Seacombe Island

Seacombe Island

Seacombe Island is the first novel by Karen Garvin. The story follows the protagonist Tom Ashton in his misadventures on the mysterious eponymous island.

We meet Tom as a struggling baker who is neglecting his fiancée, Ellie. He loses both in a fire from which he only barely manages to escape himself. As people suspect him of having caused the fire, Tom turns to his friend, Sam Grey, for help, who puts him up with uncle Edward.

This uncle seems to be in shady business and it doesn’t take long for Tom to get involved. As he becomes a suspect in Ellie’s death, Edward and Sam persuade him to work for them on Seacombe Island.

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The Frankenstein Chronicles, Season 2

The Frankenstein Chronicles, Season 2

A dastardly and murderous plot, the Church is up to something, murder in Victorian London, (mad) science, automata and resurrection. That’s pretty much the theme of season 2 of The Frankenstein Chronicles. An excellent example of the darker side of Victorian storytelling.

It has finally landed on Netflix with its second and (as far as I know) final season.

Season 2 takes off where season 1 ended, with the resurrected man John Marlotte (Sean Benn) trying to solve the mystery that led to his untimely demise, aided and thwarted by a mix of recurring and new characters.

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Lorenz Hideyoshi Ruwwe artwork

The Steampunk Political Guillotine Machine

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.

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Summer Geek Festival Mons Belgium

Steampunk at Summer Geek Festival

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.

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Smoke and Steam

Smoke and Steam

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.

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Sebastien Hue artwork

Can You Be Right-Wing and Steampunk?

To keep up with all the responses to my “Who Killed Steampunk?” story, I’ve spent more time than usual reading Never WasTwitter 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:

  1. Twitter is left-wing.
  2. Steampunk is left-wing.
  3. Right-of-center steampunks don’t tweet about politics.
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