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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!

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The Doomsday Vault

The Doomsday Vault

The Doomsday Vault by Steven Harper is a recent addition to the ever-growing library of steampunk novels. And a very worthy one at that.

The times are Victorian and we find ourselves in a London ruled by Victoria and her Albert. The clockwork plague has swept the world, turning people into zombies left and right or worse: mad geniuses known as clockworkers.

Against this background, the tales of our heroes unfold.

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Beyond Aukfontein

Beyond Aukfontein

Dystopian futures where humanity is pretty much on the brink of extinction are a common theme in dieselpunk. It is also the case in J.W. Szczepaniak’s Beyond Aukfontein: An Oddyssey Through a Ruined World.

The setting is a post-apocalyptic world in a not-too-distant future. A world after The Fall. Humanity has been decimated, trying to make use and find wisdom in things of the past (called Oswald), things that hardly anyone can properly use anymore.

It is a world in decline where the inheritors of this broken world try to survive as best as they can and have founded communities of varied sizes and often ruled by madness.

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A Rupture Between Continents?

European steampunk counts fewer numbers than their North American (and mainly US) counterparts. I’m pretty sure that if you would add up all the numbers in the entirety of Europe, you would get about the same as those for the United States alone (the US probably has more numbers than the entirety of Europe, come to think of it).

Originally there was a unison worldwide. Steampunks everywhere where in it for the same reason. If you spoke to steampunks from other continents, the same topics arose and likeminded individuals were easily found, no matter what country they hailed from.

Thankfully this is still the case, but sadly less and less so when one starts comparing some — frankly disturbing — recent developments in the movement in both aforementioned continents.

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Occupy, Steampunk Go Hand in Hand?

SteamPunk Magazine is planning a number of articles about the “Occupy” movement in its upcoming, eighth edition, which is something I’m looking forward to. I’m not a fan of “Occupy” but curious how they’ll make the case that it’s relevant to steampunk.

At the risk of speaking before my turn, some of the comments to the announcement that “Occupy” would be part of the new SteamPunk Magazine worry me.

Writes Ladd, “The occupy movement and steampunk do seem to go hand in hand.”

Really?

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The Specter of Elitism

Recently, an image of Justin Bieber wearing a steampunk glove or gauntlet was going around on the ætherweb.

There have been a wide range of reactions regarding the photograph. Many have voiced their disappointment or even disgust of steampuk going mainstream and someone like Justin Bieber using steampunk paraphernalia. Several commenters on Facebook and a number of forums and blogs have even declared steampunk to be dead because of it.

Well, excuse me, but could somebody please explain to me how Justin Bieber’s use of a steampunk glove and other apparel can spell the doom of a global subculture?

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