Friday, April 29, 2011

Steampunk Events: 29 April, 2011 to 1 May, 2011



The Steampunk convention season is in full swing, with two major conventions taking place this weekend!  Starting with the Canadian National Steampunk Exhibition, which will host a star-studded field of Steampunk luminaries (including Mr. Mike Perschon (from the Steampunk Scholar), Professor Elemental, and Miss Jaymee Goh (writer and blogger), to name but a few), fantastic events (a plethora of lectures, gadgets galore, ladies Steampunk fashions, and (one I will to my dismay) an “Extraordinary Gin Tasting”), plenty of Steampunk Gadgets, Music, Literature, and so much  more!  If one has somehow missed the proverbial boat on the Canadian National Steampunk Exhibition, by all means to endeavor to attend, if at all possible!  For more details, a schedule of events, and up-to-the-moment news, please do visit their website, at: http://www.cnse.ca/



If one’s plans precludes a trip north of the 48th parallel, fear not!  Aetherfest will be in full swing in beautiful San Antonio this weekend!  With special guests, stupendous music, and visits from the Airship Isabella and Mr. Addisyn Madd and the Landship Dead Betty, there is certain to be plenty of Steamy goodness deep in the heart of Texas!  For more information, please visit the Aetherfest’s website, at: http://aetherfest.tumblr.com/

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Unwoman’s Kickstart project is almost done…!



Miss Unwoman’s Kickstarter narrative!

As first mentioned (to me, anyways) on the outstanding blog Trial By Steam, Miss Unwoman is currently in the process of developing an album which will be dedicated to covers of songs from the era beginning in 1980, and spanning to 1995.  Miss A.E. Flint, a much more eloquent writer has detailed Miss Unwoman’s endeavor (which can be located here), but after you visit Trial By Steam, do consider a following visit to the Kickstarter site in question, in which a fantastic selection of options remain available, including the possibility of choosing the cover art for the work, or even a choice of a song for the album!  For more details, rewards for pledges, (and donate, as the endeavor only requires about $300/USD to complete, if you are so inclined), to take a peek here: Unwoman’s Kickstarter location (… and do visit her main location here: http://unwoman.com/)

{As always, a tip-of-the-hat to Miss A.E. Flint for getting the scoop on such an excellent project!  Be mindful to add her blog, Trial by Steam to your favorites, if you haven’t already!  I certainly have – its a must-read Steampunk blog!}


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Steampunk Bible is out!


Via Tor.com Facebook feed, I learned the Steampunk Bible is currently on the shelves in many a fine bookstore, just waiting to be purchased!  The official title, “The Steampunk Bible, an Illustrated Guide to the Worlds of Imaginary Airships, Corsets and Goggles, Mad Scientists, and Strange Literature“, by Mr. Jeff VanderMeer and Miss SJ Chambers, is certainly to be the “must purchase” Steampunk book of the year!  To obtain the proverbial jump on your associates, one can always visit Amazon and acquire your copy right here!  (And do consider a nice review once your done!)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Results of the Virtual Steampunk Worlds poll, and further updates…



The latest poll results from the poll question regarding ones involvement between Virtual and Real World Steampunk completed a few weeks ago, but a review of the results are enlightening.  Taken from a direct Yes/No involvement, the percentage seem to indicated that a bit over half of all who are involved in Steampunk tend to participate in some sort of Virtual world analogue of Steampunk.


(Note: This graphic is competing to become a “real toy”…

Of course, statistics are always left to interpretation, so a further breakdown is logically in order.  The first two choices involve regular immersion into Virtual Steampunk, and account for approximately 36% of respondents to the poll question.  This is followed by a vague question of occasional involvement in Virtual Steampunk with the definition of vague left to the respondee.  I originally took it to mean involvement of say, once or twice a month, but I postulated that it meant that an infrequent involvement in the medium which accounted for 21% of the answers.  Finally, those who either tried and did not quite find it to their liking, or those who find that Virtual world Steampunk holds little or no interest, accounted for a sizeable 41% of answers.



So, what do these results mean?  Well, I could/would argue that it means that the Steampunk genre is one of the first fictional communities which leverages Virtual technologies (along with existing social mediums) to promote and enhance its existence.  Though one can easily argue that existing virtual world technologies are certainly lacking, and will be more involved in future (Second Life is certainly no Matrix like existence), the ability to design object unique to the genre (e.g. Airships, underwater cities, and the sort) certainly contribute to the overall background of Steampunk.  As the Steampunk Tribune straddles both Virtual and Real Steampunk worlds, I do try to keep up-to-date with the going ons of both, though over time, Ive resorted to maintaining the Steampunk Links to attempt to keep abreast of both!  As always my thanks to all who kindly took part in the survey!

The statistical results of the poll are ass follows

Yes, I am exclusively involved with Steampunk via virtual experiences 38 votes (22%)

Yes, I am involved with Virtual Steampunk and Real World Steampunk circles 24 votes (14%)

I am occasionally involved with Virtual Steampunk 36 votes (21%)

No, I tried “Virtual Steampunk”, but it wasn’t for me 7 votes (4%)

No, I am not interested in “Virtual Steampunk” worlds 62 votes (37%)



Continuing on with social mediums, I have been slowly updating what has become one of the more popular aspect of the blog as of late, the Facebook Steampunk links!  About twenty to thirty more links have been added to the larger subheader (above, under the banner), and I have arranged a work around bloggers limitations, so I will be able to post yet even more links as I locate them.  If a link is not listed, please dont hesitate to leave a comment or send an email regarding this getting the word out is of paramount importance for Steampunk endeavors!



Finally, Ive added more to the subheader under the banner, to highlight more Steampunk related topics.  I do have various items coming and going, until a reasonable mix is reached, but for now

A) I will be adding to the Esty groups as time allows.  If you are a Esty business owner, and wish to have your endeavor listed, please do drop an email with a bit of information and a link.

B) I will be de-rezzing the Steampunk Bazzar next month.  Unfortunatly, it was a good idea in theory, but its execution is both a bit limited, and the Steampunk Facebook listing is much more effective at listing new Steampunk endeavors.  All said, it will be departing in early May.

C) Finally, I will be updated more SL Steampunk items which have gone to the wayside as of late.  The Steampunk Travelouge is back, and the Steampunk Shipyard will be next, with highlights on Nautical Steampunk, and updates on the two major Steampunk Conventions which will pay homage to Mssr. Vernes classic writing this year SteamCon III and TeslaCon!

More to come, so please stay in touch!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

New New Babbage video production!



New Babbage’s Mr. A. Cleanslate released a new video highlight New Babbage, and as I’m not one shy to highlight the City-State, it certainly deserves a bit of space on the Tribune!  Please do enjoy!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Steampunk LARP – The Rise of Aester


Map of British America, by Rise of Aester

Alternate realities have been a trope I’ve followed for many years, from Phillp K. Dick’s Man in the High Castle, to the current Fringe series on Fox, trying to see what “could have been” is fascinating to me.  To take a Steampunk twist on alternate realities (which I would suppose by default Steampunk is an alternate reality), the Live Action Role Playing (LARP) titled The Rise of Aester!


Introductory video of the Rise of Aester

To quote is a narrative of the endeavor from the Brass Goggles forum (from the fellow who developed the above map)…

Twenty years of violent seismic activity and a 100′ sea rise.  The southeastern coastline of North America on both the Atlantic and Caribbean coasts moved inland at least ten miles, in some areas as far as fifty miles.  Obviously most of Florida is a total loss.  You’ll also notice that there is a massive bay that now exists inland of San Francisco.  The entirety of the San Joaquin valley is now an inland sea that connects to the Pacific at San Francisco.  The Gulf of California moved north fifty miles as well.

The review of the work from RPG.net was very positive.  The only “bad” thing that was mentioned was the immense depth of the work – not something you could read in twenty minutes and start involvement with!  As many of the Steampunk come to fruition, if one wishes to expand one’s persona beyond appearance, I would certainly recommened a look at the Rise of Aester!  For more details, please view… http://www.riseofaester.com/

… and … 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Steampunk Couture Spring 2011 Collection videos…


Steampunk Couture, one of Steampunk earliest fashion houses, has produced a pair of videos, highlighting their exclusive and limited edition works.  They are currently very busy re-establishing their on-line presence, and are engaged in other major changes to their endeavor, but to learn more about their efforts, do pay a visit to their current website, at: http://www.steampunkcouture.com/

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Steampunk Travelogue: Cala Mondrago


The Palace, at Cala Mondrago

Today’s Travelogue features a visit to Cala Mondrago, unique in the Steamlands as it veers from the European-focused aspect of Steampunk, to a less common African/Asian influenced version of Steampunk.  I was fortunate to be able to impose upon Miss Bianca Namori, the sim owner, for a few moments of her time, so she could provide a bit of background about Cala Mondrago….


The Steampunk Tribune: Could you tell a bit about your sim’s inception and inspiration?

BN: Believe it or not, Cala Mondrago is a Steampunk sim that exists in the desert. Incorporating the Middle Eastern and Orient cultures,  Cala Mondrago is a dream that we hope will spark ideals within the norm of Victorian Steampunk, and set them on fire! Like most sims, we have an eclectic mix of residents.  From merchants to mystics, roleplayers to those who simply enjoy being a part of the community. But most of all, Mondrago is here for fun, and hopes to brand Steampunk in a different light – one that is full of inspiration and expression.



Classic edifices in Cala Mondrago


SPT: There are a good number of Steampunk sim in SL – what sets your sim apart from the rest?

BN: As proudly stated before, it’s our ability to be a desert (and non-gorean) location within the world of Steampunk. As far as I know, Cala Mondrago is the only sand-themed Steampunk sim within the steamlands, and that, to me, just shows the amazing unique opportunity Mondrago has to show the Steampunk world what positive thinking outside the box can do!


The Market Place (at one of its quiet moments….)

SPT: What are the most notable parts of your sim (architecture, builds, ect)?


BN: I have to say that I am completely proud of the whole sim, but what I enjoy the most, beyond all shadow of a doubt, is the Clockwork Palace. It’s a place that offers a breath-taking view of the setting sun, and is amazingly fun for formal balls.  The clockwork palace is not only my home, but what I feel is a great symbol of beauty here in my home.


Lively celebrations at the Laughing Djinn

SPT: Are there regular events which people can visit and enjoy your sim?

BN:

Monday:
7-9pm SLT – Chai Me Up: A mix of Bombay, steampunk, and experimental music hosted by DjPiper Steampunk
9-10pm SLT The Laughing Djinn: A belly dance performance hall in Cala Mondrago that hosts shows for guest across the grid as well as encouraging public dancing afterward.

Tuesday:
7-8pm SLT – Mst3k Theater. Good times with the Vizer of Mondrago MichaelD Mannonen

Wednesday:
7-8pm SLT – The Readery: A community story telling event where stories are built up week by week until finished, and then added to our library.

Saturdays there is another performance of the Laughing Djinn at 9pm SLT, which usually turns into a major event. As Mondrago grows though, we hope to develop our own niche with unique events that the steamlands can enjoy.




Pajama Party at the Laughing Djinn


SPT:  Is there anything else you’d care to mention about your sim?

BN: Cala Mondrago is a dream that has gone both ways for me but it is 100% a great experience that I’m glad I have taken a chance on in my 10 months of SL creation.
I hope to expand to only 3 sims, continue to develop the desert steampunk idea, and share in the bliss and magic that I hope to share for as long as I can here in SL, with everyone. Someone told me when I was having a rough time in SL to find my fun, and not only has Mondrago brought me fun, it has also brought me family that I can enjoy, fight with, and fight for.


Residents enjoying the view in Cala Mondrago!

Miss Namori was also interviewed at the excellent Steampunk publication Beyond Victoriana (Issue #62)!  Do take a moment to learn more about this Steampunk oasis, the consider paying a visit, at: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Cala%20Mondrago/21/163/38

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

“Above the Overcast”, by Escape the Clouds


I’m always on the hunt for exceptional Steampunk music, so when I found Escape the Clouds, I was quite over the moon about it!  Mr. Rossmore’s great instrumental from his album Circumnavigator, is not only an outstanding track, but his visuals of his production are exquisite!  Additionally, his website is fantastically developed, with an absorbing journal, artist background, stunning wallpapers, and so much more!  Frankly, his talent, presentation, and overall production is a high bar to match, and such, I’ll be returning momentarily to finish reading his blog!  To visit his virtual dry-dock, please turn to: http://www.escapetheclouds.com/index.cfm?site=1

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Advertisement for the “Convencion Steampunk y Retrofuturistica”, in Barcelona, Spain, this November 2011!


As any reader of this yellow rag likely knows, I do enjoy posting video adverts of upcoming Steampunk events, and though its a bit out aways, the Convencion Steampunk y Retrofuturistica, which will be taking place this November, has produced a excellent video!  Not quite sure how many people on this side of the pond will be able to attend, but to find out more regarding it, or perhaps even assist it, do consider a visit to their website, at: http://consteampunk.blogspot.com/
Promo Steampunk from Arnau Ros on Vimeo.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Unwoman Serenades Dallas Steampunks


Miss Unwoman, performing for an exclusive gathering

Dallas Steampunk and music enthusiasts got a real treat last night when “Unwoman” played at a Farmers Branch private residence.  You may have heard of “Unwoman” aka Erica Mulkey who has played, recorded, and toured with Abney Park, Voltaire, and The Heavy Sugar Duo as well as perfoming for 10 yars as a solo artist. The news of this private RSVP only event was spread by word of mouth and the internet.  We actually heard about it on the Steampunk Illumination Society forum.   There were at least 8 members of Steampunk Illumination Society there as well as 20 other guests.  Everyone brought food and drink for an informal potluck before and during the event.  


Erica has been a cello player for 21 years.  The first songs she performed were beautiful lilting accacello numbers- meaning only her and the instrument.  She then took a short break and returned for another session with minimal recorded backup music.  Especially interesting was one song  that the backup percussion instrumentals were composed of recordings of her own amplified heartbeat and breathing!  We were quite impressed by her innovation, creativity and talent.  A crowd favorite got the audience involved in singing along to a chorus with her.  



The City, by Unwoman

This concert was very special because of the intimate setting- we got to sit on the floor right next to her for over an hour.  She mingled with her fans and was available to answer questions about her music. Erica is an amazing artist and we especially enjoyed her touch of commenting on what the songs meant to her before she sang them.  Erica also offered the community some amazing deals on her music.  We purchased a red bullet USB drive that has her entire music catalog for only $40.  She also had CDs for sale if you preferred that presentation of the music with cover art.


Erica also performed 2 days later at the first Oklahoma Steampunk Expo in Oklahoma City which was a full three day all Steampunk event.   It was beautiful music, fun interaction, and very well received!  While it could not match the intimacy and the ability to interact so personally as at the private concert in a large living room, this venue still had some of that flavor as fans stood near the stage and swayed to her haunting melodies.  She was scheduled to perform on Saturday at 4pm in the Atrium, but also filled the 3 pm slot, that was supposed to be for “Psych Corporation” when the event organizers found themselves unable to cover that groups plane fare to the event.  This unfortunately happened to a lot of performers for that event, but Ms. Mulkey, and the other performers helped to fill in the gaps created and make it a really fun weekend.  We really enjoyed hearing her play again and that time we were able to dance more to her music!  There was not enough room in the house and we did not want to block the view so we had to settle for simply swaying and dancing in place (while seated on the floor) to her beautiful voice and cello.

To learn more about Miss Unwoman, please visit her website, at: http://www.unwoman.com/ , and listen to tracks from her new album, “Casualties”.

Radha Fagan has written articles for and managed online educational sites regarding Yogic Science, Alternative Religions, and other topics fro many years.  She is also one of the leaders of Kalis Hourglass, a nautical oriented Steampunk/Clockpunk performance art troupe.  She is also the group’s Artistic Director, the Dance Director, and writes and manages the online blog for Kali’s Hourglass.  Radha Fagan additionally is the Administrator for the North Texas Steampunks Facebook website, Co-Organizer for the DFW Clockpunks and Renpunks Group, and an Alternate Administrator for the Steampunk Illumination Society website in addition to being a guest contributing writer for various online magazines. 


(My thanks to Mr. Ramon Leon del Mar for the lead on this wonderful article… you can avail yourself of his works at his website, The Art of Steampunk)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Advert for the Steampunk World’s Faire, 2011!


With the very, very busy Steampunk season heading upon us in May, I figured I would post the latest advert for perhaps one of the great events of the year!  The Steampunk Worlds Faire, taking place from the 20th to the 22nd of May, have posted an excellent advert for their gathering!  Please do enjoy it, then head over to their site for more information… at: http://www.oneiroievents.com/thesteampunkworldsfair/

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Steampunk Travelogue: Whitechapel 1888


Your arrival point, on the mean streets of Whitchapel, circa 1888

 Whitechapel 1888 is a unique sim in the Steamlands – a historical and educational sim.  Nestled away from the main concourse of Steamland sims, Whitechapel 1888 is an exquisite recreation of section of London where the infamous “Jack the Ripper” committed his nefarious acts.


As on enters the city, the feel of the Victorian era permeates your experience

One arrives at an intersection, where a brief notecard can be located, but not much else.  As one explores the sim (which is sadly quite empty the times I visited it), one can either visit the stores immediate to the landing point, with era, or go exploring the different buildings in the build, most with a bit of information which is quite interesting about “The Ripper’s” era.


What?  “Kidney”, “Liver”, and “Bitters”?  And pleasant as well?
Sign me up asap!

A noteable feature of Whitechapel 1888 is the impressive qualty of the advertisement textures.  Classic “plastered/painted” textures line the many walls of Whitechapel, adding an excellent touch to the virtual replication of the sim.


Fantastic advertisement artwork from the era, and G. Orwell Meat Merchants?…
(Perhaps better as S. Upton Meat Merchants… albeit that would be 20 years in the future!)

The sim builders have not only done a wonderful job in providing a historical context to the Whitechapel murders, but have built a beautiful sim to re-create it.  If you haven’t made the trip, I wholeheartedly recommend it!  To visit it, please follow this Slurl http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Jamaica%20Inn/224/58/24


In all seriousness – fantastic educational notes abound in the sim, 
immersing a visitor into the world of Jack the Ripper!

and for further information regarding the Whitechapel murders, please visit



… and on this note, I tp’d out!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Last Steampunk Waltz, by Ghostfire…


Came across this gem, posted by Conselho Steampunk, and as one who enjoys waltzs (and Steampunk, of course), felt I’d make a last minute post of their production.  If you enjoy this work, consider visiting their website for more treasures, at: http://www.ghostfiremusic.com/

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Steampunk Events: 15th – 17th of April, 2011



This week is replete with Steampunk events, starting with the Oklahoma Steampunk Exposition!  The OK Steampunk Expo is three days of concentrated Steampunk, and to reiterate their press release….

On April 15 17, Oklahomas Clarion Hotel at 6200 N. Robinson will be the stage for an alternate reality. For this brief weekend, step into a world where pirates fly airships, doctors hawk potions from a stage, swordswallowers compete with fireswallowers, men display award-winning facial hair, and Tea is verb.


Its the Oklahoma Steampunk Exposition, a convention dedicated to furthering the innovation, creativity, and joy that is steampunk.


Whats steampunk? Steampunk is the hottest new trend, based in the Victorian concept of what the future will be. It touches on art, science, technology, fashion, music, literature, film, television, and gaming. This neo-vintage movement has developed a life of its own, sending tentacles into all aspects of life.


The Oklahoma Steampunk Exposition will showcase yesteryears tomorrow with such performances as Bizzaro, the Optical Illusionist, Knotty Bits Sideshow, The Airship Isabella, the Pickled Punk Sideshow, and more. Such well known steampunk authors as Cherie Priest, Brian Young, James Taylor will be there among others. And musicians love steampunk   Unwoman, and Psyche Corporation will rock the stages.


Steampunk and gaming are a match of epic proportions, and there will be gaming with Magic: the Gathering, Iron Kingdom, Space 1889, and the new LARP: Steampunk Europa.
And to satisfy the craving to own these wondrous contraptions, gizmos, and fashions, there will be a market full of handmade jewelry, clothing, trinkets, and gadgets galore.


If you are able to attend, do make it a point of making time to visit the Oklahoma Steampunk Expo this weekend!  For more information, please turn to: http://www.oklahomasteampunkexpo.com/



Next, on Saturday the 16th, New Babbage’s Piermont Landing presents the Grimm Ball and Dark Fairy Tale Contest!  Under the view of classic fairy tales, the Grimm Ball is homage to the classic tales of the Brother Grimm, whose stories are an essential part of western culture, and most certainly paints a wide spread over the Steampunk genre!  For more details, please visit Miss Carver’s blog, Virtually Classic Fashions, at: http://seabreezegal.blogspot.com/2011/04/what-if-every-fairy-tale-was-real.html



Finally, this Sunday the 17th,  is the opening of our “Steampunk Art Festival”. On Ataria next to Kafe Kruemelkram we present scupltures, objects, vuildings and machines designed by some of the best SL artists and builders like Bryn Oh, Sextan Shepherd, Glyph Graves, Fuschia Nightfire, Canello Capallini, Jenne Dibou, Daalinii Rae and many more plus Jordan Reyne Deezul live in concert. All this on sunday, april 17, 12 PM PDT (21.00 MET).  
To visit, please follow this path!…http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ataria/45/208/63/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

SteamCast for April, featuring an interview with Philip Reeve


The latest episode of the outstanding SteamCast featured an interview with outstanding Steampunk author, Mr. Philip Reeve, author of Mortal Engines and Larklight.  An insightful interview, so do take a moment and indulge in the latest production of the Steampunk council of Brazil!

For more information regarding Mr. Reeve, please consider…

The Steampunk Scholar’s review of Mortal Engines:

The Steampunk Scholar’s review of Larklight:

… and of course, a visit to Conselho Steampunk, at: 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Late 111th Submarine Birthday!


Schematic of the USS Holland, circa 1900

One of the unfortunate things about the travails of daily life, is that one forgets some of the most important birthdays in one’s life.  I have my spouses’ birthday written down in numerous locations, so I won’t forget that one, but one I did miss was the 110th birthday of the US Submarine Force, which was, sadly, yesterday.


The legendary Spanish submarine, El Ictineo (1859)

The reason I mention this particular celebration is, as most who have a passing famiarlity with Steampunk know, submersibles are one of the keystones of Steampunk.  The groundbreaking concept from Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was not just that a submersible could exist, which was established back to Revolutionary days (or perhaps earlier depending on how far back one goes), but that people could live under-the-water for days at a time.


The Argonaut Series of Submersibles (1894 – 1898)

One can see from a historical timeline that the greatest innovations in submersible technology came in what is considered the Steampunk era (the latter half of the 1800s).  Though most are familiar with the Nautilus (either Verne’s or the US Navy’s first nuclear submarine), the amazing experiments regarding subs in the time is impressive.

Mind you, it certainly wasn’t just the United States Navy making innovations in submarines – the effort was actually a world-wide endeavor, as this timeline shows what individual nations were building at the time.  As my experience is limited to the US submarine fleet, and its first vessel the USS Holland (SS-1), which was (traditionally considered) to have been acquired on April 11, 1900 – I do send my apologies to all the other squid-lies who did actually remember yesterday as a “Happy Birthday” (unless you’re stuck doing Field Day)!

I”l be writing more about subs in the future, here and on my sister blog, but here are a few more submarine links I might recommend…

Undersea Warfare: A bit out of date, but at one point was the mouthpiece of the US submarine force.  Excellent articles can be found it in archives regarding both Steampunk and Dieselpunk era submarines.

The Wiki on the USS Holland (SS-1): Basic submariner history

The Stupid Shall Be Punished: Probably by far the best blog about submarines in general and life is like specifically on a sub.  Written by a retired submariner, and frequented *a lot* by active duty and retired submariners, spending a bit of time here provides that ever small peek at life underwater

Nova outline of Submarine history: http://www.submarine-history.com/

Submarine History.com: http://www.submarinehistory.com/
Excellent site, with a nice “Surface” procedure introduction, and lots of great information.

and finally, my sister site – the Steampunk Shipyard, where I attempt to tie in the sea to Steampunk!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stunning fabricated pins, perfect for distinctions of heroism!


The always-charming Ms. Fogwoman Gray-Volare, bent my elbow the other day to a website which produced amazing medallions, perfect for Steampunk Militaria.  She first heard of the locale from a tweet from Mr. Neil Gaiman, the exceptionally talented author and writer, who mentioned the location of this outstanding website, which produces unique works such as the above collectable from Discworld.  Alas, I do need to introduce myself to the series, but in the mean time, I’d suggest a trip to see this, and more works, at: 
http://www.paulkidby.com/pins/index.html

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Steampunk Travelogue: New Barataria



Finding new Steampunk sims in Second Life is always a pleasure, especially when the owners/designers are new arrivals to the Steamlands.  I had the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Darkstar Rikugun, and his lovely partner, Madam Jeanie, the Governess of New Barataria.  Though they were (and remain) quite busy bring New Barataria up to speed for its Grand Opening, I was able to garner a bit of their time for some insights into the Steamland’s newest destination…


The main thoroughfare in New Barataria

Steampunk Tribune (SPT): Could you tell a bit about your sim’s inception and inspiration?


Mr. Darkstar Rikugun (DR): The idea for New Barataria came about in a strange way and I suppose it is a funny story. We wanted a Victorian Steampunk environment and since we were thinking about joining with an existing group of western role play sims, we tried to dream up an idea that would compliment them. So it had to be in the old west, 1880’s. We felt like they had most of the western states already, so we thought New Orleans would be good since it is right next door to Texas. We also thought it would be fun to have pirates so as I studied New Orleans history I looked for pirate stories and kept seeing Jean Lafitte. The more I read about Jean Lafitte the more I wanted to use him in our role play. Since Lafitte disappeared around 1820 and no one really knows what happened to him, I started the story there, leveraging the name of his first colony.
Jeanie has done a marvelous job weaving the Steampunk theme into the sim and the environment.  With pirates, Cajun legends of vampires, and the Steampunk Neo-Victorian style, it makes for something very unique in this genre.

SPT: There are a good number of Steampunk sim in SL – what sets your sim apart from the rest?

DR: Our sim is primarily for role play and there are only a handful of Steampunk role play sims, however the genre seems to be widespread.  The advocacy of a sim strictly devoted to RP allows a serious RP person to make a home in the sim.  We have accommodated this with homes and spaces, shops for RP, and other likely roles for people to assume.  We believe that anyone wishing to experience and simulate this rapidly growing genre should minimally start in our sim.  We also support and will find methods in which our members can easily transport to our alliance partners, like the Port of Kasra.




Some of the many sky vessels which dot New Barataria


SPT: What are the most notable parts of your sim (architecture, builds, etc)?

DR: New Barataria is made up of 2 sims, one of which is completely surrounded by water and the other is surrounded on 3 sides. This design was to facilitate metered naval battles. We have a recreated a fortress from historical accounts of Lafitte’s fortress/home on his Galveston colony.
WE have a beautiful, intricately designed central clock tower that serves as the focal point of the city.  There are Airship docks on each sim. Downtown area of the city is centrally located on the main sim with residential homes around the outside edge of the sim. The city boasts a large hospital, hotel, saloon, cafe, courthouse and a bordello.  Of course, we maintain proper behavior.LOL 



SPT: Are there regular events which people can visit and enjoy your sim?

DR: Being a role play sim, events are not  the focus. However we are planning to have a few. We are planning a quest with prizes. We also plan to have daily in-character dances in the saloon as well as occasional contests such as airship races. Events bring people on an occurrence basis, we want to generate a feeling that our sim is HOME to folksa place to RP, interact, have fun, and satisfy their interests.





SPT: Is there anything else you’d care to mention about your sim?
DR: Although we are new, we have grand plans for growth. Our intention is to create a Role Play that both new folks and experts can enjoy. The   essence of our sim is to have non-stressful, hopefully non-violent, fun. We ask that each person respect the rights of others. There are plenty of sims in SecondLife who state that capture, violent acts, and other behavior are not only allowed, but encouraged. We have decided that the experience in our sim will be one of interest, science, friendship, some intrigue, and of course fun. Of course, the only way to accomplish that is to have folks stop by AND stay. We welcome the neo-RP and the experts.come experience our world, and help us make it better, larger, and the most interesting place in all SL.


Additionally, the Governess generously provided a guided tour of New Barataria, where one can see yet more of Second Life’s newest Steamland gem….




As the poster says, we are recruiting for many roles in New Barataria as we plot to attain world domination.  New Barataria is an imaginary city-state founded by the infamous pirate/privateer Jean Lafitte. The story picks up after his death in 1880 with his colony being governed by his daughter Madame Jeanie.  The city, having been isolated from the rest of civilization for more than 50 years developed its own technology based on steam power.



Your hosts, Jeanie and Darkstar on a stroll together through the city. Though they are not married or formally engaged, they can usually be found together and their goal in life, other than world domination, is to make the residents happy.




Greetings and please allow me to introduce myself, I am Madame Jeanie, Governess of New Barataria and daughter of the infamous businessman Jean Lafitte. Follow me as I take you on a brief tour of our community.




Lafittes old ship still guards the inlet from the sea, having been converted with airship technology it hovers as a solitary reminder of the citys heritage.




Walking through the city streets just as you come off the landing point, in the direction of downtown. The street is lined with shops, a future museum and even an ice cream parlor.




At the first crossroads we come across the mooring towers for the many airships that pass through the busy port city. Once Madame Jeanie took the helm of the city she leveraged the airship technology to build trade relations with neighboring city-states in the Gulf of Mexico and the Americas.  Now New Barataria is a thriving trade center, known throughout the world for its advanced technologies.




After climbing back down from the mooring tower and turning down an alley will take you past the hotel where there are furnished rooms for rent for the weary traveler.



Going on past the hotel and then to the docks where a 7 seas fishing game is setup and open to the public. You can see the residential area in the background with its beautiful Victorian rental homes, in different sizes for different budgets. There is something for everyone in New Barataria.




Here is a shot of downtown. We can see the bank, the law office and the courthouse here, the saloon is across the street and the bordello is a stones throw away.




And here is the saloon, the side of the butcher shop can be seen on the right and the edge of the bordello on the far left.




A view from the edge of town, headed toward the fortress. 




And here is the home of Madame Jeanie and her companion Mr Darkstar. This home is surrounded by a fortress armed with cannons, complete with barracks and stables for the city militia. This is a somewhat historically accurate recreation of Jean Lafittes last home on the island of Galveston, Texas before he was ran off by the US Navy and disappeared from history. The backside of the fortress looks over the sea toward with its cannons aimed and ready for intruders.




Across the sea is an island inhabited by air pirates and here is their hideout. The sky is their home and they are rarely seen on the ground.





At the foot of the pirates mooring tower where their airship is anchored, there is an old graveyard for the city. It is said to be haunted and there are legends of vampires.



And this is the final stop on our tour, the inside of the undertakers house. As you can see the coffins are neatly arranged and ready for use strangely a few of the lids are missing, I wonder where the undertaker is?


I hope you have enjoyed the tour and will come and see us sometime, perhaps even settle and make your home with us.
Madame Jeanie




New Barataria’s Skymall’s landing location

If you haven’t made the trip to New Barataria, I’d certainly recommend you do so!  Not often one can be part of the basis of a new Steampunk sim, so if so inclined, do follow one of the below SLurls to New Barataria!

Sky Mall: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Darkstar%20Enterprises/181/176/599

Sim: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Darkstar%20Enterprises/196/152/24

(As extensive as this entry is, I do have to give props to the indomitable Miss R. Jameson, with her scoop on New Barataria here!: http://rhianonjameson.blogspot.com/2011/04/where-all-fashionable-pirates-live.html )