats will just totally flip out if you make them wear things. Your dog may also flip out, but I've found them to be more tolerant, personally.
Jake von Slatt of The Steampunk Workshop kept breaking the rear glass panel on his iPhone. So, he ended up making his own gorgeous replacement out of brass to replace the standard Apple logo ones who kept getting. The only problem was that it made his signal strength super weak, so he figured out how to transfer the etching onto a glass back. Here's the basic rundown of how he accomplished this feat...
As I said in this earlier post, there's no easy way to explain or define the Steampunk aesthetic. There are a large number of Steampunk tropes or "cues", as I call them, that bring to mind the feeling of Steampunk. These cues combine to push past the "not-Steampunk" threshold into firmly "Steampunk" territory.
I came across this leg piece on the internet made by Skinz-N-Hydez and I just had to share it. I see a lot of steampunk arms on the internet, but I don't often see legs. This one is really well done, and I love the construction and design.
Organic Armor is a company run by Paul Hersey which makes... organic armor. Their Facebook page is a really awesome place to get some steampunk inspiration. Check out some of their work:
This Steampunk portal gun (from the game Portal) was recently featured on Kotaku, and is really, really beautiful. It's rare that you see such refined woodworking in steampunk props. Now if only it worked...
We could use some more cool steampunk films, and this one looks like it has pretty high production values for an independent thing. So far as I'm concerned we can use more steampunk horror, too. I love that stuff.
The trailer for the new Bioshock game, Bioshock Infinite, takes the series away from its dieselpunk roots and into the realm of steampunk.
It wasn't that long ago that we started seeing a variety of beers catering to the Steampunk crowd, so why not some wine?
Swing music was later than the Victorian era, but electro-swing music can call that retrofuturistic era to mind. I recently saw this review of an electro-swing album, "Electro Swing For the Masses" by Good Co~, who features one of the musicians from the well-known Steampunk band Abney Park. Electro-swing is just what it sounds like: a fusion of electronic and swing music. For anyone who hasn't heard any of it, check it out!
Sometimes I forget that I'm also a fiction writer, so I thought it might be a nice change of pace to share one of my stories with you. I wrote this piece awhile ago for an anthology that never came together and I'm tired of just sitting on it.
Adventure Time is one of the best TV shows for kids that's currently on the air. It's so good that it has real appeal for adults, too. Just do a Google image search for "Adventure Time costume" and you'll see what I mean.
I've heard many steampunks look at a prop and say, "but does it work?"