Death of a Bounty Hunter: Free eBook for Never Was Readers

Death of a Bounty Hunter

The publishers of the Amazon top-selling time-travel novel Timeslingers have partnered with Never Was to offer you, our reader, a complimentary copy of their brand-new Weird West adventure, Death of a Bounty Hunter.

All they’re asking in return is a review on Amazon. It’s not an obligation, but they hope you’ll write some words after reading the book.

Blending paranormal, steampunk and Western genres, Death of a Bounty Hunter creates something altogether different.

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The Times of Scrooge McDuck: Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies

Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies page

Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies (1995) is the first of the in-between chapters in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. Keno Don Rosa places it before Chapter 1, calling it “Chapter 0”. It was even written and drawn before Chapter 1, but, as Rosa writes in The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion (2006), which collects all the “B” chapters, it would have been “bad form” to release the two stories around the same time, since they both tell how Scrooge earned his Number One Dime. Hence Of Ducks and Dimes and Destinies wasn’t released until after the twelve chapters of The Life and Times.

The title mimics the wording and meter of “The Walrus and the Carpenter” poem in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass (1871):

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing-wax —
Of cabbages — and kings –“

(Rosa never drew a cover for the story, so that’s why I’m showing you the first page.)

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The Times of Scrooge McDuck: The Last of the Clan McDuck

The Last of the Clan McDuck

If you’re not familiar with the comics of Uncle Scrooge, you’re missing out. The treasure hunts of the globe-trotting “richest duck in the world” draw inspiration from steam- and diesel-era adventures and inspired George Lucas in making Indiana Jones!

Scrooge’s creator, Carl Barks, who is widely regarded as the best Duck artist of all time, never consciously established a biography for Donald Duck’s uncle, but he did reveal tidbits about the old miser’s younger years through dozens of stories.

In the twelve-part The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, Keno Ron Rosa masterfully weaves together every detail Barks revealed about Scrooge’s past with real-world history, from the heydays of the Mississippi steamboat to the Klondike Gold Rush. It’s that real-world history we’re going to explore. Hence the emphasis on the “times” of Scrooge McDuck.

The twelve chapters of The Life and Times are best read in order. They form a narrative whole, from Scrooge’s rise to his fall to his redemption. Eight additional “untold tales” (Don Rosa prefers the term “B chapters”) are mostly pure adventure stories and best read after. For our purposes, however, a chronological order makes sense.

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The Art of Tom Kidd

I hate to play favorites with the artists I feature here, but Tom Kidd’s is the sort of stuff that got me into steampunk. Not only are his paintings beautiful in their own right; they have a richness in detail that makes each a little exploration into a totally different world.

Kidd illustrated editions of The Three Musketeers (1998) and The War of the Worlds (2001) and is working on his own book titled Gnemo: Airships, Adventure, Exploration.

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Maybe Steampunk Is Becoming Too Political After All?

When I argued we should avoid letting our real-world political differences kill steampunk, I was accused of tone policing, caring only about white and straight people (I’m gay), hating on steampunk that doesn’t put straight, white, wealthy imperialism at the forefront, prioritizing the hurt feelings of those who want to oppress others; I was called naive, a racist, the son of skinheads and a complete and utter jackass. (This coming from the sort of people who insist they’re trying to make steampunk a “safe space” for “diverse” points-of-view.)

Steampunk performer Professor Elemental wrote an op-ed for The Steampunk Explorer arguing I was freaking out for no reason and steampunk was doing “better than ever.” Bill Bodden wrote an opinionated blog post, in which he dismissed me as an opinionated blogger and insisted that “new enthusiasts are coming in all the time.” Cora Buhlert argued that if steampunk is changing, that’s a good thing, “because the static genres are the ones that are close to death.”

Yet here we are, one year later, and the same Professor Elemental reports that steampunks are leaving the scene because of political rifts. He speaks from an UK experience, where Brexit has sorted people into opposing camps. The divisiveness and polarization is even worse in the United States.

Elemental’s advice?

  • Don’t walk away from steampunk or exclude people just because of the odd wrong opinion.
  • People who disagree with you are not deserving of hate.
  • Steampunk is and should be for (almost) everyone. If we want our little subculture to thrive, we need to work hard to bring people together wherever we can. (Excluding actual bigots.)

I suppose I should know better than to expect Elemental to be canceled for suggesting anything so outrageous. Let’s hope his appeal will be taken more seriously than mine.

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Comic Con Brussels

Comic Con Brussels, an annual pop culture event, once again set up shop at Tour & Taxis in Brussels on the weekend of February 22-23.

While it is no steampunk event per se, it boasts such a variety of all things geeky and cool that it’s really rather easy to dress up in the style and find some outfits or wares for your home. Several visitors had dressed up in the fashions, or stylish cosplays, which is a great way to meet new people in the scene.

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