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Dirigible Days: Steampunk and Cthulhu in One Web Series

Dirigible Days

The first steampunk-themed web series I came across, and I guess the first one in general, was Riese. Since then, a fair number of such productions have been attempted, with varying budgets and even more varying rates of success. The strangest one I came across was a story completely told through the medium of dance. I cannot remember the name and I found it extremely odd. It was on YouTube, should somebody desire to go looking for it.

Really good productions are comparatively rare, but there are some jewels and about one such jewel I want to talk today.

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Hirokin: The Last Samurai

Hirokin: The Last Samurai

On the planet Aradius, the human interlopers have suppressed the indigenous Arid for years because of their link to the planet itself, called the Wei, and their fear thereof. This resulted in a near genocide of the Arid race and all kinds of unpleasant side-effects that both remaining Arid people and humans alike suffer from.

Centuries later, the planet is a wasteland and humanity is led by the tyrant Griffin, who uses his deacons to hunt down the Arid and their rebel leader, Moss.

Enter our reluctant hero, Hirokin, who crosses paths with the despot and ends up with the choice between standing up for the Arid and leading their rebellion so they can once again be free — or avenging his family.

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Archeon Midwinter Fair

Archeon Midwinter Fair Netherlands
Nautilus-style car at the Archeon Midwinter Fair, the Netherlands, December 9 (Hilde Heyvaert)

The annual Midwinter Fair at the archaeological and historical museum compound of Archeon is probably traditionally the last event of the year. Partially indoors and outdoors this fair exhibits the best of history, music, fantasy and various subcultures and fandoms. And despite the horribly cold and bad weather of this edition, the turn-out of visitors seemed to be really quite large (at least on the Sunday when I was there). Continue reading “Archeon Midwinter Fair”

Evidence of Past Misdeeds

Evidence of Past Misdeeds

The talented Nathaniel Johnstone has compiled both his EPs Brazilian Surf Mafia and The Heart Unwound into Evidence of Past Misdeeds, which I’m pleased to review whatever title is used (although it really is Evidence of Past Misdeeds).

I really love how this work stands out among that of other (steampunk) artists. It’s a heavily ethnic-influenced, mostly instrumental work, but don’t let the lack of “proper” lyrics fool you, it really is an excellent collection of songs that pulls the heartstrings of the listener and that will make you dream of adventure, just as steampunk music is supposed to do.

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Moonlight, Murder and Machinery

Moonlight Murder and Machinery

John Paul Catton’s Moonlight, Murder & Machinery certainly fulfils its promise of the “anti-steam” steampunk novel.

The year is 1814 and the place Nova Albion. The country is at war with the dreaded Thermidorians from across the Channel, where cities have become vast factories. Nova Albion has outlawed most technology to make sure it doesn’t fare the same lot in life and uses Chosen Men, brave men with special powers, to keep the realm safe.

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The Fires I Started

The Fires I Started

Before I start, I have to admit that before listening to Unwoman I was never much of a fan of the cello as an instrument. After listening to The Fires I Started, it has definitely earned a place in my heart. That alone says a lot about the skill displayed on this particular album.

The most recent full album by Erica Mulkey, better known as the solo performer Unwoman, The Fires I Started exceeded its Kickstarter campaign goal by several times and it’s easy to understand why. This sixteen-song release is a modern marvel, a brilliant juxtaposition between contemporary beats and classical cello-playing, combined with Unwoman’s strong vocals that hit the listener just right.

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Emporium Vernesque

Emporium Vernesque Arnhem Netherlands
Emporium Vernesque in Arnhem, the Netherlands, November 10 (Hilde Heyvaert)

The organization of this brand new steampunk convention has done a great job offering a wide variety of workshops, performances of both bands and tribal dance, and other things to participate in such as a group shop taken with an actual antique camera, the steampunk bake-off and many others. Aside from that there were several bars offering a wide variety of decently priced drinks, you could get some food (either from the venue or one of the many places within walking distance in town) and a handful of shops offering their wares to visitors. Continue reading “Emporium Vernesque”