Bus Windows that Open From the Bottom

| June 19, 2015

Best of Spanish Steampunk

| June 11, 2015

BESTSPSTP_grandeMonths ago, I was sent a copy of Best of Spanish Steampunk, an anthology edited by Marian Womack. There’s really nothing more awesome than waking up to find twelve hundred pages of steampunk sitting in your inbox.

It took me a long time to read, but that’s sort of the beauty of a broad-ranging anthology like this. Do you just have time for a few-page dose of steampunk on the bus? Try “Saturn’s Children” by Sergio Lifante: Short, spooky, and inspired by a Barcelona crime spree from the early 20th century. In it for the long haul? The collection closes with two novellas: I particularly recommend “Black Eagles” by Eduard Vaquerizo, which paints a detailed picture of a reimagined Spanish empire.

The sections are divided by typical steampunk tropes and themes – politics, robots, time travel, etc. – and collection is at its best where it takes those and mixes them up with Spanish settings and histories. “Shot to the Gut” by Jesús Cañadas which retells an anarchist revolt in Andalusia, is a particularly good alt history telling of a bit of Spanish history that I wouldn’t have known, but now want to read about. “Biochronography Of The Lateral Jump: Aub’s Theorem” by Guillermo Zapata also earns serious points in the use-of-Spanish-history category for featuring Salvador Dalí and other historical figures in a time-hopping murder mystery.

It’s not surprising that such a massive collection has some weak spots, but it’s a bit interesting to look at what they are: The stories that left me feeling meh were the ones that took an “add steam-tech and stir” approach, dropping in a factory or automata or dirigible, slapping London in the backdrop, and leaving it at that. For a genre that delights in its tropes (and oh, do I delight in a good automata,) it was a reminder that they can’t stand on their own without solid characters, conflicts, and, yeah, maybe traveling a bit away from London. (Though maybe not too far – there were a few good stories that left the real world behind altogether and opted for building new steampunk worlds for their settings, but the strongest pieces in the anthology were without fail rooted at least a bit in history.)

AEther Salon: Fencing! (Edited Transcript)

| May 19, 2015

((Unfortunately, the Baron was unavailable, and I was chased offline by ill-timed thunderstorms.  My thanks to Dr. Jekyll for saving off the transcript!))

Dr. Cyberusfaustus: Good evening ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to Aether Salon and the Classical Fencing Society Salle d’Armes.  The publising house of Prezdigitation will provide a printing of this evenings talk at: http://prezi.com/

AEther Salon: Fencing! (Unedited Transcript)

| May 19, 2015

((Unfortunately, the Baron was unavailable, and I was chased offline by ill-timed thunderstorms.  My thanks to Dr. Jekyll for saving off this transcript!))

[14:06] Dr. Cyberusfaustus (cyberusfaustus): Good evening ladies and gentlemen

[14:06] Dr. Cyberusfaustus (cyberusfaustus): Welcome to Aether Salon and the Classical Fencing Society Salle d’Armes

[14:06] Darlingmonster Ember smiles

[14:

Light up bedside table

| April 21, 2015

I took two Ikea bedside tables that were painted white with white drawer pulls and painted them gloss black.  I replaced the drawer pulls with ‘steampunky’ brass knobs with an antique balloon picture in the centre.  I found some glass shelves to put on top which were wider and deeper than the tables so I created a frame to go around the bedside tables, as the framing material was quite thin I used some acrylic between the frame and the table.  Under the acrylic I installed LEDs to light up the inside edge of the table.  Lastly I created some brass switches to turn on the LEDs…….the effect is awsome and now I don’t need a table lamp!

Freaks! (Edited Transcript)

| April 21, 2015

Bookworm Hienrichs: Well, I think we’ll get started.

Welcome, everyone, to this month’s Aether Salon! Our usual host, Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, is unfortunately unavailable today, so you’ll have to put up with me.

Bookworm Hienrichs grins.

Bookworm Hienrichs: Today, Jimmy Branagh – and Billy – will regale us with carnival tales, focusing on the life of the "Special People." Before we get

Freaks! (Unedited Transcript)

| April 21, 2015

[14:06] Bookworm Hienrichs: Well, I think we’ll get started.

[14:06] Garnet Psaltery: wb

[14:06] Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, everyone, to this month’s Aether Salon! Our usual host, Baron Klaus Wulfenbach, is unfortunately unavailable today, so you’ll have to put up with me.

[14:06] Bookworm Hienrichs grins.

[14:06] Garnet Psaltery: You’ll do fine

[14:06] Bookworm Hienrichs: Today, Jimmy

Cutting Steel with a Skil Saw Blade

| April 9, 2015

I’m am bolting a bunch of scrap steel together to make an anvil and I need the pieces to fit as tightly together as possible so I’ve been milling the surfaces on the CNC mill. I created a piece with a horn and step and I needed to create a area to set it down […]

Protocol! (Edited transcript)

| March 16, 2015

Baron Klaus Wulfenbach: Fraulein Bookworm, if you might start with the general introduction.

Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, everyone, to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, Duchess Liz Wilner and Wizardess Oriella Charik will teach us about proper protocol when out and about in the Steamlands.  Before we get started, a few housekeeping items:

1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on

Protocol! (Unedited transcript)

| March 16, 2015

[14:04] Baron Klaus Wulfenbach (klauswulfenbach.outlander): Fraulein Bookworm, if you might start with the general introduction.

[14:04] Bert (bert.nuubert): Greetings mr Mayor

[14:04] Bookworm Hienrichs nods.

[14:05] Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, everyone, to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, Duchess Liz Wilner and Wizardess Oriella Charik will teach us about proper protocol when out and

AEther Salon: Punishment! (Edited Transcript)

| February 16, 2015

Bookworm Hienrichs: Welcome, one and all, to this month’s Aether Salon! Today, New Babbage’s own Tepic Harlequin will regale us with tales of Punishment in Victorian times.  Before we get started, a few housekeeping items:

1) To ensure you can hear the speaker, stand or sit on the patterned carpet.

2) If you do not have a wearable chair and wish one, please contact myself or the Baron.

AEther Salon: Punishment! (Unedited Transcript)

| February 16, 2015

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs: We’ll be starting in a few minutes. We always wait for stragglers.

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs smiles.

[13:58] Steadman Kondor beams, i cant wait to hear about this criminal topic!

[13:58] Garnet Psaltery: Hello Ceejay

[13:58] Bookworm Hienrichs: Ceejay! Good to see you!

[13:58] Avariel Falcon: No Babbager left behind!

[13:59] Avariel Falcon: Except that strange