Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Final Edition of the Steampunk Tribune

My home in the Steamlands, New Babbage Travel photo #3, 
by Mr. A.E. Cleanslate

Yes, the header is correct.

After much deliberation and consultation, I’ve decided to end the run of the Steampunk Tribune, one of the genre’s longest running continuous blogs.  It wasn’t an easy decision to make, but after six plus-ish years of reporting on the kaleidoscope of Steampunk, its time to end the endeavor.  From my earliest entry (a particularly bad attempt at fiction writing, in retrospect), the evolution from the old “Voyages of a Steampunk Physician” (the original title of the blog), then the Heliograph, and arriving at the Steampunk Tribune of today, it has been a wonderful experience.

Lounging at the Old New Babbage Arsenal, with Jeeves providing a bit of refreshment

Why am I ending the blog?  Well, a number of reasons – with the weightiest of which involve my RL existence.  I recently received a “promotion” at my employ (same pay, more work, but quite enjoyable), which demands more time be spent with it, and in turn, cuts need to be made elsewhere (regarding my time).  I’ve cut back on numerous other aspects (e.g. virtual world involvement, other blogs, etc…), but circumstances led to my decision to reduce my involvement on this little corner of the internet.  I felt the Steampunk Tribune required frequent entries to keep it up to date, and frankly didn’t feel I would be able to spend the amount time I had in the past, to do it justice.  Though readership was still quite good as of the last post (back in July!), which is a testament to the ongoing interest in Steampunk, but I had to make a choice, and this was the end result.

Future of Steampunk

The Steamlands in SL (the virtual Steampunk community), and Steampunk in other venues still progresses, even after weathering the “Great Recession”.  The Independent State of Caledon has contracted a bit, and I’m afraid I don’t recognize many of the new residents, but it holds its place as a steadfast beacon of Steampunk in Second Life – a testament to unto itself that a demand for Steampunk (including locales that are friendly to individuals who are not seeking salacious entertainment that peppers SL).  A hat tip to the Guv, Desmond (and his alt last names), who had the vision and business acumen to shepherd the Independent State to ongoing success.  Kudos, Sir!

New Babbage remains as one of the very stringently Steampunk, but fun-filled genre venues in SL – it has had its fits and spurts in the past, but remains strong, and I see no divergence from its current course under Mayor Tenk.  I still keep a residence there, with my airship hovering over the remnants of the Old New Babbage Arsenal, across from the magnificent Piermont Landing.

There are other Steampunk entities that have come and gone, and new ones that are evolving, which I will keep up-to-date on the Steampunk Travelogue (fewer entries there, but is more of a historical archive for virtual Steampunk).

Aside from SL, Mayor BlackDuckLindsey persevered from the terrible treatment he received from the original Victoiana SL, and re-established Victoiana in InWorldz – the foremost non-SL Steampunk locale on the internet.  His dedication to his dream of an enjoyable and friendly Steampunk world certainly merits a glass-raising of Guinness any day!

Real Life Steampunk

Though Steampunk has received more prominence lately, even being recognized on a regular basis by the mainstream Science Fiction world, I do hope for the best.  Seeing more visibility for the genre (the plethora of outstanding Independent film makers endeavors producing amazing work), and Hollywood even tipping a bit towards recognition of Steampunk (e.g. the small but appreciated winks from the Sherlock Holmes movies), is heartening.

However, my concern with the injection of political machinations of certain groups and individuals will, in my opinion, limit the acceptance of the genre.  Trying to impose a template of ideologies upon the genre is self-serving, and acts as an anchor towards greater futures in Steampunk.  I’ve seen very good writers and bloggers depart from the genre in part due to this circumstance, and individuals I’ve attempted to induce into the beloved genre questioned what they saw as politically correct indoctrination shoe-horned into Steampunk.  People have every right to their own opinions, but this particular eddy seems juxtaposed to the free-flowing essence of Steampunk.

To me, Steampunk is an opportunity to enjoy a different time, with a fictional twist – in Virtual or Real Life.  The genre is very accepting of those who may not feel they fit into other genres – old, young, beautiful, not so beautiful (like me!), etc… Trying to dictate to others how they should act or think during their participation is simply unsatisfactory, (again, imo), but in the end, people vote with their feet with how they spend their free time… and sadly, I think many have.

I promised myself that were I to end the blog, I would not simply let it drift off into the Aether (though I have neglected it for too long), but at the very least post Mr. B’s wonderful video, which, to me, encompasses the modern zanyness and fun punctuated by Steampunk… thus the meaning of being with fun-loving, like-minded old and new friends.

I do have too many thanks to provide, but in a brief attempt to do so…

My Sponsors, who demonstrated their confidence in the blog with RL monetary compensation – my thanks, and may your business endeavors continue with great success

Chrononaut  Mercantile (Outstanding Steampunk gear and attire)

NeoVictoria (A wonderful Second Life Sim)

The ZBS Foundation (Wonderful Stories set in a Steampunk world)

My blogging associates, who during the early days, worked with me to form a nuclueus of blogs to help with the growth of Steampunk – some have gone, others are going strong, and there still remain many superlative online locales to visit (and listed in no particular order)…

Art of Steampunk

The Steampunk Librarian

The Gatehouse Gazette

Steampunk Home

The Airship Ambassador

Steampunk Empire

The Traveller’s Steampunk Blog

Steampunk News

Edwardian Promenade

The Punkettes

My Ear Trumpet Has Been Struck By Lightening

Steampunk Costume

Voyages Extraordinaire

Caught in the Cogs

Steampunk Chicago


Steampowered Inspiration

Ms. Cherie Priest’s website

…and of course, my SL Steampunk blogging associates:

Virtually Classic Fashions

Radio Riel

Wild Worlds

Through the Filter of a Victorian Aesthetic

A Caledonian Journey

A License to Quill

(For an extended list, please do visit the Steampunk Links, located at: http://steampunk-links.blogspot.com/

And on that note, its time for my departure… again, my thanks for spending your valuable time over the years at this little corner of Steampunk on the internet, and I do wish all clear skies, fair winds, and following seas!

 On the Iron Wasp, heading out towards new adventures in the Steamlands with my dear partner Breezy…

(Epilogue… a few months after writing the above piece – I’ve decided to keep two associated Steampunk blogs running, though at a much reduced pace of entry than the Steampunk Tribune…

The Steampunk Shipyard, my “side” Steampunk project, which I focused specifically on Steampunk Aero and Nautical aspects of the  genre (including uniforms, which seems to be its most popular topic).  Based on my RL background, its seemed like a natural fit, and appears to remain popular, and…

The Steampunk Travelogue, documenting virtual Steampunk worlds that come and go, sometimes much too quickly… and occasional updates in the SL/Virtual worlds of the Steamlands).  I’ve kept it since October of 2008, and is a good thumbnail sketch of the history of the Steamlands.

Now, on that note, to quote Dr. Strangelove, “Until we meet again!”…)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Kickstarter funding for the history of Victorian Taxidermy and Mr. Walter Potter..

A bit late to this Kickstarer event, which fortunalty met its funding request, but if one is intersted, there is still six days (as of this writing) regarding a biography of one of the best known anthropomorphic taxidermists of the Victorian era, Mr. Walter Potter!  I shan’t belabor a narrative, especially since the web locale Morbid Anatomy did a splendid job of providing depth and nuance of the gentleman’s history.  As such, I would recommend a visit to Morbid Anatomy’s two articles regarding Mr. Potter, located at:
http://morbidanatomy.blogspot.com/2013/07/victorian-anthropomorphic-taxidermist.html … and a visit to the endeavor’s successful Kickstarter page, located at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/raygun/the-taxidermy-wonders-of-walter-potter-a-short-fil/  … Do enjoy!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Steampunk Music: Mansara “In The Begining”!

Getting back to posting after my unfortunately diversion, I’ve come across what may very easily be (for my money) the best Steampunk video of 2013!  The lovely Ms. Mansara has not only produced an entrancing song with a Steampunk bent (albeit my French is not what one would consider fluent), the graphics and imagery of her video is breathtaking.  Soothing, enticing, and entrancing are adjectives which all apply to her song, and I’m certainly looking forward towards obtaining her latest album!  For more information (in French, so you may have to do a bit of translating for now), please turn to:
Her webpage, at: http://www.mansara.fr/
Her Soundcloud locale, at: www.soundcloud/mansaramusic
– Please do enjoy!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Steampunk Merchants: Spyder Deisgns!

Photo courtsey of Brilliant Images.com

My apologies (yet again) for the recent disspearance, but I did received word of an excellent Steampunk merchant endeavor, Spyder Designs!  Ms. Morrigana Towsend-Pehlke has a growing endeavor with a cacophany of Steampunk items, so I’d certainly recommend a visit and view her works!  To do so, please visit: http://www.spyderdesigns.ca/

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Copper begins Season 2 tonight!

Now that I’m back from my small journey to the northwest, I’m a tad behind with my entries – including the new season of Copper!  Not as Steampunk as I might have liked, but then again, that wasn’t the main focus of the series.  Still, the period pieces, attire, and atmosphere are outstanding, so if you enjoyed the previous season, do make a point of catching the premiere of Copper, Seasson 2 – tonight at 10 pm!  For more information, please turn to: 
The main BBC website: http://www.bbcamerica.com/copper/
Its Tumblr, at: http://coppertv.tumblr.com/
and of course, its Facebook site, at: https://www.facebook.com/CopperTV

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Order: 1886 trailer released at E3

Ahoy!  My apologies for the lack of updates, as my travels on the road have limited my postings, but a new Steampunk-themed release for the PS4 was announced at E3, and it looks to be an outstanding work!  The Order: 1886 is a projected release for the PS4 with a very unique view as a first/third person shooter, and though the trailer is quite impressive, not much has been released regarding the background of the work.  Still, it looks like an outstanding Steampunk work, and will certainly be worth keeping an eye on the near future!  For more information, please visit:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

J&J; Miracle Mead – a new Steampunk endeavor!

I was contacted by the good gentlemen from J&J Miracle Meadery regarding their new endeavor, Miracle Mead!  As a previous micro-brewer back in the day, I can certainly appreciate the hard work that goes into producing delicious beverages, and one might ask about the nexus between Steampunk and Mead (not that there really needs to be much of one to enjoy a wonderful indulgence)!  I would certainly recommend a visit to their Kickstarter page, as they are currently seeking a bit of assistance with their endeavor – just take a brief trip to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1706858419/jandj-miracle-meadery-the-first-steam-punk-themed to learn more!

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Wall Stree Journal review of … Baritsu (or the “Sherlock Holmes way of self-defense”)!

Over the years I have penned a few articls on the genre martial art of Baritsu, but the Wall Street Journal had a very nice and informative article over the practice (which was demonstrated at the Steampunk World’s Fair earlier this year).  To take a peek at the proceedings, please visit the article at this locale!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

SWAG needs your help!

Running a bit behind on my blog entries due to (yet again) RL issues, but after checking my email, I’m unfortunatly remiss in a pressing matter.  The Steampunk Writer & Author’s Guild (SWAG) is currently experiencing a bit of a financial crossroads at the moment – specifially with the SWAG Ning.  Having experience with the New Babbage Ning, I quite understand the financial toll it can take (hence, why the NB Ning is a memory),but Miss L. Keyes, the Founder of SWAG, is wrestling with the monthly expense, and seeks a bit of assistance….

“If you feel like helping out, please consider making a $1 contribution using the donate button on the home page. Depending on how many of you donate I should be able to pay the fees to Ning for some time to come, and SWAG can keep rolling.

I’ve tried very hard to keep the site free for all members, but in my current situation I can’t pay for it on my own. Donations seem to be the most democratic way forward, and I will make an annual request for donations to cover our costs.

If, you donate more than $1, there’s a good chance we can use the balance to produce an annual SWAG anthology, which has been a project I’ve wanted to undertake for some time. “

The SWAG Ning has been a source of great help with Steampunk fiction writing, discussion, and even promotion – so, if you would like to help out SWAG, please visit its Ning, at: http://steampunkwriters.ning.com/?xg_source=msg_mes_network , and consider a helping hand!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DIY Steampunk goggles at Makerfaire…

A nice little, if albeit rough video of some creative endeavors regarding the work towards personalizing a nice pair of goggles at the 2013 Makerfaire.  Not all process may apply towards your own work, but it is intersting to watch – do enjoy!