Archived entries for *punk

Putting this here so I don’t forget about these beautiful things:

Via Yewknee:

This gallery of Yugoslovian monuments is a feast for the eyes but, even better, if you read through this thorough explanation of their past you will get a little treat for the brain. The diversity of the designs is impressive and the motivation behind their initial construction makes their neglect even more poignant.

One more…

La Machine’s website.

Via Dark Roasted Blend.

Putting together a piece about the asteriskpunks (*punks) sub cultures/genres that are out there. Focusing primarily on the cultural impetus for their appearance in the zeitgeist.

Dumping loose notes here so I can have a web-based reference point.

Attacking 4 *punks as the best examples of this

  • Cyber
  • Steam
  • Diesel
  • Wind

Clockworkpunk, Atomopunk, et al are really just narrow slivers that don’t really attack things in new ways. Effectively like working at a hotdog restaurant, then spinning off a new restaurant that serves everything with extra relish and calling it a new cuisine. It isn’t, and they aren’t.

Need to establish definition of PUNK as a whole. Speak to nihilistic, dead-end leanings. Something is lost in punk, a death is coming, and this is the raging before the long quiet.

All *punks pull something from previous forms of literature. Pulps, etc.


  • Original *punk. Came from the rise of instant digital communication, personal computing, and the potential of unlocking the human gene as a tool.
  • Also of note is the ever present megacorp. Massive employer/producer/state that is more present than the national entity.
  • Essentially it’s about the loss/erosion of individuality through technology and the corporate system
  • Oddly, Cyberpunk is positioned against the current Nerd Cult of Singularity.
  • Pulls from Noir tropes for stories in a lot of cases.


  • The Big One right now. Really just sort of an updating of what Jules Verne was doing 100+ years ago.
  • Reaction to the lack of heirlooms in modern life. Coveted, saved for possessions are iDevices, laptops, game systems, TVs, etc.
  • Desire is to go back to a point where the artisan could still craft something that hold modern functionality.
  • In past, man would buy a pocket watch with his first check (example). That would get passed down, build history/story. Current things are trashed for newer versions.
  • Parallel to Arts and Crafts movement that came as a rejection of Industrialization
  • Irony? Devices used to build community are the things they are railing against.


  • Newer, but building in relevance.
  • A swan song to the internal combustion engine. The device that powered trains, automobiles and planes.
  • The engine that shrunk the world is now dying, replaced by electric
  • Examples of electricity powering the villain is common. Robots, lasers, etc.
  • Pulling from the classic 30s/40s stories of air combat.


  • Smallest of the *punks I’ve chosen. But, still has a clearly defined message
  • Key points of this talk about giving people the kind of mobility/life they have now, but without environmental impact
  • Survivor’s guilt seems to play into this. Guilt that the world is in this state, so imagine a better one.

Try to work 4 elements angle.

End with noting that this is the year NASA dies. And that I expect Spacepunk to be the next big thing. Akin to Atomopunk, but goes further.

All of these is through a non-academic, personal filter. Meant to bring up discussion and talk directly about the metaphors *punks are conveying.

A little bit of bat-shit crazy to start our morning off with, yes?

Oh, and if anyone is looking for some last minute gift ideas, the deluxe American Astronaut gift set has jumped to the top of my list.

I love the fact that books are getting YouTube trailers these days.


Panel 1
Exterior, Night, the open sky.

An English warship glides through the night. The ship is massive – dreadnought class, bristling with firepower. The crew can be seen moving over her top decks. Lights illuminate parts of the ship. We can see the word ARTEMIS stenciled in white block letters on her side.

Panel 2
CUT TO – Interior, the bridge of the ARTEMIS.

A cross between the command area of a submarine and a dirigible, the nerve center of the ARTEMIS is bustling with activity, even at this late hour. The captain sits in the middle of the commotion, quietly sipping his tea. The background is a mixture of brass fittings, gauges, altimeters, maps and wood paneling.

Panel 3
CUT TO – Exterior, Night, a hill below.

A man in a long, black coat holds a pair of binoculars up to his eyes. He is standing on a hill, behind him is a device attached to the bed of a truck. It looks like a cross between the drill of an oil derrick and a radio array. Next to that truck is another truck with a power supply on its flatbed.

<Target in range. Begin the test>*
*Translated from Russian.

Panel 4
Behind the man, the device lifts up off of the truck bed and hums to life. The air begins to crackle.


Panel 1
CUT TO – Interior, the bridge of the ARTEMIS.

The ship suddenly takes a sharp dive. People are thrown off balance, into their instrumentation. The captain is trying to stand, point and barking orders. His tea cup is broken on the floor. Steam is escaping from some of the pipes.

Panel 2
CUT TO – Exterior, the outside of the ARTEMIS.

She is listing violently, rolling to her side as her nose angles down toward the ground. Her keel is cracking, like paint peeling off a wall. Green light is pouring from the cracks.

Panel 3
CUT TO – Interior, the bridge of the ARTEMIS.

The same green light is filling the bridge. The crew are screaming in agony, tearing at their skin as it starts to slough off. Close in the foreground, we see the captain, screaming with his mouth wide, raking his finger nails down his face. His eyes are bleeding, his nose is bleeding, his tongue and lips are blistering.

Panel 4
CUT TO – Exterior, the outside of the ARTEMIS.

The ship is breaking apart. A massive explosion billows out from her back quarter. Her foredecks are splitting, and you can see the crew falling out from the splits. The green light is pouring out of the ship. The ARTEMIS is going down.


Panel 1
CUT TO – Exterior, Night, a hill below.

Close on shot on the man watching the ARTEMIS with his binoculars. You can see the flaming ship reflected in the lenses of the binoculars. There is a smirk on his face.

<Test successful.>

Panel 2
The man turns around and begins gesturing and shouting to the crew behind him.

<Pack it up and let’s get out of here. It won’t take them long to come looking for her.>

Panel 3
Tight shot on the man as he turns back to look at the ship, still falling out of the sky. The orange from the fire illuminates his face.


Panel 4
Wide shot from behind the man as we can see the ARTEMIS fully breaking apart. It looks like a SHOOTING STAR.


Panel 1
CUT TO – HAWKINS leaning on a railing, looking out at a clear South Pacific sky. The stairs are reflected on the water out in the lagoon. Airships of all shapes and sizes are moored there. There is a SHOOTING STAR in the sky. This is a big panel, about 3/4s of the page. Title elements + publishing information go here.

Panel 2
Swing the camera around to look at HAWKINS, staring wistfully up at the sky. Behind him, standing in a doorway is the silhouette of a large woman with her hands on her hips. Her body language shows that she’s not happy.

Boy! Get your ass back inside!


In the future, monster implements of war may be controlled from a distance by the mere turning of a radio dial. A Japanese army officer, Major Nagayama, has invented a means of directing by radio the movements of a tank able to travel at a speed of five miles an hour.

Already wireless control of airplanes has been successfully attempted in England, according to reports. A master radio set took the place of the pilot, acting through tiny compressed air motors which worked the plane’s controls.

Such a system of radio control as that of the tank or airplane does not imply the transmission of any appreciable quantity of power by radio. In the tank, for example, the radio impulses serve simply to trip a relay that sets in motion the tank’s regular gasoline-driven machinery. Other relays, tuned to proper wave lengths, operate the steering controls.

The amount of power required to operate these relays is as little as that which brings the voices of Amos ‘n’ Andy into your radio receiver. Just as your own set supplies the power to amplify the faint impulses, so the relays in tank and airplane permit gasoline engines to supply the actual motive power. The transmission of real quantities of power without wires remains at present a dream.

Residents in Liverpool woke up yesterday to find this crawling down the side of one of their downtown buildings.

Clockwork Arachnid in Liverpool

It was not a good day to be an arachnophobe in Liverpool. As part of the city’s Capital of Culture celebrations, this scary 50ft mechanical spider was suspended from a building near Lime Street station.

Even worse, La Princess, as the creature is known, is to move around the city at speeds of up to 2mph before it escapes down the Mersey Tunnel on Sunday.

The steel and wood spider has sophisticated hydraulics which allow the dozen engineers strapped to its frame to operate its eyes, legs and abdomen.

The 37-ton artwork has been billed as the largest and most spectacular piece of street theatre ever staged in the UK.

Created by French company La Machine, the installation cost £1.8million to bring to Liverpool – and all but £250,000 of this was funded by the taxpayer.

The story behind the artwork is that French ‘scientists’ have arrived in the city to investigate it.

They will use cranes to remove the animal off the tower block, before taking it to their ‘research base’ in Liverpool’s new concert venue, the Echo Arena.

There, the creature will undergo a series of experiments, allowing the team to show off special effects using water, fire and artificial snow.

Organisers hope the spider will attract huge crowds, but onlookers appeared more bemused than enthralled.

Eric Wilson, 82, from West Derby, said: ‘What the devil are they going to think of next? It’s novel, I think some will like it. There’s never a dull moment in Liverpool.’

His wife Dorothy, also 82, added: ‘I wouldn’t like to meet it in the dark. They say it’s going to walk the streets but I hope I’m not down here when it does.’

And after one driver pranged his car trying to catch a glimpse of the creature, police warned motorists not to become distracted by it.

Helen Marriage, producer of the show, said: ‘We brought the elephant to London in 2006 and that weighed 42 tons, moved slowly through the streets and definitely did not climb buildings.

‘This one’s more mobile and much more flexible. It has 50 axes of movement so it moves as you would expect an insect to move.’

The TaxPayers’ Alliance has called the artwork an ‘outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money’.

Spokesman Matthew Sinclair said: ‘Who on Earth would want their hard-earned cash spent on a mechanical spider? It’s bonkers.’

From the Dail Mail.

Writer Randy Nakamura just took Steampunk down a peg. Well, at least he thinks he did. Read the article before you let me color your impression of it, though. Here’s a snippet:

Dissatisfied with their out of the box Dells or Apples, Steampunkers have declared war on mass production. Their solution? Nineteenth-century Victorian England. A strange choice to say the least. Recalling an era that is the ground zero of mass production, the cultural inflection point from the artisan to the manufactured is an odd way to escape the evils of silicon chips, instant obsolescence and homogeneous design, devoid of the human hand. I haven’t figured out whether cracking open your computer, attaching it to an Underwood typewriter, then inserting it into a combination Victorian mantel clock/desk and calling it “The Nagy Magical-Movable-Type Pixello-Dynamotronic Computational Engine” is some sort of daft wit or evidence of a pedantry bordering on the pathological. Steampunkers may have dubious taste, but one cannot accuse them of lacking a sense of humor. However, the jig is up: as a design aesthetic, Steampunk is still nascent, a set of interesting ideas that have been given the spotlight far too soon.

Finished reading it? Good.

I think Nakamura is the sort of person who looked at the card board box his parent’s new refrigerator came in as just that- a cardboard box. It was never a time machine or a fort or a space ship or anything but a piece of compressed and corrugated paper pulp. He is missing the entire element of wonder which is so integral to what sits at the core of Steampunk. I don’t think for a damn second that anyone looks at what they are doing as a direct transliteration of the Edwardian period (that’s right fuckers, it’s EDWARDIAN not VICTORIAN) with modern technology. It’s about trying to recapture the lost love of the heirloom, but keeping the functionality inherent to the object. Don’t over think it. It’s just people wanting their stuff to look better.

Via I09.

 Ben is out of town, and I’ve stolen his sketchbook. Here are some preliminary drawings from Cloudburst.

On Aerite Wings - Cloudburst

On Aerite Wings - Cloudburst

The Clocks of Eric Freitas

Eric Freitas is an artificer based out of Michigan. He specializes in highly ornate time pieces like the one you see above.

The Clocks of Eric Freitas The Clocks of Eric Freitas The Clocks of Eric Freitas The Clocks of Eric Freitas

One of you needs to win the lottery and commission him to build me a grandfather clock.

Flickr gallery here.
His Etsy is here.
Article about him on Coilhouse is here.

The funny part? He’s taking stuff from his half-finished Sherlock Holmes scripts and wrapping this steam/diesel punk thing around it.

For me, the worst of having a day job and working with some one who has a day job, is that we can’t devote the time we need to devote to keep up with professionals. I’m sure I’d have no problem being a thousand page a year writer if I didn’t have to work 8-9 hours a day at another job. And I’m sure Ben would have no problem doing 4 pages a week if he didn’t have the same thing. So, until I can afford to give the 9 to 5 the finger, I’ll constantly be watching the market and waiting to see if some one beats me there with my ideas.

Newsweek already did an article, and now true to form, the New York Times is going to do a better one. Probably because they put it in their Fashion & Style section

It is also the vision of steampunk, a subculture that is the aesthetic expression of a time-traveling fantasy world, one that embraces music, film, design and now fashion, all inspired by the extravagantly inventive age of dirigibles and steam locomotives, brass diving bells and jar-shaped protosubmarines. First appearing in the late 1980s and early ’90s, steampunk has picked up momentum in recent months, making a transition from what used to be mainly a literary taste to a Web-propagated way of life.

The only thing this article really leaves out is how this subculture is re-inventing the heirloom in a world of disposability. Beyond that, it is spot on.

Thanks to Alpha for the heads up.

 The Edison Bar - Los Angeles

If I’m lucky, this is where I’ll go when I die. A pity it’s in LA and not some place I actually like.

Flickr gallery here. Official site here.

Jules Verne’s Myserious Island

Jules Verne is one of my heroes. His ideas of Victorian high technology gave rise to what we now call steampunk. He’s sort of the half-forgotten grandfather of the whole thing, and of modern speculative fiction, too.

Steampunk Mac Mini

This was apparently done as a wedding gift, and it completely epitomizes the steampunk drive to bring back the heirloom, but still keeping the high technology.

Via the Steampunk Workshop.

From the wikipedia entry:

Weedpunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction which came into prominence in the 1960s and early 1970s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where weed power is still widely used—usually the 21st century, and often set in urban America—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, including fictional technological inventions such as DARE robots, or real societal developments like the weed bar occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of Weedpunk contain alternate history-style presentations of “the path not taken” of such technology as weed powered vehicles or computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or a presumption of functionality.

Weedpunk is often associated with an oppressive government and features underlying themes of rebellion. Unlike the other punk genres, Weedpunk developed almost completely separately from Cyberpunk et al. While Steampunk focuses on steam power and Biopunk has a strong focus on advanced biological technology, the Weedpunk genre has interconnecting themes such as the use of weed smoke and bong water to power machines. Weedpunk is generally thought to be dystopian, however many elements of Weedpunk stories contain elements of hope such as laughing at topics most people would consider frightful and having periods of deep introspection.

Its a joke, probably from the FYAD contingent of the Something Awful forums. I expect the wikipedia purifiers to have their way with it any minute now.

Via Tim.

Steampunk Workshop - Copper Plating and Etching Altoid Tins

A pretty interesting breakdown of how to plate and etch altoid tins over at the Steampunk Workshop.

Winged Victory promo

I had my pitch meeting with the artist last night, and the steampunk idea is what stuck with him.

So, from here I build up a bunch of backmatter for him, we develop a visual language for the world, and try to push something out for MOCCA. Probably a poster, a postcard and a 4-6 page self contained story.

But yes, it is happening. Time to make the world in my head into something for the rest of you. I am ecstatic, to say the least.

Image Source: Libby Bulloff

Soviet Space Illustration

Dark Roasted Blend posted a collection of imagery from old non-English pulp science fiction. There is some gorgeous stuff in there. Great research material for the spacepunk idea I’m working on. They also maintain a flickr photo stream here of the stuff they blog.

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