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Gala Nocturna

For those who are not familiar with Gala Nocturna, it is a Gothic gala organized in Belgium by Daila Laika that attracts guests from literally all over the globe. I believe it actually has more foreign visitors than Belgians present. It is held yearly, in a fantastic location that adds to the atmosphere and is known for its fantastically outfitted guests, themes, on site photo shoots, acts (which have ranged from fashion shows by Viona and Vecona to dance recitals, dance and musical performances) and absinthe bar. It’s one of the few Belgian events, that actively welcomes the steampunk aesthetic, so you can always see a couple present. Continue reading “Gala Nocturna”

The Future as Imagined by the Past

The genre of steampunk is often inspired by the nineteenth century, the Victorians, and futurism. It’s about alternate futures or futuristic ideas of times past. But how did the Victorians view the future?

The nineteenth century was a time of many rapid changes. In a fairly short span of time many scientific breakthroughs were made, many new objects and machines invented. Things moved at a fast and exhilarating pace. It could be compared to the current developments around the internet and computers: things are changed and invented at such a speed that it’s hard to keep track sometimes, and you can reminisce with your friends about times when no one had a mobile phone. Just like that, Victorians reminisced about times without diesel power, electric motors or bicycles.

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Three Cheers for International Steampunk

It has been a while since I contributed to this blog, a shame, really. I have been occupied elsewhere and there is this annoying thing called the day job.

What has occupied most of my leisure time is the planning of the European Steampunk Convention. Which brings me to today’s topic. When I started planning I had thought we would get steampunks from the usual places. You know, the countries who have been part of the European Community longer than all the others. France, Britain, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Germany, you get the idea.

What I did not expect was the feedback from Croatia, Russia, Belarus, Scandinavia, Slovenia. What I expected even less was people from Mexico and Argentina showing an interest in this.

I have since looked into how the scene manifests from Terra de Fuego to Trondheim and from Mexico City to Moscow.

The only thing I can say: The next person who tries to nail down what the steampunk scene is all about will be forced to wear a hollowed out, six-day-old watermelon over the head for a day.

The more you look around, the more you see there is a lot of difference from country to country, region to region, sometimes even city to city. Continue reading “Three Cheers for International Steampunk”

Tales of the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD

Tales of the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD

Those that have been reading the Gatehouse Gazette and this blog are no doubt aware of Hugh Ashton’s works, such as Beneath Grey Skies and Red Wheels Turning. I am glad to report that aside from producing excellent alternative-history works and contemporary thrillers (At the Sharpe End), Ashton has now written a truly fantastic Sherlock Holmes book.

This work contains three new tales, stories written up by Dr Watson, the chronicler of Mr Holmes.

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J. Edgar Falls Short

J. Edgar

J. Edgar, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was released in the United States late last year, but we didn’t have a chance to see it here in Europe until last week.

The biopic about the former FBI director, directed by Clint Eastwood, is a great history piece but ultimately disappoints because there isn’t much of a storyline.

DiCaprio absolute submerges himself in the role and excels as “the most powerful man in America.” The costumes, the décor, the lighting all enforce a sense of nostalgia that should appeal to dieselpunk enthusiasts. The movie shows a lot of history, from the anarchist hysteria of the early twentieth century to the 1930s war on Crime to fears of communist subversion in the 1950s and 60s.

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Red Wheels Turning

Red Wheels Turning

For the fans of Hugh Ashton’s other alternate-history novel, Beneath Gray Skies, this novel also features that book’s protagonist, Brian Finch-Malloy.

Now I have never read Beneath Gray Skies, but this wasn’t a hindrance at all, as Red Wheels Turning is set a few years before the events in the earlier novel. Therefore you do not have to have read them in the right order, even though they are part of the same timeline. Where the next installment will fit in this timeline I’m not sure, but for now you’re fine reading this one without the other.

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Do They Like Us?

There has been enough lament now about steampunk going mainstream. I am still not sure whether or not steampunk has actually gone mainstream or will ever really get there, but one thing is clear: steampunk is no longer underground.

I guess all the people who are now lamenting pop videos with steampunk content also had a hand in bringing it out from cellars and parties in unknown clubs.

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The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe

Some days just don’t go very well for the Doctor, as you could already see in the prequel to this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special: The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe.

The story starts pretty explosive, with the Doctor ending on Earth in something of a predicament. Luckily for him, the very friendly and caring Madge Arwell lends him a hand and gets him into a his faithful Tardis. It is pre-World War II England and Madge’s family is happily living in a quiet village.

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Holmes, Watson Battle Moriarty in Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Guy Ritchie is at it again with his spectacular reimagination of the great detective. Robert Downey returns as the most outrageous version of Sherlock Holmes we’ve ever seen and Jude Law is impeccable as the loyal Dr Watson, who is again thrust into an adventure quite against his will.

There’ll be no spoilers in this review — that is to say, there’ll be no information that will spoil the movie experience but some tidbits of information about the plot, so if you’re puritanical about it, don’t read further!

Continue reading “Holmes, Watson Battle Moriarty in Game of Shadows”