The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers

Let me start by saying that this version of The Three Musketeers may very well be the definitive clockpunk movie.

Those who saw the trailer already knew that this was no canon Alexandre Dumas movie version of the classic tales. The airships, explosions and battle scenes gave that away pretty clearly.

Now we all know that when Hollywood gets involved, it’s either going to suck so badly you wish you could get your time and money back or it’s going to be epic. Thankfully this movie is the latter, and, lo and behold, this retelling of Dumas’ story rocks the airship like you wouldn’t believe.

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Ignition City

Ignition City

In 1930, three bold astronauts reach space. Fifteen years later, World War II is interrupted by a Martian invasion. As a consequences of those events, humanity starts exploring its Solar System and heroic astronauts contact alien species and have incredible adventures.

But that is the past.

The present is the year 1956, when no one cares about alien worlds and the final frontier anymore. Spaceports are being closed down and the only place from which rockets take off is Ignition City, a metropolis located on an artificial island on the equator. Here the last astronauts live in exile.

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Half Full, Half Empty: Russian Dieselpunk

Did you know that only one year ago the most populous dieselpunk community on the Web was the Russian one — about one thousand members? It was also among the oldest, established in 2006.

No surprise: starting conditions for the genre were extremely favorable. It was defined relatively early, in an article by Mikhail Popov published in SF & Fantasy World monthly in December 2004. Actually, this article helped to promote dieselpunk in the same way as a well-known publication in DarkRoastedBlend did four years later. So when in the English-speaking world dieselpunk’s right to exist was questioned and disputed, in the Russian-speaking networks it was legitimate and widely acceptable. Different communities, from weapon geeks to noir freaks, adopted it to label weird devices, retrofuturist art, megalomaniac projects, rare war machines, etc.

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Fistful of Reefer

Fistful of Reefer

David Brown’s Fistful of Reefer was my first contact with fiction concerning the “Old West.” Of course, I had a certain idea of the golden age of gunslingers, but I also knew that this idea was severely flawed.

What first struck me was the intensity of character the first protagonist you encounter displays. Texas Ranger McCutchen is one hard man of strong and firm opinions who knows what is wrong and what is right. And he will shoot you if you disagree too much or get in his way.

Interestingly, the Texas Ranger, a staple hero in American literature, is the villain.

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What Lies Beneath the Clocktower

What Lies Beneath the Clocktower

When I first head of What Lies Beneath the Clocktower, I was delighted. A choose your own adventure novel in a steampunk world! I am a big fan of those adventure books and have quite a collection of the old D&D Endless Quest books, as well as the classic Steve Jackson/Ian Livingstone adventures and Joe Dever’s Lone Wolfbooks. So, I delved into this particular adventure with enthusiasm.

The setting is fittingly moody and slightly dark. The protagonist is an absinthe-addicted gentleman of leisure and he (or rather — you) stumbles into an unexpected underground civilization beneath Paris.

Unfortunately, the train of the story quickly loses steam. There are too many storylines and they do not connect or intersect. Once you have chosen a path, there is no going back. Depending on what choices you make at the beginning (after deciding to actually investigate the commotion), you are in for a really short adventure.

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Steampunk Your Convention Costume

It’s nearly summer and so the convention season is upon us! Certainly there are conventions all year long, but convention activity really reaches its peak during summer.

At conventions, a lot of people want to do something special, like portraying a loved character but in a steampunk way or using an existing setting (Star Wars, Star Trek, Dr Who) and giving it their very own steampunk twist. Why ever should you not be a steampunk Jedi or Starfleet officer or whatever else you love?

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The Triplets of Belleville

The Triplets of Belleville

The Triplets of Belleville bills itself as being something different from anything you’ve seen before. This may not be 100 percent true, as it certainly takes its cues from some of the original animations dating back to the first filmic era and there have been other animators to play extensively with the medium. However, it is a film you don’t see every day with a rather unusual style. The film has a certain dark, dingy quality that’s hard to put your finger on.

Visually, there are a lot of muted colors, with browns and beiges predominating, similar to old sepia photographs. Likewise, character designs are somewhat grotesquely shaped, and some of the scene are just a little bizarre.

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