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Post-steampunk movements

Some post-steampunk ideas I had at yesterday's preview screening of Vintage Tomorrows (a documentary on steampunk and its relationship to technology), premised on the idea that new movements will simply subtract letters:

* Teampunks: dress like athletes
* Eamespunks: design chairs
* M-punks: use mobile devices
* Punkpunks: inhabit a notional contrafactual alternate history where Malcolm McLaren is responsible for all technological innovation after 1977

Ghost in the Machine: steampunk Hallowe'en ball in London, Oct 29

Toby Slater sez, "London, UK steampunk extravaganza White Mischief hosts 'Ghost In The Machine', a Halloween ball on Saturday 29th October. Headlining is Abney Park, arguably the world's most famous steampunk band; compere is Professor Elemental, the pith-helmeted chap-hop MC. Also performing are The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, notorious for releasing a single as an Edison wax-cylinder. Over 90% of tickets have gone so this is the last chance for goggle-clad Lovelaces and Babbages to secure their place at an event brimming with spooky entertainment. Alongside the steampunk bands expect brilliant mime artistry from The Boy With Tape On His Face, brass-powered music from The Hackney Colliery Band, death-defying aerial and circus acts, automata and fortune telling machines, a girl in a jar, Victorian portrait miniatures created from silhouettes and much more."

Agatha H and the Airship City: Girl Genius book is a cross between a comic and a prose novel

Agatha H. and the Airship City is the first prose novel about Agatha Clay, the heroine of their Hugo-winning webcomic Girl Genius.

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Steam pioneers to grace £50 note

The new Bank of England 50 pound note features British steam pioneers James Watt and Matthew Boulton; it's a nice, makerish touch to the currency.

(via Core77)

Brass-effect 3D printed steampunk D6s

Etsy seller MechanicalOddities 3D prints these D6s with gears instead of pips, then finishes them by hand with brass-effect paint.

Dice - 3D printed, Steampunk Style, Bronze Finish (Thanks, Alice)

Westerfeld's Goliath: suitably thrilling conclusion to cracking steampunk WWI YA trilogy

Scott Westerfeld's Goliath ships today, concluding his fabulous steampunk YA trilogy that began with Leviathan and continued in Behemoth. This alternate history of WWI is set in a world divided into two technological camps.Read the rest

Clockwork Fagin, free YA steampunk story

My short story Clockwork Fagin, which will appear in the forthcoming YA anthology Steampunk! is available from today as a free file for Kindle, Nook, and other ebook platforms. The whole anthology comes out on Oct 11.

Fighting Trousers: Quality Victorian-parody rap video

I don't quite understand how I've kept forgetting to post this here since my friend Leah showed it to me months ago. I also don't quite understand how Cory didn't get to it first. Regardless: Behold, Professor Elemental and his delightful combination of tounge-in-cheek Victorian parody rap + actually damn fine beats.

For context: This is a dis song aimed at the other Victorian parody rapper, Mr. B, The Gentleman Rhymer. After careful consideration, I think I'm on Team Professor Elemental.

Special thanks to Samuelito and Senor Schaffer, who tried to get our attention about this in Submitterator and were somehow overlooked.

Video Link

Girl Genius steampunk badges: zeppelins, trilobites and Tesla Rangers

So far, the standout retail moment at this year's World Science Fiction Convention in Reno are the very reasonably priced "Girl Genius" badges from Kaja and Phil Foglio, inspired by the Hugo-Award-winning webcomic of the same name. Worked with great trilobite and zeppelin motifs, the badges were apparently manufactured by the same supplier who does the collectible pins for the Disney parks, and have a good, solid heft. I'm also VERY fond of the old-timey sheriff's badge (cogtoothed, not starred) emblazoned with TESLA RANGERS and enlivened with little electrikal curlicues.

The New Airship Entertainment Online Store

Difference Engine 20th anniversary edition

Hard to believe it's been 20 years since the original publication of The Difference Engine, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling's seminal cyberpunk alternate history about a Victorian England dominated by mechanical computers. I was privileged to write the introduction to this 20th Anniversary special edition, which also includes new material from Bill and Bruce about the book's creation. It came out today, and I can't wait to get my copy!

The Difference Engine

HOWTO make an irising wristwatch case

Instructables user Gogglerman made this beautiful mechanical irising case for a steampunky wristwatch movement, and posted hints for making your own. It's one of the sweetest projects I've ever seen, and definitely the coolest application of steampunk to horology I know about.

Steampunk wristwatch with mechamical iris cover. "TimEye". (via Make)

Kickstarter: "Serpent Twins," mobile sculptures for Burning Man

[video link]

Early SRL (Survival Research Laboratories) member and metalworking master Jon Sarriugarte and creative partner Kyrsten Mate have been the subject of many, many Boing Boing posts, Boing Boing Video episodes, and fun experiences we've had offline.

Now they have a new project in the works: "The Serpent Twins - mobile sculptures for Burning Man." They're raising funds for it on Kickstarter.

These twin sculptures are the embodiment of the Serpent mythology that exists in numerous cultures throughout the world. The first is Jormungand, a dark harbinger of doom that Thor fights to save the human race in Nordic myths. His body comprised of blackened steel, he shoots fire from his mouth to prove his dominance over mortals. His twin, the bright Julunggul, shines in the sun and lights the night from within its 50' body. She serves man by swallowing boys and spitting them out as men. They should both be fantastical in the old fashioned sense of the word!

What are we asking for? Specifically, here are where all the donations will be going. We received an honorarium from Burning Man, which is wondrous, but we now need to raise the balance of the funds needed to complete the project. In addition, we have expanded the scope of our original sculptures to include many fantastic features that require expensive technology. The most expensive of these are 6 times the amount of LEDs along with all the programming moduals to control them and batteries to power them. Wonderfully, Benny of Cool Neon ( is working with us, but the materials costs alone are staggering. Additionally, there were a number of items that were excluded from the original bid including generators, transportation costs, propane for the fire breathing Jormungand, etc. Truly, whatever money we raise will be put towards not only the completion, but the artistic expansion of the project.

More about the project, and benefits for those who kick in, at Kickstarter page and at the Serpent Twins website.

More images from the project below. Click to make 'em larger.

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Steampunk "Edwardian Ball" in LA (video)

Mark Day shares with us a video of he shot of the Los Angeles incarnation of the Edwardian Ball, at the historic Music Box theater. Mark explains that the event included from Rosin Coven, "guerrilla street ballet" from Maggie Powers, accompanied by Mereith Yanyanos of Coilhouse, and a spectacular staging of Edward Gorey's The Eleventh Episode, by San Francisco's Vau de Vire Society. Plus a reasonably sprinkling of steampunk togs and millinery.
Video Link

Edwardian Ball: your Friday steampunk week-chaser

[Video Link] Mark Day shot this lovely HD video (with a Canon 550D T2i) of The Edwardian Ball & World's Faire, San Francisco, with circus from Vau de Vire Society, waist-lines from Dark Garden corsetry, music from Jill Tracy and Rosin Coven, and steam-engines from Kinetic Steam Works. The Los Angeles Edwardian Ball is coming up on March 5th! The "Steampunk helmet filled with live goldfish" video blogged earlier by Cory came from this same event, and from Mark Day.

Excellent Steampunk Cat Helmet is Excellent


"Hugo Helmet by *Diarment," on DeviantArt. (Thanks, Tara McGinley)

Mechanical Calculating Device (Boing Boing Flickr Pool)


"Mechanical Calculating Device," a photo contributed to the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by BB reader sicsnewton, in Flagstaff Arizona.

Autumn fun with Kinetic Steam Works

YouTube's Mark Day shares this wonderful clip with us, and explains: "Vintage steam-powered fun at Oakland's Kinetic Steam Works, plus pumpkin-tossing, front-porch clowning and briefly-glimpsed Shovelman." Video Link.

Steampunk Nature, Photoshopped

"Steampunk: Nature" is the theme of this Worth1000 shoop-off, and boy, every single one of the entries displayed is lovely. But this Cylon Unicorn recharging in a DalĂ­ craquelure landscape stole my heart.

(Via BB Submitterator, thanks Thalia!)

The League of S.T.E.A.M.'s Interactive Performance

the-league-of-s-t-e-a-m-presents-an-evening-with-the-unfamiliar.4332929.87.jpg Photo: Shannon Cottrell/LA Weekly from "An Evening with the Unfamiliar" You've probably seen The League of S.T.E.A.M. on Boing Boing before, as both Cory and Xeni have posted their videos. In addition to videos, they do interactive live performances at parties across L.A. The basic premise is that they hunt supernatural creatures with steampunk-inspired gear. If you see them at an event, they usually have a few display tables set up where the League will demonstrate how their props work. They'll also take partygoers on ghost hunts or chase after vampires throughout the venue. I've seen the League perform a handful of times over the past year and it's always a good time. They've appeared at nightclubs and Comic-Con parties as well as their own events. For those who will be at Dragon*Con this year, the League has a short in the convention's film festival. Links: League of S.T.E.A.M. "An Evening with the Unfamiliar" (Photos)

Steampunk Stilt Walker at Labyrinth of Jareth

labyrinth-of-jareth-park-plaza.5085508.87.jpg Photo: Josh "CuriousJosh" Reiss/LA Weekly, Labyrinth of Jareth 2010 Labyrinth of Jareth is an annual two-day masquerade ball in Los Angeles. The theme revolves around faeries and goblins. Costumes, or formalwear and a mask, are required. I wrote about Shawn Strider, who organizes LOJ, for LA Weekly's LA People issue, and have blogged about the event on Style Council a few times (most recently, today). LOJ has a massive cast and crew. All throughout the night, there is a DJ spinning on the dance floor, stage shows and interactive performances throughout the venue. There's a storyline that links everything together, but if you're going as an attendee you won't know exactly what's happening. If, however, you're following LOJ on Twitter throughout the event, you might get some clues. This year I went to LOJ on the first night of the masquerade, called Goblin Clockworks, with photographer CuriousJosh.There were a lot of people who stood out at the party, but the stilt walker in the above photo—dressed in what looks like a steampunk giant robot costume—sticks in my mind. Links: • Labyrinth of Jareth LA Weekly's Labyrinth of Jareth 2010 Slideshow

Steampunk Soundsystem: Victorian-themed DJ rig

Boing Boing reader Lord Baron Joseph C.R. Vourteque of the group SteamPunk Chicago shares photos of this spectacular home-modded gizmo with us, and says,

For the past month my friend Evad and I have been working on our (Extra-ordinary) Aural Fusionoscope & Amplification Machine, a glorified pseudo-Victorian way of saying "DJ rig."

Do pray pass the smelling salts, for I believe I may faint from sheer delight.

From the specs:

[T]his was originally a Numark CD-Mix 2 which I purchased from my good friend Orvtronixx. We built a wooden box around it and then got down to the lengthy task of expanding the audio ins & outs from the back of the box. After much soldering (and gnashing of teeth) we successfully installed a balanced XLR out, three RCA line-ins and a 1/4 in" microphone line in. We re-routed the main RCA unbalanced master out to a small speaker that is housed just below the vintage cast-iron Phonogram horn to act as the DJs personal monitoring system and re-routed the main mic out into a small microphone housed in the the smaller 1920s Ford car horn (which we repainted in black and copper). We then took a 1940s radiator, took it apart and housed the transformer in it. All in all the entire rig is an all in one system; though for large clubs we highly suggest running the XLR outs to the main sound.
Lots more photos and details here. If you're in Chicago, you can experience the rig in person at a local club tonight. With gypsies and belly dancers, of course.

[ photos courtesy ]

Moon Map, 1829


[ View large, view very large.] I presume this is the map they used to guide their steam-powered dirigible airships to Luna back in the late Georgian/early Victorian eras.

Karte des Vollmondes nach Mayer, Schroter und Guithuisen - Popular Astronomy by ML Frankheim, 1829, Braunschweig (Bibliodyssey Flickr stream, via @bibliodyssey)

Putting the "punk" back in steampunk: one particularly awesome costume

I'm a couple of weeks late on this one, but I don't think these images have been appreciated enough around the 'net. The LA Weekly's Liz Ohanesian attended the Malediction Society's Steampunk Ball in Los Angeles recently, with photographer CuriousJosh, and met someone with the best steampunk gear I've seen in a long while.

"This is perhaps the best steampunk outfit that isn't a Star Wars cosplay," says Liz. Boy, do I agree.

Mark Becknauld says that his outfit for the event wasn't based on any existing characters. Instead, his intention was "keeping the actual punk portion in steampunk." Becknauld, who reserves his steampunk outfits for special events like San Diego Comic-Con, Bat's Day and theme parties, made his armband out of brass, leather and copper. It took about two months to complete.

Becknauld's goggles were crafted from solid brass. He designed the eyewear, which includes a brass piece over one eye that can open and shut, but had it made by a craftsperson in France. It took about six weeks for him to receive the final piece.

Putting the Punk Back Into Steampunk (more photos of this guy's amazing costume) and Malediction Society's Steampunk Ball and 5th Anniversary (many more images of the event and costumes worn by other attendees).

(Image: CuriousJosh)

Test-driving the Electrobite, a trilobite-shaped DIY vehicle (BB Video)

Watch: MP4 download, YouTube, Dotsub (with captions/text translations).

In this episode of Boing Boing Video, we test-drive "Sarriugarteis (Odontochile) trilobiteis," also known as The Electrobite.

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Modest Mouse: "The Whale Song" (dir. Nando Costa/Bent Image Lab)

A lovely new video for Modest Mouse, by Bent Image Lab's Nando Costa. The video incorporates stop motion, visual effects, and motion graphics techniques, and tells the tale of an artist who enters his personal sanctuary and is "presented with a hand-crafted drawing tool that assists him in materializing his mental impressions."

Through drawing circular patterns, the machine discharges an endless web of yarn that guides him through his visual representations of his memories. The story progresses to reveal that he is divided between two worlds, one of dull reality and the second of warped memories. In the process of finding a way out of his consciousness, he is trapped between the two competing spaces, which eventually inflict lethal damage, acting as metaphors to self-destruction.
Super neat. More about the making of the video here. Stills from production here and here. "The Whale Song" appears on Modest Mouse's new EP No One's First, And You're Next." (Amazon)

Swanwick and Gunn's steampunk story ZEPPELIN CITY

Eileen Gunn sez, "Michael Swanwick and I have dragged steampunk kicking and screaming out of the Victorian era, slapped it about a bit and tossed it, still writhing, into an Art Deco cityscape. editor Patrick Nielsen Hayden described our story, Zeppelin City as "a stew of Metropolis, King Kong, Brazil, and the Critique of the Gotha Programme" and has published it as part of's Steampunk Month. Michael and I worked on this story for so long that-- well, suffice it to say, as Michael does, that when we started it, the technology was cutting edge. Is it really steampunk? You decide. The fabulous illustration for the story, by Benjamin Carre, totally captures the cityscape with autogyro and zeppelin."

Zeppelin City (Thanks, Eileen!)

Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan: kick-ass young adult steampunk series starts with a bang, a hiss and a clank

Westerfeld's LEVIATHANRead the rest

Comic about Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage

Drew sends us The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, "An occasional webcomic detailing the adventures of Babbage and Lovelace. Much of the dialogue and ideas taken from Babbage's autobiography and Lovelace's letters, thereby proving that truth is indeed stranger than fiction. The artist is an animator and it shows in the splendid life and expression of the artwork."

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (Thanks, Drew!)

Homemade R2D2 steampunk junkbot

Robert sez, "I found this scrap metal homebuilt steampunk chubby R2D2 in Tokyo's Nakano Broadway. Pretty good welding!"

Steam Punk R2D2 (Thanks, Robert!)

Boneshaker: Cherie Priest's swashbuckling steampunk Seattle story

Cherie Priest's zombie steampunk mad-science dungeon crawl family adventure novel Boneshaker is everything you'd want in such a volume and much more.

Boneshaker is the story of the Wilkes/Blue family, a storied Seattle clan whose three generations unmade and remade the city through a series of scientific and martial adventures that are recounted with great relish and verve. First, there's Leviticus Blue, an arrogant mad scientist who developed a great tunnelling machine (part of a Russian-sponsored competition to improve Alaskan gold-mining) and undermined the city of Seattle, releasing the Blight, a poisonous gas that causes the dead to rise, and to hunger for the flesh of the living. Then, Maynard Wilkes, a prison guard in Seattle, committed an act of great mercy and bravery by releasing the prisoners in his care before they could be blighted, losing his life in the process, and becoming a hero to those left behind the walled-off city of Seattle, and a pariah to the settlers in the Outskirts beyond the wall. Then there's Briar Wilkes, the widow of Leviticus and the daughter of Maynard, who is scraping by in the Outskirts, trying to outrun her reputation but unable to, and unable to escape Seattle because of the great Civil War that is eating America with martial trains and dirigibles and great armies. Finally, there's Ezekiel Wilkes, the son of Briar and Leviticus, who has snuck back into the walled city, wearing an antiquated Blight-mask, to discover the truth about his father.

And that's where the action kicks off, with son and mother chasing one another through the Blighted city of Seattle, avoiding the zombies, befriending the Chinese laborers who run the great machines that suck clean air from beyond the wall into the sealed tunnels beneath the city, trying to escape the clutches of the evil Dr Minnericht, the self-appointed king of Seattle (who may or may not be Leviticus Blue), befriending rogue zeppelin pilots, armored giants, and steam-powered cyborg barmaids.

It's full of buckle and has swash to spare, and the characters are likable and the prose is fun. This is a hoot from start to finish, pure mad adventure.