Tagged steampunk

Dark of the West Is a Slow-Burn Fantasy Inspired by World War I

We often roll our eyes at the cliché phrase “It’s not you, it’s me,” mostly because it’s used to end one-sided relationships in various forms of media. It’s shorthand for a slew of problems couples face—infidelity, lack of interest, poor communication—and it feels disingenuous because we’ve heard it so many times. But as much as I don’t like using it, I’m going to break my own personal rule today and say this: it’s not you, Dark of the West,...

Mortal Engines Chugs Along with Big Visuals and Small Ideas

Something is awry with a film when its most interesting role is the zombie robot side character with faded memories of his past life. He must, unfortunately, state the obvious in this giant clunker of a young adult epic while he examines a toy: “It has no heart. Like me!” This is the case with Mortal Engines, which cakes on so much giant fantasy with its big cities and unique aircraft that its personality is microscopic by comparison. In...

Frostpunk Is a Struggle between Morality and Survival

“Alone in this world.” That’s how Victor Serche, one of my citizens, is described when I click on him. No spouse. No children. Such a grim, blunt way to put things. Such a phrase might also describe my city. Alone in this world, in a crater, surrounded by snow-swept wasteland on all sides. On the first night of my colony’s establishment, 20 people—that’s one-quarter of the population—die from exposure to the elements. Frostpunk, set in an alternate steam-powered world,...

Ocean of Secrets Is a Fantastical Whirlwind

I was intrigued by the manga Ocean of Secrets by Sophie-chan as soon as I saw the cover art. And when I read the short description, which told of a young girl named Lia whose seemingly normal life is turned upside down when she’s swept away in a storm and rescued by a magical ship, that was all I needed to know I had to check this one out! My expectation going into the story was that it would have a steampunk feel...

Clockwerks, Minneapolis’s Steampunk Brewery, Opens for Business

The Twin Cities have no shortage of breweries—we are lucky enough to live in a city where it seems as if a new brewery or taproom opens around the corner every day. But when I learned that one of these new openings involved a steampunk-themed brewery, I needed to know more. The cofounders and co-owners of Clockwerks Brewing, Brett Michlitsch and Lonnie Manresa, were kind enough to sit down with me to answer my questions, tell me their origin...

Steam Age Chronicles: A New MN Comic Series with Beautiful Art and a Language Twist

I wish I were multilingual. I took French in high school, but I didn’t care all that much about learning the language. I kick myself sometimes that I didn’t take that class more seriously. Recently, I was sent a copy of “The Clockwork Armor,” the first issue in the new comic series Steam Age Chronicles from Minnesota’s Buzz & Roar Publishing. (Buzz & Roar was also behind Illusion, which fellow Twin Cities Geek reviewer Kelly Starsmore looked at last...

Author Catherine Lundoff and “Peak Queer Lycanthrope”

Catherine Lundoff is a force in genre writing and studies. Her work has found audiences at both a local and national level. She’s produced a series of articles on “deep reading” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) audiences and characters for SF Signal in addition to her own blogs and books. She’s certainly a force for expanding the vision of what genre writing is, so I took some time to talk to her about the past and...

An Electrifying Event: Steam Century at the Bakken Museum

Last month, the Red Ribbon Society, the Twin Cities–based chapter of alternate-history group Steam Century, hosted a mystery event at the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis as part of the museum’s “Family Science Night.” Many in the geek community will know Steam Century from CONvergence, where its members have been regular attendees—hosting a mystery game, scavenger hunt, craft hour, and other steampunk-focused programming. The brainchild of historian Kerry Dobbins, it began in Madison, Wisconsin, and grew from a small community...

An Awesome Concept Falls Flat in The Order: 1886

The Order: 1886 is a disaster. There’s no other way around it. I had attempted to defend this game against all the naysayers ever since it was announced at E3 in 2013, hoping that I would be vindicated when it finally launched. Not only did the graphics really set the standard for what next-generation gaming could look like, I’d also be able to play in an alternate timeline to stop the threat of werewolves and vampires rampaging throughout 19th-century...

A Geek’s Guide to the 2015 Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference (AWP)

If you’re attending next week’s Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference—better known to the world as AWP—it’s already a given that you’re a writing geek. But AWP also has plenty of offerings for your more specific “geek” tendencies. Here are some of the best panels that might appeal to those interests. Remember! If you don’t want to shell out for the full four-day registration ($255), you can buy a Saturday-only pass on-site for just $40. Considering the full...
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