It was Sunday morning and the first thing I read on Facebook was a call from someone in the steampunk community demanding that another person be “unfriended” by all of her followers. Along with this, she posted a screencap of a meme this terrible person had posted which said, “Share if you also want to see Hillary Clinton in jail.” It had the former secretary of state’s face photoshopped behind bars.
For one anti-Clinton meme, this steampunk woman demanded the deplatforming of someone I didn’t even known before this incident. One wrong meme in some circles and you’re out.
By that logic, I should have been “canceled” a long time ago. I’ve disliked Hillary Clinton since the early 1990s. But social media has made it much easier to scout out thoughtcrimes. Don’t belong to the right political party? Don’t hate politicians from the other side? Someone will screencap something you wrote, share it on their own page and demand that you be shunned.
We’ve crossed into a weird McCarthyism — Jenny McCarthyism — where if you’re not liberal enough you’ll be chased out of whatever fandom you’re in.
Continue reading “The Steampunk Political Guillotine Machine”
Didier Graffet is a steampunk artist who is quite well known in his native France but far less so in the English-speaking world. That ought to change; his paintings are gorgeous.
Continue reading “The Art of Didier Graffet”
Summer Geek Festival is a small, and with its second edition also relatively new, convention in Mons, Belgium.
It’s not a steampunk event, but it is so incredibly diverse that it does a really good job catering to the whole of the pop culture spectrum, from cosplay and geek stuff to Japanese fashion and music to steampunk — and pretty much everything else. Here are some steampunk photos for you to enjoy.
Continue reading “Steampunk at Summer Geek Festival”
We’ve spoken about the Belgian production of The Great Gatsby immersive theater before (our review here). For those who missed it, you get another chance! Starting this Tuesday, the show returns to Gatsby’s summer residence in Knokke-Heist, Belgium.
That’s right, the premise is that Jay Gatsby sold his mansion in Brussels and traded it for a lovely home on the Belgian coast. What better setting for a summer run than the seaside?
If you are looking to spend an evening in interactive Jazz Age splendor, definitely check it out.
Mike Doscher is an American artist who specialized in Weird War imagery. He is the co-author of Spacecraft of the First World War, an illustrated guide to the giant spaceships fielded by the empires of Earth in their conquest of Mars.
Continue reading “The Art of Mike Doscher”
People with wings, freedom fighters, engineers, (mad) scientists and more — these are the characters that make up the pages of Smoke and Steam.
The anthology is comprised of four short stories by four different authors, respectively, “Wings Over Staria” by J.C. Rock, “Hekatite” by Karen Garvin, “Heart of the Matter” by Michelle Schad and “Freedom for a Foster” by Cathryn Leigh.
This does mean you get four completely different tales and writing styles, meaning there’s a chance you won’t like every story as much as the next.
Continue reading “Smoke and Steam”
To keep up with all the responses to my “Who Killed Steampunk?” story, I’ve spent more time than usual reading Never Was‘ Twitter feed in the last couple of months. I follow almost everybody Twitter recommends to me, as long as they look or sound relevant to steam- or dieselpunk, and I follow back almost everybody who follows Never Was. So I made no effort to tailor this feed politically.
What I get is half steam- and dieselpunk and half left-wing politics. I don’t see any tweets that suggest they’re from a person who is center-right.
This isn’t new. I asked eight years ago where the steampunk Republicans were. Nor am I the only one who worries steampunk has become an echo chamber. Others who have written on this topic include Professor Elemental and Moriarty Viccar, both of whom are left-wing.
I can think of three possible explanations:
Continue reading “Can You Be Right-Wing and Steampunk?”
- Twitter is left-wing.
- Steampunk is left-wing.
- Right-of-center steampunks don’t tweet about politics.
Frederick Forsyth’s novels usually make for good movies. The Day of the Jackal (1973, our review here) and The Fourth Protocol (1987, review here) are among my favorite Cold War-era films. The Odessa File (1974) is not in the same league.
Not having read the novel, I can’t say if it’s the story or the adaptation. It sounds good on paper, though. The year is 1963. A West German journalist (Jon Voight) stumbles on the diary of a recently deceased survivor of the Riga Ghetto. He takes it upon himself to hunt down the SS officer who ran it. That brings him into contact with the famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal (Shmuel Rodensky) and ODESSA, a secret organization of former SS members.
Continue reading “The Odessa File”
Drew Northcott is a British artist, whose work includes these lovely faux pulp magazine covers.
Continue reading “The Art of Drew Northcott”
Thought the 1950s couldn’t get any scarier? Think again. Imagine communists ruling all over Europe, the Soviet Union stretching from Finland in the northwest to Port Arthur in the southeast, Britain under the sway of “Big Brother”, America ruled by President-for-Life Douglas MacArthur and East and West vying for influence in Africa and the Middle East.
This atompunk world is on its way to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) and, in Britain, could culminate in the events of Chris Mullin’s A Very British Coup (1982), in which civil servants, spies and business leaders conspire to bring down a left-wing government (our review of the 1988 television adaptation here).
Other inspirations include Alan Moore’s and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Black Dossier (2007) and the Command & Conquer: Red Alert video games.
Continue reading “A Scarier Cold War”