Wild Wild West Con Tucson Arizona

Are Steampunk Events Really Thriving?

When I excluded events from my analysis in “Who Killed Steampunk?“, critics said I was overlooking the most thriving part of the steampunk movement. Book sales may be down; blogs and magazines may have closed; Hollywood may have lost interest in the genre, but conventions, some said, are booming.

I’m not much of a convention-goer, so I wouldn’t know. But if conventions and other events are where steampunk lives now, I ought to look into it.

So I did.

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Maciej Rebisz artwork

The Art of Maciej Rebisz

Maciej Rebisz is the man behind Space That Never Was, which imagines the Space Race didn’t end. Spacecraft based on the Apollo mission that first landed men on the Moon now travel to Venus. The Soviets reached the Moon. There are crewed missions to Mars. Private space companies flourish. The people of Earth, as Rebisz puts it, have “never stopped dreaming big and aiming high.”

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Panji Andrian artwork

Revisiting Nostalgic and Melancholic Steampunk: Correcting the “Varieties of Steampunk Experience”

It’s been a long time since I left the steampunk scene and an even longer time since I should have. Yet as someone who writes a blog on historical film and literature should know, the past is inescapable. Hardly a month goes by when I’m not alerted by aggregators of academic journals — which I use for my offline life as a history and science educator — that my name has popped up in a paper about steampunk. Invariably these papers are referencing a piece I did over a decade ago in SteamPunk Magazine titled “Varieties of Steampunk Experience”.

Unfortunately, every single academic paper I have seen reference my piece has misinterpreted it, and misinterpreted it in almost exactly the same way. 

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Moorlander

Moorlander

Industrial rivalry, plots for murder, intrigue, politics and a world where wondrous devices are engineered: Moorlander has it all.

At first glance.

The first in a series by Robert T. Bradley, this book takes you into a world where plots unfold all around the main characters.

The author has absolutely done his best to create a fully developed world with fleshed-out characters. It’s great that we’re not lacking backstory. But there is too much of a good thing.

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High Tech Low Life

High Tech Low Life

High Tech Low Life, the cyberpunk band from Okinawa, Japan, came as somewhat of a surprise to the European scene.

Not just a band, but an entire worldbuilding setting with their own characters and concept. Which is in itself nothing new, as many steampunk bands have done that. But their intent on doing better and saving the future is something done so well, I had to go and investigate.

So I sat down with the guys from High Tech Low Life to find out more about them and the terrible possible futures converging in 2069, which is, let’s face it, not that far away!

Which you can read right behind the piece about their music and concerts I witnessed. Stick with it til the very end, because there is a little giveaway!

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The Island at the Top of the World

The Island at the Top of the World

Back in the 1970s, the Walt Disney Company produced a series of adventure movies, some of which fit right into the steampunk genre. One is The Island at the Top of the World (1974).

The movie was co-written by John Whedon, grandfather of Joss Whedon of Buffy, Firefly and Avengers fame.

The story starts in 1907 London, where a British aristocrat is mounting an expedition to the Arctic to find his lost son. He travels there accompanied by an archeologist and the aeronaut and inventor as well as captain of the airship that is taking them there: the Hyperion.

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