Octopus hairpiece


Deviantart's Deeed documents the construction and unveiling of her amazing Octopus hairpiece, created and worn for a steampunk ball.

Octopus Hairpiece (via Crazy Abalone)

(Photo: Gillian B Dragancaor)

Chapters one and two of Charlie Fletcher's The Oversight

“A dark and glinting book set in Victorian London, a fat and aggressively readable novel about a secret society — the Oversight — charged with the policing of all the magical and supranatural (yes, supranatural) elements of Britain.”

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Michigan's Penguicon will focus on crypto and privacy this year

Scott sez, "Privacy and security has been a huge problem since the Snowden revelations, and midwest SF/open source software convention Penguicon [ed: near Detroit!] wants to be part of the solution. With Guest of Honor Eva Galperin from the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Cory Doctorow returning as Guest Emeritus, much of their tech track is focused on finding answers to the recent privacy problems highlighted by Snowden. Pre-registration tickets are available until April 1st. Programming was just announced." (Thanks, Scott!)

New Girl Genius arc starts today


Carol writes, "After a much-needed break, this week Phil & Kaja Foglio started up a new story arc on their multiple-Hugo-award-winning 'Girl Genius' comic series. This new story arc is a good place for new readers to jump in, as Agatha Heterodyne sets out on a new adventure. 'Girl Genius' is a long-form series, with three new full-color comic pages posted on the site each week. Updates appear on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 'Girl Genius' has been running since 2001, following the gaslamp fantasy adventures of Agatha, the titular girl genius mad scientist."

I love this stuff. Here's my review of the novel version of the story.

Here we are, back with the second act of the Girl Genius story! (Thanks, Carol!)

Mall cops freak out over steampunk meetup, call the real cops


A group of steampunk cosplayers arranged to meet up at Westfield Plaza Camino Real near San Diego to ride the mall's Victorian carousel. But Westfield's mall cops were terrified of the cosplayers and evicted them all, escorting them to the door, calling the cops, and making them wait until the police arrived (the police basically shrugged and said, "Look, it's stupid, but it's their mall").

The mall cops -- and their corporate overlords -- cited a variety of dumb policies in support of the action, including a ban on wearing costumes that obscured the wearer's face (which didn't describe the cosplayers' outfits), a ban on gathering in groups larger than three (ORLY), a ban on photography without the subjects' permission (the steampunks, having gathered to have their photos taken, can be presumed to have consented to the pictures). Basically, it's a case of mall cop authoritarianism followed by the usual bland corporate doubling-down.

Of course, kids -- especially kids who happen to be brown -- already know that malls are capricious and fraught replacements for the public square. Mall cops basically hate anything that doesn't accord with their view of what a shopper should be and relentlessly discriminate against anyone they don't like. Back when I was in high school, more than half of my school had been banned from College Park, the mall in Toronto that was across the street from the school, by sneering jerks from Intercon security, who had the full backing of their management and the mall management.

The irony of ejecting people for wearing steampunk clothes in rich: malls are full of steampunk-inflected clothing, as the commodification mills of the fashion industry relentlessly mine subculture for new looks to put under glass. And here, too, is another parallel to the much more widespread discrimination against brown kids, who are often ejected on the pretense of wearing "gang" clothes -- clothes whose styles have been snaffled up, denatured, and repackaged for sale in the stores whose rent keeps the mall in business.

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Kickstarting a kid-friendly steampunk graphic novel

Thom writes, "When our Kickstarter for a kid-friendly steampunk comic was 'kicktrolled' last November, the Internet quickly came to our rescue. And while we ultimately cancelled that project for fear of a repeat incident, we're back with a new campaign for a graphic novel of our webcomic -- and a possible way to make 'Crimson Rhen of the True North' happen!"

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Paperback of Sailor Twain announced, read a 14-page excerpt

I reviewed Sailor Twain, Mark Siegel's amazing graphic novel about the mermaid of the Hudson River, back when it came out in 2012. The paperback has just been announced, slated for publication on March 4. Tor.com has a 14-page excerpt from the book up today. Here's my original review:

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Kickstarting a steampunk survival/adventure game: 39 Days to Mars

Philip writes, "I'm developing a co-operative steampunk survival-adventure game called 39 Days to Mars, and it's just launched on Kickstarter!"

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Edwardian Ball 2014 after-movie: brass goggles, RC airships, corsets and steampunkery galore

Mark Day, the guy behind this wonderful video and many more like it, says,
Here's the latest/annual Edwardian Ball after-movie, featuring San Francisco's alt-circus Vau de Vire Society, pagan-lounge act Rosin Covin, opera divas, shovel-playing guitarists, and many well-dressed types in San Francisco. And the Los Angeles Edwardian Ball event takes place this Saturday, at the Fonda Theater on Hollywood Blvd. More info at EdwardianBall.com.

More Victorian portraits of "London types"


Spitalfields Life has posted more Victorian portraits of London characters and tradesmen a (here's the last batch). The new set has some absolute gems, including the Muffin Man (above). Also not to be missed (below): "itinerant," "lounge lizard," and "portcullis raiser at the bloody tower."

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Mechanisms: steampunk armored bestiary


Vladimir Gvozdeff's illustration series Mechanisms depicts a wonderful bestiary of armored, mechanical creatures in steampunk style, surrounded by the detritus of contrafactual Victorian inventorship. Some of my favorites after the jump:

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Bob Basset's Streamline Moto Mask


Bob Basset, my favorite Ukrainian fetish/steampunk leather-mask-maker (admittedly, not a very wide field!) celebrated Christmas by posting this great "Streamline Moto Mask" with removable mouth-guard and goggles. Happy Christmas Sergei, and here's hoping you and your loved ones are safe in this time of upheaval in Ukraine.

Streamline Moto Mask. Art leather.

Kickstarting an anthology of diverse steampunk stories

Publisher Steven Saus sends us a Kickstarter for "a diverse steampunk anthology from your favorite award-winning authors, including Jay Lake, Nisi Shawl, Ken Liu, and Lucy A. Snyder."

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Jaunty, Xmassy steampunk assemblage clock sculpture


The latest piece from Roger Wood's Klockwerks studio is this brave, fire-engine-red number that's just put me over the edge into a full-on bout of Christmas cheer.

Dan Hillier piece as a 3D print


We're big fans of Dan Hillier's work around here -- the iconic, instantly recognizable grotesque Victorian collages. Now he's branched out into 3D printing. He writes: "I recently collaborated with a 3D printing design consultancy called Modla, for The Other Art Fair. Having met with their Creative Director, Jon Fidler, we worked on the creation of a 3D version of my work, 'Nothing Matters'. The piece is now available in a limited edition of 20." (Thanks, Dan!)