Friday, 10 July 2009

Gatehouse Gazette 7

A little tardy, as usual, in announcing the marvellous new edition of the Gatehouse Gazette. This wonderful production is fast becoming a staple in the Steampunk genre and, with the unfortunate demise of The Willows, this may provide some solace for those who wish to explore the world of steampunk.

As usual, the Gazette is a smorgasbord of delights, this time with a slight twist, in that Issue 7 is themed around Metropolis and the City! To wit:

In response to the discovery of lost Metropolis footage, issue #7 is dedicated to this 1927 classic of silent film and the metropolis in general.

Of course there is a review of the original Metropolis, by Mr Marcius Rauchfuß, as well as an article about the 2001 anime of the same name, by Mr Sigurjón Njálsson. For the latest about what is going on in that other fine city, the Old Smoke called Londontown, we introduce Brigadier Sir Arthur Weirdy-Beardy of The Steampunk Club, while Mr David Townsend is off to farther realms once again, traveling by the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney, Australia.

We are also extremely glad to present an exclusive preview of Mr Toby Frost’s upcoming Space Captain Smith novel, Wrath of the Lemming Men!

And it almost goes without saying that this issue features all the columns and features that you might have come to expect from us: Ms Hilde Heyvaert writes her "Steampunk Wardrobe” about ethnic steampunk; Mr Craig B. Daniel dedicates his “Liquor Cabinet” to a story about beer, and Mr Guy Dampier is back with a Quatermass review. More reviews come from Hilde (Unhallowed Necropolis), Mr Trubetskoy (The Court of the Air and Outcry) and Toby Frost (Gormenghast).

Yet again, a triumphant achievement. I urge you to visit the Gatehouse, download the pdf, peruse the forums of the Smoking Lounge, take a drink from the robo-butler, and relax with a great read!

Happy Tesla Day

One could not let the day pass without marking the Main Man of Steampunk, the famous inventor of the Tesla Coil, Nicolai Tesla!

Born this day on 1856, not in Russia, as many may believe, but a Serb in Vojna Krajina (modern Croatia), Tesla is responsible for some of the greatest electro-magnetic and other inventions many people believe invented by other, possibly more well-reknowned, inventors, most notoriously radio (not Marconi!). His discoveries and achievements enabled the creation of the AC motor, polyphase distribution systems, and his inventions included the three-phase totating magnetic field generator. Tesla was quite possibly responsible for the success of the Edison Company, being employed to redesign and create systems and mechanisms for which the Company received the patents whilst Tesla remained on $18 a week, and digging ditches for them. His interests and later patents explored the fields of sleep-inducing machines, X-rays, plasma, mechanical resonance, and the transmission of electricity without wires.

Whilst I would otherwise not condone such a source for information, this site is a good starting point to Tesla's life and work. I would also point to the Telsa Foundation which seeks to continue his memory and work. Take a look at the TESLA Technology Collaboration of Germany while you're at it. There's also a documentary here.

For a more light-hearted view of Tesla, try this (wait til you're past the fire-spinner!), or, even better than Singing Tesla Coils, this, the Tesla Cage of Death!

Tesla repeatedly crops up in novels, movies, and television. A key character in Amanda Tapping's Sanctuary (first on the web, then on network) as a vampire, and appearing in the 2006 movie The Prestige, he remains a key figure of interest for novelists, including for Samantha Hunt's Invention of Everything Else and was a key plot device in the king of early steampunk and science fiction author HG Wells' First Men in the Moon. An excellent source of where Tesla may be found in popular culture may be found here.

Other Steampunks and punkettes will be marking this day, and I point you to the excellent Smoking Lounge for further discussion!