Book Review: Escapement

Posted in Book, SteamPunk on July 8th, 2009 by SixCatFaerie
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Escapement, by Jay Lake.  3 Omegas out of 5.  A novel set in a SteamPunk universe where the world is hollow and filled with gears, and a giant Wall dividing the world is guarded by mechanical Brass Men.  This is the sequel to Mainspring (maybe, it’s hard to tell if it’s actually a sequel).  The story follows a young girl from a tiny fishing village who wants to see more of the world, and as fate would have it, is compelled to do just that.  Soon into her journey, she learns of the great mechanical prowess of the British and sets out for England.  However, her skills in constructing the rare Gleam attract the attention of evil-doers, and her magnificent adventure ensues.


The book is a little slow to start, but by the end of the first chapter, I was into it.  The quality of the writing is slightly above average, and probably worth reading for the SteamPunk enthusiast.  However, compared to other respected works, such as those by Arthur C. Clarke, James Rollins, C.S. Lewis, or Anne Rice, it’s just not as good.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good story, and I wanted the story to continue; but for the non-SteamPunk’r, this book is a solid “maybe”.  It made me want to read Mainspring.  In defense of Jay Lake, this is my first SteamPunk book; I’ve read thousands of books, and somehow missed this genre until Dr. Warthan handed it to me.

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StinkPump Comic?

Posted in Art, SteamPunk on July 8th, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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It’s a SteamPunk, SteamPump, StinkPunk, some kind of comic or graphic novel…  Anyways, this guy’s trying his hand at making himself a SteamPunk style comic.  The website [is GONE] shows several panels, but the comic itself seems incomplete; it looks like an active work-in-progress.


However, I did enjoy watching the video below the panels that showed a time-lapse sequence of the creation process; quite amusing, especially when the artist changes his mind.  You can see a strong Anime influence as well, but what are we trying to say with “stinkpump”?  Somebody let me know when it’s done so I can do a proper WIN/FAIL review.  Good luck finding my e-mail address…

How About a Nice Game of Chess?

Posted in Art, SteamPunk, Technology on July 8th, 2009 by Dr. Warthan
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Greetings Professor…

Valve Chess

This is cool no matter who you are.  Nice chess set with vacuum tubes that apparently light up when they are placed into the sockets on the board.  Very nice.  However, after a close look at the photos, it appears that LEDs are doing the actual illumination.  Well, I guess 20kV of filament voltage would burn the fingers.

This wonderful vacuum tube chess set, by maker Paul Fryer, actually has electricity running inside the board so that the tubes can draw power and glow as you move them from square to square. It is called, somewhat appropriately, Chess Set for Tesla, and Paul actually made seven sets last year.