Very sad news today: Steampunk pioneer and virtuoso maker Richard "Datamancer" Nagy has died, apparently in a car accident in California. Richard's work was nothing short of spectacular (we'd featured it repeatedly over many years) and he was especially known for his keyboards (I'm privileged to own one). Richard was kind, a good friend to many, and gave generously of his time to mentor and support his fellow artists, many of whom came to steampunk through their exposure to Richard's work.
The world is a much, much poorer place without Richard in it. Details about Richard's final arrangements are still sketchy, but I will post as they become available, as well as any information about supporting his family and any nominated charities for memorial donations.
"Bollywood Steampunk" -- created by DeviantArt's MakeupSiren and photographed by
Andrew Williams . There's loads more, all great.
Bollywood Steampunk : Salkcity Photo Shoot
(via Pipedream Dragon)
Today's Klockwerks newsletter brought Roger Wood's latest lunatic bell-jar timepiece. It's exceptional, even by his high standards.
Art Donovan sez, "After four months of deep 'design and build', I finally completed this commission for my client. But, alas, it won't be installed in time, as it is now going to be featured in the National Watch and Clock Museum's exhibit, 'A Matter of Time' for three months. I'm confident the client won't mind, as they will be now getting a museum piece>"
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Datamancer is selling an astounding steampunk PC on eBay (starting bid: $14K), whose every detail is awesome in every day, from the fool-the-eye case that appears to be full of brassworks to the brass keyboard to the mouse made from a telegraph clacker.
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The AT-SP Steampunk Walker desk lamp is for sale in WWWorks's Etsy store, and ships from Budapest. Its legs are jointed, as is its brass boiler. It's 35cm tall, and sells for $1,250.
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On the subject of book-scanning bringing the 19th century to life, Clive Thompson reviews "Wired Love," a novel from 1880 about telegraphic romance that features some amazingly contemporary themes. As Clive says, "This book is 130 years old, but it could have been written last week."
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Here's a delicious potted history of the Euphonia, a mid-19th century gadget that could simulate human speech by pumping bellows-fed air over an artificial tongue set in a chamber of weird plates and valves. It had a severe woman's face and coils of hair in ringlets, and spoke in a "weird, ghostly monotone."
By pumping air with the bellows and manipulating a series of plates, chambers, and other apparatus, including an artificial tongue, the operator could make it speak any European language. It was even able to sing the anthem God Save the Queen. The Euphonia was invented in 1845 by Joseph Faber, a German immigrant. A little known fact is that this machine greatly influenced the invention of the telephone.
The Euphonia - A Marvelous Talking-Machine (Curious History via Kadrey)
Kottke rounds up a series of illustrations by Argentine artist Diego Mazzeo from all over the Web -- a gorgeous menagerie of collaged clockwork beasts, including this amazing griffin.
Sculptor Justin Gershenson-Gates produces the most amazing and beautiful clockwork insects and arthropods, which he sells in his Mechanical Mind Etsy shop. (via The Mary Sue)
Make Magazine profiled the incomparable steampunk maker Jake von Slatt; he's got all kinds of great stuff to relate:
Two past mistakes you’ve learned the most from:
1. Propane is very flammable and eyebrows are important to the appearance of your face.
2. A school bus is very heavy and asphalt cannot be relied on to support it when jacking.
Bonus: Stay out of the plane of rotation. I lost the tip of my right pinky finger to the lift-fan of a hovercraft when I was 16.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Things About Jake von Slatt
This jacket is a wonderful mystery to me; found upon the tumblrs, and seemingly sprung from the ether. Do you know where it came from?
Update: Aha! It's from Junker Designs -- their Blade Runner jacket
I do not fear the apocalypse because I already have my jacket packed….
Ranjana sez, "I'm a Bournemouth University postgraduate student and I'm producing a short but ambitious steampunk drama
for my Masters project and I'm looking for a few props for our film: steampunk radio; wrist communicator device; steampunk guns; other general props. Could you please ask your steampunk readers in the UK if they have any of the props, I could perhaps borrow for a small deposit along with an invite for the owner(s) of the prop to feature in our film."
Margaret Killjoy sez, "Steampunk Magazine #9 is out and available for order. The pdf is up as well. New orders and pre-orders will be going out this weekend! 118 ad-free, Creative-Commons pages of steampunk mad science, lifestyle, fiction, and history. Including an interview with Cory Doctorow and how to make hydrogen airships out of condoms."
SteamPunk Magazine 9
Kaja and Phil Foglio have launched a Kickstarter to fund the printing of volume 12 of the wonderful Girl Genius webcomic, and to reprint the older books. These are multi-award-winning, independent steampunk delights, and $30 gets you "an actual, dead-tree, SOFTCOVER copy of Girl Genius Volume 12: Agatha Heterodyne and the Siege of Mechanicsburg. 192 pages in full color. Shipped to you by means of one of the largest government agencies on Earth!"
Printing the actual books is our biggest single expense. The first print run of a typical volume costs in excess of US$25,000. If that seems high, you must remember that we print eight thousand of them, and they usually run to around 120 pages. Our latest volume, number 12, will be even more expensive, as it comes in at 192 pages, and we’ll be printing nine thousand of them, because eight thousand wasn’t enough last time. Exciting? Yes, but one can’t pay the printer with excitement.
We also have to ship the books. Actually, we have to ship them twice. Once from the printer to the fulfillment center, and once again from the fulfillment center to the customer. And whether a book is shrink–wrapped with thousands of its friends onto a pallet and loaded into a truck, or carefully packaged for individual shipping, several thousand pounds of books cost serious money to transport.
It's got a short fuse on it because they want to get the books in hand in time for San Diego Comic-Con. Act now!
Girl Genius Volume 12 Printing and Reprint Frenzy!
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