It’s been an interesting voyage the last two weeks in the aetherweb for your Airship Ambassador. I was looking for new steampunk ports of call beyond those I knew of in the US, Canada, and Great Britain. Steampunk is growing all around the world, and after hearing hints here and there, I was ready to find those other communities.
My journey started with #steampunkchat on Twitter where the evening’s topic was “Multiculturalism in Steampunk”. It was a good discussion about the desire to write and read multicultural steampunk stories. As previously discussed, steampunk provides a rich tapestry of ideas, and as such, stories need not be limited to London, England as a setting, or as a singular cultural perspective. Stories can include Spanish, Romanian and Egyptian characters and cultures, as well as Chinese, Samoan, and Peruvian, among so many more.
After being primed by that discussion, and armed with a website translation site, I headed for one site I already knew about but hadn’t had time to explore – Rauchersalon, or The Smoking Lounge, in Germany. There are several ongoing discussions, and links to other groups and events.
The next site on my list for German was Clockworker. There are many good blog postings and pictures, and a few links to more information.
Continuing in a haphazard jaunt around the globe, I came across Australian Steampunk, French Steampunk, and Steampunk Brazil, which is another site I had long wanted to read through. This last site was created by the Conselho Steampunk (Steampunk Council) which includes Bruno Accioly, Raul Candido, and Carlos Felippe. Bruno talks about the formation of the Council and the other related sites here. Those other sites include a social network, artists and craftsman, cosplay for women and men, and a literature group with over 200 members.
Bruno list just a few of the many steampunk writers in Brazil, one of whom is Fabio Fernandes, who recently helped, with Larry Nolen, provide the English translations for Excerpts from Vaporpunk, recently posted on Beyond Victoriana. There is a good review by Fabio of how Vaporpunk: Relatos Steampunk Publicados Sob As Ordens De Suas Majestades (Vaporpunk: Steampunk Reports Published Under the Orders of His Majesties) and another book, Steampunk: Histórias de um Passado Extraordinário (Steampunk: Stories from an Extraordinary Past), came to be. These are two books I’m eagerly awaiting the English translation.
After a quick stop to see what is new with my friend, James Ng, I followed a link for one of his earlier interviews before mine and found a bonanza of information at Russian site, Steampunker. WOW! I spent six hours reading through this site and really only got through half of it. There are so many great artists listed, profiled and linked to, that it was easy to get distracted. I can easily see a whole weekend being dedicated to reading the rest of the postings and exploring the links on this site.
One of many, many artists that I found on Steampunker was Vadim Voitekhovitch, and I fell hard for one of his paintings, Past Future. The soft blue colors lend a relaxed quality to the work, and it was enjoyable to spend time not only examining the picture’s details but also exploring it, comparing and contrasting the transportation technology throughout – airship, train, carriage, and foot.
There’s much more to come, so please check back for more steampunk site visits around the world!