Steampunk Magazines Explore the Weird West

Posted by on February 12th,2011

Two of steampunk’s online magazines have recently released issues dedicated to the “Weird West,” a particular subgenre of steampunk that explores the Old American West though with a twist, of course.

Exhibition Hall fifteenth installment has contributions by Diana Vick, organizer of Steamcon in Seattle, Washington; an interview with steampunk author James P. Blaylock; and reviews of related fiction and events.

The sixteenth edition of the Gatehouse Gazette contains reviews of Wild Wild West, Nickel Children and Italian Western comic Magico Vento. Ramon Fagan reports from Texas on steampunk at the Dickens on the Strand festival; Hilde Heyvaert is back with her Steampunk Wardrobe column as is novelist Carol McCleary with a feature about Oscar Wilde’s adventures in the Old West.

Both magazines can be downloaded free of charge!

Great Steampunk Debate

Posted by on May 19th,2010

Starting this May 1, brought to you by the premier steampunk websites, communities and publications, is the Great Steampunk Debate about the ideology of the movement.

Since steampunk inspired a distinct subculture, divorced from its roots in speculative fiction, the question of its politics has emerged occasionally without being ever answered conclusively. Many have volunteered definitions and interpretations of “steampunk” but failed to satisfy the whole of the fandom.

The Great Steampunk Debate offers a forum to steampunk enthusiasts of every kin and kind to debate, and hopefully decide, the matter, once and for all.

The discussion will take place under four headers; the first being “Politics” to exchange ideas about both the internal politics of steampunk and its relationship with the wider world.

Under “Steampunk and the 19th century,” we talk about how the reality of the Victorian era and our modern day world relate and collide. Issues as sexism, racism, class struggle, entrepreneurialism and etiquette can be brought up here.

“Scene” is for discussion about the nature of steampunk as a social phenomena. Is it foremost a genre or a subculture? A hobby or a movement? Real world or virtual?

Lastly, to talk about the relationship between steampunk and its roots in past literature, artefacts, architecture and culture there is the “Inspirations” section.

Go to today and register!

Report from the darker, dirtier side #5

Posted by on January 11th,2010

Desert by Myke Amend

Good Day steampunks! It is time for another report from the “darker, dirtier side” of the alternate history genres we hold so dear.

First things first: there is lots of snow out in these parts of the world and if, like your correspondent, you rather not venture outdoors, know that there is plenty to read online. Issue #10 of the Gatehouse Gazette and issue #5 of Exhibition Hall are both available for download now—entirely free of charge.

Both online magazines feature excellent cover artwork this winter. For the aviation issue of the Gazette, Mr Myke Amend delivered an exciting painting while Molly Porkshanks Friedrich (also on flickr) did an outstanding job for the latest edition of Exhibition Hall. Be sure to check out all of their work—Amend and Friedrich are without a doubt among the finest of steampunk artists out there.

Regular visitors of The Gatehouse might be familiar already with Sjón Refur’s Cinema is Cinema hosted blog. Those particularly interested in Golden Era motion picture will want to follow the companion edition to this fine feature also!

Over at Wings of Steam, you can read Steampunk 2009 Year in Review, listing all the highlights of steampunk during the past year. “Early in the year there was discussion throughout the community over whether or not steampunk was dead,” notes the blog. Not only has that prediction been proven wrong; steampunk has entered the mainstream in fashion and decor and continues to attract interest.

Dieselpunks is crashing into the New Year with a bang. 2010 has them taking a look back at the technology of yesterday and the engineering wonders of today. The future has given us the tools we need to communicate and the tools we need to build our dreams. “All we need is the spirit, and for that we look to the diesel era for the zeitgeist needed to use these tools properly,” according to Dieselpunks.

Artwork by Myke Amend.

Report from the darker, dirtier side #4

Posted by on December 5th,2009


Hello, Brass Goggler! It’s been a while, I’m afraid, but fear not, I’ll get you up to speed in no time.

The newest steampunk fanzine Exhibition Hall released its fourth issue earlier this week. The publication continues to cover recent events, reviews, even a bit of fashion now, and original fiction.

Both Dieselpunks and The Gatehouse have been focusing a lot on dieselpunk architecture lately. Click here for an overview of Tome’s “Art History” series at Dieselpunks and here for all posts about architecture at The Gatehouse.

Speaking of Dieselpunks they recently launched an online gift store for steampunk and dieselpunk enthusiasts. Buy books, DVDs, games, music and jewelry at Amazon via the store to support one of the greatest dieselpunk communities online!

Disney is currently working on something of a steampunk version of Mickey Mouse. According to The New York Times, “the introduction next year of a new video game, Epic Mickey,” will present the “formerly squeaky clean character” as “cantankerous and cunning, as well as heroic, as he traverses a forbidding wasteland.” For a taste of things to come have a dekko at those artworks that are allegedly concepts for the video game. Looks like good stuff, not?

For a fine collection of vintage Bohn advertisements by Arthur Radebaugh, Lord K has an album full of it. For more of the man’s postings, also visit the Dieselpunk blog.

More vintage is available on Dark Roasted Blend: enjoy their Fabulous Las Vegas page, full of photographs and advertisements from the earlier days of the town.

That’s all for today. See you next time!

Report from the darker, dirtier side #3

Posted by on November 5th,2009

Industry by David Holland

Good day, visitor! We have an update again for you today on what has been going on in the darker, dirtier corner of our ‘punk genres.

The website Dieselpunks has an interview with Ghostfire, a band “Unmistakably British and unmistakably steampunk,” according to SteamPunk Magazine. “We live in dark, oppressive times and what we do is reflective of these times,” they say. “We’re fighters and we shall succeed. We believe in what we do; we adore the style and content of all that is Ghostfire and, of course, steampunk.”

The November issue of the online magazine the Gatehouse Gazette has been released, devoted to “Beautiful Industry”. The Traveler’s Steampunk Blog writes: “Despite all the ills industrialisation caused and causes (workers’ exploitation, pollution, rampant urbanization, industrialised warfare) it also created the infrastucture, productivity and basis for advances in science and technology which today provide the highest standart of living the world has ever seen.” And that is exactly what the latest edition of the magazine celebrates.

Also available for reading is the third issue of Steampunk tales with ten original short stories for just $1.99. And a third ezine, called The Condordium is currently in the making. Keep your eyes out for more there!

The Edwardian Promenade is normally not the darkest place of weblogs, but for Halloween, they delivered a nifty post about Hallowe’en In the Gilded Age: a brief history of a holiday that should certainly be steampunk’ed more, we say!

Lastly, for a fine collection of recent dieselpunk fashion styles, stop by at Gearing Up, regularly updated with glamorous photos from both the Golden Era and now.

Artwork by David Holland.

Emmanuel Shiu’s robot

Posted by on November 1st,2009

Mr Emmanuel Shiu is a San Francisco-based conceptual artist and matte painter, originally hailing from Hong Kong, China. His professional work includes films like Hellboy, The Day After Tomorrow and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow—though his contributions to the latter were modest.

There is some impressive concept art for Hellboy, among other films, on display at his Website, and in this particular depiction one can perhaps see some Sky Captain influence after all?

Truly the latest magazine editions

Posted by on October 25th,2009

SPM 6 Gazette 8

As you may have gathered, my last post was published with a little delay, therefore, I give you now the links to truly the latest issues of our two steampunk online magazines:

  SteamPunk Magazine takes on “The Pre-Industrial Revolution” as theme with this issue, featuring the Romantics, alchemy, Luddites, corsets, sculpture, windmills, poetry and the Victorian martial arts in their biggest edition to date!

The Halloween Edition of the Gatehouse Gazette celebrates “Forbidden Tales of Fervor and Fright” with articles about H.P. Lovecraft and the latest Wolfenstein video game. There is also an interview dieselpunk artist Sam Van Olffen and a short story by Natania Barron.

The next issue of SteamPunk Magazine is currently scheduled for release in March 2010. The next issue of the Gatehouse Gazette should appear around the 1st of November this year.

Report from the darker, dirtier side #2

Posted by on October 18th,2009

Silent Empire by Stefan

Good day, ladies and gentlemen! After our first report there is, of course, more than enough left to discover in the realm of dieselpunk so let me share another good bunch of links with you today.

The website Dieselpunks has the pulp works of George Gross and the high flying adventures of Laurent Negroni and Elly Beinhorn on offer, all certainly worth checking out.

New at The Gatehouse is the hosted blog Cinema is Cinema by Sjón Refur, discussing period film from an expert point-of-view.

Dr Damon Molinarius, “steampunk, polymath, philosophe, chrononaut, explorer of the ideal,” posts at the blogs Strange Undisciplined Dreams of Great Things and posts steampunk art and fiction at Strange Dreams. Recent features of interest include steampunk short stories and The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

The Flying Fortress had an interesting post some time ago about the Second Industrial Revolution: a significent event in the economic development of Germany, Japan and the United States for it forebode their predominance in early twentieth century technologies. The advent of electricity, mass-production and consumerism defined the Edwardian era as well as the Roaring Twenties and, as such, it is one of those things that makes dieselpunk definitely different from its big brother, steampunk.

For a look into the future that never was, visit David Szondy’s Tales of Future Past: a bit old but still updated every now and then with wonderful stuff.

And for a little fun, visit The House of the Dead: Overkill where you can make your own grindhouse/exploitation film poster. We must warn you though: “this is adult entertainment!”

Artwork by Stefan from Paris.

High Treason

Posted by on October 9th,2009

High Treason is a 1928 film based on a play by Noel Pemberton Billing. Set in the London of the “future” (the 1950s), the film features cigar-shaped cars and airships over a skyline rather more like that of New York City. The plot resolved about a “Peace League” battling a band of evil agitators while the world’s superpowers stand on the brink of devastating war.

Perhaps more “retro-futuristic” than steampunk (even though there’s dirigibles there!), the film provides an intriguing glimpse into what seemed possible during the Interbellum. As a past projection of the future, it should be of interest to any steampunk enthusiasts, if only because we learn that combat gear of the future includes high heels!

Lots to read!

Posted by on October 6th,2009

The two premier steampunk online magazines have released their latest editions. SteamPunk Magazine’s fifth issue features “everything from emergency welding to a very special guest essay by Bruce Sterling” while the seventh issue of the Gatehouse Gazette is dedicated to “The Metropolis,” with reviews of the 1927 film, columns and an exclusive preview of Toby Frost’s upcoming Space Captain Smith novel, Wrath of the Lemming Men.