Trial By Steam is Taking a Vacation

Fair ladies and gentlemen, it’s been my honor for over 600 posts to bring you daily news from the Steampunk world. I’ve discovered so many amazing things about this incredible subculture and it’s breathtakingly talented participants and I’ve delighted in sharing each of my daily discoveries with all of you. It says something about the vibrancy of a subculture that manages to produce something new to discuss everyday.

The past few months, I’ve gone through some incredible changes in my life. I moved to the city I’ve always belonged in. I got a job where I get paid to write. I moved into my own place.

And all throughout this, there’s been no disruption in service to you, my beloved readers. Since I started writing this blog, I’ve pretty much never had a day away from writing posts.

That’s why I’m taking an indefinitely long vacation from writing for Trial By Steam. I’ll be taking the time to focus on my own creative endeavors. I’ll also be managing the website and contributing the occasional article for the recently resurrected Steampunk Magazine.

During this off-period, I’ll be using the time to reassess Trial By Steam’s future role, if it will have any. If you have any feedback, commentary or ideas on anything at all, please feel free to drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you. Really, I would.

Thank you so much for reading!

Steam Pug

Yeah.

I… I literally don’t think that I could say that would make this any more awesome or hilarious. So just go here to see the original post by Steam Pug’s creator.

And if you want a Steam Pug print, swing by here for some ridiculously charming art.

De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout

Thankfully, I live in a city where things like a car are a luxury rather than a necessity to live a full-functioning life as an adult. I can pretty much to to anywhere in the greater Seattle area on a convenient bus. Public transit is definitely awesome.

But there are days that I wished I had a car. It’s often wet in Seattle, and paper grocery bags and wet don’t tend to get along very well. One time, it started to rain on my way home from the grocery store, and just as I was stepping up to my front door, the bottom caved out of my bag. It was hilarious and tragic at the same time.

If, in this hypothetical world where I needed a car and money was no object, I needed something completely extravagant to proclaim my Steampunk affiliations to the world, this car might be something to consider:

That’s the De Dion Bouton Et Trepardoux Dos-A-Dos Steam Runabout, or La Marquise for short, and it’s the oldest running car in existence, created in 1884.

Want to learn more about this crazy car? Click here for the original article which is packed full of history Steampunk across the board are sure to love.

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Off The Grid Pre-Sales

As everyone’s favorite airship pirates are settling into this weekend’s port of Corpus Christi, I have some great news for fans all over the world. Abney Park‘s latest album, Off The Grid, will be pre-released on October 15th, 2011 at 12 noon PST.

This acoustic album brings a new and different sound to the band that, chances are, you’ve never heard before. Here’s the track list for Off The Grid:

  1. The Ballad Of Ranch Hand Robbie
  2. Bad Things Coming
  3. Evil Man
  4. The Apocalypse
  5. Neither One Lets Go
  6. Off The Grid
  7. Stigmata Martyr
  8. The Wrong Side
  9. To The Apocalypse in Daddies Side Car
  10. Space Cowboy
  11. Aether Shanties
  12. I’ve Been Wrong Before
  13. My Life

Fans of the band will likely recognize many of the songs, with a few new pieces thrown in. Here’s what Captain Robert had to say about it:

This album is a milestone for Abney Park, and many have already called it a huge artistic breakthrough. Not only is it called Off The Grid, the musicians were off the grid when we recorded it! Other then the machine used to make the recordings, everything on this album is completely unplugged. But far from being a handicap, this has triggered an explosion of creativity in Abney Park that has never before been rivaled. The result is an album that I am more proud of than anything to date!

In the hours leading up to the album release, you’ll get the opportunity to log in to an online party to chat with members of the band about the album and await it’s release.

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Big Daddy Nerf Gun

One of Steampunk’s common costuming components is the modified Nerf gun. I’m rather of the opinion that gadgets and clothes don’t necessarily make the Steampunk, but to each their own. Many of you love your Nerf guns, and I won’t begrudge you for that. I have many a good memory of my college days playing Human vs. Zombies and defending myself with naught but a Nerf gun. It was good times.

There’s all levels of modifications when it comes to Nerf guns, from the mediocre to the magnificent. And this nerf gun is most definitely magnificent:

Unfortunately, this piece has already been sold to some lucky Steampunk out there, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t take some inspiration from it. Watch the shop… they’re sure to have other cool things pop up if this is any indication.

And really, if you absolutely must have a Nerf gun to complete your ensemble, one that looks like this will certianly enhance the overall look you’re aiming for.

Steampunk Cake Tutorial

You know what’s awesome?

Cake.

Duh.

Cake is completely awesome.

But what could make cake more awesome? It’s hard to think about, I know, with something as amazing as cake to begin with, how on earth could cake be better than cake. It… just doesn’t make sense.

But there is a way, let me assure you.

What if… your cake was a Steampunk cake? And it looked like this?

“OMG!” you say. “I must have that cake! It will look amazing during my tea party or my weekly mad scientists support group. OMG.”

Well calm down ladies and gentlemen, you’ll love to know that this cake is an Instructable and there’s lovely step by step instructions so that you too can make many amazing cakes that look just like this one. Happy baking, happy readers, and remember, cake is the only thing that matters.

Steampunk Exhibition Ball Tickets on Sale

Steampunks hailing from the greater Seattle area will be pleased to hear that tickets for the 2012 Steampunk Exhibition Ball are now on sale. Early bird general admission tickets start at 25$ (27 with service fees) and go up from there based on the level of VIP you prefer.

The Steampunk Exhibition Ball is a benefit for the Center for Sex Positive Culture. The CSPC is a 501(c)7 dedicated to providing a safe place for adults to explore their sexuality.

This is one of the bigger events for the Steampunk community here in Seattle, so I do hope you grab your tickets now or at least pencil it into your calendar.

A Steampunk Telescope for Stromlo

It’s interesting to see where Steampunk pops up as it gains popularity and presence in more people’s minds. While it is hardly surprising that Steampunk should be embraced by a scientific community, it is rather amazing to put their knowledge of the subculture to work in the creation of a modern telescope.

In 1911, a beautiful and at the time, high tech telescope called the Oddie was brought to the brand spanking new Australian Capital Territory and Mount Stromlo Observatory. In 2003, however, a fire destroyed the telescope.

Enter, then, Steampunk and the restoration efforts of Dr. Tim Wetherell, a Steampunk, scientist and sculptor. He decided to craft a modern version of the Oddie with a nod to it’s ancestor’s aesthetics, and this is was the result:

This month, Mount Stromlo Observatory is celebrating its centenary with the installation of Dr. Wetherell’s gorgeous new piece. To read more about it and see additional pictures, check out the original article here.

The Chap

Each summer in London, the Chap Olympiad is held to celebrate “athletic ineptitude and immaculate trouser creases.” That isn’t the only thing they are up to, however, and retro-punks of all walks of life will likely love reading the bi-monthly releases of Chap Magazine, but I’m writing this with my dearest Dieselpunk readers in mind.

Are you a gentlemen of refined taste and dapper sensibilities? Do you love wearing tweed and never go out in public without your hat? Perhaps the Chap is your sort of read. Their Manifesto just scratches the surface of their retrofuturistic mindset. Rather than bringing about revolution by bomb-throwing or violence, “Chappists”  aim to change society by dressing with panache, drinking fine beverages and behaving with courtesy.

Here’s what they had to say about themselves on their website:

The Chap takes a wry look at the modern world through the steamed-up monocle of a more refined age, occasionally getting its sock suspenders into a twist at the unspeakable vulgarity of the twenty-first century.
Since 1999, the Chap has been championing the rights of that increasingly marginalised and discredited species of Englishman – the gentleman. The Chap believes that a society without courteous behaviour and proper headwear is a society on the brink of moral and sartorial collapse, and it seeks to reinstate such outmoded but indispensable gestures as hat doffing, giving up one’s seat to a lady and regularly using a trouser press.

Unfortunately for the majority of my readers, The Chap is printed in the UK, so shipping will be a bit of a pain, but this seems something that might be worth the investment if your looking to cultivate your gentlemanly panache. Go here to subscribe and start bringing dapper back.

Frenchy and the Punk’s BIG Music Project Kickstarter

One of my favorite bands to be embraced by the subculture, Frenchy and the Punk have launched a Kickstarter campaign for their latest musical undertaking, two full length CDs! But the need your help to make it a reality!

Unfortunately, WordPress and Kickstarter don’t always get along with regards to embedding videos, so you’re going to have to go toFrenchy and the Punk’s Kickstarter to see the video and hear their appeals for your help.

For those of you unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it is a website that allows you to become a patron for creative works that would otherwise go unfunded and as a possible result, uncreated. Kickstarter gives you the power to support the arts in ways that used to only be viable to foundations, corporations, and wealthy families by pooling your contributions with the support of others who love the arts and giving the artists the means to create.

Here’s the catch about Kickstarter, though. If the project you have backed does not reach its minimum goal, the project flops. The pledges don’t come through and the artist doesn’t get any of the money that was promised. So, its very important that if you are interested in seeing a concept become reality, that you consider contributing. Every dollar counts towards meeting the goal and the project going underway.

Let’s help Scott and Samantha make something amazing with this Kickstarter! Check it out and contribute if you can!