The First Men in the Moon

BBC Four are to screen a new adaptation of HG Wells’ classic The First Men in the Moon.

Written and starring Mark Gatiss (The League of Gentlemen & Doctor Who), the drama tells of a boy who meets a 90 year-old man with an extraordinary claim. As the world waits for the crew of Apollo 11 to take that first small step for man, Julius Bedford (played by Rory Kinnear) claims that he got there first.

Bedford tells the lad about a chance encounter with Professor Cavor (Gatiss) who had developed an anti-gravity technology known as Cavorite.

But could the Professor’s invention take the two young adventurers to the moon? And, more importantly, could they get back?

A trailer has also been made available.

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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LEGO steampunk

One of the joys of parenthood is watching my daughters starting to play with LEGO, one of my favourite childhood toys. They have quite a long way to go to reach the dizzying heights of LEGO artist, Guy Himber who won the award for ‘Best Art’ at the 2009 BrickCon Lego convention with this stunning recreation of the iconic 1902  Le Voyage dans la lune man in the moon.

Is that bits of LEGO Star Destroyer I see in there?

Guy is no stranger to steampunk but this latest creation surpasses anything he’s done before. Although, I must admit, I am quite fond of his Victoria Steam Carriage

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 9:38 am  Leave a Comment  
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What every iPhone needs… a corset?

Karline's 'sexy' iPhone corset

If you’re under the impression that your iPhone isn’t a sexy enough piece of technology while not give it a little oh-la-la-la with a bespoke corset. Instant steampunk?

Head over to Urban Threads for the tutorial.

Of course there are other iPhone options from a steampunky vinyl skin or even an application of nail varnish. Hmmm. Not sure about that last one.

Can’t make my mind up on this iPhone stand either.

There must be a cool iPhone modification out there somewhere?

Published in: on February 11, 2010 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Steampunked K-9

K-1889 by James Richardson-Brown

After the steampunked Dalek last week, I felt I really must share this extremely cute reimagined K9. The artist James Richardson-Brown created it for a piece of Doctor Who fan-fiction entitled Time and Tide.

It looks to me as if he’s used the Character Options remote controlled K9 as a base.

Just when I thought that the Doctor’s mechanical mutt couldn’t go more retro…

Source

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 2:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Gentleman’s Duel

A funny little diversion for a Wednesday morning. Blur Studio’s A Gentleman’s Duel has it all – pompous aristocrats, vicious poodles, giant steam-powered battle robots and ridiculously bouncy boobs. Enjoy!

There is a great interview with Tim Miller and David Stinnett of Blur about A Gentleman’s Duel here if you want to find out more.

Published in: on February 10, 2010 at 7:05 am  Comments (1)  
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Happy Birthday Jules Gabriel Verne

The father of science fiction – 181 years old today.

Many happy returns.

Published in: on February 8, 2010 at 9:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A quick thought…

Interesting tweet by undeadbydawn:

“I get very irate that all uk steampunk is London based. There really are other cities.”

By coincidence I start writing a steampunk short story based in the West Country, but is undeadbydawn right – do you know of other Bristish steampunk that isn’t in the capital?

If so, email me and let me know or leave a comment below.

Published in: on February 6, 2010 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  
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Getting married Steampunk style

Coming via the Weddings Unveiled Blog, this was the happy day of victorian enthusiasts Bonnie and Daniel who tied the knot at the  perfect twin locations of Union Station – a gorgeously restored 19th-Century railroad station in Nashville Tennesee – and the Cannery Ballroom. Pure steampunk romance…

And there even a little vaudeville-styled movie of the big day. Steamblog send their congratulations to the happy couple.

Bonnie & Daniel’s Vaudeville Steampunk Wedding via  Vimeo.

Published in: on February 5, 2010 at 5:16 pm  Comments (4)  
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Get your clicks – Friday 5th February 2010

New every Friday on the Steamblog –  a regular series of posts that provide quick links to the latest steampunk mutterings and news around the internet.

Going back to the Future
The Guardian asks why steampunk is back in vogue. Did it ever go away?

Ebay armour
Not long to grab your own steampunk medical attachment on ebay (pictured above). That price could raise your blood pressure though.

Ada Lovelace Day
Share your love for your favourite woman in science. Who’s your heroine? Don’t know who Ada is? Find out thanks to the good old BBC

24 Steampunk weapons
Arm yourself sir!

Steampunk style in the NY Times
“I’m so sick of baggy pants hanging off your bottom,” he said. “This is more refined. It goes back to a time when people had some dignity.”

Published in: on February 5, 2010 at 8:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Cool cheetah couriers

Weighing in a 18 kilos this spectacular cheetah was produced by Andrew Chase over a period of 10 weeks (around 60 hours in total) and measures 127cm from nose to tail. Part of his ‘Timmy’ project, the robot cheetahs are used a couriers around a steampunked underworld. The crazy Timmy universe is poulated by hulking elephants and telescopic giraffes. Timmy itself is a cute little robot Trionic Morphatractable Engineer (or TME to its mates).

The motion captured film before shows what the cheetah sculpture would look like mid-run.

The steamblog is looking forward to more marvels in Andrew’s mechanical menagerie.

Published in: on February 5, 2010 at 7:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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“You have exterminated me sir!”

Steampunked Dalek by Peter Michael Tulay

And just because I’m a Doctor Who geek, ladies and gentlemen I present a steampunked son of Skaro…

(via Ancient and Forever)

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 4:21 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Japanese flying submarines

The Atragon from Atragon (1963)

A quick heads up to a fascinating post of Japanese scientific romance and the Imperialist adventure stories of Shunro Oshikawa full of patriotric fervour and giant flying submarines with giant screws on the front over at Voyages Extraordinaires. A real shame that these were never translated into English. I better start learning Japanese then…

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Steampunked: Batman

Another busy day, but found the time to gather this artwork inspired by a recent post on Brass Goggles. I remember reading Gotham by Gaslight back in 1989 in the middle of Tim Burton Batmania. It was the first DC Elsewhere graphic novel, where DC Comics characters are put into alternate timelines or realities and it blew me away. It seemed such a fresh idea, re-imaging such a familiar character in a Victorian setting. Of course these days the internet is full of steampunked Dark Knight Detectives and here are a few of my favourites I’ve stumbled upon.

by Axigan via Deviantart

The Gotham by Gaslight Batman by thehand via zbrushcentral

Custom action figure by Sillof

by Dominus via Pandemoniumart

Custom action figure by Randysactionfigure via Figure Realm

by Little Katydid via deviantart

by Katie Cook via Sounded Good on Paper

Steambat by Broken Toys via Flickr

Have I missed your favourite steampunked Batman? Then email me today with a link or leave a comment below. Oh, and why has no-one done a steampunked Harley Quinn?

Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 7:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Dark and dirty dirigible

Been up to my eyes in real life today so not much time for a detailed post, but had to share this link sent to me by Henry-X, a steamblog reader.

Landscapes L51 by Gutalin

Dirty, industrial and just plain huge, the texture on this steampunk/ dieselpunk/ blimppunk concept is staggering. Just look at those little follows to the left of the airship. Head over to ZBrushCentral to see it in more detail.

Thanks for the tip, Henry-X. If anyone has any more steampunk art they want to share then email me today or leave a comment below.

Published in: on February 3, 2010 at 11:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Blast a buffoon

I’m off to Oxford today to visit the Museum of the History of Science’s Steampunk exhibit so in the meantime why don’t you have a go at blasting your chums with Dr Grordbort’s patented Blast a Buffoon. Simply upload their picture and fire away using one of three singularly futuristic weapons.

You can choose:

  • The Righteous Bison

    The Righteous Bison, which will cause your target to burst open like a poisonous pustule. According to the brochure the Bison “is about the same weight as a small brown trout (or two pints of Pale Ale) and can be fired continuously without exhausting the sportsman.”

  • The Victorious Mongoose

    The Victorious Mongoose that will reduce them to a pile of charred bones. The world’s first concealable ray gun is “able to project a conical emission for up to seventeen yards, the Victorious Mongoose will obliterate four pounds of Budgerigars in three fascinating seconds.” Golly.

  • The Pearce 75 Atom Ray Gun

    or the Pearce 75 Atom Ray Gun which will quite literally leave them in pieces. Like all of Dr. Grordborts Infallible Aether Oscillators the gun is “the perfect addition to a gentleman’s study or a deterring centerpiece for a lady’s powder room or chiffonier.”

OK, so the flash game itself may get all-too-tedious all-too-soon, but the rest of Dr. Grordbort’s emporium deserves a browse. These replica weapons, designed by Greg Broadmore, may be a little of the expensive side for your casual steampunker (my wife raises eyebrows when I spend our hard-earned dosh on Doctor Who toys. Imagine what she would say if I returned home to tell her I had forked out $155 on my very own Righteous Bison blaster?) but you have to admire the loving care the site has been put together. Did you know for example that the material used to fashion the weapons – Imitation Metal – is a light-weight compound that looks and feels remarkably like plastic under Earth conditions. Funny that.

Discover how you can arm yourself against the Moon Men by heading over to Dr. Grodbort’s.

Published in: on February 2, 2010 at 7:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Of Osirian oddities and murderous mannequins

After nearly five years of marriage my long-suffering wife has stopped rolling her eyes when the postman delivers yet another package to our door. There’s every chance that the contents are completely useless, infinitely geeky and will soon be cluttering the already groaning shelves of my study.

Toy trouble - One of Sutekh's Mummies arrives to clutter our courageous writer's shelves

Today’s arrival was a case in point. I was far more excited than a 36-year old man should be in pulling a new Doctor Who action figure out of a box. But what a delightful little chap if you’re a fan of the 1975 Pyramids of Mars. For those who aren’t in the know, the TARDIS lands in 1911 to find a priory somewhere in England menaced by robotic mummies, servants of the Osirian extra-terrestrial and part-time Egyptian god Sutekh the Destroyer who is banged up on the Red Planet.

The first clip I ever saw of this Doctor Who story was a hapless poacher getting his head crushed between two of these shambling monstrosities, an image that replayed in my nightmares for years to come. Of course when I saw it again years later, there was much less blood than I remember – well, none to be precise – but the mummies themselves were just as impressive, lumbering through an anonymous British forest to do away with Mr Bronson from Grange Hill or setting out forcefields generators hidden in canoptic jars.

In the picture above you can also see the dasterley Weng-Chiang and his Peking Homunculus in the background. As mentioned before, Doctor Who adventures such as Pyramids and The Talons of Weng-Chiang led, in part, to my love of Victorian fantasy and science fiction. I’m giddy with excitement therefore that Big Finish, that redoubtable audio-drama company that has employed me from time to time over the years, is launching a series focused around two of my favourite characters from Talons: Henry Gordon Jago, master of ceremonies at the Alhambra Theatre and eminent pathologist, Professor George Litefoot. The duo were reunited last year for the first time since 1977 in The Mahogany Murderers by Andy Lane. This two-hander has proved so successful that four more audio adventures are due to hit stores in June.

I cannot recommend The Mahogany Murderers enough. It’s an extremely steampunky tale of homicidal wooden automata and develish-doings by the darkest denizens of Victorian London. Both Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter easily slip back into their roles of Jago and Litefoot respectively and the stage is set for more infernal investigations. Roll on June I say.

THE STEAMBLOG BOOKSHOP

The Mahogany Murderers
by Andy Lane
Big Finish (2009)

- Click here for Amazon.co.uk -
- Click here for Amazon.com -

Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm  Leave a Comment  
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A Miscellany of Steampunk

Front cover of Irregular, issue two by Vyctoria Hart

Illustrator Vyctoria Hart has launched a new series of steampunk portraits over at her Deviantart site. A new entry in her Miscellany of Steampunk will be posted every week. Based in Yorkshire, UK, Vyctoria creates artwork based on a world where the British Empire has reached for the stars and established colonies on Mars, Venus and Jupiter’s moon, Io. It is a haunting mix of steampunk and art nouveau, beautifully realised in photoshop.

This week’s is entitled the Reanimator and comes with the following macabre annotation from the artist:

Have you noticed that your beloved is not quite so lively as once she was?
Do you miss her witty conversation, winning smile, rosy complexion and vigorous pulse?
Are you not yet willing to give her up to the arms of Death?
Then you need Doctor Herbert West’s “Reanimator Curative Compound”
Guaranteed to restore the vitality and vigor to the most cadaverous companion

To explore more of Vyctoria’s art check out her web site at phantoms-siren.com and her art blog. Vyctoria was also the subject of an interview in the third edition of role playing game online magazine, Irregular.

Published in: on January 31, 2010 at 7:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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Curious contraptions: The HP SteamBook

What do you do when you want to read steampunk text adventures on something bigger than your iPod? Wait to buy the new Apple iPad?

Of course not.

You pull out the old Hewlett Packard HP320LX palmtop that’s been gathering dust in the cupboard. The 4MB palmtop hails from 1997 and ran on the failed operating system Windows CE 1.0. Useless, you say? Obsolete you say? Not with a 19th century makeover.

That’s what this alaskan steampunker did, throwing in a $3 leather case to complete the look.

The result is quite lovely really.

To read the creator’s original tale head over to the The Queen’s Arctic Expeditionary League

- WANTED -
YOUR STEAMPUNKED TECH
Have you added a little victorian class to a modern device?
Spotted something out there in the aether that you’re
dying to share?
Then email the Steamblog today or leave a comment below

Published in: on January 30, 2010 at 7:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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Curious contraption: The Eye-Pod

Dr Grimm's Eye Pod

Coming via technabob, the Frankenstein-inspired Eye-Pod is a fully functional 1st generation ipod nano which can be worn by a leather wrist strap or mounted on its speaker base, complete with its own Victrola horn. A retractable USB cord is hidden away in the base and you can choose tracks by manipulating its optic-control.

Dr Grymm’s Eye-Pod is currently on display at the Oxford History of Science Museum’s Steampunk exhibition, running until 21 February 2010. Dr Grymm himself is a man of twisted genius, his creations are a marvelously macabre mix of horror and Victoriana. I particularly love his Edgar Allan Poe Nightmare Inducer.

I’m visiting the exhibit next week so expect a full report soon…

Published in: on January 29, 2010 at 7:01 am  Comments (2)  
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Curious contraptions: A novel approach

The ultimate notebook

Remember those old VHS video cases that were designed to make your tapes look like high-brow books on the bookshelf. Well here’s the 21st century equivalent. The nattily-titled Book Book disguises your MacBook as a leather-bounded hardback. Throw away your slick, modern neoprene case and slip the laptop within the Book Book’s vintage trappings. No-one will ever suspect you’re carrying a grand’s worth of kit under you arm plus your pride and joy will be safe from scratches and scrapes. Each book is hand-distressed meaning that no two volumes are ever the same.

Instant steampunkery. Of sorts. And just in time for the iPad.

Published in: on January 28, 2010 at 6:32 am  Leave a Comment  
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